Bruns Eco Village - Brunswick Heads

Healthy group, organisation & community dynamics

Robin Clayfield is an internationally acclaimed facilitator, educator, author and social change practitioner and one of the presenters at our upcoming September VDP. Robin lives in Crystal Waters, the world’s first permaculture village and has taught permaculture for over 30 years.

From permaculture to dynamic learning

Robin’s journey with permaculture began in 1983 when she did her first permaculture course in her early twenties. It was an all-women training which was fortuitous as there weren’t many women in the permaculture space at the time. It wasn’t long before her interest in the subject led her to teaching it.

Being in the position of teacher Robin soon felt that the traditional approach of standing over the students and lecturing to them wasn’t enough. She noticed that students didn’t take in as much and that the teaching/learning approach needed to change. She also observed that learning groups that were motivated and excited would learn more easily. From this she realised that a structure of standing with the students would be more conducive to learning.

The process of developing learning techniques in delivering permaculture courses led to an influential manual to emerge outlining creative ways to teach permaculture.

Robin and her then partner Skye began Earthcare Education in 1989 and developed many of the innovative ideas, learning technologies and processes that are the foundations of Robin’s current Learning Methodology.

She now trains teachers in creative facilitation and interactive teaching which continues to be considered a cutting edge approach around the world.

On living in community

Having lived in Crystal Water for many years Robin identifies some of the biggest sticking points of living in community to be intrusions on privacy and how we use our common land – both territorial issues.

She recognises that groups can get side-tracked by strong personalities and other distracting elements that can take energy away from important progress. Strong individuals tend to be attracted to community and to groups creating change so having the skills and willingness to work through difficulties is crucial if the community is to survive and each individual is to stay the course.

To address this phenomenon Robin has put a lot of time into creative community governance and decision related workshops. She refers to this process of working together in groups as social permaculture.

“If we can create harmonious groups together that’s how we can support the world to be healthier and happier” she says.

In bringing people together she has observed from her many years of working with communities around the world that one of the things that creates healthy community is eating meals together regularly. The more regularly that people can come together and spend time socially the better they can get through the hard times.

A Day with Robin

Robin carries out a plethora of courses and trainings globally for individuals, businesses and communities. We are lucky to have the best of her work distilled into one day as part of our next Village Development Program in September.

Places are limited so sign up soon! Early bird ends Aug 15th.

To learn more about Robin and her work visit her website Dynamic Groups.

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