ABOUT David Holmgren

Company: Holmgren Design
Mentorship Topic: Permaculture

Who is David Holmgren?

David Holmgren is the co-originator of the permaculture concept following publication of Permaculture One, co-authored with Bill Mollison in 1978. David is globally recognised as a leading ecological thinker, teacher, respected writer, and thought-provoking speaker promoting permaculture lifestyle as a realistic, attractive, and powerful alternative to dependent consumerism. Other key publications include Permaculture: Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability (2002) and Future Scenarios: How Communities Can Adapt To Peak Oil and Climate Change (2009) and most recently, RetroSuburbia: The Downshifter’s Guide to a Resilient Future (2018).

David Holmgren is an Australian environmental designer, ecological educator and writer and is a well known figure in the permaculture community having instigated the whole movement with Bill Mollison, an early mentor. In this presentation he introduces his book “Retrosuburbia” which is a most comprehensive 592-page manual showing how Australians can downshift and retrofit their homes, gardens, communities, and, above all, themselves to be more self-organized, sustainable, and resilient into an uncertain future. It promises a challenging but exciting mix of satisfying work, a more meaningful way of living, and hope for the next generation.

RetroSuburbia is divided into three main sections: the Built, the Biological, and the Behavioural along with the introductory section ‘Setting the scene’.

The book is a collaborative effort with beautiful drawings and stories from people doing it. Lots of innovative ideas from transition groups, people who want to get out of debt collecting surplus water and recycling nutrients; gathering with neighbours recreating common sense, doing what your grandparents did.

David argues that the opportunities to retrofit are so much more important than new buildings and encourages permaculture activists to focus on garden agriculture – home growing fruit and vegetable supplies for an energy decent future.


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