a. CV & Biog
2003 to the Present – Founder and Co-ordinator + Diplomat teacher of the Integral Permaculture Academy, which in 2011 started teaching our pioneering Integral Permaculture Certificate course online, internationally, in english as well as Spanish.
2001 to the Present – Co-ordinator of 8thLife.org EcoVillage Network, & the La Palma node, Canaries: starting with production and sale of organic vegetables, goat and chicken keeping, later co-ordinating an action-learning programme on farm management (for young people), ciber-café on site, ceramics workshop, rural tourism, occasional community events and courses on site.
2001 – organised monthly meetings of organic farmers in La Palma (with workshops, talks, seed interchange, LETS and a later a small publication)
2000 – research work for the creation of a database on sustainability for the public (in spanish), employed by the Asociación de Educación Medioambiental Aire Libre.
1999 - set up the first "Hour Bank" (community complementary currency) in Peckham, London, one of the first in the UK - a project of the New Economics Foundation.
1999 - co-ordinated the set up of the "LETS International Café", one of the first community cafés in England (the first in London) to operate with a local complementary currency.
1993 to 1999 - member and co-administrator of local community currency (the Southwark LETS in South London).
1996 to 1999 - member of the management committee of Lets Link London (acting as connector of LETS schemes in London) and also on Lets Link UK (same thing for the UK)
1994 to 1999 – founder and co-ordinator of Green Adventure, one of the first urban permaculture organizations in the UK, dedicated to community and local economy projects in the centre of London. From 1996 to 1998 we were awarded 5 awards for innovation and good practice, one of these was the "Regeneration Oscar" for the UK (BURA Award of 1998).
1988 to 1993 – member then president of the management committee of the Peckham Play Training Project, a charitable organization training people in youth work.
1989 to 1992 – worked in Alistair Little Restaurant, London (first as kitchen assistant then was trained up as chef-du-partie and later sushi-chef)
1987 to 1993 – Youth and play worker with various local authorities in South London - working with mostly excluded youth in sports, arts & crafts, trips, including design and set up of their play-grounds, education projects, etc.
1985 to 1987 – self-employed as carpenter, builder and crafts-worker - doing small repair jobs for households in South London and selling at crafts markets and fairs (created own original line of papier-maché jewellery which was quite popular)
1985 to 1988 – member of the management committee of April Housing Co-op, London whilst working as accountants assistant and other office admin jobs.
When still in school (aged 14 to 15) I worked weekends in a petrol station for cash and as a volunteer in a claimants union (anti-poverty work), as an ally & legal support.
2004 to the Present – Co-ordinator & Diplomat Teacher of the Integral Permaculture Academy (previously 'Nodo Espiral') - on average we taught between 4 and 6 PDCs per year, across Spain.
Started designing & teaching online permaculture courses in 2009, realised they can be a lot more practical & effective than on site courses (people doing the practical work in their own surroundings, can be followed over longer times) so designed 3 more innovative courses (Metamorfosis & CoCreacción, EcoEscucha & the PDC+++) in 2010 & 2011.
In 2012 designed & teaching two more new courses: ExpandAMOs (Personal Development) & GaiaSis (action-learning in Integral Permaculture)
2003 - 2009 - Co-ordinator of the Action-Learning Programme in Permaculture of Finca Luna, Canary Islands (aprendizajenaccion.pbwiki.com)a yearly full PDC on La Palma, Canary Islands followed by 3 to 5 months of practical design and maintenance of a working farm still being set up (lots still to design), visiting other farms also.
2007 (Mar, Oct), 2008, Mar - speaker at the first, second and third Complementary Money Conferences in Spain.
2007 - 2009 - development of Spanish language permaculture teaching materials as an 'online-book' comprising of many wikis to which permaculture activists can add their designs. This has in the last year moved to developing audio materials: invited to do two series of radio programmes in 2009 which will be available as 'podcasts' (downloadable from the web): one directly on our Permaculture Course Curriculum and another on the Transition Movement.
2004 - 2006 – various ceramics workshops (Creativity and Primitive Pottery) in La Palma
2006, June – speaker, International PC Convergence, Croacia (lecture on the Chaordic Model which I believe is a very important model for the permaculture movement)
2004, June – one of the tutors on the Summer PermaCulture Design School, British PermaCulture Association (www.permaculture.org.uk)
1997 a 2000 – PC Design Teacher with Naturewise, a permaculture association in North London (taught parts of PDC on Urban Permacuture and Organization Structures)
1999 - invited onto a Greater London Enterprise 'think-tank' about Community Economic Development (Community Regeneration) called by the new Blair UK Governament - educating policy-makers on successful grassroots permaculture activity in order to design new Gvt. policy on this issue.
One of the results of this was the largest ever inner-city regeneration programme which inclued two significant innovations: the inclusion of complementary currencies and a firm commitment to real local community involvement in the design process (I was invited to apply for the post of Community Co-ordinator for this large project because of my track-record in getting both of these off the ground, but decided then to live in La Palma).
1999, April - speaker on a conference on Regeneration and Community Currencies organized by the Local Economy & Policy Unit of South Bank University London (about my experience of interfacing two complementary currency schemes).
1996 a 1998 – invited speaker and workshop leader at various British conferences on Local Agenda 21, Urban Food Growing, Regeneration and Local Currencies (run by Sustainable London, South Bank University Local Economy Unit, Food for London, Southwark Council, Battersea Council)
Born: 10 march 1966 in Milano, Italia
Telf. (0034) 922 40 01 33/ Mo. (0034) 697 590 185
Email - stella(at)gaiatasiri(dot)org
Languages: English, Italian & Spanish (fluent, written and spoken)
Education and Training
2010, Nov, Evolutionary Metamorphosis Course (with Barbara Marx Hubbard, online (8 weeks)
2010, Aug, Best Idea for Humanity Course (business development)
2010, Feb, Advanced Permaculture Course with Bill Mollison, Tasmania (14 days)
2010, Nov, Integral Incubator with Jeff Salzman & Ken Wilber, Boulder, Colorado (5 days)
2009, Jun - Transition Training, Barcelona, (3 days) + projects tour
2007, May. – International PC Convergence, Brasil (4 days) + PC projects Tour (10 days)
2005, Sept. – course on Agriculture Co-operatives, Universidad de Verano, Canarias (40 hours)
2005, Jun. – International PC Convergence, Croacia (4 days)
2005, Jan. - course on Innovation and Business, Cabildo de La Palma (50 hours)
2004, Jul. – European PC Academy Convergence (5 days)
2004, Jun. - European Conference on Complementary Currencies, Germany (4 days)
2003, May - course on Production and Conservation of Organic Seeds (30 hours)
2002, Apr. - Beekeeping course (20 hours)
2002, May - Canarian Pottery workshop (20 hours)
1999 to 2001 – aprentice on 5 organic, biodinamic and traditional agriculture farms in La Palma
1996 to 1997 - Certificate in Management of Small Business, Camden College London
1996 – National Conference on Complementary Currencies, England (3 days), organised by Lets Link UK
1995 to 1998 - several courses on management and administration of small business in London (sent by the NGO I was a director of, The Play Training Project)
1998 – Diploma in Permaculture Design, British Permaculture Academy (on setting up and running PC projects from 1995)
1994 – Second Permaculture Design Certificate with Andy Langford, London
1994 – National Conference on Local Agenda 21 in London (3 days)
1994 – First Permaculture Design Certificate with Steve Read, London
1991 to 1994 - Design & Technology with Education and Computer Studies - degree course in Goldsmiths College, London University (did 3 yrs of 4yr course, had some of the highest grades of each year but left as soon as I discovered permaculture, & set up Green Adventure)
1990 - Electronic Engineering course - North London College
1987 to 1988 - Youthwork training course - Play Training Project, London
1988 to 1989 - Construction tranining course (carpentry, bricklaying, plastering, plumbing) - Camden College London, followed by work experience
Secondary School - 10 'O' levels (6 grade A, 3 grade B, 1 grade C) + 1 AS level grade A, went on to Oxbridge stream, got accepted at Cambridge University twice (to take physics) but decided to leave school just before my A level exams.
by Graham Burnett, UKStella is a princess of permaculture!One of the most respected members of our community that I can think of, who has a proven and documented track record in instigating community based permaculture projects that have made real differences to people's lives and environments in both London and the Canary Islands, and who has never shirked from asking difficult, challenging or searching questions.
She was my mentor when I did my permaculture diploma, and gave me loads of constructive and sometimes challenging feedback when writing/ illustrating my Permaculture beginners Guide book, and most importantly was instrumental in setting up the the truly fantastic and transformational Green Adventure urban permaculture project in South London against all odds, that provided educational projects, employment opportunties, radical 'peoplecare' courses, forest gardens and inner city food growing initiatives.
Stella took on board Bill's message to 'start at the end of your nose' and fuckin' made it happen for real in the most heavy and deprived parts of London...
She's an open,accepting and honest woman but has a very good built in bullshit detector.
For example I am really pleased that she is prepared to bring our attention to the possibility that racism might be an issue for permaculture people, especially with IPC9 in Africa due in 2009.
I appreciate too her thinking about how to raise the issue of interrupting personal attacks in our networks so that, in the future, we may waste less time going down this sort of rabbit hole.
Stella is an intelligent risk-taker who knows that working on the edge is likely to attract criticism and, when it does, she models elegant recovery and learning and then moves forward with courage. This is great modelling and encouragement for me.Stella's work with these wikis, nurturing the development of international permaculture communities collaborating in order that we can build constructive policy around permaculture organisation and learning, is truly visionary.
Her collection of stories around permaculture pioneers makes her our senior ethnographer and I love it that she invites us all in to play our part.
I'd like her to lead a whole team of on-line community builders in our networks soon -
I was talking with George Por the other day, a man with senior interests in the field of community intelligence and digital mediation and he let me know that people with a socially oriented, digital literacy who also know about and practice permaculture are treasured assets in his view.
That's Stella, a treasured asset.
More references from work colleagues on my profile with the Chaordic Permaculture Institute
Due to parents' work I lived & went to school in Italy, Pakistan, the US, Checoslovakia, Hungary and then Britain (spending very little time in my parents' native Italy), & this provided me with a wide-based early education together with a good understanding of how deeply language and cultural norms influence our thinking and world-views.
Always close to Nature from very young, my main interests are & always have been
- science (how things work)
- crafts (making things)
- & social justice (community activism)
From 1994 these have combined into setting up and running community-based permaculture projects of all kinds, first in inner-city London (the NGO I coordinated, Green Adventure, gained 3 national awards in inner-city community regeneration) then in the Canary Islands, from 1999.
From 1998 I developed a love and growing skills in ceramics, small-scale farming and permaculture research, which I intend to dedicate increasing time to as I slowly consolidate and then 'pass on' to our students the permaculture education commitment I took after coming to Spain (where this was input was requested of me, as one of the few permaculture diplomats in the Country).
Currently writing the Integral Permaculture Designers Manual with colleagues from the first ever international action-learning course in this sustainability science, the PDC+++, and setting up an EcoVillage based on the same, around the experimental farm I've been living on since 2006.