Educational Presentations Arranged by Tracks


This page shows the educational presentations arranged by tracks, including day, time, title, presenter, brief abstract and links to the full abstract and presenter bio.

Further below are Hands On Skill Building Workshops and Kids Program


Quick Index
Transforming Cities, Suburbia and Neighorhoods
Finding Common Cause
Permaculture in Action
Rural Permaculture
Social Permaculture
Communing With Nature [Sacred Permaculture]
Permaculture and Education
Hands On Skill Building
Kids Program


Quik Index

Children’s Village

Hands On Skill Building and Earth Skills Village

Transforming Cities, Suburbia and Neighborhoods

There are countless elements relating to the transformation of our economy, culture and where we live. This track will touch on transforming what is already here in the [sub]urban landscape, building different kinds of community structures, economics and resolving conflict.

Friday – 2 PM – Transforming A Suburban Property – Jan Spencer of Suburban Permaculture in Eugene will describe his eleven years transforming his quarter acre suburban property.  Grass to garden, concrete removal, rain water catchment, solar design, edible land scaping and more.  Also home economics and multiple benefits and the place as a community resource.

Friday – 4 PM – Place Making – Place Is Our Soil – Mike Cook of City Repair in Portland  – In gardens we make soil, in cities we make place. In this story time picture show, we will take a brief look at the context we find ourselves in, a social monoculture grid mirroring the tragedy of modern farming. With inspiration from our indigenous roots, we’ll see how the cultivation of place can be harnessed as a powerful catalyst for community growth with some local examples of creative public space reclamation and 10 helpful principles to take home with you to plant in your own communities.

Saturday – 9 AM – PC and Conflict Resolution – Gabe Berry, Burien/Seattle, will share thoughts about using permaculture principles for conflict resolution. Given the deepening trends of our times, one can be certain unfamiliar changes are in store for suburbia. There will be a great need to work out differences!

Saturday -11 AM – Woofing and Transforming Suburbia – Ravi Logan from Eugene, Director of Dharmalaya Center, Eugene, will present about an innovative program that brings youthful volunteers, by way of WOOFing, into suburbia as interns to learn hands on skills, develop values and visions and to take part in on the ground, real life transforming suburbia.

Saturday - 2 PM – Block Repair – Mighk Simpson, Mark Lakeman and Hannah Poirier from Planet Repair Institute in Portland will show and tell their Block Repair project – multiple houses next to each other collaborating on a common design for the benefit of all involved.  Includes Shareit Square Intersection Repair, whimsical habitats, cooperative initiatives and much more.

Saturday – 4 PM – Economics in Transition – Joel Magnuson, Portland State Professor, will present Economies in Transition—A Systems View. This presentation will be about economics and transition to a more local and green economy. Joel authored an excellent book titled “Mindful Economics.”

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Finding Common Cause

To bring about a peaceful and healthy world, many many new relationships, networks and existing community assets will be called upon. Finding common cause is about expansive thinking to broaden the movement towards a culture, economy and way of life that affirms the human spirit and can live within what planet earth can sustain.

Friday – 2 PM – Disaster Resiliency and PermacultureAlice Busch, North Portland, sees an important connection between emergency preparedness, disaster management and permaculture. Her talk will touch on educating diverse populations in a sensitive way on topics relating to living more local and resilient.

Saturday – 4 PM – Urban Cooperative Living – PanelPam and Joe Leitch, Founders of Columbia Eco Village, Portland and  Naga Nataka of Fosterville Community, Portland, will share their experiences of cooperative living.  Both sites have been transformed – an old farm house and reinvented apartment complex, several adjacent houses with fences down.  Both finding common cause and many benefits through working together.

Saturday – 9 AM -Allies and Assets for Transforming Suburbia - Jan Spencer, Eugene, will describe surprising tools for cultural and economic transformation that can be found in almost any neighborhood nation wide. They include one’s own property, city programs, ad hoc associations, parks, natural places, front yards, social tools, communities of faith, place making and one’s own creativity and initiative.

Saturday – 10 AM – Chuck Estin, Bainbridge Island, will explain resident a plan for economic transition on Bainbridge Island, near Seattle. There is need to reach out to conservative members of the community for the common goal of creating a more local economy for meeting the challenges of economic and resource descent.

Saturday – 2 PM – Panel – Transition Towns Portland.  All over the world, a movement towards living far more local and green is emerging. Transition Towns is a big part of that movement. There are hundreds of Transition Towns all over the world and they have a common set of approaches and tools to work with.

Saturday – 4 PM – Report from the Common Cause Plenary on Thursday night in Portland

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Permaculture In Action

PC in action is about on the ground, real life applied permaculture.  The track will show and tell a variety of impressive role models that many many can adapt to diverse circumstances – for private, community and commercial.

Friday – 2 PM – Transforming A Suburban Property – Jan Spencer,  Eugene will describe his eleven years transforming his quarter acre suburban property.  Grass to garden, concrete removal, rain water catchment, solar design, edible landscaping and more.  Also touched on – home economics, multiple benefits and the site as a community resource.  This presentation co hosted with Transforming Suburbia, Cities and N’Hoods

Friday – 4 PM – Urban Self Sufficiency, Five Years In – Norris Thomlinson, Portland, has been converting several urban lots in NE Portland, OR into a self-sustaining food forest and urban homestead over the past 5 years.  Norris will discuss where the project stands, unexpected yields, and lessons learned.

Saturday – 9 AM – Get to Work! – Leonard BarrettLeonard Barrett, Portland, will describe the many emerging opportunities for permaculture entrepreneurs to create jobs and professions repairing what the current paradigm has created – from food systems, to urban land use to transportation the very fundamentals of economics.

Saturday – 11 AM – Relocalization in Turkey – Emet Degirmenci, SeattleCazgirler is a village in northwestern Turkey that has suffered due to neo liberal economic policies by the central government. Emet and others are working to regenerate traditional relationships for creating a more local and green economy using permaculture approaches.

Saturday – 2 PM – Block Repair – Mighk Simpson, Mark Lakeman and Hannah Poirier from Planet Repair Institute in Portland will show and tell their Block Repair project – multiple houses next to each other collaborating on a common design for the benefit of all involved.  Includes Shareit Square Intersection Repair, whimsical habitats, cooperative initiatives and much more.  This presentation co hosted with Transforming Suburbia, Cities and N’Hoods

Saturday – 4 PM – Urban Development and Permaculture, Working With The Mainstream - Josho Somine , Seattle

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Rural Permaculture

Friday 2 PM“The One Straw Revolution Revisited” – Ethan Rainwater, Eugene – In the summer of 2010, Ethan traveled to Japan to discover what has become of Masanuba Fukuoka’s “one straw revolution.” He spent 3 months researching Natural Farming, meeting a host of its current practitioners, and tracing the evolution of this great man’s legacy.

Friday – 4 PM – “Permaculture for Local & International Refugee Situations” – Erik Blender, Portland – Permaculture offers an abundance of applications that, coupled with rapid design, could be utilized in refugee situations for immediate water & energy catchment, human waste recycling, soil-building, obtaining food yields, and developing new communities that produce no waste.

Saturday – 9 AM – “Lost Valley Ecovillage & Educational Center Site Plan“ – Marc Tobin, Lost Valley Education Center – This presentation will visually show, and tell the story, of the new site plan for Lost Valley, a 22 year old eco village on an 87 acre rural retrofit property that is home to over 30 people.

Saturday – 11 AM – “The Farm as an Organism” – Don Tipping, Williams, Seven Seeds Farm has been designed as a productive permaculture farm ecosystem for the past 11 years. The goal has been to demonstrate permaculture in action through application of the principles and techniques within a economically and ecologically viable farm.

Saturday – 2 – PM – “Designing Multi functional Hedgerows” – Jude Hobbs, Cottage Grove – A hedgerow is a beautiful, functional and biologically diverse component of rural and/or urban landscapes.  During this presentation you will learn wow to design and establish a hedgerow for multiple benefits.

Saturday – 4 PM – “Crafting Equitable Rules to Allow Sustainable Farming Communities” – Panel including Jenny Pell, Rick Valley and others. Responsible rural settlement has a vital place in a sustainable future. This presentation will explore the legal transition to this more sustainable system of community farming and land-stewardship.

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Social Permaculture

Social permaculture brings the wisdom and application of permaculture into our personal lives, relationships, organizations, communities and society and it also brings in the best practices and teachings from a  wide range of holistic approaches to healing for reconnecting  to the land,  to each other and with ourselves.  We want to explore the patterns, principles, definitions and values of permaculture to the design of the social systems–because it is here in the “invisible structures” of society that inhibit or empower our ability to live together in health and peace.

Friday – 2 PM - Social Sector Analysis: Economy – Brush, Tryon Farm – In this workshop we’ll examine how the money economy and the alternative economy affect our social designs, at personal, group, and network scales, looking especially at class dynamics in Permaculture contexts.

Friday – 4 PM – “Power Dynamics and Oppression” – Bill Aal & Carlos Negron,  Seattle – What are ways that permaculturists and the permaculture movement itself learn to deal creatively with the differences in culture, political beliefs and life styles? How do we develop a body of thinking and a network of teachers that reflects the diversity in the communities we live and work in?

Saturday – 9 AM – “Zone 0-Applying: Permaculture Wisdom to the Self” – Zeratha Young, Portland – Come explore how a healthy inner environment- (mind, heart and soul) is necessary for an equally healthy relationship to and with the social and natural systems we are embedded within.

Saturday – 11 AM – “Organizational Permaculture and Social Ecology” - Jenny Leis of Cascadia Center – Have you considered complementary guilds of interests in your community groups?  Applying permacultural thinking to our organizational dynamics allows us to consider subtle and hopefully more effective ways to work together.

Saturday – 2 – PM – “Sociocracy and Deep Democracy” -  Melanie Rios of Lost Valley Ed. Center – This workshop introduces Sociocracy and Deep Democracy as permaculture-related tools for helping groups collaborate with more ease and joy.

Saturday – 4 PM“Telling your Story: Common Ground is Sacred Ground” - Johnnie Pratt and Barbie – Danielle DeCarlo This workshop aims to demonstrate the possibilities of finding common ground among each other through participants’ personal narratives in fun, engaging, and interactive ways. 

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Communing with Nature – Sacred Permaculture

In these troubled times, this sacred permaculture program looks to connect in common cause with our plant and animal friends, our ancestors and the future of our planet in a ways that have worked for hundreds of thousands of years.

Friday 2 PM - “My Year With Goats” – Johnnie Pratt, Vashon Island, My Year With Goats.  How do “you as nature” bridge the gap in the arena of cross species communication. Let’s explore and share the variety of ways that this communication can occur.

Friday – 4 PM – “Community-Based Paradigm for Herbal Medicine” – Erico Schleicher, Portland.  Community Based Herbalism is for everyone! We reorganize holistic health caring into a shared experience. This approach increases our awareness of the plant and human world interweaving into one community

Saturday – 9 AM – “Cultivating the Deeper Dimensions of Permaculturalist Pro-activity” – Morgan Brent, Portland and Singing Alive and Tribes of Creation, will bring a taste of shamanic medicine circles, where we breath, voice, chant, spirit-language, and ultimately, sing alive. This resonance with our evolutionary heritage opens a fertile imaginal space, allowing the deeper currents of Creation to sprout up, flower, and fruit the higher Octaves of our Human Beingness.

Saturday – 11 AM – “New Symbols & New Myths for the Permaculture Age” – Willi Paul, San Francisco. Willi’s calling  to finding common cause is to explore new symbols, poems, lyrics and songs to support a new mythic base for the Permaculture Age.  The presentation will brainstorm and draft new works together, perhaps to share with the Convergence!

Saturday – 2 – PM – “Communing With Nature” -  Charlotte Anthony, Eugene, Victory Gardens for All, Food Forest of Plenty.  Charlotte brings 40 years experience communing with Gaia. Charlotte calls upon communicating with plants when designing a food forest. The presentations we will explore experientially different methods of plant communications that work for different people.

Saturday – 4 PM – “Permaculture, Deep Ecology, and Fairies” –  Michael Pilarski, Okanogan, WA and Friends of the Trees, Michael is a permaculture teacher and brings more than 40 years experience foraging in the forest, growing herbs and whole system thinking. He considers himself being blessed by the plants he serves and incorporate his connection to the plants into his 2.5 acre farm. “Skeeter” will share some of the ways he relates to plants.

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Permaculture in Education

This track will take the dual approach of providing an introduction to permaculture, as well as a forum for educators teaching preschool to college about how to integrate permaculture design principles and practices into these various school levels.

Friday 2 PM - “Children & Youth Permaculture Education” – Matt Bibeau and Kelly Hogan of Mother Earth School & TLC Farm – Explore approaches to teaching through home and school gardens, urban farms, indoor and outdoor kitchens, classrooms and more, in ways that awaken children’s food and nature connection, develop their ecological literacy, youth skills, healthy life habits and foster a stronger sense of place.

Friday – 4 PM – “Making Connections: Garden-Based Education and the National Farm to School Movement – Michelle Markesteyn Ratcliffe, PhD, Matt Bibeau, MS – From your neighborhood school garden to the national effort to connect schools with local farms, learn how these two movements are supporting one another to promote healthy schools, communities and economies.

Saturday – 9 AM – “Nature Immersion Education – A Workshop for Parents and Teachers” – Kelly Hogan of Mother Earth SchoolHow do we raise healthy children in the modern world?  Discover the beneficial effects of nature on wellness and intelligence.  Kelly Hogan (teacher and director of Mother Earth School) will share stories and hands-on experiences so that you leave the workshop equipped to integrate more nature-based activities at home and at school.

Saturday – 11 AM -  Permaculture for the Masses – Adelaide Nalley, Lost Valley Education Center, Oregon -  Broad-Level Application Education. Permaculture taught in schools teaches kids holistic design principles to apply to both their own lives and a new cultural paradigm.

Saturday – 2 – PM – What is Permaculture Andrew Millison, Corvallis -This introduction to the Permaculture design system includes the ethics, history, design process, and examples of systems that show the diverse scales at which Permaculture design is applied.

Saturday – 4 PM – “Panel: Permaculture in Higher Education” Jude Hobbs (U of O), Marisha Auerbach (Bastyr), Andrew Millison (OSU), Terry O’Day (Pacific U), Matt Bibeau (PSU, Gaia U)

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Hands On Skill Building

See Hands on Schedule

Hands on skill building is action oriented and participatory. It is more show and tell than the seven educational tracks. Skills will range from site design to urban livestock, edible wild plants and more. We also anticipate an area of “primitive skills.”

John Kallas, PhD, Portland – Edible Wild Plants – Abundant, Holistic, Sustainable. The presentation will show how wild edible plants can be an important and healthy part to one’s diet.

Kelda Miller, Sumner, WA . Not Just Groovy Yards : How Permaculture Can (and Should) Transform Urban Sprawl into Functional Villages – This will be part presentation and part design exercise to show how sprawl can transform into healthy villages.

Steve Leppold, Eugene. Scythe Renaissance – Introduction to the European Scythe, an important human powered tool for both urban and rural use. Various blades and handles will be explained along with a demonstration how to use the scythe.

Hannah Apricot, Portland. Aquaponics Today – Aquaponics is a way to incorporate many permaculture principles into a way to grow a lot of food for people, in just about any location.

David and Krista Arias, Portland. One Goat For Many Uses – We teach people how to acquire, care for, house, protect and use backyard goats for work, milk, meat, fiber and flock protection.

Evan Gregoire and Rachel Korstein, Eugene. Raising Ducks and Seed Saving – Raise the best foraging ducks, the Ancona duck, in a large rotational areas in a permaculture farm forested setting. Also the basics how to save seeds.

Charlotte Anthony, Eugene. Victory Gardens – Charlotte has brought about literally hundreds of new gardens in Eugene, through her organization Victory Gardens For All. This hands on will show how Victory Gardens transforms grass into garden.

Jan Spencer, Eugene. Jan will share experiences with concrete removal, rain water catchment, large arrays of glass in the roof, grass to garden and more. These will be anecdotal descriptions including slides, based on his own experience from an 11 year old conversion project.

Pat Rasmussen, Olympia.  tentative – Turning a front yard into a forest Garden.

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Kids Program

The Kids Program will provide care for children ages 3 and up during workshop and lecture times. We will be largely outdoors and our activities are nature based, there will also be storytelling and puppet shows. Parents will sign their children in and out and volunteer for part of the time. We also have some work traders who are interested in helping with the children’s village.

The Kids Village will be connected with the larger event so that it will be a vital part of the entire Convergence.

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