4. International Research Network
All over the world there are people doing permaculture research in a mind boggling array of different fields. There are also legions of people using permaculture to improve their own quality of life and that of those around them. In every corner of the globe people are organising and getting together to help bring permaculture to the fore and get policy makers to start listening.
There are challenges however, and there is a great potential for improving coordination and information flow with regards to what research is being carried out, where and by whom. By facilitating the exchange of knowledge, nurturing the development of networks and providing support and encouragement an international research network will help to nurture the seeds of research creativity around the world. Widening the knowledge base of permaculture research also has great potential to make permaculture a more attractive option to a wide range of people from NGO's and policy makers to farmers and members of the general public. Due to these potential benefits the Permaculture Association launched the international permaculture research project.
Phase 1: International Research Surveys
The first phase of the project was the International Research Surveys, completed during 2012 and 2013. Four surveys were completed:
Survey 1 – Who is Doing What?
Survey 2 – What Research is Wanted?
Survey 3 - How do Researchers Learn and Communicate?
Survey 4 – Mapping the Routes to Discovery
Phase 2: The Permaculture International Research Network
The Permaculture International Research Network (PIRN) is the second phase of the project. The initial launch of the 'beta' version of the network took place in September 2014. We now have nearly 400 members in over 40 countries. Currently, we are taking small, slow steps, with a Facebook page and bi-monthly e-bulletins. The major launch and celebration will take place at the International Permaculture Conference, 8th-9th September 2015. After this we will be creating a website including an online map of the members, increasing the frequency of the e-bulletins, working to connect members with similar interests, sharing research findings and opportunities and developing colloborative international research projects.
Some key features of the planned network are set out in this short document.
We want to create a Permaculture International Research Network that:
- has 500 members in 50 countries,
- has facilitated hundreds of new relationships.
The Permaculture International Network will be:
- built entirely on-line
- a simple structure allowing members to create their own discussions and projects
- a clear forum for sharing research
- a simple method for members to find each other by research interest and by geography
- mostly in English, but sub-groups in any language
- offering regular research projects for members to join
The Permaculture International Research Network will facilitate:
- knowledge exchange
- peer-group support
- access to journals and books
- easily available literature reviews and databases
- a place to access other people's research
- a place to share research findings.
If you share our vision, become an active member of PIRN.
If you want to join the network or learn more, please e-mail Chris.
This project has been generously funded by Lush Cosmetics through the Sustainable Lush Fund.
We offer membership of PIRN as a free resource, but welcome donations to support this and future research projects.