Participant Information Statement

You have been contacted as a potential participant in the research project Permaculture as a Transnational Social Movement.  The following Participant Information Statement describes the aims of the project, the details about participation in the project, and the process for providing consent to participate in the project.

Project Description
This project will examine permaculture as a transnational social movement, with a view to interpreting the interface between grassroots permaculture initiatives, governments, civil society and international politics is the contested space of the sustainability transition.  The study will be guided by a synthesis of the five recognised strands of social movement theory to map the international permaculture movement as a dynamic political entity, with a view to examining how the movement acts at the interface between local-level sustainability transition projects, national environmental policies and international climate politics in different national contexts.

The results of this research project are intended to be published in in academic outputs (book manuscript, peer-reviewed journal articles, and academic conference papers and presentations), popular media (online publications and podcasts), and in the permaculture community (PDC’s and public presentations).  All participants in the project will be provided with a summary of research outputs, and links to publications, upon their completion.

The findings of these research outputs aim to inform the work of the international Permaculture CoLab project and bioregional bodies such as the Victorian Permaculture Educators Guild, of which chief investigator Dr Ben Habib is a member.

Your Role as a Participant in the Project
You are being recruited as a participant in this study because of your expertise as a qualified permaculture practitioner, to draw on your insights into the broader permaculture movement.  Your interview testimony will be added to a larger data set of interview transcripts that will be cited in publications related to the project.  Interviews in the data set will be anonymised, so neither you nor any of the interview participants will be identified in any publications arising from the project.  There are no identified risks with participating in this project.

If you consent to participate, you will be asked to answer a short series of questions that have been formulated in relation to social movement literature.  Interview notes will be stored on a secured USB storage device in the chief investigator’s locked office, for a period of five years (after which the files will be destroyed).  The chief investigator may email you follow-up questions, should you consent to accepting follow-up questions.  This data will not be passed on to third parties without the prior written consent of participants, and will remain in the possession of the chief investigator.

Your participation in the project is completely voluntary and you are welcome to withdraw your consent to participate at any time during the project, or up to four weeks after your participation as an interviewee.  Withdrawal of consent to participate can occur directly in person during the interview, or afterward by contacting chief investigator Dr Benjamin Habib via email.

Dr Benjamin Habib
Chief Project Investigator
Lecturer in Politics and International Relations
La Trobe University
b.habib@latrobe.edu.au

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* 1. Someone new to permaculture asks you about the "international permaculture movement" (the global collection of permaculture practitioners, not the design system). How would you describe it to them?

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* 2. How would you describe your connection to the international permaculture movement?

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* 3. In what ways do you see permaculture as "political"? Please interpret "political" as broadly or narrowly as you feel is appropriate.

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* 4. What is your view of the internal power dynamics within the permaculture movement?

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* 5. How well do you think the permaculture movement manages the diversity of its participants, in terms of location, ethnicity, gender, class, sexual orientation etc?

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* 6. What do you see as the transformative potential of the international permaculture movement, at global scale?

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* 7. How do you evaluate the ability of permaculture practitioners to engage with governments and business organisations?

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* 8. What are the major obstacles facing the permaculture movement?

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* 9. How do you think academic researchers can make a meaningful contribution to the permaculture movement?

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