Going Forth post-Permaculture Hui: Continuing Conversations

Going Forth post-Permaculture Hui: Continuing Conversations

What a hui! With over 20 speakers, at least 25 open space sessions and only 4 days we covered topics from Climate Change to Edible Weeds; Living Design Process to the edge effect between Māori and Permaculture; Generating Changemakers to Making Permaculture Stronger, and everything in between, beside and around.

By the last evening, in a report-back session hosted by Sam O’Sullivan and Rowan Brooks, the terms ‘overwhelmed’, ‘information overload’ and ‘not enough time’ bounced back and forth off the walls. When people were asked to mime how they were feeling so far, the room exploded in chaos as people spun around, ripped out their hair and pretended to be chickens.

For me this highlighted how much juicy knowledge our community has to share, and that waiting for a hui once or every two years is not enough. We need to continue these conversations outside the hui.

Julie Crocker and I were asked to host one of the final feedback sessions of the hui so we had a quick brainstorm and thought that the most important thing at this point is to give people an opportunity to continue conversations after the hui. Let’s live by the principles and try to catch and store all this valuable energy that was generated over the weekend.

We asked people to ‘popcorn’ out the top topics that came to mind that they would like to continue discussions on. Our permaculture popcorn machine popped out the following list:

•Recognising Matauranga Maori in Permaculture
•Policy and Permaculture
•Inner / Emotional landscapes
•Bucket-Composting Toilet Patterns
•Community Building
•Organisational Development
•Bridging the gap (communication within the PINZ community)
•Food Sovereignty
•Youth
•Social Design
•Economics/ Local currencies

From there we asked for volunteers to facilitate and scribe each session and then the room broke into smaller groups based around these topics to see if we could get some traction on how to move forward with continuing conversations around these sub-topics. Ideas included; forming working groups, chatting in forums, using the PINZ website and regular online meetings.

Since the hui I’ve been in touch with a few of the groups who have begun to throw around ideas on how to continue conversations:

Recognising Matauranga Maori in Permaculture

It was recognised that there is a need for the discussion of the overlaps between Matauranga Maori and Permaculture. Aroha Healion has set up a facebook group ' Recognising Matauranga Maori in Permaculture' to discuss the need as citizens of Aotearoa (Maori & Non-Maori) to recognise Maori Matauranga, understand it's inherent values and broaden those understandings through our permaculture foundations. Join the group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1950950204929490/

Inner landscapes

Kristina Ryan has put her hand up to facilitate the Emotional landscapes and understanding patterns group. This group looks at mapping the patterns within our emotional, social and physical landscapes, taking care of our emotional health amidst taking care of the land. Contact her at kristinaryan100@gmail.com if you’d like to hear more.

Social Design Process

Sam Dyson has created a google group for the Social Design Process group where he has reflected how social design is such a critical piece for strengthening the permaculture movement. They’ve discussed setting group intentions, sharing processes and skill mapping, meeting online and potentially hosting a hui. Contact samdysonz@gmail.com if you’d like to join this group.

Permaculture and Policy

In the policy sub group we discussed forming a permaculture policy working group / think tank and using this group to formulate submissions on policy documents. I’ve started a google group for Permaculture and Policy and set up a shared google discussion doc to get some momentum on where to next. Email me at mcmorris01@gmail.com if you’d like to get involved.

Organisational Development

Craig Skelton has set up a PowerPoint summarising what they discussed in their break-out session. They are looking to establish an organisational development framework for the National Permaculture organisation. They are planning a conference call next week to develop some ground work and agreements. If you’d like to be part of these discussions, contact craigskelton.nz@gmail.com

Call to action

If you haven’t made contact with your sub-group since the hui, take a moment to reflect on how you felt during that session. There was a buzz in the room as the groups wanted to keep bouncing around ideas. Let's harness that energy and not let it fizzle out and wait a whole year until we meet again. This is a call to action to get in touch with those people who have shared interests and keep going deeper! As said by Simon Cooke in his reflection “the more we can cross-pollinate - the more we can: share resources, support one another, and rise up a more resilient, intersectional and far-reaching global change movement”.

If you’d like to become involved in further conversations around any of these smaller topics please contact me at mcmorris01@gmail.com and I’ll try and put you in touch with the right person.

photo credit: Katie Horrocks