It’s been three years in the making — researching, designing, testing the application, and now it’s ready for the world to tap in and download the knowledge.
During my PDC back in 2009 at the PRI, I sat there as Geoff Lawton was going through the many applications that permaculture covers. All I could think about was how many different business ideas I had come up with that could follow the movements three core ethics and make a profit at the same time. Limitless, absolutely limitless are the possibilities to take a niche and run with it and make it a success.
While the opportunities for me were boundless it was so clear what I had to do. I couldn’t work out why others were not seeing what I could see. Stepping back and really observing what was happening, I saw that 90% of the PDC graduates I was encountering had hit what I call a ‘permaculture brick wall’, or as Daniel Parra Hensel described in an email to me, "post PDC syndrome" — Paralysis through (way to much) analysis and not knowing where to start, or just reverting back to old careers because that’s safe for them.
Anyway, to cut a long story short, I emailed Geoff at the PRI and described my idea for a business based course entailing permaculture design and consultation on a real life job site with real clients. It turned out to be a huge success. Students couldn’t get enough of it. Even with the time limitations of the 5-day course, everyone was screaming for more.
After the courses, student emails turned into Skype chats, chats turned into bookings for my time, bookings turned into paid mentoring and coaching on business startup, and now its current iteration www.permaculturebusinessworld.com will continue to evolve like any successful regenerative business.
I named the site Permaculture Business World because a business is just an idea, and like any idea it has no boundaries and a business idea here in Australia is no different to one in the Americas, Europe, Africa or Asia. Creating a market for yourself and getting paying clients is the same everywhere. The only thing that changes are local or state laws for how you legally set up your business.
The support for permaculturebusinessworld.com has been outstanding since it first sprouted before the Australian Permaculture Convergence in 2010.
Since then, some of the many successful permaculture business owners across the globe have lent their words of wisdom to us on the importance of business and permaculture.
We asked the following two questions:
- In your mind, why is business & permaculture so important in an ever changing world?
- Why is Professional development so important for the Permaculture community?
Geoff Lawton — PRI:
It is important that permaculture practitioners can demonstrate successful results in the ever-changing business world because it not only gains credibility but it demonstrates our ability to read broad patterns and occupy empty niches. To quote Bill Mollison, "we are never short of money, we just short of imagination". The world at large is asking for help from the permaculture community and we have an obligation to help using the format in which that help is of most value to the world, and that is in a professional format. We need to continuously develop our professional approach.
Darren J Doherty — HeenanDoherty:
In 1993 we pointed out that the purpose of our enterprise was to ‘move Permaculture from being a marginal methodology to an unconscious practice’. Whilst our practice in this field have become relatively unconscious as we have established ourselves, the need for many others to do the same has not diminished. Therein lies markets and the need for strong, strategic, incremental and pragmatic enterprises to deliver a wide range products and services that provides to the needs of those markets. Personal integrity, value and a devotion to the primary enterprise of biospheric regeneration through the delivery of these products and services is critical and this is the model for Permaculture in Business.
A true permaculture enterprise has to also be truly ethical, both in its processes, its internal behaviour, and what it offers. While placing ethics at the top of an enterprises’ priorities is not yet common in small business circles, it is the only way to create and sustain truly right livelihoods, ensure fair share, and create a future containing regenerative economies.
Because of our current ‘suicide economy’ a prevalent myth that exists is that humans are inherently destructive. If we are going to thrive on this planet we need to show people how to take care of themselves and the planet at the same time — and this is where I feel that business & permaculture can fit in. Permaculture businesses do a few things: 1) they allow us to generate an income (care of people) while repairing the earth (care of earth), 2) they provide us with an alternative to the suicide economy, which debunks the myth that humans have only one operating condition, destruction. 3) They put money into the hands of those with ethical intentions, goals and projects, allowing us to redirect where money is spent. We can make the planet a better place when we use business as one of our strategies! It is important that permaculture practitioners, as well as the practice, evolve like an ecosystem — this means adopting an attitude of continual improvement and being open to new and innovative ways of solving problems. This can occur through experimentation / observation, self study and education. A questioning and evolving mind and community is the best way to encourage positive evolution.
Please, we welcome your ideas and input on permaculture business.
Visit: www.permaculturebusinessworld.com for more details on how to get your Permaculture vocation started!