David Hursthouse’s Presentation at the International Permaculture Convergence in India

Today’s post shares one of David (‘Phoenix’) Hursthouse’s recent (Nov 28, 2018) presentations on the topic of Making Permaculture Stronger at the International Permaculture Convergence in Telangana, India.

As he reported in an email after the event:

So the whirlwind madness of the IPC has just wrapped up, and it all
came together spectacularly. The session on MPS went extremely well,
was then followed up by a couple of discussion groups and catalysed
significant conversation. It then got the most votes as a highly
important talk to be repeated – so I did it again on the last day.1 It
was remarkable and inspiring and exciting how well it was all
received, picked up and talked about over the course of the week. Met
a number of wonderful people, including Bridget O’Brien and Charlie
Brennan – was great for us all to meet over common interests and
mutual friends. All in all, it couldn’t have gone much better, it’s
great for us (involved with MPS) and even greater for permaculture as
a whole. The talk was videod, so I will make sure you get to see it as
soon as possible.

A few weeks later,2 David managed to upload a video of his first presentation.

He’ll also write up the larger experience of the discussions his session led to, along with some better-quality recordings. But in the meantime, check this out:

Comments welcome below. I really like the comment from Trish Allen sharing her experience of the emergence of Making Permaculture Stronger as a theme within the New Zealand permaculture movement. In her words, it was like having someone:

…holding up the mirror and saying ‘hey guys, look at yourselves. Look at what you’re saying. Look at what you’re teaching. Look at what you’re doing. Is that really the best you can do?’ And so some of us older ones in the beginning were a little bit confronted by it, but once we embraced the process, it’s been really exciting, and I think that it will make permaculture stronger

and to wrap this up here’s a few things David says:

But if we’re going talk about permaculture, and we’re going to write about it, and we’re going to teach it, then we better actually practice it. And if we want to be practicing it authentically, then… that demands we apply self-regulation and accept feedback

So my invitation to you is to take up that challenge and run with it, and to say yeah, if this big bold beautiful thing called permaculture is going to fulfil its potential, and its going to maybe change the world, then we need to walk the talk and apply permaculture to permaculture. We need to say hey we haven’t got it all figured out, and that’s all good. It’s okay that we haven’t got it all figured out, we’re never going to have it all figured out, so we can get used to it. And then, once you’ve said all that go and do something about it. And if you’re not sure what to do then maybe do what we’re doing, find a cheap place, get some people together, and then start talking about it, design together and then do something about it


  1. I do wish that one was recorded, cause I pulled it off much better (less nervous that it wouldn’t be well received), there were a few less Freudian slips (like calling Lou Sue ha!), and the dialogue at the end was a bit richer. But no worries!
  2. en route to work in some remote villages in Nepal with the Himalayan Permaculture Center


  1. Thanks a lot for this post, and for creating this blog. I resonate with many of the things that Davids says, and have had many discussions with my friends and colleagues involved in Permaculture how we can address some of these weaklings as he puts it..

    It would be really great if we could write a list of the weak links he mentions and create some dialogue around it.

    Thanks again for creating this platform and I am looking forward to being immersed in the discussions and insights that come out..

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