The purpose of the iACT project and these iACT webpages is:
To help grow an international network of learning and demonstration centres
To share good practice in the fields of sustainability, regeneration and resilience, including permaculture design and practices between those centres
To help those centres to activate community transformation by offering a range of related demonstration and learning programmes and resources that help spread that good practice.
The iACT project, funded by the EU Erasmus+ programme, exists to increase the number and quality of sites across Europe demonstrating permaculture and sustainable living to the public. PAB is the lead partner with 6 EU partners taking part in the project. In collaboration with the UK LAND network we are developing a set of tools and courses to help you build your permaculture place or transformative regeneration project. The ‘i’ is for the international network, and ACT stands for Activating Community Transformation.
The main iACT project outputs that will soon be available from these pages are:
The iACT Good Practice Guide - these pages provide some sample Case Studies of inspiring projects, examples of good practice in specific areas such as forest gardens, and short videos.
The iACT Toolkit - these pages provide some sample tools and resources that can help you achieve good practice or save you time setting up systems in a variety of areas, from project design and strategic planning, to volunteer engagement, business planning or risk assessments.
The iACT Learning Pathways and Competency Guides - these pages help you understand the range of skills, knowledge and experience you need to set up, run or develop a learning and demonstration centre.
iACT and LAND Centres Map and Project Profiles - these pages will show the international network of projects, and allow them to promote their projects by showing the features, learning programmes and other offerings they provide.
In our Toolkit and Good Practice Guide we provide sets of Criteria to help projects know what good practice looks like in a range of important areas. Any new or established centre can seek to meet the iACT or LAND criteria and examples of good practice provided, or simply take advantage of the tools and other resources this website provides.
Why do we need this network and support system? Learning and demonstration centres have a unique and critical role to play in our journeys toward a regeneratively sustainable and resilient future, with three dimensions to that role:
- Firstly, as physical demonstrations of sustainable and regenerative practices they provide visitors and learners with opportunities for experiential learning which embeds learning more deeply, and which cannot be provided by other forms of learning;
- Secondly, as place-based hubs, they make the broad themes of sustainability and regeneration relevant to their particular local and regional context, in terms of people, culture, climate and landscape;
- Thirdly, they provide a focus for activity and networking, bringing a broad ecology of people together in varied roles from practitioners to educators to learners, and they have a catalytic role in people’s individual and collective learning journeys.
Through these three features such projects help activate community transformation.
The iACT project focuses on two models for these types of centre:
- iACT Centres - are centres for activating community transformation. They are holistic in their learning and demonstration programmes and activities, and cover a range of issues from sustainable building and energy systems, to food growing, community economics and appropriate governance - for example, ecovillages and transition hubs that have strong learning and demonstration programmes;
- LAND Centres - are permaculture learning, activity, networking and demonstration centres, that generally have a strong focus on food growing and ecological land use, often including some related areas such as green building or sustainable energy systems, although generally at a smaller scale than iACT centres.
The main objectives of this website are:
- To help good quality learning and demonstration centres to emerge, grow and be supported, whether they have a broad focus on regenerative sustainability, climate action or community resilience, or their focus is solely permaculture or agroecology;
- To help organisations, associations and networks to establish national or regional iACT Centre or LAND Centre systems and networks which they can support and evolve;
- To establish an international network of these centres, for collaboration, peer-to-peer learning and sharing of education resources (the ‘i’ in iACT is for an international Activating Community Transformation network of centres and support system) - to help them play a more powerful role in developing more resilient local communities and landscapes, stronger local and regional groups, networks and organisations.
The aim is to enable centres to follow a self-directed learning pathway, using the iACT online toolkit and good practice guide, to help those centres to become stronger over time. iACT does not aim to bind any centre or project to a particular organisation or philosophy. Instead it offers an approach and seeks to encourage collaborative relationships between centres, networks and organisations involved in regenerative practices, permaculture, sustainability, transition, climate action and community resilience at local, regional, national and transnational levels.
The iACT project is an EU Erasmus+ funded partnership project running from 2020-2023, with the following partners:
Permaculture Association (Britain) - lead partner;
Cloughjordan Ecovillage (Sustainable Projects Ireland CLG);
Centre for Ecological Learning, Luxembourg (CELL);
Green School Village and the Permaculture Association of Bulgaria;
Centre for Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Changes (cE3c), University of Lisbon, Portugal;
Laboratorio Sicilia 2030, Italy.