Executive Director’s Report — Getting Ready for 2020
Peter Bane – December 19, 2019

As 2019 winds to a close, PINA moves nearer to its goal of creating a continental marketplace for permaculture services and goods. We have just launched the latest in a series of web-based facilities to support our members and the permaculture movement. 

Job Kiosk open for new listings

A new Job Kiosk is up and running as a place to list work opportunities, both paid and unpaid. Ranging from notice of short-term events such as work parties and permablitzes right up to paid career positions, listings on the Kiosk may be viewed by anyone visiting the pina.in site, but only PINA members, logged into their accounts, may post a listing or view contact details of listings for paid work. Any graduate of the PDC working or living in North America may join PINA. 

Job Kiosk listings are free to PINA members—a new benefit; we do not accept payment for job listings apart from member fees.

We encourage PINA members to post listings, offer work or learning opportunities, and to return often to view the changing tableaux of Permaculture jobs across North America. 

This year PINA has focused its efforts on building the architecture to support professional development, employment, and right livelihood as we prepare our community to address the challenges of earth repair and climate mitigation. Many of our members and others graduates have been at work for years and decades, laying the foundation for culture repair and ecological restoration, but the need is great and increasing, and we must focus ever more keenly on connecting the disparate parts of our movement to each other. This is the core of PINA’s mission: to make permaculture more visible and effective, and to bear down in healing the world.

Professional Membership and Business Directory on deck

The next months will bring one more major addition to PINA’s structure. Beyond the Job Kiosk and the Calendar, we plan to roll out a marketplace in goods and services offered by our members. PINA will create a new category of Professional Membership, which will carry with it the privilege of listing business services and goods made from or for permaculture systems. Professional Membership will carry the same pre-requisite as Regular Membership — a certificate in Permaculture Design — but will also require that the member be actively working or producing goods in some area of permaculture. Professional Members need not be self-employed; they may work for a consultancy, design firm, or other organization so long as their professional work and any services offered through our Business Directory involve the use or application of permaculture design. All PINA diplomates will be automatically entered in the Professional Member category, which will carry the same membership fee as diplomates presently pay, $60/year.

2019 Contest enters judging phase

The period for submission of contest entries closed December 1st with about a dozen submissions. A panel of judges appointed by PINA’s board will winnow these and announce a list of finalists February 1st. PINA members in good standing by February 28th may vote to award the Contest prizes, $3,500 in Community Development and various smaller awards in Media and Communications. 

Succession in the office

PINA’s Administration is undergoing a transition starting in January. Melanie Mindlin, who has served us admirably since our founding more than seven years ago will begin training her replacement as Administrator, a process we imagine will take several months. The Administrator’s job has grown in complexity along with the organization. 

We are fortunate to have a found a promising and qualified candidate to step into Melanie’s rather large shoes. Elizabeth Lynch, a permaculture teacher and law-office manager from Pittsburgh, will begin working with us in January. 

We are happy to say that Melanie continues to be interested in serving our diploma program and candidates. She will continue to review diploma applications for the Diploma Program Committee, and to work with it to develop and implement policy.

Mobilizing leadership

PINA has been exploring for several months the possibility of hosting a continental gathering in 2020. It now appears this will take place next summer on the Colorado Front Range for several days during the week of August 20th. It will take the form of a leadership and movement organizing summit. PINA plans to reach out to its hub affiliates and to key individuals in all regions with specific organizing requests and invitations. Details will be forthcoming in January at pina.in.

We continue to welcome PINA members with an interest in growing the organization to volunteer for our committees. In particular Membership, Hubs, and Development would all benefit from new ideas and fresh contacts. Veteran permaculture educators could also find a place on the Diploma Program Committee. These committees meet in the second or third weeks of each month by Zoom video conference, providing an opportunity for PINA members to work directly with PINA board and staff. Email me at ed@pina.in for information about joining in PINA’s work.

Growth and purpose

PINA represents an emergent function of a large body, the community of PDC graduates in North America. Having reached a certain mass (50,000 persons) and maturity (40 years), our continental movement holds the potential for much more powerful action at just the time in history when it is urgently needed. But that action is not inevitable, nor can it issue forth without organization and coordination. This is PINA’s role, to which we are directing all our efforts and resources. We believe that PINA can be self-sustaining in its support for education, professional development, and earth and culture repair if it reaches a size approaching 10% of our community. While we have grown from one regional hub to three this year alone, we are a long way from that threshold; to pull the goal forward, more energy is needed. 

PINA has been fortunate to attract the attention of a number of generous individuals whose gifts have amplified the substantial investments made over the past decade by our founders and subsequent directors. This has allowed our vision to come into focus and take form. Members should take pride that they are helping to sustain a facility that strengthens permaculture for all of us. With more members, with more gifts and investments, PINA can advance the day when our movement will strongly influence mainstream action for regeneration.

If you are able, or know others who may be able to donate funds to PINA over and above membership dues, I invite you to contact me. No gift is too small. We work closely with a permaculture charity, Assn. for Regenerative Culture, 501c3, which can extend tax deductible benefits to donors who require them.

PINA’s current board of eight directors hail from across the continent. We want to thank them for their courageous and steadfast efforts to build our commonwealth, and also acknowledge that they stand on the shoulders of those whose efforts went before. 

Blessings to you all:

Monica Ibacache, President
Paula Westmoreland, VP
Bob Randall, Secretary
Darrell Frey, Treasurer
Koreen Brennan
Liora Adler
Andrew Millison
Marco Chung-shu Lam

Our Past Directors:
Jude Hobbs
Wayne Weisman
Peter Bane
Sandy Cruz
Fred Meyer
Penny Livingston
Wesley Roe