Vegbox management committee at one of our meetings holding potato superheroes! (potatoes from Ripple Farm!)
Here in Transition Kentish Town we’ve been running events and projects for two and a bit years. We have a steering group, a food group, two gardening groups of one kind or another, an energy group. For year or so we had a pop up shop. And we’ve made a lot of chutney along the way. As always with voluntary groups, the active people come and go and we work with this ebb and flow. We try to make sure we’re enjoying ourselves so active people will return. And we often come back to our early insight that as a Transition Initiative we want to remain informal and voluntary, independent of the council and grant givers, and rooted in friendship, family and community. Vegbox has emerged out of a desire to set up a something more formal alongside this: a social enterprise.
I’ve written before here at Transition Culture about Transition in Brasilandia in Sao Paolo in Brazil. There is some fascinating stuff happening there (as elsewhere in Brazil), which is starting to attract attention with the media in the country. We recently had a news crew from Brazil’s Globo TV visit us at Transition Network to do an interview for a forthcoming piece, also about Transition Brasilandia. That hasn’t emerged yet, but here is a piece called ‘Pra Você Ver from TVT in Brazil that gives a good sense of it (in 3 parts, speaking Portugese helps…).
Welcome to the monthly round-up of what people are up to doing Transition around the world. Let’s start this month in Spain. Spain recently held its first national Transition conference, which you can read more about here, and you can see Juan del Río’s reflections on it here. Here is a great film about the event which gives a great sense of the energy and dynamism that it tapped into:
There are, as Andrew Simms points out in his most recent blog, two narratives about our economic choices moving forward from here, growth or austerity. Some argue we need austerity in order to get growth, others that we can just cut straight to the growth by printing or borrowing more money. The government recently announced a “massive push for growth“, with £950m being recently allocated for the ‘Regional Growth Fund’ (out of what is expected to be £1.4bn in total), in spite of the fact that money spent so far through the RGF was recently criticised for spending as much as £200,000 to create a single job. One of the key channels for distributing and allocating RGF funds is the Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs). According to my big-green-book-of-localism the government kindly sent me last year, LEPs are “locally-owned partnerships between local authorities and businesses which will play a central role in determining economic priorities, undertaking activities to drive economic growth and the creation of local jobs”. Yet on closer inspection, LEPs would appear to embody everything that is bereft of vision, imagination and indeed of any of the kind of creativity and thinking that these times demand.