December is one of the quieter times for Transition initiatives, but even so, we’ve quite a packed December round-up for you. We start, seasonally, with two Winterfests, a seasonal opportunity to celebrate and reflect on what a Transition group is up to. We’ll start in Stroud, with this short film of the Transition Stroud Winterfest:
As I enter the final stages of editing the new book I have been working on, provisionally titled ‘The power of just doing stuff‘ (more information to follow), I am at the stage of, for one reason or another, cutting out perfectly good stuff that just doesn’t fit anymore (it’s a small book). Seems a shame to waste them, so I’ll be posting a few here. Here’s the first, which expands on something that got a mention in the video I posted here last week, the concept of thinking of Transition, and how it spreads, as being like mycorrhizal fungi.
For many people, the highlight of the 2012 Transition Network conference was the ‘Transition Town Anywhere’ activity, where a resilience local economy was built, lived in, celebrated and then taken down again over the space of one morning. Ruth Ben-Tovim, one of the event’s organisers, tells us how the event came about, how it worked, and how you could do a version in your community. She started by asking “how many people does it take to build a town?”
“About 240 in the case of the 2012 Transition Conference. Over five hours, the very large Grand Hall at Battersea Arts Centre was filled with a self–built, living breathing Transition Town Centre Anywhere. Many of you who were there and many who weren’t have asked for more details about this activity, so as promised, here it is. Also in response to several requests, at the end of this post there are details about how you could bring the Transition Town Centre Anywhere group activity to your Town if you would like to.
In his recent piece on climate change on the network, Jo Confino wrote of the dark place he found himself in after a few weeks immersed in the latest news on sustainability – his climate change “dark night of the soul” if you like. For the past six years I have been part of an experiment known as Transition, which encourages people to do just what Confino suggests: to sit with the pain of this awareness, while also pointing to a path beyond it.
The question of what a top-down response to peak oil, climate change and economic contraction, and the regional rolling out of resilience, might look like, has been often discussed since the early days of the Transition movement. There was the short-lived Somerset experiment, there’s been interesting work in Stroud, Bristol, Nottingham and various other places, but nothing yet that is especially coherent and integrated. So it was with that in mind that I was really fascinated to be asked to go to Lille to speak at a one-day conference called ‘Assises de la Transformation Ecologique et Sociale’ organised by the Conseil Regional Nord –Pas de Calais, the regional authority for the Nord- Pas de Calais region.