Transition Culture

An Evolving Exploration into the Head, Heart and Hands of Energy Descent

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I no longer blog on this site. You can now find me, my general blogs, and the work I am doing researching my forthcoming book on imagination, on my new blog.

27 Feb 2007

Peak Oil World Café at Schumacher College.

wc1On Thursday 22nd February, Transition Town Totnes (TTT) and Schumacher College co-hosted a World Café event for local officials to explore how an understanding of peak oil and climate change might inform their work and their decisions. 23 people, from local parish councils, Town Councils and the District Council, as well as the local MP, gathered at Schumacher for what was an extremely productive event. It was a very good illustration of the effectiveness of World Cafe as a tool for enabling discussion on topics such as peak oil and climate change.

The evening began with a short talk by Tony Juniper of Friends of the Earth which explored the imperative of climate change, and how it compels us all to act. He painted a clear picture of the urgency of the need for action. This was followed by a talk by Rob Hopkins of TTT, who set out the case for peak oil, and argued that the assumptions that underpin most Council decisions and planning, namely that climate change is a distant threat, that oil prices will remain stable and that the move away from the household economy will continue, are deeply erroneous. He also gave an overview of the work of TTT.

wc2Nigel Short, of the TTT Economics and Livelihoods Group, then explained how World Café works, and then the process began. Aided by a very enjoyable café-style atmosphere, with candles, wine and delicious nibblies, people soon slipped into conversation, each table discussing a different question. Three times a gong sounded, and each time participants got up and moved to another table, to discuss a new question with a new group of people. It was fascinating to hear the conversations, and how peoples’ imaginations opened up when discussing these issues in a situation where peak oil and climate change were taken as a given.

The findings were written up, and two in-residence poets/artists devised a visual poetic summation of the day. It was a very powerful event, and was enjoyed by all. It will be fascinating to see what happens as a result of it and what follow up events emerge from it, and congratulations to all those who made it such a successful event.

Comments are now closed on this site, please visit Rob Hopkins' blog at Transition Network to read new posts and take part in discussions.


gerald spezio
1 Mar 4:26pm

Rob, I would really love to see the artsy folks at Schumacher College put their revered mentor’s words of wisdom into practice. Before his brain blew up E. F. Schumacher laid out the perfect solution for all this toil, travail, and pleas for community in his last book, “Guide for the Perplexed.” BREATHARIANISM IS THE ANSWER, just as Schmacher told us before his brain blew up. We don’t need no stinking oil. Not cultural creatives with their boundless creativity, gardening, and eco-typing. If Jacob Lorber and Saint Teresa can do it. we all can do it. Don’t be afraid. We can live on nothing. All we need is a some air, if we are pure and spiritual. Let’s work together and to hell with this crap about permaculture and food and eating.

rachel francis
28 May 2:54pm

is it possible to access the write up and summations of this event?