Meg McGowan’s Take on Permaculture Design Process (E14)

Meg McGowan

In this episode I inquire into Australian permaculturalist Meg McGowan’s design process. It is a rich chat in which Meg shares many brilliant insights after working as a permaculture design process facilitator / coach for many years.

Meg out there taking it to the people…

I met Meg at the 14th Australiasian Permaculture Convergence in April 2018 and was struck by her passion and clarity. While I didn’t manage to get a selfie with Meg at the event this character did…

David Holmgren and Meg McGowan

Meg’s (active!) blog is here, her and her partner’s Permacoaching facebook page is here, and among so many other things she happens to be a permaculture design cartoonist! Check these out and there are a bunch more here.

One Permaculture Design Process
Planet Permaculture

HUGE gratitude to the wonderful Ben Mallinson for creating the new intro and outro music – a massive improvement (no offence to my mate Nath who created the old one on his phone in about three minutes). Ben has been volunteering his time to help out with several of my projects as we explore ways of getting him involved in my professional consultancy work – and I have very much appreciated his assistance.

Now I should confess that Meg and I recorded this chat way back in September 2018. It took this long to get the thing edited and released. I guess that’s a good sign in that this project is a hobby and when push comes to shove, and non-hobby parts of life call, it waits a while :-). Still, I sense that things will be warming up from here and I envisage releasing at least one podcast episode per month for a while (and the next one will come out in about two weeks).

Thanks again Meg and I’m delighted to have you as a friend and colleague and look forward to our next yarn :-).

Let’s wrap up with Meg’s take on a condensed set of permaculture principles:


  1. Thanks. One of my first P’c teachers was an ex police officer [in UK] in 1990; and one of my best students in Adelaide was a [soon to be] ex police officer. Seems there are systems thinkers in every walk of life; [and the first guy I mentioned still likes to drive at 150 kmh.]

      1. Thank you so much Dan! As you say Meg has a certain clarity in her way of communicating which must be such an important part of her design process and permacoaching. I heartily agree with her obsevation of how the most beautifully worked out plan can fall apart if the people who are implementing and living in it don’t understand the underlying principles. We need to be an ongoing part of the process of creation. You will be familiar with the Maori principle he tangata he tangata he tangata. The people the people the people. How can any of it work if the people aren’t connected? I’m gleaning that the way you work does just that. People info meets lamd info. Perhaps an edge effect where the diversiry is increased eh! Nga mihi.

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