International Permaculture Education Network (IPEN)

IPEN was conceived and formally annouced at the IPC UK in 2015.  


IPEN was born out of the IPCUK's Next Big Step project. A mixed group of Permaculture teachers, students and elders from around the world banded together to tackle the question: "How can we make permaculture education more cohesive and efficient?" Out of these conversations it was clear we needed to create a network to fulfill the following aims.



IPEN Goal/Aim

To increase effectiveness and coherence in permaculture education though developing continuously evolving permaculture education systems.

IPEN Objectives

  1. To establish IPEN (International Permaculture Education Network):

    1. to design and implement a 3-5 year strategy and action plan for continuously evolving diverse permaculture education systems – by IPC2017.

    2. to establish IPEN as an international pc education / educator support and development network, including organisers/hosts, tutors and student tutors – by IPC2017:

    3. to clarify the networked-system structure of IPEN and its relationships with national / regional PEN’s, national PC organisations/entities and individuals

  2. To map existing global permaculture education resources and assets, and maintain mapping of those resources and assets – by IPC2017

  3. To strengthen standards of the PDC – by IPC2019:

    1. Review of core content of PDC’s and establishing of core PDC curriculum e.g. as undertaken by PC Assoc (GB) to strengthen standards and assure quality;

    2. Offer several model curricula, to suit a range of teaching situations, particularly to cater for different cultural and socio-economic situations;

  4. Establish systems – by IPC2019 - for:

    1. Validating and updating content of core permaculture courses

      1. E.g. Intro to Permaculture as an ‘Award’

    2. Measuring and monitoring impacts and effectiveness of PC education in partnership with the Permaculture International Research Network (PIRN):

      1. quantitative outcomes (CO2; biodiversity; food productivity; skills; etc)

      2. qualitative outcomes (human dimensions: confidence; attitudes; motivations; etc).

  5. Support new & creative Core / Certified Permaculture Courses – by IPC2019:

    1. a range of core courses, core texts and support resources, making them available and accessible in a range of languages including: Spanish, French, Hindi, Mandarin, Arabic, Portuguese e.g.:

      1. 36 hour Practical Permaculture Award / Certificate (Applied Techniques & Strategies)

      2. 36 hour Permaculture Design Award / Certificate (Design Tools and Methods)

        • NB: together these 2 x Awards form PDCertificate

      3. International Diploma in Applied Permaculture (IPEN or partner as Awarding body) – project-based, with web-based tutor support, for countries where Dip system is not developed or not functional;

      4. Regenerative Leadership Certificate / Diploma

  6. Establish a Permaculture Education Resource Bank – by IPC2019: i.e. of core resources, aimed to be translate-able across key target languages:

    1. publications (under Creative Commons) e.g. at Introductory and Advanced levels;

    2. slide shows;

    3. videos;

    4. others e.g. games; plans for practicals; session plans; etc.

  7. Permaculture Education Systems Succession Programme – by 2019: Define and offer a set of models (e.g. development from country case studies) for the development and accelerated succession of permaculture education and teaching systems, including different models to suit different countries, cultures and economies.

  8. Encourage and facilitate the development of an international network of demonstration permaculture education projects e.g. international network of LAND Centres.

IPEN Next Steps:

  1. Undertake initial IPEN survey (Sept 2016) – on teaching activity, needs, gaps and opportunities for teaching

  2. Draft the IPEN 3-5 year project proposal (Oct/Nov 2016) in format appropriate for funding applications

    1. Stating specific outputs / outcomes (e.g. publications, translations) and targets for levels of engagement and impact / benefit

    2. Budgets and timelines

    3. Project roles, delivery, management and oversight

    4. Project exit strategy, sustainability of outcomes and legacy

    5. Targets bodies for funding

  3. Undertake Crowd funding for short term seed funding needs

  4. Identify potential for collaboration / JV (e.g. around certification / AO and economics) between:

    1. IPEN

    2. UKPEN

    3. Other existing / new National PEN’s / Pc organisations.


Achievable Initial Actions:

  1. Global survey of existing education resources (texts, etc.) and education assets (e.g. courses – accredited, unaccredited, etc.)

Survey Questions:

    1. What’s education resources are a) in existence now, b) in preparation?

      1. Texts:

      2. Accredited courses:

      3. Unaccredited courses:

    2. What’s working well in PC education in your country?

    3. What’s not working well in PC education in your country?

    4. What existing models are there of effective international permaculture networks that could be learnt from or replicated ? E.g. PIRN; European networks; etc.

  1. Design the IPEN as an achievable project, with a focus on 5 year objectives and 1-2 year practical first steps and priorities

  2. A) Develop an IPEN proposal and funding application for submission to European Union, UN and other relevant funding and resourcing sources, and b) Identify specific funding targets.

Additional Points:

IPEN Principles

  • IPEN is not seeking to control or manage PC education globally, it is seeking to support, nurture and grow it;

  • IPEN sees itself as part of the global PC education ecosystem – it is not seeking to be an umbrella for all PC education – there will always be important creative PC education ecologies beyond IPEN;

  • IPEN seeks to operates on behalf of and for the benefit of the global permaculture movement, taking particular account of a) the differing permaculture education needs of the global 80% and the global 20%, b) the relationship between education for the 80% and for the 20%; c) the significant difference in the state of English language PC education systems and other language PC education systems;

  • IPEN is a global commons organisation, carried on behalf of the global permaculture movement, and is not owned or controlled by any one association or institute;

​Note: further principles may be collectively agreed.


IPEN’s Path of Development:

IPEN will address:

  1. Working mechanisms e.g. network Working Groups:

  2. Roles & Accountability

  3. Timelines and Milestones

  4. Agreements

  5. Decision making systems and processes

Join us:
If you would like to help us achieve these goals and assist the growth of this project in any way, or you know someone who can, please contact Lachlan McKenzie on international+ipen at


Key Relationships Across Next Big Step Thematic Groups:

1. 'Education' and 'Research' e.g, for validation of PDC content, based on PC research findings; research of effective PC education systems; etc

2. 'Education' and 'Global to Local Networks'

3. 'Education' and 'Social PC'