Inspirational people bring about positive change
This post is the first in our inspirational blog series about people benefiting from our Permaculture Ambassadors programme. Here we talk to Phil Moore from Permaculture People UK.
Phil and his partner Lauren Simpson have travelled the Americas and the UK visiting permaculture projects. In 2015 they made Living with the Land, a series of films distributed by Permaculture Magazine and gifted to us to promote permaculture and the international permaculture conference.
Their next adventure is moving to Wales to finally work their own land! Find out more at their blog.
What's the most important thing you believe people can do to create more sustainable communities?
There are many things one can do and I truly believe that activism - that is, acting to make the world a better place for all - is a broad spectrum from taking an interest in your neighbours to helping create a fairer food system. One of the most important things people can do is listen and truly enter into dialogue with others. From there, ideas can come to the fore; planning to effect change can happen slowly but surely. Above all, I think aspiring to act in a way that you'd like to see a sustainable community behave will carry its own force.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to make a positive change in their community?
Don't be afraid to give things a go. Just start. And start simply and clearly - that is, have ambition but know what you're doing so you can communicate what it is you want to achieve effectively.
And start from where people are. I've found that change comes from within. It's very human to react (often negatively) to being told what to do - for good reason. So if you want positive change, make it approachable, make it fun, and don't get too disheartened if it doesn't go to plan.
What's the most important 'lesson' permaculture has taught you?
Permaculture has taught me many lessons. That's testament to its richness as a philosophy, as a subject, and as a movement. I've learnt that there is no 'one solution' to the challenges facing the biosphere, our economy and how we relate to one another. Permaculture, I feel, is like a re-tuning and perhaps most importantly for me, imparts an ecological, connecting-the-dots systems perspective on things. Learning about flows of energy cycles, nutrient cycles and how water behaves, you realise how much is connected. Finding connections and similarities, whilst also being able to celebrate diversity, is for me a vital lesson.
What are your plans for the future?
So much! But firstly, continue to communicate, to inspire, and to cajole. I believe that ecological agriculture works and permaculture is for many an excellent route into thinking about the many issues which centre and track back to how we treat and manage the world around us. And a lot of that has to do with food. How we grow, how we cook, and how we share it. And while we're doing that I'm about to embark on a trip of a lifetime: the journey to becoming a smallholder.
Have you been inspired by this blog to act as a Permaculture Ambassador? We can offer you support and training through a specially-tailored programme to help you make a positive change within your community. Join others from across Britain for the Permaculture Ambassadors Conference on 21 April 2017, in central Birmingham (travel subsidies available). Tickets from just £22.