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Published by Admin on 03/17/2018 in General

Why The Permaculture Registry for Public Outreach Project?

Why The Permaculture Registry for Public Outreach Project?


A Global Showcase of Public Outreach Content, Events & Available Services, by Local Permaculturists


"Global, Regional & Local Public-Facing Permaculture Outreach, One Practitioner Multimedia Journal-Entry at a Time"


The permaculture community is and has been very good at gathering together amongst ourselves, in online forums like permies .com, the alumni or trade association venues, such as permacultureglobal .org, the national chapters of the Permaculture Research Institute or other associations, bulletin-boards, and online groups. We do this to compare notes, follow each other's projects, verify and certify course completion by our instructors, debate, learn from each other, participate in general or deep discussion and other permaculture "shop-talk", as any growing and vibrant grass-roots community, occupation, or emerging profession should do. To all of our benefit over the years, due to the early and current pioneers and software programmers among us, there are many online venues and opportunities for healthy inwardly-focused pratitioner-to-pratitioner collaboration, content sharing and dialogue among permaculture community members and surely all of us are very grateful for the sites or digital platforms which enable this. The permaculture movement would not be as strong without theses venues and we will absolutely need them even more going forward, as we grow.


On the other hand, in our humble observation, research and estimation, we may have discovered and isolated a blindspot in the movement's approach to higher public awareness, faster growth, adoption and implementation of our principles by the 7+ billion non-permaculturists. Many of them are absent, not because they don't want it, would not benefit from, or enjoy it, but because they have never heard of the principles or met anyone involved, locally. This is unfortunate because many of these people are deeply interested in topics that directly or indirectly correlate with permaculture and they are searching, following, learning and sharing more about these related topics everyday. This presents each of us with a grand opportunity to teach them, in our various posts, about the specific related topic they are showing interest in and then also explain to them that the topic is actually a small piece of larger picture, called permaculture. We can begin to make the most of this opportunity but only if we act on it.


As a movement, as service providers, and as agents-of-change, shouldn't we also have a venue and platform that enables us to focus exclusively on our 100% public-facing or outwardly-focused content and outreach efforts? Wouldn't this naturally help open a dialogue, specifically with all of those people that have either never heard of us, or have but simply can't or won't commit to first learning themselves in order to benefit from a great permaculture design implemented on their property, farm, garden or community landscape? 


This may be one of our biggest weaknesses that we have as a movement. It may be the place where there is an enormous opportunity for faster and more widespread growth of permaculture acceptance and project implementation. Training and certifying as many people as possible is great and should continue. However, this may not be enough to stimulate the widespread implementation worldwide that all of us would like to see. Maybe each of us with a little bit of effort, if given the tools to do so, could also begin to cultivate local and regional demand for our knowledge and services, by our neighbors that are unfamiliar with permaculture or are unwilling or unable to learn and do the work themselves. It is with these people and on their acres and hectares, that the possibility for exponential project implementation growth awaits us. We believe that this can only occur by first garnering their attention, at the very time they are looking for this related topical content. Then, we can each speak directly to them on a new platform that is intentionally void of any practitioner-to-practitoner discussion that can confuse, overwhelm and repel many of these individuals.


What if each practitioner, all over the world, had access to a free tool that would allow them to participate in 24/7/365 local & regional public outreach and it could be accomplished collectively, by all of us, from one unified public-outreach centric place? Could this be useful?


The Non-Permaculturist's Perception vs. Reality


Is the perceived requirement or burden of needing to learn, practice and master the principles of permaculture, in order to benefit from it, limiting the pace of mainstream acceptance and project implementation growth? We believe wholeheartedly that this perception, of the searching, browsing & researching public, is severely limiting the potential pace of permaculture growth and concept adoption. These circumstances should actually result in a permaculture implementation boom. What can we do, as a movement and community, to help facilitate this possible boom? Perhaps it would be useful to have access to a 100% public-centric platform that allows and encourages the public to become very familiar with their local permaculturists and the knowledge or services that are available to them by these increasingly valuable members of each regional community. 


Why the Permaculture Learning-Curve & the Public's Propensity for Instant Gratification Can Be an Accelerant to the Permaculture Movement & Not an Impediment 


In a world of increasing expectation of instant or near-instant gratification, once a new-discoverer-of-permaculture finds that there is quite a bit to learn and a fair amount of work to be done, many of them are simply giving-up at the thought that they too can have an amazing and productive design on their property or community lot. It is precisely these people that are very likely to be open to the idea of having someone else design and implement for them, if they only knew local permaculturists existed and are just a few miles down the road. 


Overwhelm: The Public Stumbling Upon Practitioner-to-Practitioner Venues


The size of the population that would enjoy the benefits of permaculture (but are not ready, willing or able to learn and do the work) is likely to be 10,000+ times the size of the actively learning & practicing permaculture community. Therefore, this is where we could focus a large part of our local and regional outreach efforts, by engaging with them daily, to propel the movement forward at a more rapid pace. There are many local groups who are doing boots-on-the-ground permaculture outreach. This should always be commended and is the ultimate goal. To multiply and amplify our collective efforts in the 21st Century, what else can each practitioner do?


  • How can permaculturists reach & engage more members of the public that will like to hear about our permaculture journeys, what we have learned, and what services we are offering, at the very time that the local public is seeking this information? 
  • Is the public already looking for us indirectly without knowing it? How can we stand out?
  • Could each practitioner, if given the tools, simply cast a 24/7/365 regional "fishing-net", full of related topical content, that introduces ourselves, documents and shares our permaculture journeys, experiences, credentials and services in an easily digestible library?
  • Would a resource that enables us to achieve this make each practitioner around the world easier to discover, follow, become familiar with and contact? 
  • If this resource existed, would practitioners have more chances to Act on what they have learned by helping these regional neighbors in both volunteer and paid arrangements? 


Potentially, many of the local and regional neighbors of each member in the registry showcase will be able to discover us, deliberately or by accident from related searches. This can have a meaningful impact. 


How? 


Your local community members are currently searching for topics that are related to or indirectly related to permaculture, such as "backyard chickens", "container gardening", "fruit trees", "how to care for bees", "no-till gardening", "polyculture", "how to live off-grid", "sustainable gardening", "lawn alternatives", "how to compost", "heirloom seeds", etc. The list is nearly endless and it is happening every single day. Most of them are not discovering permaculture. Some of these people in your region do discover the world of permaculture. However, they discover it on the inwardly-focused practitoner-to-practitoner collaboration venues that might be more useful for those that are willing and able to begin a lengthy learning process and then do the work for themselves. Many of the conversations that the new-permaculture-discoverers are likely finding, are between experienced practitioners. This may not be ideal if we truly want to attract more of those 7+billion people and increase the rate of project design and implementation globally, no matter how small or large the project is. Without realizing it, we could be repelling a good portion of the public away, rather than gently inviting them, with appropriate content, to engage with us, follow us and learn what we can provide for them and the community, as a service.


What May Be Happening as a Result?


There is a good possibility that exposure to higher-level conversations becomes a bit overwhelming to many of these new-permaculture-discovering-information-seekers or potential-newcomers and they may develop a belief that, acquiring most of the knowledge themselves first, is the only path to benefit from permaculture. This belief or perception of the public, that one must "learn-it-all-first-themselves" for a couple of years, is likely due to them being completely unfamiliar with the local names, faces, personalities or the documented & displayed progress of practitioners nearby that, if contacted, could help them design and implement right away. 


We fear that, for much of the public, their brush with the permaculture world is a very brief one and unnecessarily ends prematurely for too many of them. For all of us, this is truely unfortunate. However, filling this void in our current approach to permaculture expansion, may allow us to make the most of this huge opportunity to grow the demand for our craft and service. We hope that the public-centric registry project has created a solution for every practitioner to address this gap and begin generating more opportunities to act and apply our knowledge in our communities as a result. That is our goal.


Opportunity to Provide & Serve More Frequently


We feel that a public-facing practitioner showcase catalogue can help the movement by providing a venue for outwardly-focused content, conversation starters, dialogue and digital local community outreach. In time, each of our profile pages and journal entries could greatly increase our connections to local citizens, organizations, local officials and also increase the precious opportunities that practitioners have to hone our skills and develop competencies, even if we must preform a number of projects at minimal or no-charge in the beginning of our service journeys. So many of us need more "reps", as they say in the sports world, and 24/7/365 community outreach can help supply each of us with more opportunities to exercise and act on what we have learned.


Opportunity to Work Together More Frequently


As we mentioned, the purpose or intent of this project is not for increased practitioner-to-practitoner communication, as there are already plenty of other well established digital venues for that, like permacultureglobal.org and permies.com, for example. Although we do see the registry showcase raising the potential for increased hands-on collaboration between permies, especially among junior practitioners, on local and regional project opportunities, as each of us will also be able to discover and follow other regional practitioners and their areas of expertise with just a few clicks. These additional chances to connect with each other face-to-face and work together on project sites can help many of us to become more competent in multiple areas faster. New practitioners, without many projects under their belt, may be more confident about putting their knowledge into action more often, if they don't feel alone and know they can lean on the knowledge and experience of others in the area as well. Anything that increases the rate of action for us, is a good thing. 


We built the registry showcase and public outreach platform project to help shine a bright light on a blindspot we may have as a movement. The intent is to bring this weakness into full-view so that each of us can address it head-on every day, enabling us to accelerate our rate of project implementation opportunities. We'll do this by serving both the permaculture community and the 7+ billion citizens in the local and regional areas around each one of our members, globally.


Our Major Challenge


Admittedly, the task of contacting every committed PDC graduate and active permaculturist worldwide will not be easy to accomplish alone. It will also be difficult to convey to each practitioner how critically important and beneficial a global public-facing platform will be for engaging the non-permaculture citizens in our communities. The public is constantly searching for all sorts of topics that are related to what we do and it is the posts that we publish that address these topics, the documentation of our learning journeys, progress, services and other multimedia permaculture outreach-content that can attract some of them to us and warm them to our personalities, designs, events, solutions and the value we can bring to the regional community, as they follow our content and get to know us.


These challenges that the registry for public outreach faces are probably not a sufficient reason to abandon the project, as we believe it is a worthy one. With the growing collective assistance of each member, we hope that it is possible to effectively spread the word about the concept behind the registry for public outreach project, locally and online, allowing the registry to reflect a fairly accurate representation of the knowledge, projects, talent and available services that are present throughout each community. 


The registry showcase can be a key contributor in helping to accelerate the permaculture ideal to the next phase of greater awareness and embrace by the general public. This acceleration and awareness can come from completely eliminating the public's perception of having to "learn everything first" before implementation can begin. However, the elimination of this false-belief probably cannot occur, unless we effectively allow our neighbors to easily become familiar with who we are in the regional community by enabling them to follow what we are learning and accomplishing nearby everyday and what we can offer them as a service immediately... with minimal learning required by them upfront. This is the registry's mission.


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