International Permaculture Conference and Convergence, London

I’m back. And what an amazing time I had over at the International Permaculture Conference and Convergence in London. The most amazing part was to be together with so many like-minded people from all around the world. All up there were about 1500 people from 70 different countries that attended the two events. There was a pretty large Aussie crew and it was great to catch up with old friends and to meet many new ones.

Whole group photo in the beautiful English rain
Whole group photo in the beautiful English rain

The conference was in central London for two days, held in a traditional conference hall with break out sessions throughout the day. It was a great opportunity to listen to permaculture’s greatest minds talking about what they are passionate about.

All gathered for the conference
All gathered for the conference

London is a long way to go and I know a lot of you couldn’t make it that wanted to, so here are some links to some of the standout speakers at the conference. Look up IPCUK in Youtube and there are many more. Here are a few to get you started:

Rob Hopkins on Transition Towns

Joel Williams introducing soil biology and soil food web

Rosemary Morrow on ‘What is Needed for Permaculture to Grow’

The convergence was fun. We all stayed at a scout camp in the Epping Forest on the outskirts of London. People either stayed in dormitories or camped. We had all our meals there and workshops were held in marquees around a central grassy area with all the main events held in a circus big top. It was a bit like permaculture conference meets Confest, but with less nudity.

There were ten to fifteen workhops running at any one time through out the day. There was a lot to choose from and so much to learn and take in. Attendees were invited before the event to present on whatever was their specialty, so there was a huge range of diversity; from backyard gardening, market gardening, to inner permaculture, to overseas permaculture projects, to refugees with Rosemary Morrow and so much more. It was such a fantastic opportunity to get a snapshot of what is happening in permaculture around the world.

Biochar workshop with Albert Bates
Biochar workshop with Albert Bates

Alongside all of these was the Permaculture Next Big Step project which is a project that has been going since IPC11 in Cuba where permies from around the world are looking at how to come together as a unified group. Anyone could join in these sessions and have their say. More info here.

The final presentation in the big top
The final presentation in the big top

The nighttime activities were boisterous and lively with lots of great music and dancing. Often going into the wee hours. It really felt like one big family with permaculture being the glue. The last night, permaculture rock star Charlie Mgee rocked the audience with his super funky permie hits. Sorry for the movement with the filming but his music is pretty funky. Buy the CD here.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DiD9Vrpxrpc&w=560&h=315]

I made great connections with people from all around the world and will have stories coming in over the following issues.

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