The Permaculture Podcast

    Episode 1321: David Holmgren on Permaculture: An Interview.

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    My guest for this episode is David Holmgren, one of the co-originators of Permaculture, and author of some of the fundamental books on this subject including Permaculture One and Permaculture: Principles and Pathways beyond Sustainability.

    I wanted to talk to David because of my curiosity. His contributions to this field are many, but what I knew of him and his work was a mystery. Rather than continue on with conjecture, why not talk to him? From conversations with the listeners and other practitioners I knew there was a desire to know more about David; To hear his own words, in his own voice.

    During this conversation we talk about the early days of permaculture, his development with Bill Mollison of the core concepts, as well as his work over the years through each of three waves of environmentalism he identifies: the limits of resources in the 1970s, the limits of what we can put into the environment during the 1980s and 90s, and the convergence of these two ideas over the last decade or so. The last portion of the interview is about how to continue to grow permaculture, which took a direction that, initially, surprised me.

    David Holmgren
    Permaculture Principles

    Novel Ecosystems
    Introduction (Wiki)
    Novel Ecosystems: Theoretical and Management Aspects of the New Ecological World Order (PDF)
    Perspective: Is Everything A Novel Ecosystem? (PDF)

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    3 Pings/Trackbacks

    1. […] can listen to the podcast at David Holmgren on Permaculture: an interview¬†on the Permaculture […]

    2. Gil PalmerGil Palmer
      April 18, 2013    

      Very well-done, valuable interview, Scott. I especially appreciate the way you allowed your guest to develop his answers without interruption, which seems to be a hallmark of your interviewing technique in general.

      If you get David back again, I hope you have the opportunity to ask him some of the more “juicy” questions, like what his relationship is with Bill Mollison these days, what made him turn away from the PRI umbrella, if that is accurate, and how he views the “heir apparent,” Geoff Lawton, and whether there is any friction there. In one of Geoff’s interviews on the PRI website, someone asks him about the role of David and he gives a rather vague answer, suggesting a separation between the founding of permaculture and permaculture as an ongoing movement. It leads me to wonder if there isn’t more there under the surface that might be of interest to your audience.

      Thank you for the wonderful food for thought that you sustain us with by your podcast.

      Gil Palmer

    3. […] recently listened to an interview with David Holmgren by Scott Mann ( where David states his view that we need more (and more) on the ground demonstration sites which […]

    4. Joshua MsikaJoshua Msika
      October 9, 2013    

      Hi Scott,

      Thanks so much for having posted this interview: your personal contribution to the wider permaculture movement – perfectly in the spirit of David’s last answer.

      I have found David’s thinking and writing to be very coherent and well-thought out and very amenable to application in the academic work I’m doing as a student of Sustainable Development at the University of St Andrews in Scotland.

    5. January 11, 2016    

      I’m coming to this party late but you really helped me understand the role and thinking of David Holmgren. Thank you!

      • January 12, 2016    

        Speaking with David was one of the first transformations in my thinking about the role of permaculture to bring about change, and how there is more to creating sustainable human systems than any single system or component. This work is holistic and requires not only the permaculture designers and teachers we expect, but also permaculture engineers, scientists, leaders, managers, homemakers, planners, coordinators, janitors, mechanics, builders, plumbers, and all the other occupations imaginable operating in parallel to the society that currently exists.

    6. […] Timothy Lee Scott , author of Invasive Plant Medicine Tao Orion ¬†(Her Facebook Page) 1535 – Beyond the War on Invasive Species , my interview with Tao. 1321 – David Homgren on Permaculture. An Interview. […]

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