Instead of incorporating as a non-profit or charitable organization, which would necessitate constant fund-raising efforts and appeals for donations, the Board decided that Permaculture Education must be able to support itself financially. Since the site exists for the benefit of the community, the organization is classified as a “for-benefit enterprise”.
PermacultureEducation.org is an example of a “Fourth Sector” for-benefit enterprise.
In order to ensure the survival of Permaculture Education into the future, small amounts of income are provided by a percentage of sales from the website. The project is not “for-profit”, and also not “non-profit”. It is “for-benefit”. It is intentionally-designed to sustain itself financially. Any income received above and beyond the expenses experienced to run the organization will go into a special Permaculture Trust to be used for scholarships and in support of new projects.
One of the most important pieces of the Permaculture Education community site is the new World Directory of Permaculture Designers. The need for a new global directory has come up at several gatherings and meetings over the years. Our research found that the old Australian directory is no longer used by most Permaculture Designers because of problems related to management (Organizations with similar missions as the for-profit sponsoring the old directory not being permitted to list their projects; Designers who did not receive their PDC from a certain teacher being given second-class listings while others are featured prominently, Number of students showing on profiles are incorrect and easily manipulated, problems with verifying data, etc.).
The new directory is community-operated, based on the honor system and the Permaculture Ethics of People Care. Designers are asked during the registration process to confirm that they have completed an internationally-recognized 72-hour Permaculture Design Certificate Course. All are welcome and all will have the ability to create custom profiles featuring their experience, skills, and specialties. There is no “screening” process that can be abused to delete profiles or favor certain people or groups over others. However, if there are reports of errors or people misrepresenting their qualifications in the directory, the administrative team may choose to take action.
In the new directory, Permaculture Designers have the ability to create a listing, show their availability for teaching or consulting (local, regional, world-wide), list their pricing (hourly, daily, etc.), upload portfolios (designs, videos, pictures, etc.), and even list their own courses, events, and products for sale. In addition to these features, site visitors have the ability to search and find a Permaculture Designer, contact them, and hire them directly through the site.
Historically, this has been challenging due to the lack of a working global directory and no information on the availability of Permaculture Designers for consultations in a given region.
This is also one of the main problems voiced by the general public (finding a Designer for hire in my area). The solution is the new community-operated World Directory of Permaculture Designers at PermacultureEducation.org.
In addition to offering the ability to search the directory or use the integrated mapping feature to find a Permaculture Designer near you, visitors can also view a Designer’s portfolio (designs, videos, pictures, etc.), see their availability for teaching or consulting (local, regional, world-wide), and view pricing options (hourly, daily, etc.).
With the integrated “Hire Me” and “Contact Me” features, visitors can contact and hire a Permaculture Designer directly through the Permaculture Education community site.
Members can list their own courses, workshops, and events on the Courses & Workshops and Events listings. In addition to gaining exposure to a wider global audience, members benefit in other ways by listing their courses, workshops and events on Permaculture One. Visitors can browse opportunities, enroll in a course, make a payment, or book a reservation directly through the community site.
Yes! In addition to having the ability to contact other Permaculture Designers, members can post their needs and offerings in the Permaculture Classified Ads section.
These classified ads will also appear in our blog, newsletter, and social media channels.
No. The founders of the movement, Bill Mollison and David Holmgren, created a fully-decentralized discipline with no one person or organization as a central authority. The movement was created this way by design, partly as a response to Mollison’s negative experiences working in academia.
Mollison noticed how so many disciplines (Architecture, Forestry, Agriculture, Economics, etc.) had significant “barriers to entry” in the form of expensive education requirements from only “accredited” institutions. In addition, many of the professions are strictly governed by state boards and licensing agencies – further restricting access to these disciplines. Mollison wished to prevent this from ever happening to Permaculture Design! So, instead he created a fully-decentralized structure and issued simple directives for teaching and practicing Permaculture Design. The majority of Permaculture Designers, Teachers, and Consultants around the world follow Mollison’s directives for teaching and practicing in the field.
The choice to keep the discipline fully-decentralized has both advantages and disadvantages. The obvious advantage is that Permaculture Designers, Teachers and Consultants around the world are free to operate without having to obtain licenses, pay fees to, or be subject to the whims of any central authority. As long as they follow Mollison’s directives for teaching and practicing Permaculture Design, their work and efforts are “internationally-recognized”.
The disadvantage of operating in a fully-decentralized discipline is that there are some operating in the field and using the terms “Permaculture”, “Permaculture Teacher”, and “Permaculture Consultant” who have not been properly trained and are not following Mollison’s directives. In addition, there are individuals and organizations teaching “Permaculture Courses” and “PDC Courses” that do not follow Mollison’s directives for teaching Permaculture Design. Given that there is no “Permaculture Police” or central authority to govern the activities of unauthorized individuals and others whose activities hurt the reputation of Permaculture, Mollison’s instructions were to simply “let the cream rise to the top”. After many years, he saw that there were some unqualified teachers out there teaching rubbish and calling it “Permaculture”, but that over time they always disappeared. The designers doing the best work always remained.
Over the years, a few fringe groups have attempted to create central authority organizations and impose their own standards on professionals operating in their countries or regions, but they are routinely ignored by the global community in favor of keeping the movement decentralized and advocating adherence to the original directives passed-down by Mollison.