mewithmullSupporting the global amplification of permaculture and agroecology through popular education is one of my main passions.

I work as an Advisor with Gaia University and as a Diploma Tutor with the Permaculture Association GB. This section aims to share information about these different learning pathways, and what I can offer as a Tutor.

Taking your Permaculture Practice Further – Diploma and Degree Routes

If anyone is skeptical about formal education, it’s me. What’s on offer with the Diploma in Applied Permaculture Design and BSc or MSc Integrative Ecosocial Design programs is different. This is not banking education, where knowledge is deposited into learner’s brains by experts. Nor are these options hierarchical, competitive or exclusive. From undertaking both the Diploma and the Degree, I can attest that these are one of the best things I have ever done, both enabled rich transformative learning experiences in my life.

Diploma in Applied Permaculture Design

The Diploma in Applied Permaculture Design is a qualification developed by the Permaculture Association GB to support people to develop their permaculture design skills after completing their initial design course. In summary, apprentices:

  • Learn by doing, and reflecting on that “doing”
  • Complete 10 designs that are relevant to their life, work, projects, organising or community
  • Connect to a vibrant network of practitioners and apprentices all over the UK
  • Are supported by a Tutor who gives them feedback to improve their work, signposts to resources and assesses them in their accreditation process
  • Apprentices are encouraged to work on their diploma for a minimum of two years (most continue much longer)

13731661_652715781552692_6914219284767359800_nBSc and MSc Integrative Ecosocial Design with Gaia University

Gaia University is an action-learning based institution for higher learning rooted in the Permaculture ethics offering bachelor, masters and post-graduate degrees for action-learning project work in personal, cultural, and planetary transformation.

Based in the United States but offering programs internationally, Gaia U is the most radical, liberatory educational approach I have ever experienced. In October 2012 I graduated with a BSc Integrative Ecosocial Design and began my MSc Political Agroecology in February 2013.

I will not do Gaia U justice to try and summarise its programs in a paragraph so suggest fully exploring the Gaia U website and watching this sweet little animation. I am happy to talk to anyone about Gaia U and my experiences if you are uncertain or curious!

My Experience

16032290736_b49b281f51_kI have been working as a Diploma Tutor since 2014 and as an Advisor with Gaia University since 2012. Both of these models have a robust Tutor training program and requirements for ongoing professional development (CPD). I have completed a number of teacher training courses that have focused on participatory, creative and popular education methods of learning.

You can see my full Educator Portfolio here, which details courses I have taught, my qualifications and so forth.

As a Permaculture Diploma Tutor, I am committed to continuing my professional development. You can see my CPD Pathway Design here.

I also document my work as an educator in a ‘Portfolio of Practice’ that you can find here.

In addition, I also record my ongoing design work and agroecology work to demonstrate my commitment and engagement in these fields.

I have supported Associates and Apprentices from all over the world, including the UK, US, Germany, Kenya, Malawi, Syria, Australia, and Thailand. A number have now graduated, and it has been a total honour to support them on their journey. I have learnt so much from them and enjoyed every minute.

How I can support you

IMG_0597This section is for curious potential apprentices.

  • For folks enrolling in Gaia University (click here for more information about how to enroll). You are assigned an Advisor by the Director of Advisory Services. However, you can express your interest when enrolling that you’d like to work with me. I can support folks as a Main Advisor that are undertaking the Diploma, BSc and the first year of Masters programs.
  • For folks that are already Associates in Gaia University, I am able to offer Skill Flex sessions. These are paid for in your skill flex advising budget as part of your program fees. Please email me to book a session.
  • For folks that are keen to enroll in the Diploma in Applied Permaculture Design GB the first step is to email me expressing your interest. If I am able to support you, you will then need to write my name on your Diploma registration form. We can then organise an induction tutorial, where we will create a learning agreement and I will help you to understand the Diploma process and design your learning pathway.
  • As a Diploma Tutor, I am your first point of contact for any diploma-related questions or challenges. I will induct you into the program with a two-hour induction tutorial, undertake personal tutorials to help you manage your pathway and stay on track, and complete the interim and final portfolio assessment of your work. I will also be the presiding diplomate at your presentation event where you receive your diploma. I may also give you direct design support in design tutorials (which you can ‘pick and mix’ across different tutors).
  • Not enrolled on either of these programs? I also offer one-to-one skype sessions for folks that wish to access support, advice, input, and feedback.

Main Areas of Interest

  • My Herb GardenPermaculture design – with experience in land based design, mainly smallholding & farm scale, with a specialism in “veganic” or plant-based systems as well as medicinal landscaping. I also have fairly extensive experience in applying design to non land-based projects, including regional food networks, educational systems, campaigns and grassroots projects.
  • Food Systems – including agroecology, food sovereignty principles and organising, local food production & mapping systems, access to land, project start-up and popular education around the politics of the food system.
  • Community Organising – diverse skill set including group design processes, engaging with diverse groups of people, campaign strategy, event organising, listening and group facilitation tools such as Open Space, world cafe, popular education and other radical educational tools, burnout awareness, resilience to repression, and more. I am also able to support with grant applications and project budgeting.
  • Project management – one of my most refined learning edges is project management, managing diversity, and complexity with skill and grace through refined personal systems that enhance personal productivity, save wasted time & energy and optimise resources. I have a long term refined ‘getting things done’ system and can support associates to help design a system that works for them through the application of various principles & using tools from different toolboxes such as Getting Things Done (GTD), managing promises and more.
  • Technical skills & support – I can also support associates with technical aspects of disseminating learning online with support of skill flex advising on: Mahara portfolio design & development, website design, using other IT tools recognised by Gaia U e.g. prezis, Skype and so forth.
  • Supporting action learning – My main passion is embracing action learning cycles to support associates to make the most of their Gaia U investments and to enable associates to capture learning from their life and projects.

Costs & Exchange

  • IMG_3516All Diploma in Applied Permaculture Design Tutors are paid a standard freelance rate of £30. This seem likes a lot, but also covers our admin time before and after tutorials.
  • Gaia University advising sessions are inclusive to your program fees. If you have used up your advising budget, you can purchase extra sessions for $23 per hour.
  • For Independent Learning support sessions (one-to-one Skype sessions), I offer a sliding scale rate of £25 – £40 per hour. This includes admin before and after our session, such as collating resources for you. Discounts are available for block-booked sessions, for example, a minimum of four for £80.
  • I am open to energy exchanges and alternatives to financial remuneration. You can see my Wish list here. Drop me an email with your ideas and needs.

Any further Qs?

Email me at education@emptycagesdesign.org