What is Needed for Permaculture to Grow, and What are its Potential Challenges and Successes?

Drawing from several examples of ‘edge’ permaculture, we will look at the patterns and elements which have made permaculture so successful and enabled its infiltration into almost every country and profession in the world.

Some of its successes are due to its being taken to the ‘marketplace’ by anyone who was impassioned enough to do so. Teachers, gardeners, community development workers were the first pioneers. They birthed such offspring as GEN, community and school gardens, divestment campaigns, forest gardens, relief and development, transition towns. You can think of more. Some of these are more embedded than others which require more communication and resourcing. We face a a different world and need some different tools. Will they make the teachers redundant?

We have ‘swarm’ movements and unpredictable such as permamoney and perm-occupy among the most extreme and bankers, university professors in accounting among the most mainstream. Where will this mix take us?

We face unprecedented problems our governments are unready for such as refugee movements, climate extremes and increasingly disastrous events. We have superb connexions and bases everywhere in the world. Where could it take us? What will we need to scale up - to accelerate the succession.

I suggest some ways we may need to be ready. I’d like to put before you the challenges of the future which you have the capacity to solve and which will enable the next flush of permaculture. More or less bureaucracy? More support and resources and where? Where would you like to be in this sketchy list? We are ready for and need the wave of pioneers.


Rosemary Morrow is one of the pioneering women in permaculture: for almost 40 years she has worked extensively with farmers and villagers in Africa, Central and South East Asia, and Eastern Europe. She has also developed several of rural properties as models for sustainable living in Tasmania and near Sydney, where she co-founded the Blue Mountains Permaculture Institute.

In 2004 Rosemary suffered a severe stroke. Making a remarkable recovery, she was forced to downsize, bought a small suburban house in Katoomba, Australia, and set about retrofitting it to her standards. From this project came her book and DVD “A Good Home Forever.”

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The 12th International Permaculture Convergence and Conference.

Over a thousand practitioners and activists joined from around the world.


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