What is the Next Big Step?
This initiative seeks to address a recognised need in permaculture - to enhance international collaboration.
Why is it needed?
Permaculture, as an ecological design system for sustainable living, offers practical and effective solutions to help people address global issues like food security, poverty, and the impacts of climate change at a local level. Grass-roots diffusion of knowledge has led to an estimated 3 million practitioners worldwide. However, apart from biennial international convergences, there is currently no systematic operational process for permaculture practitioners to collaborate globally.
What has happened so far?
Following discussion of this issue at the International Permaculture Conference (IPC) in Jordan in 2011, and a decision to create a team to investigate this at the IPC in Cuba in 2013, the Next Big Step project began. Phase 1 was a global conversation to understand what people's skills, needs, and desires were, and to understand how greater international coherence might benefit practitioners and permaculture organisations. We conducted international consultations and successfully facilitated five days of workshops focused on strategic planning at IPC London in 2015.
What are the next steps?
We now recognise that a flexible collaboration structure to engage practitioners and other players everywhere would make it possible to increase our collective social impact at the required scale and urgency to tackle key local and global issues. A key challenge is to offer an approach to strategic engagement in permaculture that respects the principles and history of the network. The Constellation Model structure is seen as appropriate both to the innovative work we wish to achieve, and to the unique, dispersed nature of the non-hierarchical, autonomous ‘network’ we work within. We are now seeking to adopt, trial and evaluate this model.
The mission of the Next Big Step initiative is to serve and facilitate the wider permaculture community to progressively enhance the coherence of the movement in order to be more effective locally, regionally, and internationally.
Although this website is currently hosted by the Permaculture Association (Britain) there are many other organisations and people involved - see About us. In particular, we would like to thank Gaia University for their amazing support with communications and facilitation. We recognise that this project is much larger than one organisation and anticipate that it will grow and evolve as others join in.
Approach for Phase 1