Transition Culture

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

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13 Jun 2010

Transition Network conference, some thoughts from Saturday….

Naresh Giangrande explaining Open Space

(The formatting below has all gone a little odd here, but I am running for a conference team meeting now, so it will have to do… apologies!) Such is the frenzy of activity on Twitter, on Flickr and on the Transition Network website’s dedicated blog spot, that there is probably not that I can add other than a few of my own reflections.  You can hear some great audio stuff over at Transition Radio, including the opening sessions, some of the workshops and some excellent interviews, and the people from nu-film are making a film a day, the film about today should be up first thing in the morning.  Been an amazing day, like these things usually are it’s a bit of a whirl, but the buzz and the hubbub are tangible, the sun is shining, and people seem to be having a really dynamic and engaging time.

People suggesting topics for Open Space conversations

The 'Mapping' exercise introduces the conference's youngest delegates, from Bro Ddyfi in Wales...

Stoneleigh tells it like it is....

After the opening session (which you can hear over at Transition Radio), people divided into Home Groups, designed the afternoon’s Open Space sessions, and then into specialist theme groups.  I spent most of that time doing interviews and chatting with people… Lunch was wonderful, and then after lunch I went to Stoneleigh/Nicole  Foss’s talk “Making Sense of the Financial Crisis in the Era of Peak Oil”.  Blimey.  There wasn’t much in there that I hadn’t come across before, but she very skillfully set out the interlinking between the financial crisis and the peak oil crisis.  As someone with kids and a mortgage, I have to say it was quite a chilling experience… and she didn’t even add climate change into the mix!  You could have heard a pin drop during her 70 minute talk, excellent stuff. Last year David Wasdell’s talk on climate change at the 2009 conference had people leaving in tears, Stoneleigh’s talk was definitely this year’s ‘gulp’ experience.

5 minutes to go, 1-1, and passing it square across the back... what were they thinking of.... ak, don't get me started....

Then I did an interview with a film-maker making a film about Cultural Creatives, and then there was the closing session, pulling the day together and giving any announcements people needed in advance of tomorrow.  At 7.30pm the hall started filling again for England vs. USA, a deeply stressful experience, far too traumatic to discuss in detail here.  Then the Open Mike kicked off, and the assembled throng were treated to songs, poetry, raps, standup, ably hosted by Mike Grenville.

Categories: General

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James Samuel
13 Jun 10:18am

Thanks for the summary. I’ve listened to all the audio clips, except the longer ones posted in the wee hours on the financial crisis along with the slides. I’ll get into them now before things kick off, and another night of distance participation begins.

James Samuel
13 Jun 10:19am

The link to the audio and slides is here:

James Samuel
13 Jun 11:18pm

Late last night, while you were in day two of the event, I attempted to summarise the key points from Nicole’s talk. I think it’s coherent.

Jim Barton
14 Jun 9:24pm

I found the talk by Stoneleigh (Nicole Foss) of @AutomaticEarth on financial collapse as an important factor to be quite gripping as well.
I recommend a visit to
as well.

Jo Homan
15 Jun 10:05am

yes, yes, yes, but more importantly, what was the song YOU sang at the end of the evening? It was lovely.

(Re this page formatting, I think you need to look at the code after where you’ve added the second open space photo – might be missing an / > ], or something.)

15 Jun 11:35am

Hi Jo… it was ‘Afterhours’ by the Velvet Underground. Here is them doing it about 1000 times better….
Glad you liked it….
Best wishes