As Transition groups deepen their work and begin to have a tangible impact, it is, perhaps, inevitable that those who disagree may express their opinions with vigour. Over the last few months it has been my own personal experience to be on the receiving end of this in Totnes, and I have to say it has not been especially pleasant. It appears, finally, to be calming down, and so what I would like to do in this post, with the help of a few names you might recognise who have had a lot more experience of this kind of thing than I have, is to try and draw out some learnings from it.
Recently, Shane Hughes of the Transition Network’s REconomy Project gave a talk at TEDxLausanne (in Switzerland) called ‘Sleeping giants of economic shift’. In it he explores what an alternative to our current global economic model could look like, and how REconomy, and a number of other approaches, are central to that.
Today we have a guest post from Kate de Selincourt of the AECB, the Sustainable Building Association:
Are you keen on encouraging sustainable and resilient building in your community – and would you like to have some good chats about it? If you have an AECB group nearby you have an untapped resource. Transition members who are involved with building and energy initiatives are being invited to come along to a local meeting of the AECB (Sustainable Building Association) and take advantage of the common ground between the two organisations.
Like most things in the garden, Transition initiatives tend to be more reflective and dormant in January, as is reflected in this month’s roundup. We’ll start this month’s Round-up with 3 articles from the Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun, created by their Paris office about Transition. We appreciate that very few of you read Japanese, but we feel they are things of great beauty in their own right, and hope you enjoy looking at them. One of them relates to a visit to Totnes, although we’re not sure which one.
David Gershon‘s book ‘Social Change 2.0’ has been one that quite a few people involved in Transition have found useful and insightful, so I was delighted to be able to have a conversation with him recently. My discussion with him will be spread over 2 posts, one today and the second part on Monday.
David, thank you very much for joining us. I wondered if we could start by you just introducing yourself and saying a bit about who you are and what you do?
I have been a change agent, I guess you would say, for at least 30 years. My work has been around an idea called empowerment, in particular, ‘second order change’, which is another way of describing transformative social change. I have engaged in a number of initiatives of different sizes and scales from the household and block level up to the global level, and I’ve also applied this to working with organisations that want to engage.