People and Permaculture facilitator training

exploring in a treeWhen: 19th-29th September  2017 plus a continued year long support programme

Where: Applewood Permaculture Centre, Herefordshire UK

Facilitators: Looby Macnamara and Peter Cow

Investment: see below

Course Summary: This training will enable us to deepen our personal and social permaculture design skills and offer facilitation, courses and coaching to a wide audience. Course graduates can then apply to become Thriving Ways members.

Language: English

Full Course Details:

This is a unique training encompassing aspects of the ‘People and Permaculture courses and the teacher training course that Looby has been running for the last 10 years.

The training vision statement is

To develop ourselves to be more confident, authentic, creative and effective facilitators, letting our genius shine out.

In a nourishing culture of learning and transformation we will collaboratively develop the theory, practice and profile of personal and social Permaculture.

Our work supports the growth of permaculture ethics in the world by inspiring transformation using Permaculture principles and design.

To help us achieve this vision there will be 2 main strands running through  the course – one the development of ourselves as facilitators, and the other increasing our skills for designing people based systems.

The residential course and the yearlong mentoring is designed to support people in:
*DSCF6970More skilfully using the Design Web and other Social Permaculture tools, for designing, coaching and facilitating
*Developing their own pathway as a facilitator for running trainings and/or for coaching and consulting for individuals and organisations
*Exploring and practicing facilitation tools for use on those pathways (coaching, giving good feedback, presentation skills, holding emotional space, patterns of learning, Zone 00 work, games and energisers, communication skills, right livelihoods, exploring different forms of facilitation…)

People and Permaculture from Gaiacraft on Vimeo.

The training is in 2 phases – a 10 day residential called the Growth phase and then a continued year long developmental time called the Exploratory phase. (this is held virtually over skypes and emails)

The Growth phase covers

Vision – creating designs, clarifying our intentions, dreaming and visioning the future for ourselves and our work, and the wider vision of what is possible with People and permaculture.

Helps – creating community, appreciating our existing skills, increasing our skills

Limits – identifying limits, awareness of our limiting beliefs and how to reframe them, flipping limits into functions of our design

After the residential we head into the Exploratory phase –

Patterns –increasing our systems thinking, completing 3 designs and then moving from the details of these designs into patterns of designs

Ideas – stretching the edges of people centered permaculture with our specialist topics, market research – what do our communities want, ideas for what we can offer

Principles – embedding permaculture principles and design into our thinking and action in all aspects of our lives and work

These phases follow the phases of the design web. At the end of this phase we will be very ready to move into the Productive phase, where we are able to bring offer our work to the world, through courses, coaching, and other facilitation skills. Running our own course is a rite of passage into this Productive phase. We move into integration, action and momentum.

The online yearlong component also adds in being actively connected to a supportive network of other practitioners, 1:1 mentoring, peer to peer mentoring, getting feedback and support on your own people permaculture designs, and apprenticing/shadowing opportunities within the network. It provides continued momentum to springboard participants into a position of offering their skills into the world.

On completion of your portfolio of designs and reflections you will be invited to apply to become a Thriving Ways member.

Developing our facilitation and design skills

To develop as facilitators participants will have the opportunity to gain practice, throughout and will culminate in a microteach activity where they will be given feedback by tutors and peers. course culture

To increase design skills participants will be working on a personal design for themselves as facilitators during the course. As well as receiving support from tutors, they will be giving and receiving peer support on their design process, to simultaneously build their coaching and tutoring skills.

This design will look at how each person can incorporate their existing life skills with permaculture tools to meet the needs within the community they want to teach. We will be starting from a place of recognising that there is a multitude of ways in which we can offer our teachings to the world, rather than learning about how to deliver a specific course. This design will draw out the best ways we can make our own unique contributions.

We will be focusing how to hold the emotional space of the group and how to create a positive learning environment. Participants will be invited to stretch and challenge themselves and move out of their comfort zones to build long lasting confidence.

Beyond the face to face course time we will have in November, there will be ongoing support and mentoring and he requirement to complete some supportive coursework. This year long exploratory phase will include:

The exploratory phase

  • Monthly on-line ‘clinics’ for support and mentoring and sharing of real-life experiences
  • Peer and tutor reviewed design work
  • Reflective journalling
  • Apprenticing
  • Peer to peer coaching
  • 1:1 mentoring

Who is it for?

  • International permaculture teachers wanting to bring more of the personal and social permaculture into their teaching
  • Diploma tutors wanting to provide support for apprentices doing people based designs
  • Existing permaculture teachers looking for professional development in this area
  • People wanting to lead workshops in the various aspects of people and permaculture, such as personal development, group work and community development
  • Diploma apprentices wishing to pursue permaculture teaching who have some teaching experience

Permaculture Empowerment Education from Gaiacraft on Vimeo.

Course prerequisites

  • PDC (essential)
  • Design web experience (essential) – from a course, diploma tutoring, personal mentoring, design team apprenticing etc (please be in contact for more details of how to gain this experience if you don’t already have it)
  • Thriving ways course (desirable)
  • Training of teachers (desirable)
  • Facilitation experience (desirable)
  • Experience and/or training in any aspect of peoplecare (desirable)

self reflection time

Difference between training of teachers course (TOT) and facilitator’s training (FIT)

The Training of Teachers course is aimed at anyone wanting to teach permaculture. The Facilitator Training has arisen from the recognition that there are different skills needed for courses that focus more on the social and personal permaculture. During these courses people deepen into their emotions and the facilitators need to do more emotional holding. The Facilitator Training has a lot of the People and Permaculture tools embedded into it. The FiT course has less focus on the nuts and bolts of running courses and planning sessions and more focus on the how to hold the emotional space for people. We recognise and encourage development of the array of opportunities we can offer as a facilitator including coaching and mentoring. This training will explore some of the more specialised skills needed when taking a group or individual through a process of transformation.

There is value in doing both courses, both will add many tools and experience to your skill set. They can be done in either order.

This course would be valuable for any teacher wanting to expand their creative teaching and facilitation techniques and to develop people and permaculture approaches either within their existing teaching or as separate courses.

The experiential feel of the course:

The course will be lively and interactive on all levels using plenty of diversity in teaching styles. We intend to use the course as a working example of how much can be achieved using accelerated learning techniques.

We will be collaboratively designing aspects of the course using the design web, which will give us serve 3 functions – firstly we will be able to design a course that will cater for everyone’s specific needs. Secondly we will gain first hand experience of designing courses and of using the design web, we will also be working on a pattern level about course design. Thirdly we will be gaining experience of collaboration and working in a group, and this will serve as a community building exercise.

Wenderlynn picking groupwork cardWe aim to empower people to realise their own skills as facilitators and will be using methods for building confidence of the participants throughout.  Participants will have opportunites to lead games and activities throughout the course as well as giving a microteach to put into practice what they have learnt. Participants will also share their designs at the end of the course.

Applewood Permaculture Pioneers from Gaiacraft on Vimeo.

Creative teaching methods and accelerated learning techniques will be used throughout. These include group work, games, kinaesthetic activities, visual aids, observations and activities in nature, music and song.

Our aim is to support participants on their facilitation career beyond this course.


This is a chance of invest in yourself and your right livelihood.

Concessionary rate (4 places available for unemployed, pensioners, students) –  £995

Low income rate (under £15k/year income) – £1295 – early bird £1245

Full rate – £1395 – early bird £1345

Early bird rates are for people booked before June 19th.

Booking and Application Information

We will send you an application form for this training where you can share your motivations for doing this course, and your relevnant skills, trainings and experiences. After we have received this we will respond to let you know whether you have been accepted on to the course within 3 weeks.

To be sent more information and the application form please contact Looby via the contact page or phone on 01584 831195



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