Gaia University NAPC Presentations – Taking place in the Gaia U tent.

Sessions 1-5 anchored by Andrew Langford with participation and discussion by Gaia U community members and Convergence participants! Session 6 led by Kirsten Liegmann, Jennifer English, Ava Klinger and Kate Marnul.

Attendance is open to all. Schedule to be announced soon.

1. Extending permaculture – a round-up of great experiments or foolish meanderings?

These days there is an increasingly broad community of folk involved with transitioning human cultures towards ecological, social and economic regeneration. Not all of them shelter under the permaculture umbrella although many of them use permaculture notions in their world-change work. A question for permaculture people is, do we want to be an active part of this larger, emerging community?

This session will start with a short round-up of a variety of zone 1 & 2 umbrellas out there (permaculture +++, ecosocial regeneration, transition initiatives, ecovillages …), call for more examples from participants including aspirational zone 3 and 4 umbrellas and then consider whether or not we have a part to play in designing this broad network into a thriving epistemic community with effective capacity for influencing policy. Invisible design principles and theories at the ready!

2. Towards a permaculture economy

We can all imagine the fantastic expansion of permaculture that would happen once people were confident they could make a living at ‘it’ and find viable ways to fund their projects. There are all sorts of mechanisms we can develop to help with that. Examples include complimentary currencies, income and capital sharing schemes, strategic engagement with crowd funding, assessments of relative wealth, formation of co-owned trading enterprises, development of sharing apps, open sourcing product design and production platforms. It looks as if there is no end of mutual strategies here and some coherence around organizing the invisible to make these happen could be a great next step.

This session will open the topic, describe some functioning micro examples and pose the bigger question – can we do it? How? Come join in with the thinking.

3. A Gaia U Panel

There is a representative sample of people involved in Gaia U here at NAPC– Advisory Board members, Operational Leaders, Content Generators and online Teachers, Student Associates, Alumni and a Co-founder. We’ll gather in and form a panel, tell you what we think about Gaia U (what we like, what we’d like to see developed into the future, how Gaia U supports growing our movement) and then invite you to ask questions.

4. Partnerships

Gaia U has recently negotiated a functional partnership with the education leaders in the Transition Network (UK Office). Together we’ll be providing the platforms and early content for a ‘Transition Diploma’, launching Feb 2015, using the action learning, learner-centered approaches that are at the core of our International Diploma of Permaculture Design (IDPD). Indeed, Transition associates and IDPD associates will share an online learning community from the outset to help emerge collective intelligences.

And, the NAPC’s very own Koreen Brennan is coordinating a group of specialists with experience of operating permaculture-wise in disaster areas to provide content and mentoring for Diploma associates seeking to become effective responders.

Yet another partnership flow sees the Permaculture Design Course run by the San Luis Obsipso permaculture teachers group experiment with blended learning (some face-to-face, some online) using Gaia U platforms.

It is clear that partnerships such as these provide considerable benefits all round. We’ll describe some of these and invite you to consider coming out to play.

5. Patrix Busting

A main theme in Gaia U is exposing and eliminating the Patrix (the Patriarchal Matrix) that so badly distorts our personal and cultural spaces. We use a mixture of cognitive and affective approaches for this and re-evaluation counseling provides a non-exclusive foundation. In this session we will outline our overall approach, learn to use a peer-to peer listening tool, answer questions and, maybe, do a couple of demos of people working on Patrix Busting. It is essential work that supports the recuperation of our full natural intelligences.

6. Tools for Conscious Engagement and Action-

Presentations and discussion led by Kirsten Liegmann, Jennifer English, Ava Klinger and Kate Marnul

Transitioning towards a regenerative culture requires us to develop self-awareness and adept collaboration, conflict resolution and conscious decision making.  Join us as we explore and refine our participatory design skills and learn tools for transformative self and social change. Apply Permaculture principles and concepts to enhance the productivity and quality of your project work, community organizing efforts, and interpersonal relationships.  We will introduce and practice tools for self-assessment, asking for, giving, receiving and incorporating support and feedback, managing actions and promises, and group facilitation. 

Biographies of Presenters and Discussion Leaders:

AndrewheadshotAndrew Langford is a recent immigrant to the USA coming here 18 months ago via 8 years living in Mexico and 57 years living in England. His permaculture career opened in 1985 following farm years and a 10 year, small-is-beautiful inspired livelihood as a workshop shoemaker. It was through Andrew’s efforts that the Permaculture Association of Britain grew to modest viability in the early 90’s and he was the UK’s first homegrown permaculture teacher since 1989. Bill Mollison acknowledged Andrew with the Permaculture Community Services Award in 1993. These days he specializes in the design of permaculture invisibles – the action learning Permaculture Diploma systems used in Britain, Spain, Israel, Italy, Germany and Austria are direct derivatives from his open-sourced designs and, most recently, these have found their way to the Americas where others are adapting them for local use. These same program designs have now morphed into degree programs with Gaia U, an un-institution founded jointly in 2004 by Andrew and partner extraordinaire, Liora Adler. Together Andrew and Liora live by the principle of ‘older and bolder’.

Kirstenphoto2Kirsten Liegmann has served as Registrar and Director of Operations for Gaia University since 2007. In that capacity she created and implemented systems for every quadrant of the operation including accounting, finance, business development, regional center development, database design and student services. She has broad spectrum training in permaculture and sustainability, leadership and the development of invisible structures, with focus on whole system designs, complementary currencies, and governance models. She holds an MBA in Sustainable Management.

JengradTNJennifer Dauksha-English serves as Director of the Financial Permaculture Institute and has been teaching Permaculture since 2006.  In 2004 Jennifer became involved with the development of Gaia University, where currently she serves as the Director of Advisory and Mentor Services, project manager of the International Diploma of Permaculture Design and facilitator of the Online Orientation.  Jennifer holds an N.D. and a M.S. in Natural Health, a BA in Cultural Anthropology and Environmental Studies, a Diploma in Wildlife Management, a Post Graduate Diploma in Integrative Ecosocial Design, and 20 years experience leading events, projects and non-profits. Jennifer has lived for over a decade in a naturally built off-grid lodge on a Permaculture Farm. 

Ava Klinger joined the Gaia University team in 2010 as an administrative assistant. This role has allowed her to wear many hats including admissions counselor, IT support, database management and development, operations, and marketing. Ava has a colorful background in dance, history, education, event planning, permaculture design, and group facilitation. She holds a BA in Humanities and Russian History from the University of Colorado at Boulder and is enrolled in the Gaia University Masters degree program in Integrative Ecosocial Design commencing this fall.

KateKate Marnul is an ecological design practitioner who is experimenting with models of livestock, vegetative and fungal integration. She owns Briar Grove Farm, located in Southwest Michigan which emphasizes quality food production, community engagement and sound economics. Kate has apprenticed with many people in subjects spanning large-scale composting to agroecology. She is currently an associate of Gaia University in the B.Sc. program for Integrative Ecosocial Design.

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