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Earth Activism & Social Permaculture

Bringing together the energetic forces of Starhawk, Alfred Decker and two pioneering permaculture projects, La Bolina and La Loma Viva, this special gathering will take us on a journey of transformation - regenerating inner and outer landscapes to manifest a new earth paradigm.


We live in a challenging time on the journey of humanity, but one which is also full of potential and possibility. Through our everyday actions we can activate change and initiate a new way of being in the world.

This unique and inspiring workshop will bring together earth activists, change makers, rebels and dreamers from around the world to share some time in nature, strengthen our connections and deepen our creative vision.

During this pioneering event, we will be visiting and learning from two unique permaculture projects and a host of experienced teachers.

The week will be spent between the two projects, experiencing their innovative approaches to transformation and regeneration, on an environmental and social level.

We will hear the positive stories that can keep our hope alive in these crazy times, fuel our inspiration to engage in actions that have beneficial impacts for people and planet and help us to create a new story for our own lives.

Course Organisers and Venues

Social Permaculture at La Bolina

La Bolina is an association that works for the integration of refugees and migrants in rural environments, through the creation of sustainable livelihoods based on agroecology, permaculture and sustainable commerce. Based in the rural village of Saleres, in the Valle de Lecrin, Granada, La Bolina are a collective of people from Europe, West Africa and the Middle East. They have diverse identities, legal situations and professions, but what brings them together is a shared vision around integration, sustainability and regeneration.

Here, for the first 3 days, we will explore:

  • How permaculture principles can bring people together to co-create and empower one another and to transform patterns of unjust power into healing, nurturing and inspirational collaborative experiences

  • All groups deal with issues of power, conflict and the need to make decisions. We will explore how to use social permaculture approaches, to structure our groups for maximum group health, to share power fairly, to improve our communication skills, mediate conflicts and facilitate group processes

  • The process work will be balanced with time outdoors in nature, including hands-on work on the land, as well as wilderness walks.

  • Insights from permaculture and indigenous wisdom will help us learn to be more effective and joyful as we work together to regenerate our world

    This part of the course is especially valuable for you if you belong to a group or organization seeking to make change; a nonprofit or NGO that seeks to work collaboratively; a spiritual circle, ritual group, or faith community; a community group, Transition Town, collective, or worker-run cooperative; an intentional community or household or hope to start one; a collaborative arts, theatre, or music group; or a family or a community of friends that want to improve communications and ways of handling conflict

Earth Activism at La Loma Viva

La Loma Viva is a working farm, a living model of permaculture, a non-profit Foundation, educational and retreat centre. Here you will be immersed in a project that is using cutting edge ecological design to actively regenerate the land, with a committed ethic of people care.

Here, for the next 3 days we will learn about:

  • using ecological principles to restore inner and outer landscapes

  • a diverse range of effective tools, inspired by nature, to engage in positive action and bring a new story into our own lives and our local ecosystems

  • connect more deeply with “Nature as Teacher”, using daily practices to re-immerse ourselves in learning and observing from nature, getting our hands in the earth and awakening our senses 

  • practical skills that connect us to the living world: growing food, planting trees, saving seed, making medicine 
and simply being mindful in nature

  • Changing the Climate of the Mind: what are the beliefs and behaviours which hold us back and how can we transform our lives by aligning with nature - How to “think like a forest”

  • Urban resilience - creating spaces where more human connection can be made. Designing more humane cities, which are able to respond positively to change.





Starhawk is an author, activist, permaculture designer and one of the foremost voices in earth-based spirituality. She has lived and worked in collectives for more than forty years. She has published thirteen books on social change, including The Fifth Sacred Thing, The Earth Path, and The Empowerment Manual: A Guide for Collaborative Groups. Starhawk is a world renowned speaker, teacher and facilitator of Earth based ritual. She will guide us to take our inner transformational work out into the world in embodied, compassionate, and active ways, creating practices that can bridge barriers, support social change and help us heal and renew our hope.

Alfred Decker

Since his first PDC in 1998 in California (where Alfred and Starhawk were students together), Alfred Decker has been involved with permaculture projects and social movements throughout Europe and the Americas. He is the founder of the 12 Principles Permaculture Design consultancy and is focused on facilitating permaculture teacher trainings.

La Loma Viva Team:

Karen de Vries

Co-founder and Manager of La Loma Viva since 2009, she has devoted her life to researching and implementing all things regenerative at their farm in southern Spain. Karen´s background in Psychology and Medical Anthropology has given her a keen interest in transformation on all levels.

Alex Kruger

Alex is one of the main guest teachers at La Loma Viva. She is a true pioneer, activist and has inspired hundreds of students during her 25 years of practicing and teaching permaculture. Her work has been across a range of contexts, from low income spaces to corporate, in both rural and urban contexts, mostly in Southern Africa. Her passion is the flowering of the each human’s potential through the lens of Permaculture design. Her approach is pragmatic, revolutionary and seeks to connect people through nature. 

La Bolina Team

La Bolina teaching will draw on the skills and experiences within its team, which is comprised of refugees, migrants, international volunteers and the founding members. The team brings together a wide range of skills, cultures and backgrounds and includes people with experience in the national and international, social and humanitarian sectors, the global ecovillage movement and ecovillage design education, permaculture teaching and projects, transition movements, rural development and agroecology, social transformation theatre, economics for transition, music, the arts, African spirituality and more. Through this project, we channel and combine our different skills and experiences to work towards the systemic change and (inner and outer) transformative measures which we believe are needed to address the interconnected nature of the crises facing our planet today.


Begins: Arrival and Dinner on the night of Wednesday, September 4th.

Ends: Celebration on the night of Tuesday, September 10th, with dinner, party and “No Talent Show” Breakfast will be available the next morning. Transport will be provided to the town of Motril (for buses to the airport) between 6-10am on 11th September.

Accommodation, Food & Pricing

Your fees include:

  • A week long transformative course led by world-renowned teachers

  • 7 nights accommodation at two renowned permaculture venues in southern Spain. 3 nights in the picturesque village of Saleres in Granada´s Lecrin Valley (at La Bolina) and 4 nights at the beautiful eco-friendly retreat centre (at La Loma Viva)

  • Delicious healthy food and beverages for one week. All food local and organic, mostly grown on site. Fully catered meals by creative vegetarian chefs

  • All transport to and from local towns (to get buses to airport or train station) and in between the two venues

  • A free copy of Permaculture Magazine

  • A 30% discount on books available from Permanent Publications

  • A 10% discount if you would like to attend the Permaculture Design course at La Loma Viva (which follows this event)

All Inclusive Price: 750€

Reduced Price for 725€ Spanish participants + residents

All online bookings are subject to a 20€ internet booking fee

Cancellation Policy: If you need to cancel up to a month before the workshop you will be refunded less a 50€ admin fee, if you need to cancel less than a month before your full deposit will be retained.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.
— Margaret Mead
  • All scholarships for this course will be awarded to refugees and migrants through La Bolina. Your financial contributions go towards the continued support of the two non-profit organisations and to help fund the scholarship positions.

This workshop will be followed by a Permaculture Design Course at La Loma Viva 15 - 29 September (with the opportunity to stay and volunteer between courses) See PDC page

For more information on the organisers and teachers click on these links:

Starhawk and her Earth Activist Trainings

Alfred Decker

La Bolina

La Loma Viva teachers