The theme for today was work. The first plenary session featured four speakers. The first, Gilbert Rist from Institut Universitaire de Hautes Etudes in Geneva, was a pretty forthright dismissal of economics as it is practiced today. We need, he said, to free ourselves of the dominance that economics has over peoples’ will. There are two reasons why it is fatally flawed. The first is that it is based upon a mechanistic model which makes it impossible for economists to understand present ecological and environmental problems, especially in the biosphere.
Transition folks from around the world gathered last weekend at Battersea Arts Centre for the 6th annual Transition Network conference. In a week when the Arctic ice reached its smallest ever extent, scientists warned that the world’s weather could be on the verge of running amok and it was suggested that Saudi Arabia, always meant to be the ‘swing producer’ on whom the rest of the world could depend for reliable oil supplies, may become a net importer of oil by 2030, the theme of the conference was, appropriately, ‘Building resilience in extraordinary times’. Unlike previous conferences which had spanned two, perhaps three days, this was, in effect, a 6 day ‘Festival of Transition’, and it turned out to be an extraordinary event which deeply affected those attending.
At the Transition Cabaret on Saturday evening, to be hosted by Matt Harvey, James Marriott from pioneering arts and activism organisation Platform will be one of the performers, telling stories from his recent experiences walking the oil pipeline that brings oil from the Caspian Sea to Northern Europe. We asked him, via the wonders of Skype, to tell us more:
At the World Student Environmental Summit at Université de Lausanne on Sep. 6th, 2012, a whole session was dedicated to Transition, and I beamed in for a Skype Q&A near the end. It’s a great overview and introduction to Transition:
This month’s round up covers two months, because this time last month half of the team that lovingly create these round ups was away when they should have been producing this. As a result it’s a bit of a whopper. The latest Transition Bristol newsletter begins “In this issue…. The Bristol Pound is coming, the Bristol Pound is coming, oh, and lots of other stuff too! Read on”. That seemed like a good way for us to start too. The Bristol Pound, the vastly exciting imminent launch of a city-wide currency that is creating a frenzy of media interest, is nearly here. Here is a short film about it: