Three board members share why they joined PINA and what they hope to achieve.
I have been lead teaching the PDC in Houston for 20 years and teaching in PDCs for almost 30. My 1977 doctorate is in a related field and I read my first permaculture book the next year. Houston is the nation’s 4th biggest city and until recently, had not felt a need or ability to organize the effort beyond Southeast Texas. The problem is that this wonderful and powerful set of design ethics and principles has nowhere near the population spread it needs to have to help take humanity much further. In particular, we have not yet found a way to help the 150 or so PDC graduates here to get further training, or to provide them opportunities to become more effective. I have helped start three other non-profits that are decades old, so know a bit about the power of getting skilled, dedicated people to work together. PINA offers this hope. A network from across the continent can share ideas and resources to build a design that provides standards, skills education, trade advice, publicity, and networking so that students who have gained the PDC have much better options. When I heard about PINA at NAPC 1, I joined and when they asked me to joint the board, I made the time. And I’m glad I did.
I have long felt that a professional organization to support working permaculture designers and educators could be of great benefit. There are many ways such an organization can be valuable. It can provide resources to help students become professional, it can raise the profile of permaculture as a professional design methodology, it can facilitate beneficial connections within our community, it can help professionals and students gain deeper skill sets, it can advocate for our interests, it can promote those who have attained competency, it can aid in maintaining high standards of professionalism among those practicing permaculture design for a living. My primary motivation in joining the Board was to help this organization deepen and broaden its mission to serve professionals and to help those who desire to be professional to attain that goal. And the reason I feel this is important is because permaculture design has so very many answers to problems that seem overwhelming without whole systems solutions. And we need to scale up, deepen our skills, sharpen our tools, and have full access to all echelons where these solutions are needed.
Many of us have experienced opportunities to volunteer or otherwise support worthy organizations and projects – sometimes an overwhelming number. This one resonated with me because it is a leverage point for change, on a Continental level. It is a real privilege to assist in providing a channel for designers to become professionals, and to provide support to existing professionals.
I joined PINA as a member before I joined the board. I knew it was a new organization with membership benefits still under development. But I feel that the potential future benefit is so important, and membership fee so reasonable, that it is well worth the investment of both my time and funds. PINA will grow and reach its potential to the degree those of us who see that potential support it, in whatever way we can.
I followed Jude Hobb’s email discussion leading up to PINA from 2009 for several years. I have enormous respect for her capabilities as a teacher, her integrity, and her leadership. When she asked me to join the Board, I said yes. I realized that through doing what I cared about for long enough, I had become a movement leader, and that I and several score of my colleagues held knowledge that was invaluable, was at risk because we were aging and dying, and needed to be conveyed effectively to new generations of designers and teachers. I also saw that if the movement elders didn’t seize this moment to create PINA and structure permaculture’s impact on society, there would be no useful legacy, only a fancy word that would become more and more meaningless with time