On behalf of the Maine organizing team, we are so excited to welcome our extended friends and permie colleagues to the 2014 Northeast Permaculture Convergence (that would be #NEPC in twitterese) in a few days.
In an ideal world, the location and organizing team for an event of this magnitude would be known nine to twelve months in advance and sometimes this happens, and it’s awesome! However, this year has been a bit different. It wasn’t until the end of March 2014 that the organizing for this year’s convergence actually began. Fortunately we still had some institutional memory , stellar people and organizing tools in place from the turn we took in 2010, so that has been hugely helpful.
Great news is that we are pretty sure we know where the 2015 Northeast Convergence will be and, with a bit of final confirmations all around, we would be able to do a formal handover at this year’s one to part of next year’s crew. Also great news is that over the past decade we’ve essentially been building a library of organizing tools, budgeting and planning documents and group process learnings that have made it possible to build this year’s convergence in, literally, 100 days. I don’t recommend it, but it is possible:)
I am also feeling like this is a transitional moment for our regional network. It’s a time when many of our more visible leaders from the past decade are expanding and exploring their work in the world in new ways. There is unprecedented interested in permaculture. The world itself is changing dramatically in ecological, social, financial, political and perhaps spiritual ways.
I posit that now is the time for our network to step up in more deliberate way to support newly emerging leaders, build capacity with and for newly activated permaculturists …and deeply explore the potential of what we can do better together than we can do alone. We should also dig into the questions of at what scales we can and want to work; where are our individual and collective leverage points? We exist within a framework of nested (personal, household, neighborhood, town, state/region, etc) as well as mycelial systems. All nodes and connection points are important.
After (and perhaps starting with) this year’s Convergence, I invite members of our loose regional network to articulate new goals for itself, durable goals bigger than ourselves, goals that create a big container for creative, innovative and flexible application of permaculture design, ethics and principles in service to the world. Within that conversation we can make good decisions about gatherings, convergences and other collaborate projects of our network.
Lisa Fernandes (one member of the #NEPC organizing team)