International Forum of Permaculture Educators organised jointly by Biennale Warszawa and Agro-Perma-Lab Foundation will be held on 15 and 16 May. It is the first event of its kind in Poland, addressed to people working in permaculture, as well as the broader public – everyone who feels that we need solutions that enable producing healthier food, living in harmony with nature and its rhythm, and healing the planet so it can heal us in turn.
The permaculture movement in the world – from London to Detroit – has already contributed to the transformation of numerous urban spaces into life-giving gardens. The time has come for Polish cities! We begin with the capital that can use this method of supporting agriculture and urban gardening, designing ecosystems and communities, to apply it to the pandemic and post-pandemic world. Warsaw has the chance to be listed alongside cities like Amsterdam, Paris or Vienna which in the recent years has supported establishing urban farms and gardens, and green areas cover over 16% of the city surface.
The COVID-19 pandemic made us feel more need for contact with nature. Many of us turned to working in balcony gardens or front yards, and became interested in urban agriculture, creating community gardens and looking for healthy, organic vegetables from local farmers. Now, permaculture can be used to transform contemporary cities, and educators who can have real impact on creating new, sustainable urban systems, will play the key role in the process.
On 15 May, as part of the International Forum of Permaculture Educators, we will hold a several hours’ long online workshop for participants selected in the recruitment process. On 16 May, the Forum will be open to wide audiences from Poland and abroad on Biennale Warszawa social channels.
During the forum, we want to look at how we can join in the process of transforming the food system, so that everyone can benefit from healthier nutrition and co-create conditions for its production. How to deal with current social and climate change, and what can be the alternative to the previous system?
The purpose of this meeting is sharing practical tools for permaculture education, personal philosophies and inspiring experiences. If we understand permaculture not just as a tool for designing gardens, settlements or eco-villages, but in a broader sense, as the opportunity for creating deep relationships with the land and people, forming communities producing food now and in the post-pandemic future, it could become a vehicle for social, environmental, and economic change, and education will play an essential role in this process. Therefore we will co-create knowledge, drawing on our experiences, and already developed tools, as well as inspire one another. How can we develop as permaculture educators, and how can we encourage others to follow that path? How to talk about reciprocal connections that will create a healthy and sustainable whole, rooted in the ethics of care for the Earth, its people and all other beings living on our planet?
The public programme of the Forum (16 May) will be divided into three topical blocks, build around values: COMMUNITY, SENSIBILITY, IMAGINATION which we deemed crucial in thinking about education and permaculture. Speakers presenting their ideas will include experienced educators from Poland and pedagogues from an international collective involved in the project “The Supermarket Museum” carried out by the Agro-Perma Lab foundation. We will be also joined by world-renowned teachers with many years of experience: Rosemary Morrow (co-founder of The Blue Mountains Permaculture Institute, leader in informal permaculture education, author of numerous publications, including Training Permaculture Teachers handbook), Alfred Decker (founder of 12 Principles Permaculture Design and Permaculture Barcelona, experienced teacher and designer) and Tomas Remiarz (teacher with over 20 years of experience; he built permaculture initiatives and communities in the UK, developed research in Permaculture Association UK and conducted training across Europe).
The Forum will be held in English. We are planning to use tools that enable viewers commenting and asking questions in real time, so that all participants have the chance to join the broader international discussions.
Biennale Warszawa and Agro Perma Lab Foundation would like to invite activists, representatives of initiatives based in Warsaw or working with Warsaw, such as: community gardens, food cooperatives, family garden allotments, CSAs, countrywomen’s associations, daycares with gardens, educational homesteads, as well as farmers, gardeners working in permaculture, educators in natural building and permaculture pioneers to participate in the International Forum of Permaculture Educators which will be held on 15 and 16 May in Warsaw.
Research conducted by the Polish National Centre for Climate Change during the first wave of the pandemic indicates that in the first quarantine period, many of us have rediscovered the importance of the contact with nature in our lives – the role of spending time in gardens, parks, forests or in garden allotments. It was an opportunity not only to slow down and center ourselves, but often also to form a deeper relationship with nature, to start growing our own vegetables, herbs, or fruit.
How to maintain that change and what can constitute an alternative to the previous system? How can we join into the transformation that will allow us all to profit from healthier food and co-create the conditions to produce it? This new path for the development of urban gardening and agriculture could be provided by permaculture – permanent (durable, indestructible) cultivation – old knowledge for new times. The permaculture movement in the world – from London to Detroit – has already contributed to the transformation of numerous urban spaces into life-giving gardens. We can use this mode of agriculture, so close to the natural ecosystem, and apply it in the post-pandemic reality. Permaculture, which allows designing and creating edible gardens for cities, could be a chance to develop food solidarity, as well as support local food practices and policies, and circular economy.
International Forum of Permaculture Educators will be the first event of its kind in Poland. We want to provide an opportunity for development to individuals who are already active leaders of permaculture communities as well as those who only start out as educators. The objective of the forum is networking for people involved in permaculture education, who already know its premises and who work for food solidarity in Warsaw, in Masovia, and within related initiatives. We will invite selected participants as well as foreign guests to discuss how to teach permaculture in the city, how to develop your workshop and how to increase social awareness and fully harness the potential of its premises.
On the first day, during a closed workshop session with selected participants, we will consider work methods and tools of permaculture educators. We will also try to ponder what could a roadmap look like for urban development and for the relationship between the city and the country in the coming years.
The second day will take the form of a public forum, streamed online via organisers’ communication channels. Participants and invited guests will be asked to present a short talk. The entire event will conclude with a summarizing debate.
Our bases will comprise the following methods:
— informal education in grass-roots social movements,
— empathetic and reflective pedagogies,
— visionary processes.
You can apply to participate in the Forum by completing our recruitment survey. The number of places is limited. Recruitment will begin on 5 April 2021, and before 12 April we will announce the list of selected participants. The Forum will be held in English. Biennale Warszawa does not cover costs of travel and accommodation of Forum participants in Warsaw. Persons selected in the recruitment process and invited to participate in the Forum will receive a remuneration of PLN 400 gross / PLN 366 net (participants will sign with the organiser a contract for a specific work whose subject will be their active participation in the Forum and preparing and presenting a short talk.)
In the recruitment process we will take into account whether:
— the participant represents a community: organisation, association, informal collective or grass-roots movement, local community producing food, academic or research institution, or works with others as an independent educator;
— the subject of activities and mission of the native organisation / community is in line with the principles of food sovereignty;
— the potential of the invited person as an educator is supported by real actions;
— the participant would be willing and able to apply experience gained during the Forum in practice and co-create the solidarity network after the event.
One of our priorities is diversity among participants – consequently, a person from a less represented sector could be selected for the forum.
Thank you for all the applications submitted for the International Forum of Permaculture Educators.
We would like to invite the following individuals to participate in the entire event (15 and 16 May 2021):
Krzysztof Marciniak (auditing within cooperation with “Dwutygodnik”)
We would like to invite everyone to attend the second day of the Forum, on 16 May, which will be open to the public. The event will be streamed on social media channels of Biennale Warszawa.
Participants of the Forum will also include members of the international educators’ collective formed by educators and practitioners of permaculture and agroecology from Poland, Spain, Ukraine, the Czech Republic and Germany. Since February 2021, the collective has been working within the project The Supermarket Museum: Living Together within Limits of the Agro-Perma-Lab Foundation, a partner of Biennale Warszawa, on the visionary approach to teaching food-growing and agriculture, which will be showcased during the Forum, as well as on the website of the virtual exhibition “The Supermarket Museum.”
Collective members who will participate in the Forum:
Daniel Pacek, Poland (Placówka)
Marcelina Haremza, Poland (Ogrodowa Alternatywa)
Joanna Bojczewska, Poland (Ekopoletko)
Habiba Youssef, Spain (La Bolima)
Immo Fiebrig, Germany (Lebende Samen)
Iryna Kazakova, Ukraine (Permaculture in Ukraine)
Jana Kožnarová, Czech Republic (Asociace místních potravinových iniciativ)
Susanne Hofmann-Souki, German (Agrecol)
May 16 2021
International Forum of Permaculture Educators
|Studio MA3450||Meeting streamed on Biennale Facebook and YouTube|
May 15 2021
International Forum of Permaculture Educators
|online||Registration is closed|