Page admin: ideally each conference to have own sub-page here with all documents in case links disappear.   we're offering Permis for this work

IPCs = International PermaCulture Convergences

THANKS A LOT to Tony and Robyn in getting this info together.  Stella interviewed them at IPC8 then rectified the transcript of the interview with Tony, & writes this:

The ROOTS of our movement are important, in order to understand who we are, where we come from, and so where we are likely to go, as a movement.

 I think it's very important for the PC Network, and in particular for the newer generations that we are all empowered with accurate information about the PermaCulture movement, so we know our past, and don't go repeating errors in the future (hopefully).

 Here we'll be collating 23 YEARS OF HISTORY OF IPCs, not the sum-total of our history but an important collective-decision-making part.

PLEASE PARTICIPATE: if you know of additional information, wanto make corrections (make them openly - feel free to disagree, just don't erase other's views!).

1984 - IPC1 in Australia & Tasmania

This very first convergence was disrupted by a half a dozen people who didn't know what permaculture was and kept interrupting & asking things like "what is a swale",  etc. and so it was decided there (& unanimously agreed minus the 6 disruptors) that the Conferences would be open to all, but the Convergences be just for practicing peer permaculturists for sharing experiences, develop policy and strategies.   At this convergence were made the decisions regarding the content of  the PDC ....

   * * (Robyn sending Journal articles with more detail)    >> if you have more detail plse send to 

1986 - IPC2 in California, Berkley, Seattle 

& Evergreen College



 details if you have them plse send

1989 - IPC3 in New Zealand

organized by Steve Hart in a style later imortalized as Kiwi Planning ...

At this conference the definition of PermaCulture officially changed from Permanent Agriculture to Permanent Culture, Urban PermaCulture & Bioregionalism was added to the PDC curriculum.   It was also decided to have the sequence of Conferences in Nepal, Copenhagen & South Africa.

The Kiwi Planning consisted in having the bus driver saying "I want my money first" when people got on the bus, then finding out, on the second day, that Lea & Bill, as teachers of the course, hadn't received payment and had had to pay for their own travel there ... so a hat was passed around.

The Convergence was held on Canterbury planes, a horrible place totally deforested by sheep .. there was only a small gulley with trees with a boy scouts camp.  We had a vegan & only-eat-local cook who every day would go up & down the gulley collecting for their salads.  After the second day we said we need some protein & went to the town and brought a big sausage, some fish, poultry and beans & peas.  We said to the  cook we'll prepare the meat ourselves but could he cook the beans ...  to which he replied "I'm leaving".  Eventually he agreed to stay if we cooked the meat in a totally different place ... and so we did.

Amongst others, there was Lea Harrison, Max Lindegger, 3 Danes and Bill Mollison, who talked day & night with a cigarette and a beer in his hands.   Max wanted to present Bill with a certificate of Professor in PermaCulture.   Also present was Chris Evans & Badri Dahal .. who went  on to organize the next IPC ...   The conference was held in Auckland and the Course at Waihiki Island

1991 - IPC4 in Nepal

Here bioregionalism was firmly restated as important to the PDC curriculum because some disaster had just happened and the local PC response had been to plant watershed management trees to protect from flooding.

It was organised by Insan / badri Dahal with support from ChrisEwans, Jajarkot Project

The Convergence was held in a new developed Permaculture educational centre in Baretnigar in eastern part of Nepal (supported by the Australian and Danish 3. world aid organisations)      

This convergence was the manifestation of the strategic long time planning of the Nepali Permaculture development.

What other points came out of this one?

Due to lack of administrative and practical capacity at the Permaculture Institute in Tyalgum was it decided that the international Permaculture network could be structured by a Permaculture Guild consistent of Diplomaholders and administered from a secretariat in England and locally from gatherings of Diplomaholders.

After an international furore in the Permaculture network was it decided to lay it down.

But it was the start of deciding about some decentralization of the network.

The Conference was held in an international hotel in Kathmandu where all got a stomach infection. Here did the beginning of the global environmental catastrophes show up and which for the first time led to the statement of the 10.000 trees pr. person for coping with the climate change.


1993 - IPC5 in Scandinavia

Course in Norway, then a boat trip to Sweden (Gerlesborg) for the  Convergence, then a bus trip through Denmark to Copenhagen for the Conference.   

Many people have said this was the best conference ever, because a  Great number and variety of people were able to attend thanks to  funding from Danida (a Danish govt. aid organization) which at that time financed many third world PCers.

There were about 400 people at the Conference, about 120 at the Convergence, and lots of people from the 3rd world.

Bill was at the Conference in Copenhagen and accepted the principle of decentralizing of the PC network as the numbers had created difficulties in the centralized system of issuing diplomas.   So he officially delegated authority to issue diplomas to Scott for the USA, Declan & Tony for Europe, Ali for Latin America.   Tony never used this authority personally but set up the Convergence model for diplomats, and Ali never used it, feeling that people wanted Bill's signature on their diplomas.

There are a report, a paperback of 137 pages in Tonys office in Copenhagen

1996 - IPC6 in Perth

All the presentations documentation can be found here

After the Scandinavian IPC did The South Africans expressed difficulty in thinking of the next IPC there for political instability situation reasons.  So Pat Dare, a great peacekeeper and organizer, took the responsibility.

this was done in the order of Conference, Tour, Convergence (??course??)

There were lots of hippies at this convergence .. Skye proposed having the next IPC in Mexico .. the South Africans got very pissed off, as the first time they had said they weren't ready to hold the convergence  in their country, but this time they really had done the planning.   Relationships broke, the South Africans went home saying they didn't want anything to do with them.

There were also internal politics issues in the Mexico PC community, so  the next conference never happened as planned there either.

Then there was a large gap... after Mexico said they couldn't host it,  Argentina volunteered but they asked that Tony do the fundraising... so  then New Zeland was tried as an option .. but wasn't viable.

2005 - IPC7 in Motovun, Croatia

Archives here, final report here > IPC7finalREPORT.rtf

Eventually it was tried to do it in Europe.. and Croatia was choosen because there were a academic professional group there, around Marija de Heffer Lauch. This group brook down a year before the event was planned, due to all academically excuses (Marija had a lecture about that at the conference about how unreliable academics are, its in their brains).   But Marija knew a  young group from the anti-war movement (which included Marijana) ... who hadnít done a PDC, so Tony went there and offered them one .. and  from this rose the organizational committee .. and within one year they put IPC7 together.  

The young group organized the transport side from Zagreb, Marija's father was an organic agriculture team inspector in Croatia and Vlasta was the one in Istria. She was in charge of organizing the accommodation side of things.  Tony couldnít get hold of her and up to the last minute, neither by email or phone, so he got on a plane ... and she was organizing... but the hotel & venue asked for an upfront payment of 15,000 dollars and they had to pay this or the  whole event was off.    So Tony phoned his bank and was able to get this loan (important, as Ali also found out, to have good relationships with the bankers, in order to get these events off the ground).

Important that there are long-term agreements at these events, and also that there is some financial support from the community, eg. in Scandinavia have the PC associations decided that 5% of all course inscription charges and 10% of membership fees go to an IPC fund.

In lots of permaculture events, it is common that many people who sign up never show up, but also that many who don't sign up, then show up.   At this event many less people came than was thought.  This was also due to a great boicott within two months of the event, in which Max Lindegger denounced the PC movement in the PC Activist, saying that people should join GEN (Global Ecovillage Network).

And on the events itself there were a harsh criticism from 4 or 5 younger people about everything: the accomodation, the food, the concept of Permaculture and the lack of international organisation.   Tony was left with a deficit of 3,000 euroes.

The main purpose of IPC 7 was to get the IPCs running again to keep the global understanding and the special coherent genuinity of Permaculture running again: more needed than ever.

There are a report attached from the events, that shows how the communal global understanding was on the edge to brake down.

2007 - IPC8 in Brasil

see IPC8

Conference in SaoPaulo, Course in between 3 Favelas, Convergence in IPEC, Pirenopolis

after this the conferences are well documented..

Archives in ipcon.org

2009 - IPC9 in Africa


also see http://www.ipcon.org

very good page of the Open Space presentations here

2010 - PC10 in Jordania.  

With live-streaming for the first time ...

see IPC10

Many of us who have found International Conferences difficult to get to for many reasons, hope this next conference will be a quantum-leap in inclusion and interesting participatory democracy designs

Permaculture from the Beginning

by Max Lindegger

"Permaculture from the Beginning, A Short History of International Permaculture Conference/Convergences" starting early 1980's 

We made a wonderful discovery when looking at past International Permaculture Conference/Materials materials in our files, 

Included below is an article called "Permaculture from the Beginning, A Short History of Permaculture Conference/Convergences" part of the IPC7 Newsletter that was sent out to those planning on attending IPC7 in Croatia in 2005.   It is written by Max Lindegger, who notes how momentous this IPC was, since it was the first one convened in 9 years. 

We thought how valuable it would be to have all past convenors share their experiences of organizing. 

We have only been attending since 2005, and have observed that with usually between 40-50 countries and cultures represented, with all our languages, cultural cues and ways of expressing ourselves, all coming together for one short week (4-5 days) wow, it's a wonder it works at all. But like any human family, it has days of near melt down, that usually rounds itself off to a sweet place of accomplishment, many friends and connections made, projects from around the world shared, and a reality of a very connected world that we have a positive chance of influencing through permaculture. 

Margie Bushman
Santa Barbara Permaculture Network 


IPC7 2005Croatia as planned and organized in cooperation with the Croatian, Slovenian & Danish Associations/European Permaculture Institute (strong assist from Tony Andersen)

IPC8 2007 Brasil Ali Sharif Permacultura America Latina 

IPC9 2009 Malawi

IPC10 2011 Jordan 

From IPC7 Newsletter (Croatia, 2005)
Permaculture From the Beginning:
a short history of permaculture conference/convergences by Max Lindegger

I was invitcd by Bill Mollison in 1979 to participate at the first Permaculture course which was held at Bill's home in Tasmania. Australia. The course was an obvious success, and a second course was offered to a largcr group in Buchan (Victoria. Australia). I decided to participate again, and joined that second course. If memory serves me correctly, Bill suggested that this would be it - all done and over. None of us could have predicted at the time that Permaculture would take off worldwide.
Lea Harrison, Tony Gilfedder, the late Rill Peak and myself organised the 3rd ever Permaculture course.
This was held in Nambour in Queensland Australia in 1981. At this time I decided to resign from my civil engineering design work and concentrate on Permaculture design and implementation work - and later on ecovillage design.

Over the last 22 years since then, the work has taken me from Argentina to Portuguese Macau, and from Slovenia to Alabama USA - and many cultures in between. 1 have attended all the International Permaculture Conferences, I have seen Permaculture magazines come and go, and I have experienced the highs and lows of Permaculture.

The 1st Permaculture Conference/Convergence was held in the early 1980's, at Rowlands, in New South Wales Australia. 
It was held during a growth period of Permaculture, and when we till all pretty well knew each other. Like all the Conferences which followed, the Rowlands Conference/Covergence was organized by dedicated volunteers. I can remember travelling down to NSW (I was then living at Nambour, north of Brisbane) with Lea Harrison for a pre-planning meeting.

The 2nd Permaculture Conference /Convergence was held at Breitenbush Hot Springs & Olympia in the NW of the USA in 1986. Hundrcds of participants turned up. Was this the peak of Permaculture?
Pernaculture was still new to the USA - was this the reason so many came? I can remember up to 5 presentations being made at the same time, and having to make choices between absolutely top brass presenters. I remember Bill Mollison at his elegant best, Wes Jackson from the Land Institute, and of course Fukuoka-san, who was introduced to us by Larry Korn. Will I ever forget the quiet early morning hour with Fukuoka-san in the hot spring, discussing the potential of natural farming in the West?

1988 brought the 3rd Permaculture Conference/Convergence Christchurch (New Zealand),
and an opportunity for me to catch up with the Scandinavian contingent I had met when teaching
Pemaculture courses in Norway, Denmark and Sweden. Permaculture had become quite 'settled' by then, the family grown and a new generation of graduates were making their mark. I think it was around that time that some of us realised that Permaculture had to move into the mainstream, become 'organised', more professional. But many worried that we could lose Permaculture's important grass-roots connection.

The 4th Permaculture Conference/Convergence1991, held in Nepal, was the first time the gathering moved to the global South. When we arrived in Biratnagar, our luggage was picked up at the airport and we walked to the newly developed site - where we dug the holes for the latrines. While a number of us had already been working in countries of the global South, for others the food, the sounds, the basic amenities, were all new, exciting and exotic. The strong English delegation spoke convincingly of the need for self-education, organisation. and the founding of a Guild. As we now know, it all turned out differently. I still believe the time was right, but maybe the ideas were not communicated well enough. This was before the internet revolution- in today's email world, could it have worked?

By 1993 and the 5th Permaculture Conference/Convergence, Scandinavia had become a
strong focus for Permaculture. The Conference/Convergence was held in Copenhagen, Denmark and Gerlesborg, Sweden, and the preconference courses and tours were a great success. The Danes - fantastic organizers and fundraisers - were able to collect enough money to sponsor participants from poorer countries. It did give the conference very International and all-inclusive atmosphere. Bill Mollison was, back on deck - convincing full of urgency and anger. Many, many old and new friendships were strengthened and connections made. The Conference was professional and held in comfortable surroundings, was very businesslike. The question was, could we carry the momentum out into the world?

The 6th Permaculture Conference/Convergence in Perth, Australia in I996 felt like a village, and indeed the team from the Global Ecovillage Network were present in full force. 'To me it was this conference, more than any before it, which illustrated the important part Permaculture could play in so many of the planning disciplines. David Holmgren was there and Bill Mollison seemed slowly to be becoming comfortable at being the Permaculture Elder. But Permaculture also showed some 'cracks'.
Permaculture, at least in Australia, had its detractors. There was a growing demand for Permaculture to become more scientific, produce the facts, the proof.

There must be a reason why there hasn't been an International Permaculture Conference for so many years. Is it because just about every organizational team suffered from post-conference burnout? Because the organizational load and financial responsibility for each conference fell on too few shoulders?

I have attended smaller, regional conferences in Australia, Scandinavia and the Balkan,, and I have seen energy and interest in Permaculture ebb and flow. I am excited to we that Tony Andersen and his team are making ~ the effort to bring us together again. I detect new drive and energy. David Holmgren's recent book has been inspiring. Permaculturalists around the world are working on impressive and important projects. Let's network and learn from each other again.
Let the Pernaculture History continue...
Max Lindegger , is a mechanical and civil engineering designer by training a qualified Permaculture designer since 1981, have worked on the design and/or implementation of over 750 ecological properties, including the UN Habitat Award winning Crystal Waters Permaculture Village and works as consultant on the development of ecological town subdivisions and villages throughout the world He is the Regional Co-ordinator of Global Eco-village Network (Oceania/Asia) Inc and teaches courses on ecological sustainability, eco-village design and Permaculture. To date he has provided his expertise in over 35 countries around the world. Max holds a Permaculture Diploma (first issue) and was awarded the first Permaculture Community Service Award in 1985. He has recently been awarded the Prime Minister's Centenary Medal for distinguished Achievement in the field of developing sustainable communities.

If you don't feel confident with editing here direct, or wanto talk about this, you can talk here:


Only members of the Chaordic Institute: free to join, just take the trouble of putting up your profile here please, so we can know you more personally, thanks!

Subpages (1): IPC8