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.

Teaching is an art based around facilitating effective learning, inclusive process, balancing fun and challenge in a supportive environment. This course with Robyn Francis is specifically designed for Permaculture teachers, facilitators and community activists working in a range of contexts: transition and community initiatives; providing practical internships; conducting workshops and short courses; developing curricula for community colleges, vocational training and teaching PDCs. Gain confidence and skills to facilitate participatory and experiential processes, energisers, exploratory learning, effective audio visual and presentation techniques, and adjusting communications and program design for different learning situations.

The course covers all aspects of planning, costing and delivering Permaculture training, building teaching teams and how to establish a Bioregional Campus.

A challenging, inspiring and empowering course, it aims to improve the quality and effectiveness of Permaculture teachers and community facilitators to equip people with the knowledge and skills to make a real difference in these uncertain and transitional times.



The course is oriented towards:

  • students, Masters, PhD candidates and lecturers from high school levels, specialized in educational programmes with agriculture 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;
  • also others interested in teaching activity in the field of permaculture design.

The course is focused in the facilitating of effective learning and presentation skills of the permaculture design teachers; effective use of audio-visual materials, programme planning and session design, dealing with difficult situations, adjusting for cultural and human diversity, costing and budgets, promotion and marketing, building networks, ethics.

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 7 calendar days.Plus an arrival day and a departure day. A total of 9 days.
The duration of the daily training is from 9.00-21.00.

Arrival for the course before lunchtime on the 20th of August, 2015 – depart in the morning of the 28th of August, 2015.


Topics include:

  • Learning styles and approaches
  • Participatory processes
  • Facilitation and presentation skills
  • Teaching and experiential learning techniques
  • Pattern learning and the art of story-telling
  • Facilitators tool kit and resources
  • Effective use of audio-visual materials
  • Program planning and design
  • What is (and is not) a PDC
  • Session planning
  • Practical hands-on learning
  • Classroom learning
  • Mentoring trainees and interns
  • Making the most of field trips and excursions
  • Dealing with special needs and difficult situations
  • Adjusting for cultural and human diversity
  • Venues and learning environments
  • Costing and budgets
  • Promotion and marketing
  • Evaluation and review
  • Bioregional Campus and building networks
  • Ethics, codes of practice and duty of care.

Course Duration: Minimum 7 days (45 hrs)

Course activities:
include presentations, interactive and participatory processes, role plays, discussions, group work and peer review.

Course Certification: participants will receive a Permaculture Teacher Training and Facilitation Certificate of Completion and a Statement of Professional Development from Permaculture College Australia. All course activities will need to be undertaken for the completion certificate and statement.

Course Resources: participants will receive a PCA Teacher Training and Facilitation Course Handbook with notes, resources and templates. Extensive electronic resource kit of course notes, PDFs, powerpoints and open source videos available for participants to copy (need a laptop, external drive or thumb drive)



Day 1: How we learn – learning styles

  • Introductions Clouds Types of learning situations /clients/ contexts
  • About learning – how our brains work & we learn
  • Experiential Learning
  • Learning style inventory
  • VAK, Multiple intelligences
  • Trust games 

Day 2: Presentation and participatory learning processes

  • Participatory process, Presentation & Effective use of AVs
  • Participatory processes cont. Practical & workplace training
  • Charades


Day 3: Planning programs and sessions, adjusting for specific needs

  • Programming – course planning, Session planning
  • Adjusting for Cultural diversity, special needs and dealing with difficult situations
  • Project: planning a course program, objectives
  • outline session plan
  • Program presentations

Day 4: Course dynamics, ethics & bioregional campus

  • Course dynamics, teaching in teams, ethics, codes of practice, duty of care, WHS continuous improvement
  • Group project –CoP etc
  • Mapping bioregional networks
  • PDC history & discussion

Day 5: Course logistics, costing & promotion

  • Course logistics: venue, costing, budget, promotion
  • Group project work Prepare micro- session
  • Prepare micro- sessions

Day 6: Presentations

  • Micro-session Presentations
  • Micro-session Presentations
  • Dinner & Party/ talent show

Day 7: Reflection & evaluation

  • Reflection, Revision & evaluation
  • Where-to from here
  • Course feedback & Certificates

Daily Schedule

  • Morning 9:00 - 12:30h
  • Afternoon 14:00 -17:30h
  • Evening 19:30 - 21:00h


Previous graduation of Permaculture Design Course from a recognized organization (this requirement is considered as fulfilled, if attendance is in these two courses from this Summer School).
Profound interest in teaching of a Permaculture Design.
Very good knowledge of the English language (only an English-Bulgarian translation will be offered).


Student Handbook


Lead 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 II – Permaculture Teacher Training Course amounts to 690 (six hundred and ninety) Euro.
The accommodation and food fee for Course II amounts to 120 Euro (one hundred and twenty). A total of 810 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-st 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

University of National and World Economy Sofia

Convenor of the Summer University
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



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

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