Bryony Huntley, WWOOF UK host and RHC for part of Somerset, attended the International Permaculture Conference in London during September on our behalf. We asked her to tell us about it.
I am prepared to travel a long way to hear Jonathan Porritt or Geoff Lawton so to have them both speaking at the Permaculture Conference meant it was a ‘must do’. In fact, of course, there were many other speakers, exhibitors and attendees who contributed to a really great, thoughtfully organised, gathering of fellow permaculturists.
We had a skype connection with David Holmgren in Australia and poetic contributions from Siobhan MacMahon. A Conference Poem was created by everyone who attended. We were invited to think about what we are grieving for, what we want to make / create, and what we want to dream into being. Congratulations to all the staff and team of volunteers who created the conference – especially Andy Goldring, CEO, and Stefan Geyer, Chairman of the Permaculture Association.
The overarching title of the conference was Designing the World We Want; titles for the two days were, quite simply, Practice and Process – in other words case studies and reports from existing projects on day one, and how permaculture design and transformation can help bring about the necessary changes on day two.
Keynote speakers’ sessions during each day had specific time slots in the main conference hall and then we had a wealth of choices of sessions / workshops held in other spaces in the Quaker House in the Euston Road, London.
Inevitably, choices were hard but I attended fascinating talks on topics as diverse as Farm Scale Permaculture, Permaculture Thinking into Business Realities and Wellbeing and the biggest plus for me was the wealth of links, references and contacts made during the two days.
It was a pleasure to be on the WWOOF stall during the breaks, meeting existing and potential hosts, as well as WWOOFers, who all benefited from scheduled time to explore and learn from the exhibits.
The next international conference is planned for 2017 and will be held in India. I hope representatives of WWOOF will be there too !