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Diploma Pathway Germany

Page history last edited by PBworks 11 years, 2 months ago


Permakultur Akademie®








The usual international agreements between permaculture organizations form the basis of the diploma pathway in Germany: participation in a 72-h-hour-course, minimum two years work on individual projects, two design tutors, 10 design projects. From 1984 until 2002, the Permaculture Association has offered the structure to become a permaculture designer with almost no administrative assistance. Since the founding of the Permaculture Academy in 2002, this basic concept has been extended twice: 1. according to the British system with the help of Andy Langford and the British Academy, 2. according to the work of the German Academy founder Jascha Rohr and a concept team in 2007, using pattern language as a design tool.      



Diploma Pathway


The current education concept of the Permaculture Academy can be briefly described as follows:












Permaculture Design Course (72-h, two weeks)


800 Euro plus acc.+meals


Introduction into the education concept (one week-end)


110 Euro plus acc.+meals (will be credited in case of registration as a student)


Registration with the Academy


Semester starts twice a year in February and August






1188 Euro/year (99 Euro/month)




Online course “self organization competence”, (8-10 modules, once a month)


Due to the common starting point, there are two action learning guilds each year. They meet via internet or telephone once a month and get exercises to support their self organization process, like “how do I organize  my documentation”, or “how do I gain easy access to relevant information” etc. The online-course teacher gets paid directly by the Academy.











1188 Euro/year (99 Euro/month)


Action learning design week-end


Personal meeting of the student group with the focus on “how can I find out about and support my personal way of learning?”


Four design tutorials (two with each tutor)



One tutorial ca. half a day; monthly short reports via mail recommended. The design tutors get paid directly by the Academy.


One or two Academy Weekends


The Academy organizes regular weekends (3-4 per year) for all Academy members and interested people to give the opportunity for  exchange, presentations, tutorials etc.


Interim presentation


To share the project work, train the individual presentation style and get a feedback from the pc-community






1188 Euro/year (99 Euro/month)




Design workshop (one week)


Intensive design workshop to repeat and deepen design methods and principles. Teachers get paid directly by the Academy.


Four design tutorials (two with each tutor)



One tutorial appr. half a day, monthly short reports via mail recommended. The design tutors get paid directly by the Academy.




One or two Academy Weekends



Contribution to the annual project report


About 3 pages text and fotos of individual design projects






100 Euro



Handing in the documentary, final design project and statement of the tutors 6 weeks before the presentation date




Other elements that are not included in the costs:




More learning guild meetings



Subject-specific tutorials



Participation in two subject-specific workshops per year



Practical training (6 weeks)


Can also be split, 6 weeks altogether











The German Permaculture Academy is a “Zweckbetrieb” of the Permaculture Association, which means that it is a business that fulfills the purpose of the charity (environmental education). Furthermore, it is an official project of the UNESCO-World Decade “Education for Sustainable Development” (no money, but good reputation). The Association’s funding is mainly guaranteed by member fees, the Academy has to survive on course and student fees so far. Since the fusion of the two organizations in January 2007, the Association has supported the Academy financially because of low income. Fundraising activities have not yet been successful.





To maintain the infrastructure of Association and Academy, there is the board of the Association with five members who work voluntarily and decentralized from their private homes, and an office for the academy in Berlin which is also run on a voluntary basis by the so-called Academy-Guild. The groups communicate via telephone-conference and try to have regular personal meetings. The activities of both organizations take place all over Germany.



The students have three possibilities to register with the Academy: 1. Regular diploma pathway (min. 2 years, with max. 6 months break), 2. Advanced studies (starting with 2nd year, for those who have done permaculture work already), 3. Fast Track (those who are fully self-organized and have done sufficient permaculture design work can get their diploma in 6 months, accompanied by 2 tutors).





It became clear recently that the new education concept is on the one hand an improvement because it offers a better support for the students’ diploma pathway, but on the other hand it needs continuous and quite intensive care. The Academy work includes course organization, marketing, networking, finances and fundraising, regular communication (email, telephone), internal coordination (students, tutors etc.). Because of the decentralized team structure, communication and work atmosphere can be difficult sometimes.



During summer 2008, we have re-evaluated the organizational design for the Academy, because the former model of paying people on a free-lance basis to run the Academy has lead to financial tightness. Furthermore, the two people who were in charge of all aspects of Academy life had been overworked soon. With the help of John Croft’s “Dragon Dreaming Concept”, we are now trying to find a new way of organizing complex projects.





September 29th, 2008



Vera Hemme


Permaculture Association








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