Expanding on the Skill Flex section, the Action Learning Pathway asks How, Where and When these skills will be developed through the two year diploma pathway. It is important in this section, when expanding on the skills from your Skill Flex to also spend some time reflecting on your Goals Articulation. Insure that you are still working in line with your long term vision and able to achieve the goals you set out for yourself.
My skills are broken down into three major categories. These three categories all contribute to the goals from my Goals Articulation.
Permaculture design skills are something I will continue to work upon and develop through the process of this diploma. These skills, however, may not be the foundation of any particular diploma design project. I hope to develop these skills through any project I take on but the main focus of my diploma is the development of a Permaculture Education Cooperative which will require development and attention to many other skills than the ones listed below.
A current skill that I would like to develop further through the development of Plant Identification and learning basic Landscape Design strategies. Developing my Urban Permaculture skill will come through teaching and practicing permaculture in Urban environments. I hope to expand on this skill in various ways over the next two years. Notably, there is an opportunity for me to teach in Trinidad and Creosol next year as well as opportunities to develop a hands on permaculture practical curriculum with an organization in Austin, Texas.
To become a more effective educator I would like to develop a stronger understanding of how climate effects design and strategies that can be used stretch climate zones using micro-climate strategies. Also, by working in a variety of climatic environments I will begin to expand on skill. The majority of my current experience is in Dryland and Warm-temperate environments. I am currently working in the Humid and Wet/Dry Tropics and gaining skills in these areas. A clear gap for me is in Cool to Cold Temperate Climates. This is an area I hope to have the opportunity to explore in the not too distant future.
One of my intermediate skills, this is also an area that I would like to dilate to become a more proficient educator. Developing water catchment and gray water systems, working with aqua-cultural systems as well as more development of the aquaponic models would help me to round out my experience in this area.
I have had the opportunity to engage in some natural building here in Thailand and hope to continue to learn from great educators within the Panya Project and other knowledgeable sources in the area. This is an area that I feel is a fairly large gap of experience for me and one that I am looking to make long strides in developing over the next years.
This is an area that I am thankful to have had the opportunity to gain a fair amount of experience in over the past year. I feel pretty confidant in this area but would like to explore it further and be able to implement earthworks’ projects of my own in the time frame of this Diploma as well as teach a course on the subject.
One of my favorite subjects in permaculture, I always find the time to expand my knowledge of forest systems… and there is no limit to what can be learned here! Over the past year I’ve taught this subject in two separate courses and installed two food forest systems in different parts of the world. This is a subject I will naturally continue to expand upon as it is a strong passion of mine.
I have only a surface level understanding of the systems of Holistic Management and some basic knowledge of animal husbandry. I hope to be able to take a HM course by the end of next year to really take this knowledge to the next level. At that point I look forward to practicing the knowledge either through my own personal projects or through consultations and education.
The backbone of design. I look forward to incorporating a design methodology into my everyday practice of permaculture in a very intentional way. I’ve seen the benefit of continually reflecting on a methodology that works for you and this is a process that I’d like to have as part of conscious thought. To develop this skill further I intend to show the design methodology I use for many of the projects relating to this diploma.
These are skills that are much more likely to show up in my diploma design projects. Community Organizing will be a huge facet in the development of a Permaculture Education Co-operative. Co-operative organizations require community participation. Community Organizing and the skills that fall under this section are of huge importance to the development of many of my goals for this diploma learning pathway.
This is a skill that refers to both information technology and human networking. Fortunately, many of the concepts and principles work similar whether we are talking about connecting computer networks or connecting communities. The former is much easier in a lot of respects as there are many more variables in the latter. My skills in this will be put to the test over the next six months here in Thailand as I work to link various permaculture organizations together and establish networks of resource and knowledge sharing.
Sociology & Psychology
Areas of interest to me that I continue to seek further understanding in. Like Forest Systems, these are skills that have no limit to further understanding. I would like to find how sociology and psychology can be applied to help people cope with the challenges of transitioning into a more healthy lifestyle for themselves, their community and our planet.
This skill is under Community Organizing because I have never seen a more powerful force for bringing people together than good food. I would like to expand my experience in the kitchen to facilitate bringing more people together around the benefits of good food from good design.
Communication is perhaps THE most critical component of any community. Learning to communicate through the model of Non-violent Communication is of high priority for me. This is a skill that I hope to develop through further reading, listening to seminars, taking a course as well as putting it into practice in my everyday life. I hope that by the end of this diploma process I will be able to feel comfortable using Non-violent Communication in everyday discussions and, further, have the opportunity to teach these workshops at some point in the future.
More on communication, public speaking is an area that has a profound effect when it comes to community organizing. Being able to address many people with confidence and composure will help me develop many other skills on this list as well as significantly propel me toward my goals. This is a skill that will be incorporated into many of my diploma design projects.
Also a huge propellant toward my goals, facilitation, like pubic speaking, will help me develop many other skills on this list and make my goals more accessible. Facilitation will take on a major role in how I choose to teach and will likely appear in many of the diploma design projects.
Another communication skill, writing also has wide ranging effects in community organizing and will be important to all the skills I hope to develop and have a major impact on my progression toward my goals. This is something I would like to base at least one major project around. This year, writing a series on Co-operative Business in relation to Permaculture would be a great step toward my goal for this diploma as well as a progression on this particular skill.
Mentoring is very exciting to me and a way for me to practice many of the other skills listed above. Throughout the diploma process I will be mentoring two other students through their diploma learning pathway. This process will help me form the basis for future diploma mentoring through the Permaculture Education Co-operative.
Learning to give is probably the most important skill I could develop as a human being. It is something I wanted to add to this process because I believe this is a skill that will contribute to EVERYTHING I do in my life. There is little more important than the art of giving and sharing. It is the sole reason I am taking up this diploma and it is the sole reason behind everything I do.
In order to put together a Permaculture Education Co-operative, business development is gong to be hugely important. The skills in this area will be fundamental to the interiority of my diploma learning pathway. It is very important to stay focused and reflect on my ethics through the process of developing these skills so that I express only the most ethical and sound ways of doing business for the benefit of all.
Training others is a skill I get a lot of enjoyment from. Giving others the capacity and tools to become leaders is on of the most gratifying experiences for me. I hope do develop myself as a more effective trainer through the diploma process in various ways. Sharing this diploma process with others give me great pleasure and helps me to develop this skill further. Teaching and facilitating course will also contribute to the development of this skill.
This is a skill that will be very important to business development. Documenting the work that I do and pulling that documented material together in a format that is useful for myself as well as others is critical. For this skill I hope to dedicate a design project where I take much of the past work I’ve done in permaculture and develop a permaculture profile that documents the work I’ve done and makes it available for others. This will not only help to facilitate a professional profile for me but also improve this skill and help me progress toward my goal of founding a Permaculture Education Co-operative.
Systems thinking is a tool that can be used for almost anything. A way of thinking that breaks systems down into elements and looks at how they function and relate to one another. Developing my use of this skill is important to designing a Co-operative business that functions efficiently and effectively.
Always important in business. Having a strong background in Information Technology has contributed greatly to my success in life and will continue to contribute to my progress toward these goals. It’s a skill that I intend to continue to expand upon.
Video editing is something that I think has huge potential for development in permaculture design. This is a media format that is highly effective and can serve the development of my goals greatly.
Gaining a foot hold on consultation work is something that can help to sustain me throughout the course of the next two years. This is something that I can do anywhere and prevents me from having to find employment that compromises my ethics. I hope to include consultation in at least one of my diploma design projects.
Open Book Financing
Open Book Financing is a huge revolution in business financing. I won’t engage in a business plan without Open Book Financing being a part of the financial planning system. This skill is one that I think is the most imperative to Business Development and will hopefully show up in more than one of my design projects. This skill will also be the highlight of my second project in the diploma learning pathway.
MY ACTION LEARNING PATHWAY
Looking at all these skills individually and linking them with my Goals Articulation I’ve begun to design my learning pathway through the 10 projects required for accreditation. I’ve tried to link as many skills to each project as possible while maintaining the focus of achieving the goals I’ve articulated. It’s also very important that the projects are realistic and achievable. Many of the projects I’ve listed below are projects I have already, in one way or another, begun working on.
Project 1 – Design the Diploma
Project 2 - Permaculture Design Course in Cedar Creek, Texas
Project 3 – Open Book Management Financial Game Design
Project 4 – Holistic Goal Setting
Project 5 – eco-pioneers.org Upgrade & Redesign
Project 6 – Eco-village Design Education & Training of Trainers
Project 7 – Permaculture at Consumer Cooperative Management Association ’13
Project 8 – Designing Permaculture Education Cooperative
Project 9 – Cultivating the Cooperative Community & Leadership Development
Project 10 – Launching the Permaculture Education Cooperative