IPC - Conference


The IPC India 2017 Conference was held in Hyderabad on November 25 and 26, 2017. This joyful and fruitful event, open to all, was packed with presentations, panel discussions and a lot of cultural exchange between up to 1200 people from 60 different countries with various backgrounds in regards to permaculture and other sustainable living school of thoughts. The presentations were connected through the following six subthemes all supporting the event main theme: “Towards healthy societies”. You will find here documents, photos and videos to make you relive or remember what has been happening during those two days. We are uploading this page regularly as soon as the content is available.




The 13th International Permaculture Convergence opened with the sound of drums and various Bathukamma offerings. After the dedications of the IPC India 2017 to Bill Mollison and Dr. Venkat, David Holmgren opened the event through a Skype call giving the following address:

“Greetings to all those gathered for this 13th International Permaculture Conference and Convergence, held for the first time in India. Some of you are old friends and colleagues, many are permaculture designers, teachers, activists and practitioners from around world.

Most of all my greetings and welcome are to those of you attending this gathering of the permaculture global community, who come from kindred fields and networks. Permaculture has always been informed by many traditions and inspirations. It remains an open source network inviting contributions from all those whose life and work reflect the permaculture ethics of earth care, people care and fair share.

In particular, I would like to pay my respects to Dr Vandana Shiva, whose ideas and work have been a great inspiration for my own journey with permaculture.

As the surviving co-originator of Permaculture I would also like to acknowledge the passing of Bill Mollison last year. There is much I could say about Bill Mollison. All I need to say now, is that without his genius, drive and tenacity through the decades this gathering would not be happening.

I am speaking to you from my home, Melliodora, a modest (by rich country standards) one hectare small farm and home in central Victoria, Australia where I have lived and worked with my partner Su Dennett for more than thirty years. After a lifetime of minimal use of long distance air travel to further the permaculture agenda, in 2013 I wrote an essay Why I haven’t been flying (much). As is my want, I avoided absolutes in stating my reasons for staying at home and taking advantage of the technological alternatives to travel.

There is a further reason why I am not with you in person. We are in the final sprint to a December print deadline for “Retrosuburbia: the downshifters guide to a resilient future”, a 590 page manual and manifesto powered by permaculture. More than just a book, Retrosuburbia is an integrated strategy to bring permaculture back to the heartlands of Australian suburbia, where it first took root in the late 1970’s and early 80’s. Retrosuburbia is unashamedly local rather than global but I am convinced that if we can achieve a critical mass in the suburbs of Australia, then the patterns of success will be replicated wherever the global middle class live in detached housing around the world.

This project reflects my lifelong focus on how to get the billion or so (perhaps now two billion) middle class people to find the prosperous way down to living within ecological limits. The greatest power of permaculture may be in assisting the billions of people, still connected to land and cultures of place to create abundance where they are. But that great task will never succeed while the global extractive economy run by the elites, continues.

Without the consuming and debt-bound global middle class that extractive system has no future. Creating self reliant communities everywhere may be an almost universal permaculture strategy but the techniques to do so are very varied depending on the culture and context. I trust that this conference and following convergence with include a wide range of examples of people, places and projects where those self-reliant communities are growing in the shadow of failing globalised systems.

Finally, I would like to acknowledge the great effort made by a limited team of dedicated local organisers and their global supporters to plan and run this event. I trust that those attending will pitch in where needed and be tolerant of the glitches that come when events of this scale are done on shoestring budgets that are the norm in the world of permaculture.

There is no doubt that I will get personal reports on your presentations, discussions and actions to further the depth and spread of permaculture in India and around the world. So make the best of the collegiate connections that this event offers to those present and take inspiration and energy back to your own home places, wherever they may be.

David Holmgren
Permaculture Co-originator
Melliodora, 16 Fourteenth St, Hepburn, Victoria. 3461

The Conference then took its energetic pace set by Dr. Vandana Shiva and Robyn Francis’ presentations during their keynote address on the role of women as agents of change leading to more than 30 inspiring presentations by leading permaculturists, researchers, farmers...

The above brochure doesn’t include the brilliant Indian farmers’ stories programme which was greatly appreciated by the audience. The list of people who participated can be however found in the final schedule. Discrepancies can be found between two documents as various changes happened to the programme after printing of the brochure. We apologize to anyone who missed any presentations following those changes which were unfortunately out of our control.


Find below ordered by subthemes the list of presentations that happened during the Conference, links to presentation documents and access to videos (work in progress).

Women as agents of change

Dr. Vandana Shiva (India)
Keynote address: "Women lead the change from Violence to Non Violence, from greed to caring and sharing"

Robyn Francis (Australia)
Keynote address: "Regenerating community resilience in a changing world"

Marcia Amidon & Tedrowe Bonner (the United States)
"Women in agriculture: a historical perspective"

Linda Kabaira (Zimbabwe)
“Building resilience in west Zambia through female Permaculture gardening"

Robin Clayfield (Australia)
Panel discussion:
“Are women leading the change?"

Mahatma Gandhi had said "be the change you wish to see in the world". This quote holds true for both men and women. Women continue to produce 80% of food in developing countries and it is critical to extend their role as the 'protectors' and 'nurturers' of their loved ones to 'protectors' and 'promoters' of healthy societies. By harnessing their knowledge, providing more leadership opportunities and creating a gender equal environment, we can take decisive steps towards creating a resilient world.

Permaculture as a social responsibility

Manish Jain (India)
“Deschooling and Permaculture"

Leigh Brown (South Africa)
“How a Permaculture grassroots youth movement can bring about resilience in cities and settlements"

Stuart Muir Wilson (Australia)
“Implementing social and environmental justice with Permaculture for the most vulnerable citizens of Melbourne"

Seetha Ananthavisan (India)
“Fostering holistic thinking through gardening in schools"

Mugove Walter Nyika (Zambia)
“Permaculture as a tool for shaping the future that we want - working with young people in schools”

Nipun Mehta (India)
“Social Permaculture: Connecting branch tips to the roots"

As said by Bill Mollison, "The only ethical decision is to take responsibility for our own existence and that of our children." People Care is this core ethic which begins with ourselves and expands to include our families, neighbours and companions, spreading the Fair Share mindset among everyone, no matter their age or status. Collaborative and educational efforts that instill the values of care, compassion, gift economy, harmony and justice will lead us towards an inclusive society, that is free of oppression and inequality.

Grassroots permaculture in action

Nicholas Syano (Kenya)
“Community regeneration through dryland Permaculture: Maiuni community case in Kenya"

Rowe Morrow (Australia)
Panel discussion: “The difficulties, and enormous potential contribution, of Permaculture for mass migration and refugees"

Andy Goldring (the United Kingdom)
“Permaculture, sociocracy and changing the world"

Beatriz Ramirez Cruz (Mexico) & Tierra Martinez (Argentina)
“Building a new paradigm: Permaculture as a dream of peace"

François Léger (France)
“Living on very small farms with Permaculture principles: examples of French microfarms combining ecological, social and technical intelligence"

As a playground for human-scale experiments, grassroots permaculture is essential to make new ecological and social solutions emerge. Through concrete and localized achievements like commons, participatory initiatives, or sociocracy, it puts the people at the heart of systems and policies - even during crises situations (refugees camps). From site-specific to duplicable or upscaling ideas, always leaning on the power of community, grassroots initiatives move people into action with a holistic approach rather than isolated pieces, enabling them to handle their resources and needs in a fecund and democratic manner.

Sustainable water resource management

Sri Rajendra Singh (India)
“Flow: an experience of Tarun Bharat Sangh (TBS)"

Padma & Narsanna Koppula (India)
“Aranya's Permaculture initiatives”

KS Gopal (India)
“Agriculture rejuvenation in drought prone areas: moisture at the zone and microbes as soil enrichment"

Manisha Lath Gupta (India)
“Water management in alternating flood and drought conditions"

Drought and its alter ego, flood, are likely to happen more and more often in the future. In many countries where drylands and erosion have extended their boundaries during the past decades, water shortages and sudden heavy rains are already every days challenges. Yet, if water is a critical resource for humans, it is critical for life on earth as well. Sustainable water management is a cornerstone of any healthy society. Through permaculture principles, we have a toolbox within easy reach to handle diverse sources of water (rainwater, water table, glaciers, aquifers, etc.) responsibly and regeneratively.

Revitalising and preserving traditional farming practices

Raya & Freedom Cole (the United States)
“Ancient Indian agriculture: Ayurvedic arboriculture and plant care"

Christopher Nesbitt (Belize)
“Permaculture as a tool for climate change mitigation and poverty alleviation"

Qinghua Yuan (China)
“Revive urban lands in Chinese modern cities, according to the principles of Permaculture"

Cadi Pink (the United Kingdom)
“Onwards with natural patterns: Lush and Permaculture”

Himalayan Permaculture Centre (Nepal)
“Building household and community resilience in the Himalayas”

Cultural diversity and traditions formed over the centuries make this world a rich place. Globalization-mania has weakened vernacular cultures that have thrived in their environment. Standardized solutions and products tend to become the norm even in the agricultural world. Permaculture roots it philosophy into ancient practices, revitalizes them with the fusion of modern, relevant techniques and innovations to revive the empirical know-how accumulated over many generations. This establishes a fruitful and respectful dialogue between different cultures and times.

Permaculture and climate change adaptation

Starhawk (the United States)
“Permaculture activism and climate change"
Climate change statement

Kiyokazu Shidara (Japan)
“Fukushima disaster and Permaculture: how to handle radiation in the soil and the body through biological methods?"

Prof. Sultan Ismail (India)
“Soil health: an India earthworm’s eyeview"
Video / Presentation

Erle Rahaman-Noronha (Trinidad & Tobago)
“Successes and challenges in implementing Permaculture designs in heavy clays and loose sands in the Caribbean in a time of climate change"

Boniface Gomes (Bangladesh)
“Building capacity and empowering communities towards climate change adaptation and food security in Southern Bangladesh”

Very few doubt that climate is going to get more extreme and erratic in the coming years. With its holistic approach, permaculture appears as a suitable answer to slow down climate change, mitigate its effects and protect us from disasters. Resilient ecosystems of food forests and living soils can limit greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to food production. Putting activism and embodied energy at the heart of its philosophy, permaculture provides new patterns to bring effective transition in our consumption and build sustainable models that reduce fossil fuels extraction and wastage of the limited resources we have.

The IPCs have always been a place to engage sustainability thinkers and practitioners to strategize and shape the vision of permaculture and sustainability in general. We are extremely grateful for this opportunity to welcome, meet and hear all those wonderful and inspiring presentations and thank the speakers one more time for their involvement in the permaculture community and their experience sharing at the IPC India 2017.

See more pictures


Pitcher irrigation, Splitting of pulses with stone grinder, Local plant medicine remedies for all regular home needs, Explanation of variety of bullock plowing and sowing implements, Seed preservation The Permaculture Kitchen (Rocket Stove, Solar stoves, Clay Pot for cool water, Pot fridge, Rocket stoves), Rabi and Kharif cropping patterns, Chicken care, Bio-innoculants-Garbage enzymes, Soil display, Tree species appropriate for permaculture in Telangana


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