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  • Writer's pictureJohn Wages

The 2nd North American Permaculture Convergence

Is scheduled for September 14-18, 2016 at the Solar Living Institute in Hopland, California.

Dear permaculture friends,

It is our pleasure to announce that NAPC II is happening in 2016, from Sept 14-18, at Solar Living Institute in Northern California. .

NAPC II will be held in partnership with the Northern California Permaculture Convergence (NCPC), which will be held concurrently on September 16-18 on the same site. Their 2015 Convergence was a combined effort of the 9th Northern California Permaculture Convergence and the 2nd Northern California Regional Transition Town Conference and was titled “Building Resilient Communities Convergence ”. “This event is bringing together permaculture designers, transition initiative organizers, sustainability enthusiasts, and communities in Northern California, the West Coast, and beyond for a weekend of intensive focus on a common goal: to build resilient communities and to design sustainable communities habitats, in accordance with nature, for humans, plants, animals, our greater bioregion, and the Earth at large.”

Check out their website.

Notice the long list of presenters. 100+ presenters. The videos of their keynote speakers are on the website. NCPC has held their annual event at SLI for several years and is familiar with the site. They had 500 participants in 2015.

The site for NAPC II is the world-renowned Solar Living Institute.

The Solar Living Institute (SLI) has many examples relevant to permaculture especially in energy systems. There is lots to see. The 12-acre property was purchased by SLI in 1994. The barren site had only one tree, no water, and was previously utilized by the California Department of Transportation as a dumping ground for highway rubble. 21 years later the site is a great example of rehabilitation. SLI has hosted many Solstice Celebrations and at its max had 3,000 people on site. Visit their website to learn more. Google Images of Solar Living Institute will give you some idea what the place and infrastructure looks like.

Transition US has agreed to collaborate on this convergence, as has Gaia U. PINA is again interested in participating. Most permaculturists know that Transition Town is a permaculture-based movement and we have much common ground.

The site offers camping and spillover will be at a neighbor’s land. There are a number of motels and hotels at interesting, small Northern California neighboring towns within 20 minutes or so.

The schedule

NAPC will be the focus from Wednesday thru Friday. Working Groups are the primary activity. Focus will be on networking and strategizing for the long haul. We would like to continue the work that was begin at the first NAPC and at IPC in the UK last year, and begin new work as is appropriate. Additionially, we will have a number of other tracks occurring geared toward helping you expand your efforts in the permaculture – whatever those might be.

NCPC starts Friday evening and goes through Saturday and Sunday. NCPC activities focus on workshops, education and festivities. They had 6 stages in 2015 with some of the best music around. NAPC participants can lead and attend workshops, join in the festivities, attend keynotes and all the other NCPC activities. At the same time, NAPC will continue concurrently with scheduling of its own including ongoing meetings of the Working Groups. What the scheduling will be at NAPC II is dependent on what the participants bring to the table. We plan on lots of shoulder events and northern California tours both before the event and after it. Northern California has some of the best, most diverse and most established examples of permaculture in North America and some of the most experienced practitioners. There will be many opportunities for rich edge events that will offer attendees a wide range of opportunity.

We will release more announcements in March about how you can be involved in edge events, as a volunteer, speaker, or other participant. We wanted to get the announcement out now with the dates and location, so people can put it on their calendars.

The ticket price hasn’t been finalized but it will likely be $150 early bird price for NAPC Weds thru Fri and $150 for NCPC portion Fri-Sun. $275 for a combined ticket for all 5 days. There will likely be a small camping fee. Meals are not included in this price. As the event gets closer there will be several price increases. Motels and other lodging options are 20 minutes drive away.

NCPC has put a lot of effort into bringing members of underserved communities to their event and this will carry over to NAPC. The NAPC I working group on Decolonizing permaculture: indigenous peoples, minorities, cultural diversity produced a series of recommendations to take into consideration when planning NAPC II, as did an LGBT working group. All of this should assist us to include a greater diversity of participants this year.

Koreen Brennan and Michael Pilarski are initiating this year’s NAPC event. Both of us were on the NAPC I core team. Of course it will take the efforts of hundreds of us to bring NAPC II into vibrant reality. Other volunteers have come forward to take on various aspects of this event, and we can use additional pc movers & shakers to join the core team. There are some requirements for the core event organizing team. Persons applying for the position should have experience in organizing large events, be dependable, and have good people skills. We’d like to see multi-regional representation and diversity on the core team (as we achieved last time).

We did not have a lengthy public discussion before choosing this venue and time for a number of reasons:

  1. We put out the call for a venue and organizing team for NAPC II on our Facebook site and to some regionals, as well as announcing this at NAPC I. NCPC and Transition US (located in N California) were the only group that came forward with a credible proposal to host NAPC II at their site or offered to help organize it.

  2. The organizers are busy professionals who are doing this in their spare time, largely volunteer. We thus love the idea of collaborating. This is permaculture – using existing energies in the system and cooperating with them to boost yields for everything in the system. It helps that NCPC has a great reputation and has pulled off events comparable to a national event.

  3. This offer came in relatively recently, in late January. There is still plenty of lead time to have a great event – as much time as NAPC I had and more time than NCPC had last year. But time is of the essence if we are to create an event that will serve our community to the greatest degree possible.

  4. Because Northern California has numerous well-done examples of permaculture and well-established, diverse permaculture organizations and networks, it will be a great place for people to explore and learn more about what is possible with permaculture design, so they can up their game in their own area. This is an important component of our mission.

  5. We believe that this event will be a fantastic event that will offer something to everybody and will fulfill the mission of NAPC very well. Part of our mission is to enhance effective collaboration across the movement and we are walking our talk, with this partnership. We hope that we can host the NAPC at other regional events in the future, in a win-win way, if this is of interest to other regionals.

In the ensuing months we will crank up the website, start looking for sponsors, presenters, working group moderators and all sorts of collaborators. How would you like to help?

Michael Pilarski,

Koreen Brennan,

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