What's at the National Permaculture Convergence?
A timetable is now available!
The event is a convergence of several events this year, all taking place in an urban setting. See the main convergence webpage for full information.
All are welcome, no matter your level of knowledge or experience of permaculture. Come to learn a bit (or a lot) more, meet others, and leave feeling energised and ready to implement permaculture designs. The convergence is bursting with opportunities for learning, networking and demonstrating why permaculture is at the forefront in shaping a thriving future for everyone.
Please note, the programme is made possible by many contributors - the programme and sessions are subject to change.
Friday 21 Sept - Exploring our Edges
10.30am - 6.45pm
A day-long conference with five streams of content exploring permaculture's pioneering role in society. Hosted at the Z-Arts Centre in Hulme, Manchester
There will be a childrens programme run by our qualified coordinator - with fun and educational activities throughout the day.
David Holmgren: RetroSuburbia - live video presentation
David Holmgren, co-originator of the permaculture concept will kickstart this year’s National Permaculture Convergence live from his home in Australia.
He will be speaking about his new book RetroSurburbia and take questions from the audience about how we can make permaculture work more effectively in our towns and cities. It promises to be an inspiring start to a day filled with sessions exploring permaculture's pioneering role in society.
Stream 1: Science, Research and Investigation
Naomi van der Velden: GROWing collaborative research into permaculture practices
Chris Warburton-Brown: Introducing 52 Climate Actions
Anne-Marie Meyer: The Himalayan Permaculture Centre and nutrition
Steve Jones: Permaculture as a development tool for refugees in South Sudan
Stream 2: Access to Permaculture
Helen White: What is permaculture? An introduction
Looby Macnamara: Mother Nature project
Lusi Alderslowe: Book launch! Earth care, people care and fair share in education, the children in permaculture manual
Dr Jack Hunter: One School, One Planet: permaculture in Schools
Stream 3: Permaculture, Politics and the Economy
Andy Goldring (CEO, Permaculture Association): Emergent Dynamic Governance Ecosystems & CTRLshift
Ed Mayo (CEO, Cooperatives UK): The cooperative economy
Catherine Weetman: The circular economy: bringing permaculture into businesses and communities
Stream 4: Land, Communities & Enterprise
Ben Margolis: Gardens of sanctuary
Penny Spawforth: Relational feedback loops in communities
Jed Picksley & Tomas Remiarz: Cooperative living and working (in a permaculture design context)
Stream 5: Permaculture & the Urban Environment
Ian Lillington & Jo Barker: RetroSuburbia: a practical application for northern Europe
Val Grainger: Harvesting the streets... urban farmers
Sarah Pugh: Social, land and economic permaculture in the city
Gaskell Garden Project: permaculture as a tool for radical social change
Plus, in the evening, from 7pm
Film screening: Living the Change
Fire & Food in Hulme Community Garden Centre
Bar & Ceilidh in N.I.A.M.O.S (Hulme Hippodrome)
Saturday 22 Sept - Permaculture in Practice
10.00am - 6.30pm
A day packed with practical activities at Hulme Community Garden Centre
The programme includes:
Practical workshops and discussions
An introduction to permaculture - Helen White
Helen has worked for the Permaculture Association for over 10 years. She has taught Introduction to Permaculture courses, as well as teaching on the Leeds Permaculture Network Design Course. This session is a brief overview of permaculture ethics and principles and how permaculture developed.
Towards regenerative business - Anna Clayton, Ethical Consumer
Anna has worked as a writer, researcher & coop member at Ethical Consumer Magazine for the past five years; she sits on the LUSH Spring Prize coordination team. The process of regeneration can be observed in living systems and has inspired a number of global movements to develop design frameworks informed by nature. Observations from living systems can similarly be applied to business. So, what does a regenerative business look like?
This session will explore this question by drawing on Ethical Consumer's work, Spring Prize case studies and your own experience.
The STEAM hub in a pub: a story of a community science hub - Dr Jana Wendler
The Old Abbey Taphouse re-opened in October 2016 as a STEAM (that's Science Technology Engineering Arts and Maths) focused hub in a pub. They are running projects which encourage localism, circular economies, arts & music, wellbeing and STEAM.
How to approach bigger design in practice - Anna Locke
Anna is a permaculture teacher based in Hastings - in process of setting up a small farm. The talk will be centered around personal design insights gained from this and other larger projects.
The toolkit for working in bioregions - Ed Tyler & James Pier Taylor
Bioregional thinking for these isles. Bioregionalism proposes a pathway to one-planet living based on meeting our needs from within naturally defined areas called bioregions. In this session, we'll be exploring what bioregionalism might look like in the context of this group of islands sitting off the north-western coast of continental Europe. Bring a sense of place!
Cultural Emergence toolkit - Looby Macnamara
Looby is author of People and Permaculture, 7 Ways to Think Differently and Strands of Infinity. She lives on a 20 acre smallholding with her partner Chris Evans, where they run a training and demonstration centre - Applewood Permaculture Centre. Can we collectively emerge a regenerative culture of care and connection? Come and discover some tools to enhance your life and relationships.
Social enterprises & Community Business with Rachel Summerscales
A run through of the pros and cons of heading up a community business and working within the voluntary sector as a whole.
Is a co-op right for you? - Co-ops UK
In depth workshop exploring cooperatives as an organisational and business model for your enterprise or idea.
Designing the Permaculture Association strategy - Andy Goldring and Roxy Piper
We need an effective and sustainable organisation that can support more people doing more permaculture! We have been surveying and sensing how we can best do that, to inform our new strategy. What will the Permaculture Association be doing in 2020, 2030, and 2050? This session will present the work we've done so far and help shape our future.
Forest gardening in practice - Tomas Remiarz and Kath Gavin
Sustainability co-ordinator, Kath offers bespoke vegan-organic horticulture training, environmental education and garden design - she particularly enjoys working with volunteers to develop forest gardens. Tomas Remiarz has been a permaculture designer, consultant and trainer since 1997. Specialisms include participative design processes, forest gardens, and ecological restoration. Author of Forest Gardening in Practice. In this session you will discover some of the multi-storey plantings at the Garden Centre, a great example of how forest gardens can be integrated into public and commercial settings. There will be a focus on the ground cover, often one of the major challenges for a forest gardener.
Tours of Hulme Community Garden Centre
See their forest garden, roundhouse, polytunnel and other elements, on this walking tour. Learn about the organisation and their activities.
Stretch! Practice some yoga in the morning with fellow participants, led by a yoga instructor.
Preserve: storing our harvest - Ryan Sandford-Blackburn
Ryan gardens several days a month on a large allotment plot and has a front yard nursery and messy kitchen at home. He holds a Permaculture Design Certificate and loves sharing positive, practical solutions. Whether you’re swimming in runner beans or drowning in courgettes this workshop will upskill your preservation power. We'll draw on the knowledge of those taking part as well as Ryan's experience. We'll talk about produce that we readily have access to, what we like to eat & drink, and how we can easily make more of what we have.
Working with pallets: practical carpentry
Propagation and seed saving
Growing micro-leaves & edible flowers
Biochar making and how to use - Matt Ralston
A demonstration promoting simple, scalable, environmentally sound methods for making biochar for improving the soil.
Repurposing Materials: A Hunter Gatherer Perspective - John Piprani, Manchester University
A University of Manchester archaeologist shows the aboriginal skills in making arrowheads from waste materials.
Vegan organic growing & soil care
Presented by a commercial veganic grower of 20 years running Fir Tree Community Growers in Merseyside.
Lots of opportunities for networking, including:
GROW Observatory experimenters meet-up - learn from each other's experience of the polyculture experiment
#WeLoveLiving - the campaign helping spread permaculture more widely - learn how you can engage others, plus take home resources
Manchester Permaculture Network: meet up and discuss with others in the Manchester area
Meet the Trustees of the Permaculture Association and discuss the present and future of our organisation
All are welcome. For the youngest people:
Childrens programme, including fire-making, co-operative group challenges, composting and other fun (read more below)!
Sunday 23 Sept - Ed-venturing
Meet at Hulme Hall for Sunday Brunch (included in weekend ticket price), a final chance to meet and connect, then for embarking on tours of local permaculture and growing projects with Manchester Permaculture Network.
You will either need to car share or bring a bike along to join in. We can help with arranging the former over the weekend.
- 11am - Leave Hulme Hall heading south then to:
- Fallowfield Secret Garden - https://fallowfieldsecretgarden.wordpress.com
- Birchfields Park Forest Garden - https://manchesterclimatemonthly.net/2012/07/18/birchfields-park-forest-...
- Moss Side Community Allotment - https://mosssidecommunityallotment.wordpress.com
- Leaf St Community Garden - https://www.redbricks.org/category/leafst/
- Bridgwater Basin Floating Ecosystems - https://www.bridgewater-hall.co.uk/about/environment
There's also the Lush Showcase which is happening all day at Manchester Central. You get free access with your convergence ticket, just show up at the door with a printed or mobile copy.
This year's theme for the children's activities will be "Our Home - Our Community". Children are warmly invited to participate in various hands-on activities and workshops like the building of their very own miniature eco village, using natural materials like clay, straw, wood, stones or bark. Children will find out about biodiversity, natural building and we will talk about how to create communities that respect and support people.
Our poetry and drama workshops will give children the opportunity to express themselves through art. As a group we will meet, play and learn how to trust each other when playing co-operative group games and mastering group challenges.
We will get crafty at our workshops making wooden jewellery, eco playdough and building rockets out of recycled materials. Watch out for our rockets which will blast off into the sky using our super eco-friendly fuel.