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Annex 2: A Permaculture Design for the International Permaculture CoLab User Guide

Purpose of the design

We want to create a user guide that:

  • compiles critical information about the CoLab that is currently

    • dispersed over multiple locations

    • not documented

  • make more visible the structures, policies and services we have in place to support members

  • encourage reflection on what is and how it could be made better

Possible elements / sections for the user guide and functions taking into account applied permaculture ethics and principles

Permaculture Ethics / principles



Integrate rather than segregate – David Holmgren

Catch and store energy – David Holmgren

Use edges and value the marginal – David Holmgren

Purpose of the User Guide

Use Inclusive Language

Be clear to people reading the document as to the context and the content they will find in the user guide – informational

Set the tone for the rest of the document.

Attention to: more simple English and gender in the translated versions.

Design from patterns to details – David Holmgren

Produce no waste – David Holmgren

What is the CoLab: The balance between autonomy and coherence



CoLab governance model:

Communicate clearly what the CoLab is

Explaining how CoLab groups work and where lies their autonomy within the ecosystem

Observe and Interact – David Holmgren

What does the CoLab do:

Get to know current projects:

Circles: - is being rewritten

Communicate clearly what the CoLab does and where to find further information about what are the current activities within the CoLab

The CoLab onboarding journey:

Joining an existing work group / circle / project / micro-enterprise

Creating a new working group / circle / project / micro-enterprise

Composting groups

Communicate how a person can become a member

how and where to get involved

how to create new groups

how to wind down groups after they have finished their work or become inactive over time

Fair share

Earth Care

People Care

Use small and slow solutions – David Homgren

Use and value renewable resources and services – David Holmgren

Support and Services

Tools available to working groups / circles / projects

Additional Services

Communicate clearly what services and support is offered as a part of the CoLab membership

Catch and store energy – David Holmgren

Use and value diversity – David Homgren

Benefits and responsibilities of CoLab members


Funding Opportunities:

Code of Conduct

Adhoc policies for grants eg Community Accountability Policy

Outline briefly what are the benefits and responsibilities of being a CoLab member. Informational, invitational, reflective.

Communications inside and outside the CoLab

slack management

social media links

mailing lists

contact email

Outline briefly how communication work and how to responsibly use them. Informational and invitational


Outline how feedback is not only welcome but invited, who will review it giving a clear way to submit it.