Social, Vegan, Permaculture Design Course with Socciocracy, Denmark

Sat 9th November 2019 to Sun 24th November 2019

This fully certified course (certified by the Permaculture Association Britain) will delve deep into how we can use permaculture to create rich beneficial relationships between people, communities and their surroundings, including how to grow food, build houses and create economies, while also enriching and taking care of nature.

Special emphasis will be put in creating a temporary community for the duration of the course, where we use social permaculture tools, especially sociocracy to make sure everyone’s needs are met, so we can all enjoy living together in a joyful, supportive learning environment.


Permaculture is a design system for creating abundance in all aspects of our lives. Permaculture teaches us how build natural homes, grow our own food, restore diminished landscapes and ecosystems, catch rainwater, build communities, take care of waste and much more.

The word ‘permaculture’ historically comes from ‘permanent agriculture’ and has evolved into ‘permanent culture’ – it is about living lightly on the planet, and making sure that we can live in harmony with nature while sustaining human activities for many generations to come.

Permaculture is a rigorous and systematic set of tools, ecological principles and methodologies, underpinned by ethics, which help us to design and create this culture of permanence. A culture that allows us to design how we cater for all our needs and the needs of the planet and all its creatures, without exploiting or depriving other humans or creatures of their needs.

The ultimate goal is to create systems that create abundance for all humans, creatures and mother earth, without exploitation of humans, animals or earth’s non renewable resources.

With permaculture insight we can design our inner tranquillity, it can be applied to creating integrated and supportive communities, building or retrofitting houses to be more energy efficient, creating ethical businesses and livelihoods, as well as creating rich abundant low maintenance food growing spaces.


Sociocracy is a whole system governance and decision making method which is based on and encourages equivalence, transparency, and effectiveness in an organization. It encourages collaborative innovation, minimises lengthy governance meetings, and helps everyone participate in shaping the decisions that affect them.

During the PDC we will put sociocracy into practice on a daily basis. The first day of the course we establish what every person wants form the course, form which we derive a common vision. We then create a mission and aims on how to achieve our vision. We then embed a feedback mechanism to check if we are meeting these aims, so we can keep adjusting our collaboration every day.

Sociocracy ensures everyone’s voice is heard and all our individual and collective needs are met.

=== PDC Course Syllabus ===

The course will from day one put into practice social permaculture. We will larn sociocracy to create a community and practically explore how we ensure everyone’s needs are met, and how everyone can safely express themselves, without conflict. Having found our inner balance and balance within our newly forged community, we then move into exploring the traditional permaculture syllabus, including environmentally friendly food growing; soil generation; water management; house building; alternate economics and livelihood, etc.

Having explored the theory of permaculture ethics, principles and approach to challenges, we will then move on to in depth design work and practicals (hands-on work), which solidifies the theory.

The emphasis remains on learning the patterns and concepts that are applied in permaculture, so you can apply this to all aspects of your life after the course has finished. Hence the practicals will be a way to reinforce the theory and design work that we cover.

Where and when appropriate we will visit nearby intentional communities and projects that integrate permaculture in their design (subject to consent by the students).

The syllabus will cover the following areas

– Principles of Natural Systems
– Sustainable Design Methodologies
– Patterns in Nature
– Reading the Land & Understanding Natural Processes
– Water Harvesting Techniques
– Design Principles of Sustainable Human Settlements
– Grey Water Recycling
– Natural Building Design Strategies
– Food Forests, Plant Guilds, Gardens for Self-Sufficiency
– Energy Conservation Technologies
– Urban Environment Permaculture
– Wildlife Management and Biological Pest Control
– Community Activism
– Invisible Structures: People, Community, Economics, EcoVillages
– Sociocracy; Dragon dreaming; Six thinking hats
– Community Supported Agriculture
– At the end of the class, students engage in a group design project.

=== TEACHERS ===

Lead Instructor

Rakesh Rootsman Rak – An experienced Permacultre designer teacher, forest garden specialist, yoga teacher, homeopath and reggae DJ. Rakesh has been designing and teaching permaculture to individuals and communities since 2009, and has taught over 120 permaculture, forest gardening, eco village design and related courses. His design portfolio ranges from a forest garden on part of a 30-hectare ecovillage in Croatia that he co-owned through to many urban community food growing gardens, private farms and back gardens as well as designing collaborative businesses, urban water retention systems and even computer software and documentation systems. Rakesh is also passionate about sharing his journey of self empowerment (learning how to make all the things you need for yourself rather than relying on the system to provide for you), this includes eco architecture (low impact housing); capturing and storing energy (electricity, heat, lighting, etc); fuel efficient heating systems (rocket heaters and stoves); water capture, purification and recycling systems, natural bee keeping and so on. He is one of the founders of the Children in Permaculture project which was launched at the international permaculture convergence in this year. So be prepared to go off on inspirational tangents occasionally.

=== THE VENUE ===

Ananda Gaorii Ashram, Farm and Learning Center is is a yoga based community located near the small town of Vig, an hour out of Copenhagen. Guests can participate in the daily routine of yoga and meditation, have their choice of Vegan or vegetarian food, and enjoy bread and cakes from our own organic bakery. Ananda Gaorii has a small orchard and veggie garden and a beginning forest garden project.


Ananda Gaori has a combination of rooms, dormitories and grassy fields for camping (See for more pics). Most of the rooms have double bunk beds while the dormitories have mattresses on the floor. Participants should bring their own sheets, sleeping bag, etc. Those who need more privacy and peace (and loud snorers) are encouraged to bring their own tent and camp (Note: We will set up some of Ananda Gaorii’s tents and make a limited number available for participants). Be sure to register early if you want to have a choice of accommodation.


To create a deeper sense of community, throughout the course we will create teams who will help cook every day. We will create a system which allows us to express what our dietary needs are, so that we ensure every meal is ideal for everyone.

To ensure we keep the food costs and quality at a level the students require, we are adopting the tried and tested self organising method. This means we will ask you to either bring enough food ingredients to cover your food needs for the duration of the course or bring a mix of food and cash. The food could include home grown veg, grains, preserves, etc. The cash will go into a pot which will be used to buy food as and when required, which will be managed by a sociocratically elected group of participants. We kindly request everyone to only bring vegan, vegetarian food, which we will pool together and collaboratively cook in teams. If appropriate fresh organic veg will be contributed from the venue.

This method has proven to be very successful, as it promotes collaborative decision making and collaborative working. It also allows people to contribute in a way that suits their budget. Participants from previous courses have taken well to this method and noted how the food budget was significantly less that what they would have expected on any other course.

The venue belongs to a spiritual family who value food which according to ancient Tantric philosophy has uplifting energetic qualities. More importantly they would prefer if people did not bring in food which has a negative influence on the mind. In simple terms this means vegetarian food, but without onions, mushroom and garlic. Given this is a vegan course and how the dairy industry is interlinked with the meat industry, which between them are the largest contributors of greenhouse gasses, I would like to suggest we conduct this course in a way that is coherent with a way of life that does not contribute to climate change, meaning lets not eat dairy for 2 weeks (this is a request and suggestion, not a condition). Dont worry, there are many of us (including Rakesh) who are very skilled at making incredibly delicious and nutritious food in this way. You wont notice the difference.


The cost for the training is based on gift economy, where participants are invited to contribute what they can afford and are willing to pay. The cost of putting on the course means we need to raise on average €390 per person. However we invite you to propose how much you would like to contribute somewhere in the range of €290 to €500. We encourage those of you who can contribute more to do so, which should allow us to cover our costs. If there is a shortfall in the final sum (which by experience is unlikely), we will request the shortfall to be covered anonymously via a magic hat process. This process is part of the permaculture ethos, which allows people to pay according to their capacity, while meeting the needs of the hosts, teachers, etc.


Accommodation per day is 100 krone (approx €13.50)

Hence for the Full Permaculture Design Course, the cost will be 1400 krone (approx €189) if you do not stay over during the days off or 1600 krone (approx €216) if you stay for the full 16 days.

For people coming and only staying over for one night it will be 100 krone (approx €13.50)


Bank transfer to a Euro bank account
Bank transfer to a UK bank account in Pounds or Danish Kroner
Cash by arrangement

=== LANGUAGE ===

All classes will be in English however If there are a number of people who require a translator please let us know and we will work to accommodate this. As part of our community culture we will create a process which ensures if there are words or sentences you do not understand we will address it immediately. Also at the end of each day you wok in a small group to review the day which can be in local language, so if there is something you misunderstood this is your chance to catch up.

To help prepare for the workshop, you are encouraged to use this list of permaculture, forest gardening, sociocracy and plant names that have been translated into many languages


This course adheres to the Permaculture Association Britian’s accreditation criteria for Permaculture Design Courses (PDC’s). However due to the rising cost of the certification and in order to make the course affordable we consulted with the Permaculture Association Britain (PAB) and concluded to give the participant the choice of being accredited via the Permaculture association Britain (€20 for the certificate and additional administration) or by the Roots n Permaculture Collective School (for free). The Roots n Permaculture Collective School certificate affords you the same privilege as the certificate from PAB, meaning with this certificate you can still teach intro courses (after at least 1 year or putting permaculture into action) and can also apply to do your diploma (with any association anywhere in the world). The only difference between the two is that the PAB certificate helps to pay the learning coordinator of PAB to develop and maintain their high standard curriculum.


To register for this course, please fill in the following form. If you have any difficulty or have any questions please feel free to contact Rakesh

=== CONTACT ===

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Course and Content, please contact Rakesh: