We spent weekend from 16 to 18th December (2016) in Koroinen, Turku, working to kickstart and form the newly founded Permaculture Association Finland (Suomen Permakulttuuriyhdistys ry). There were about 15-20 active permaculturalists present during the weekend, sharing and creating information on how to foster permaculture in Finland.
Friday - Getting to know each other
We arrived on Friday afternoon and first chatted with the few people who were already there. There was delicious rutabaga soup served and the getting to know each other part went very nicely and a feeling of community was there. Our facilitator explained the Open Space working method that would be used the next day to bring the "meat to the bones" of the association - what will the association do and how? The poor lady had a bad eye infection and had to go to the hospital, so after the brief get together we participants chatted freely about ourselves and what brings us to permaculture.
Saturday - Using Open Space groups
Saturday began with a delicious breakfast, but quickly the work in different groups started (our facilitator was also back and feeling much better). There were all kinds of groups throughout the day, such as PDC courses in Finland, local projects and action, city planning, working methods of the association and its board, communications (which Dominik led) and money and financing (which I started) to mention a few. I really liked the Open Space method where you could come and go in the groups according to where you thought you could best learn and give to the task at hand and the community.
The groups were really efficient and lots of information was gathered and ideas and plans created.
Sunday - Kickstarting the Finnish Permaculture Association
On Sunday we came all together again in a big circle first and brought everyone up to speed on what happened in the groups the day before. After that there were groups formed to work on the legally required documentation for the registration of the association - the rules, the plan for 2017 and the budget. After lunch the final meeting started and after lots of discussion and concerns and ideas we agreed on the rules and the plan, as well as the board. The budget was delegated to the board to decide!
Funnily enough both me and Dominik ended up in the board, which makes us happy and humble. I can't wait to start working for permaculture in Finland, which has existed a long time, but has always been pretty fragmented among a few actives around the country.
I surely hope this association will bring all that effort and knowledge together so we can achieve great things here in the North!