Robyn Francis Interview-Pt1 May 2015

Robyn Francis Interview Pt2 May2015

NEWS:Albert Bates is going to teach the PDC with Robin Francis

Albert Bates is going to join and teach the PDC together with Robyn Francis in Bulgaria! Albert Kealiinui Bates is an influential figure in the intentional community and ecovillage movements. A lawyer, author and teacher, he has been director of the Global Village Institute for Appropriate Technology [1] since 1984 and of the Ecovillage Training Center at The Farm in Summertown, Tennessee since 1994. Bates has been a resident of The Farm since 1972. A former attorney, he argued environmental and civil rights cases before the U.S. Supreme Court and drafted a number of legislative Acts during a 26-year legal career.


The Permaculture Design Course with Robyn Francis is a life-transforming experience. As one of permaculture’s most experienced teachers, and mentored by Bill Mollison in her early permaculture career, she has developed one of the most in-depth and comprehensive PDCs on offer, kept up-to-date with recent innovations in sustainability, earth science and social movements. As a teacher she draws from an exceptional wealth of personal experience in aspects of permaculture practice, from food production and land management through to social systems and ecovillage design, and includes many years of direct experience with sustainable traditional systems in Europe and Asia.

As an educator, Robyn Francis moves comfortably through a diverse range of teaching tools and methods including thought-provoking presentations, skilfully facilitated interactive processes and creative group activities, song and energisers. Her commitment to empowering people with the skills and knowledge to be effective agents of change pervades her work.

The PDC commences with a journey into essential earth-systems and climate science to deepen our understanding of the earth so we can work more effectively with nature’s processes and adapt to our changing climate system. The main section of course explores the many ways permaculture principles and methods can be applied in design for productive ecosystems and human environments, and the final part of the course focuses on social permaculture systems and building resilient communities.

Some of permaculture’s leading teachers have studied withRobyn Francis, including Rosemary Morrow and Geoff Lawton. Her graduates are doing exceptional work on all continents of the world.


Introduction to PDC

The course is oriented towards:

  • students, Masters, PhD candidates and lecturers from high school levels, specialized in educational programmes with agricultural and ecological purposes, but is also open to all kind of specialities of the higher education;
  • farmers with interests in natural, sustainable, biological and ecological agriculture;
  • new penetrators in the agriculture and gardening;
  • representatives of NGOs and community organizations.

The course is focused in permanent agriculture and sustainability, landscape systems design, preserving and rebuilding of soil and biodiversity, forests, animal systems and aquaculture, bioregions, legal and economic systems, urban agriculture, eco-communities and transition.

After successful graduation of the Course the attendees will be granted with Certificates from the Permaculture College Australia.The course combines in-class and outdoors sessions (lectures, workshops, presentations with discussions), as well as interest visits to sites in the local community and farms on permaculture principles, also taking a first-hand look at the local traditions.

The training will be conducted within 16 calendar days with 2 days-off during the course.
Plus an arrival day and a departure day. A total of 18 days.
The duration of the daily training is from 9.00-17.30.

Arrival for the course before lunchtime on the 2nd of August, 2015 – depart in the morning of the 19th of August, 2015.



Day 1

  • Intro’s.
  • Creative Problem Solving,
  • Permaculture & Sustainability

Day 2

  • Patterns in Culture,
  • Patterns in Nature,
  • Permaculture ethics and principles

Day 3

  • Landform reading,
  • water in Landscape,
  • Water collection & conservation,
  • Earthworks

Day 4

  • Soil, soil food web, soil ecology,
  • Forests and biospheric functions, microclimates

Day 5

  • Global climate system,
  • Biomes,
  • Climates: Temperate, Tropical, Arid,
  • Minor landscapes

Day 6

  • Patterns in Design,
  • Design Methodology,
  • Site analysis,
  • Client briefs

Day 7

  • Appropriate Technology,
  • Passive solar house design,
  • Edible landscape & home garden design

Day 8

  • Orchards and food forests, main crops

Day 9

  • Animal systems,
  • Aquaculture,
  • Bees

Day 10

  • Zone IV and V systems,
  • Integrated pest & weed management
  • Design for disaster

Day 11

  • Bioregions,
  • Legal and Economic systems,
  • Design Project

Day 12

  • Patterns in Human Settlements,
  • Ecovillages,
  • Design Project

Day 13

  • Urban, community
  • Gardens & Transition,
  • Design Project

Day 14

  • Design Presentations,
  • Working in Permaculture,
  • Course Feedback



Profound interestand/orpractical experiencein ecological agriculture, ecology and sustainable development.
Very good knowledge of the English language(only an English-Bulgarian translation will be offered).


Graduates of the course receive a Permaculture Design Course certificate from Permaculture College Australia.

Student Handbook



Robyn FrancisLead teacher: Robyn Francis

Award-winning international permaculture pioneer, designer, educator, presenter and innovator, Robyn Francis is the  course's principal tutor. She draws on 25 years of international permaculture expertise. Robyn was founding director of Permaculture International Ltd. She was a member of the Australian National Reference Group which developed the Accredited Permaculture Training™ (APT).

Since completing her PDC in 1983, Robyn Francis has worked in Australia, New Zealand, India, Indonesia, Cuba, France, China, Malaysia and USA on diverse projects including domestic and public edible landscapes, ecological restoration, landuse planning, urban & rural ecovillage design, regional & social planning, community development & facilitation, with government and corporate clients, NGO’s, community groups, indigenous communities and private clients.
Robyn has taught over 150 PDC’s, over 100 post PDC advanced courses, 8 years of full-time APT training plus countless workshops, and lectures making her the world's leading permaculture’s and most experienced educator and trainer.


The courses will be conducted in a mountain rural complex with covered healthy local food (options for choosing between vegetarian/vegan and, or meat).
It will include3 healthy meals per day with 2 more coffee/tea pauses.

In the total fee for the courses for the whole period of the trainings all food and accommodation is included.

The venue of the courses will be in the rural guest houses Deshka in the village Gorno Draglishte. It is situated 13 km northern from the town Razlog and 15 km from the tourist mountain resort Bansko.It is also not far from the village Bania, famous with its mineral waters. Gorn oDraglishte is in the foot of Rilamountain and is surrounded from two more mountains – Pirin and Rodopi. Eco-paths are starting from the village with options for engaging of educated guides. For second year the owners of the house Deshka are awarded with the prize for “Keeping of traditions”, granted from the Association for development of the Arts and Crafts in Bulgaria.

The rural houses, where the venue of the courses will be, are cozy furnished with double, triple and one room for five people with bath/toilets /self-contained or one common on the floor/, seminar room, veranda, summer garden, kitchen and museum.


Travel Advisory

Google Map:

After the list of the applicants is completed, the information about logistic will be sent via email to the chosen candidates.

For foreign attendees it is necessary to dispose with enough covering of a medical insurance for stay and travelling in Bulgaria in case of medical incidents. The country is secured with high-level hospitals in case of need, but a medical insurance is necessary for covering the costs.


The courses will be conducted in a mountain rural complex including healthy local food (options for choosing between vegetarian/vegan and/or meat). It will include three healthy meals per day and two coffee/tea breaks.

In the total fee for the courses for the whole period of the trainings all food and accommodation is included.

The attendance fee for Course I – Permaculture Design Course amounts to 975 (nine hundred and seventy five) Euro.
The accommodation and food fee for Course I amounts to 255 Euro (two hundred and fifty five) Euro.A total of 1230 Euros.

There will be a discount in enrollment for both courses - € 110 for PDC and 80 euros TTC - or 190 euros for two courses, if a participant record and two courses one after another.

If an attendee is registering for both courses from the Summer Programme, an extra fee of one more night for accommodation and food in the amount of 15 (fifteen) Euro in case of needing to be accommodated in the rural houses Deshkaduring the one free-day between the two courses.

Not included in the fees are:
Costs for issuing of visas and medical/transport insurances, as well as transport to Bulgaria for foreign attendees;
Transport costs within Bulgaria to the venue of the courses;
Additional initiatives and excursions in the free-time outside of the planned cultural programme within the Summer Programme.

The goal of conducting the courses is not creating a surplus, but spreading the ideas of the permanent agriculture/permanent culture concept to wider groups.


For attendees in the courses with a local residence in Bulgaria, Permaculture College of Europe could offеr a limited number of stipends in the amount between 43% and 72% from the attendance fee depending from the number of registered attendees and the additional opportunities of a sponsorship. The applicants will be informed via email about the opportunities of a stipend support.

All attendees in the courses could research in advance the opportunities for a stipend support in the line of the exchange programmes like Erasmus+, CEEPUS and other possibilities in their local universities in connection to their participation in the Summer School.

Please, note that those interested in stipends from their local universities should apply for that separately and in parallel to the current application to the particular donor/programme of their universities.

Registration and Payment

Application deadline: 31 May 2015

The interested candidates should fill in the application form and present the required documents (listed in the application form) by 31 of May 2015 to the following e-mail address: The applicants will be notified of participant selection results by 15th of June, 2015, and should confirm their participation by 25th of June 2015. Course attendance and accommodation/food fee payments are due (partial) by 30-th of June, 2015 (payment details will be provided upon receipt of confirmation of participation in the course/s).

Application form in MS Word format.

Please, note that those interested in stipends from their local universities should apply for that separately and in parallel to the current application to the particular donor/programme of their universities.

All kind of questions about the courses and the application procedures for the Summer School should be addressed to: Donka Radeva-Decheva,
tel.: +359 889 342 901.


Organisers & Contact Info

Permaculture College of Europe University of National and World Economy Sofia

Convenor of the Summer School
Donka Radeva-Decheva

Department Economics of Natural Resources
University of National and World Economy
Student town
1700 Sofia
Tel.: +359 889 342 901
Fax: +359 2 81 95 315

August 2nd, 2015 12:00 AM   to   August 19th, 2015 12:00 AM
Gorno Draglishte,



donka.radeva @         tel.: +359 889 342 901      fax: +359 2 81 95 315

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