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A. Intro to Integral Permaculture

This is the shortest of the two Beginners' Courses we offer.

Like all of our courses it is an Action-Learning program which means you can start designing from day 1, if you wish.

Note that you can also use the Free Self-Study Courses as a mini-introduction course. 
You can do it on your own, and then if you want to go deeper in the content while you try the resources we make available for our students, enroll in the Introduction Course.

Who is it for

This Course is ideal for people who -
  • want to approach Integral Permaculture for a first time, 
  • or find out what permaculture is about generally, in an easy & direct way, whilst getting to know other permaculture students from all over the world.

It is also ideal for people who are thinking of studying with us, but first want to try & see if this type of action-learning works for them.    

Quick OverView

With 10 especially selected classes you will get a useful general vision of what this sustainability science covers.    Our content-rich multimedia classes are between 1:30 to 2 hours long on average.

You have the use of a personal Blog from which you will be able to show your learning process & get to know & interact with the other students, even starting your design portfolio here if you wish.

During the weekly live group meetings you will be able to clarify doubts, present your designs ... as well as get to know and see presentations of your colleagues' designs.     

You can also take this option in the practical intensive format, in one month > see the GaiaSis Intensives page.

Class Program

You can see the content of each class in detail in our e-book, PermaCultureScience.org

Module 1 - People Care

3 of 10 classes

1.1  Why are we (as humans) so slow in learning about Sustainability?  

Here we will delve into the issues of thinking in a systemic way, Action Learning, how to study more effectively & we look at really understanding what Sustainability is.

Here we explore for the first time the Design Ethics, Directives & Principles & we place them in the wider context of Permaculture. 

1.6  What are 'Models' & why are they so important for Permaculture Designers?  

In this class we study the basic nature of the Scientific Method & it's problems, taking as an example of our difficulties in changing paradigms a rEvolutionary model of the human mind. 

Module 2 - Design Techniques

2 of 10 classes

2.1  What is Design? & Can we Re-Design a whole Society? 

Permaculture is a holistic science based in design & that is not something easy to understand in a society where we are taught (mostly) to follow recipes & copy things, or consume instead of truly create & think for our selves.      In this class we explore why learning to design, from first principles (which we always question) is so vitally important, & we look at what design is all about & how it can be applied at every scale.

How do we apply the fundamental principles to Permaculture Design?
It is easy to design if we are clear about the design principles, but much more difficult to really understand & integrate these principles in our practice.
In this class we go into more depth about the design principles, with lots of examples of each in order to understand them better.

Module 3 - Earth Care

3 of 10 classes

We could say that the destructo-culture, based on industrialized agriculture, carries a basic dysfunction, which is to see the soil as an inanimate thing, a resource to be exploited, & even something that can be seen as 'property' of human beings.
This paradigm has to change because it is at the base of great injustices & of the destruction of the most important base for life on Earth.
In this class we meet the soil as a living being, an organism of enormous complexity & importance, studying how it works in detail, from the microscopic to the global level.
To know soil intimately is fundamental for any sustainable design & to have a direct & vital relationship with this great organism helps us re-connect, physically as well as emotionally, with the Planet.

3.2  How can we Regenerate Soils?

"Deserts are the footprint of civilization", & this means that the most important work we have to do now as conscious human beings is to regenerate the soils that have been lost, & those that have been exploited & de-vitalized all over the planet, especially by agricultural activities.
Fertile soils are very important stores of carbon in the earth, & just with regenerating soils we could halt climate change stabilizing the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere.   It is vital for sustainability that we regenerate & improve the fertility of soils also because they are the support of biodiversity, important stores of water & indeed the base of all land-dwelling life & any civilization.
There are many techniques we can use, & many very inspiring examples of soils regeneration (& so of entire ecosystems) in the world.   In this class we explore several of those.

3.3  What are the Vital Cycles?

Gaia, the great living organism that is Earth, can be understood as a whole made out of millions of vital cycles that interrelate, each one continuously transforming & cycling the elements essential for Life (like oxygen, carbon, nitrogen, etc.) in order for these to be usable in their optimal form for each organism that needs them.

It is our great ignorance of these & other cycles, & of their vital importance for the equilibrium of the whole system, that has brought us to making great design errors, as humanity & as individuals.
In this class we get up to date with an essential aspect of the functioning of our home, the Living Planet & we get familiar with the most fundamental blocks that support the whole of Life.

Module 4 - Energy & EcoTechnology

2 of 10 classes

Climate Change, Petrol Peak & Economic Crisis have been called the 3Es of Collapse: Environmental, Energetic & Economic.    It is important to be well informed about the basic facts & science of these, how they interconnect, their causes & predictable effects.   In this class we look at these issues in some detail, also exploring what cultural & inner meanings are being proposed & that we can make of these crises / opportunities.    What does all this mean for us as integral designers for sustainability?

We could say that the key to the sustainability of any society (or indeed any design) is simply to make optimum use of resources - so this is a very important subject to clarify for ourselves as designers.     In this class we will explore how often, instead of using rational criteria for appropriateness when choosing resources (materials, fuels or technologies), like energy trade-off, we tend to use subjective & superficial criteria, like appearance, fashion & emotional attachments.      This class is about how we can learn to make wiser judgements & choices in these matters.

Like all of our courses it is an Action-Learning program which means your real-life designs will be the focus of our work together & it is based in the Permaculture Designers Manual with important additions from the Integral Sciences.

Resources at Your Disposal

0) Online e-Book - NodoEspiral of the Permaculture Academy is co-creating a great online e-book of resources & materials which follows the structure of the classes of the Integral Permaculture courses that we offer, expanding the information.

the Integral Permaculture Manual


This option has a small range of classes
from this manual: 10 to start with

1) One Month with Us
Taking the online version of the courses means that you do the practical aspects directly in your home & your projects, in your own time, with the support of tutors & colleagues online, & this time we consider appropriate for completing the program without rushing.   If you wish of course you may complete the classes & design assignments in less time.

2) Option of Intensive Practical version
You can do a more intensive version of this course also in one month but with a rhythm of 4hrs of practical work + 2 hours of study, 5 days per week.    
It is recommended to do this version in a place where you don't have other distractions, & you can focus mainly on the course.   If you don't have a place we can help you find it.    
You can see details of this option in the GaiaSis Intensive Practicals page.

3) 10 AudioVisual Classes 
are included in this option.   The classes have a duration of 1:30h to 2:30h which you can see at your own pace (you can stop and resume the recording at any point).   
The first class teaches how to listen to the others in the most effective way possible.    Each class focuses on the essential points of the theory & the majority contain original materials which have not been published yet.   

4) Your Personal Blog 
Each student can reflect on their path & designs, sharing their learning process & interacting with the other students.    
It is a great start for a future design portfolio if you wish to go on with the diploma, & an essential discipline in order to integrate what is taught in class with your practice.   
We emphasize that dialogue & exchange of experiences is one of the most powerful tools of action learning.

5) A 2hr Monthly Meeting with the tutors, where you can put questions, present your designs & share live with the other course members. 

Prices & Enrollment

See Costs of each option in the table below  & a note about Prices & Discounts in the Courses page

Click on the image to zoom in.

All details about how to enroll are on the Enrollment page, & note that you can enroll & start on any of these courses at any time.