Festival Overview

We had standing room only at the Cardiff  talks and celebration with around 230 people who warmly welcomed to the Hunter, David Holmgren, co-founder of Permaculture, and Nicole Foss, a Permaculture teacher and finance and energy expert.

There were also great attendances at the workshops given by David and Nicole on Mon 30/6/14 at Hunter TAFE, Hamilton campus.

Attendees for the talks and workshops came from all around NSW – Central Coast, South Coast, Canberra, Sydney, Mudgee and Maitland – to hear our expert speakers, and they weren’t let down.

David Holmgren and Nicole Foss Cardiff talks

David Holmgren and Nicole Foss Cardiff talks

The producers, Transition Newcastle, Tom Farrell Institute for the Environment and Permaculture Hunter, and all the sponsors were extremely pleased, and social reports are great.

We would like to especially like to thank our Sponsors Lake Macquarie City Council which supported the Sunday talks at Cardiff through its Environmental Sustainability Grants Program; Cardiff North Public School; Shaunie P Music; Hunter TAFE; and EnviroSustain.

Permaculture Hunter and its partners are particularly grateful to Lake Macquarie City Council for its sponsorship of the event. This meant that entrance was by donation, instead of having to charge $20 or $30 each, to cover costs, and that other events could be held around the Hunter and Central Coast.

The entry fee by donation only, made it affordable for many to come along to hear the experts, contributing to a great Fair Share Festival.

David Holmgren

David gave a presentation to set the scene, and a short 20 minute  version given at Narara Ecovillage in the morning is shown here:

Video licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia License, thanks to the Transition Newcastle Fair Share Festival 2014 and David Holmgren.

David focused on the interactions between climate chaos, oil shocks and economic contraction. He described the current suburban landscapes, including rural, larger towns and cities, where most will still be living in 10 or 20 years.

David explained how severe weather events due to climate change, and the deferment of energy shortages due to unconventional oil leads to one of his scenarios featured in his Future Scenarios, called the Brown Tech Energy Descent Scenario (slow oil decline, fast climate change).

David Holmgren, co-originator of Permaculture, at Cardiff

David Holmgren, co-originator of Permaculture, at Cardiff

He provided an example of a typical Australian Street as it undergoes change from the 1950s through the GFC in 2008 and into a further possible great depression in 2020s. There were various types of families with different employment and utilisation of their house block. At some times, families did not cope with mortgage repayments, and house prices fell and those who were cautious with their wealth capitalised on the opportunities.

This was a great illustration of how to deal with the Brown Tech scenario, and provided many lessons coping with the effects of fire and drought, and how to manage another great depression.

Nicole Foss

Nicole gave a workshop on Building Resilience in an Era of Limits to Growth.

Her presentation showed that we are approaching imminent limits to growth that raise immediate challenges. This is due to our emphasis on the growth imperative, which is impacting finance, energy, environment, resources and climate.

The Nicole Foss short 20 minute version of her presentation at Narara Ecovillage  is shown here:

Video licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia License, thanks to the Transition Newcastle Fair Share Festival 2014 and Nicole Foss.

Nicole explained how ponzi dynamics underlie the global financial system and how growth fuels credit to expand to dilute ownership.

Nicole Foss, Finance and Energy expert, at Cardiff

Nicole Foss, Finance and Energy expert, at Cardiff

Nicole also discussed the impending contraction phase ahead, and the importance of the velocity of money and alternative forms of liquidity. She went on to describe the future trend of de-globalisation due to protectionism and trade wars with resource scarcity, and the critical role of trust and its relationship to effective organizational scale.

Cardiff Entertainment

We had a good celebration after the talks were over, with Hunter Organics supplying the food, Dave Whitson entertaining the children with his EcoMagician tricks, and Ross Brown’s band, Smozzel Tov, providing the music. Ross is the Chair of Permaculture.

Dave Whitson, the EcoMagician

Dave Whitson, the EcoMagician


David Holmgren – Crash or Crash Through

David’s workshop was on “Crash or Crash Through – Resilience and Transformation for Rapid Climate Change and Gentle Energy Decline”. He was assisted by Peter Stevens, a lecturer from the Architecture School at the University of Newcastle.

David began by setting the scene in a similar manner to the Cardiff presentation (see above for a link to a shorter video of that), and asked attendees to choose from three topics:

  1. Housing Price Bubble Collapse
  2. Bush Fire Ravage
  3. Oil Spike

Each topic was considered from preparations and actions that would need to be done for when the Brown Tech scenario fully took hold for the situations of

  • “no regrets” – immediate plans for your household and community,
  • “long term planning” – bigger plans that could be implemented and
  • “during the crisis” – what could you do once the situation took hold

(to be completed…)

Nicole Foss’ workshop – A Compass for Turbulent Times

Nicole’s workshop was on “A Compass for Turbulent Times” and she was assisted by Dr Andrew Nadolny, a lecturer in the Business School of the Faculty of Business and Law at the University of Newcastle.

After the household, youth and business groups had presented their solutions to a Great Depression type of scenario, they were provided great feedback by Nicole and Dr Andrew Nadolny.

Then the magic happened as the solutions cross-fertilised in a free-flowing discussion, and the wisdom of the crowd emerged.

Everyone agreed that both workshops were well-worth the time spent, and they could see many approaches to solving problems they thought previously were insurmountable.

The material provided here is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia License, which allows the non-commercial, free distribution of these works if you credit the “Transition Newcastle Fair Share Festival 2014” and the Author (David Holmgren or Nicole Foss).

Creative Commons License


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