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Geoff Lawton

Portrait of Geoff Lawton in a garden.


#Educators #Figures in Sustainability #Gardening and Agriculture #Permaculture #Sustainable Communities


Alidia Vane

Geoff Lawton (1954-), a visionary permaculture educator, has spent his life sharing strategies for sustainable land management and regenerative agriculture in line with permaculture design principles.

Born in England in 1954, Lawton’s fascination with nature began at a young age. This curiosity led him to take a Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) course with Bill Mollison, one of permaculture’s founders, in 1983. At first, Lawton admits that he was skeptical of the benefits of permaculture design which Mollison touted to the class. However, after performing his own research, Lawton recognized the potential of these strategies to redefine humanity’s relationship to food and to the earth. This recognition inspired Lawton’s journey to become one of the foremost experts in permaculture design.

After studying under Mollison, Lawton embarked on a mission to spread the principles of permaculture across the globe. Lawton began teaching PDC courses, performing permaculture consulting projects, and establishing educational demonstration sites worldwide. He gained a reputation for effectively establishing sustainable food systems, even in some of the harshest environments. For example, Lawton successfully established a productive and sustainable permaculture ecosystem in Wadi Rum, an extremely arid river valley in south Jordan. Lawton also taught PDC courses alongside Mollison, his former teacher.

When Mollison retired in 1997, he asked Lawton to take over leadership of the Permaculture Research Institute (PRI). During Lawton’s leadership, the PRI expanded to a larger site, and eventually moved to Zaytuna Farm, where it operates today. In addition to PRI’s paid classes and workshops, Lawton also produces free content for his “Discover Permaculture with Geoff Lawton” YouTube channel, which has reached millions of views worldwide. To check out his channel, visit the “Action” link below.

Through the PRI, his PDC courses, and his online content, Lawton has inspired and empowered countless individuals to reshape their relationship to their food, the land, and their communities.

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