We’ll start this month’s Round up in Crystal Palace in London, and news of the ‘Palace Pint’. Crystal Palace Transition Town started the initiative inspire by the nearby ‘Brixton Beer’, and more than 80 people have now planted hops in their gardens as part of the scheme. CPTT have teamed up with local brewers Late Knights in Penge, who will brew a special brew using the hops and who will also run sessions throughout the year where people can learn to brew. Hops were also planted in the Crystal Palace Museum Garden and in the Grape and Grain pub’s Tipsy Garden (see pic above).
You’ll have seen ‘Dragons Den’ on the TV. Five successful entrepreneurs sit in a row, each with a pile of cash in front of them, and one after another people come in front of them to pitch their business ideas to either be humiliated, ridiculed or fought over as the Dragons seek to outdo each other for the best ideas that come through the door. As with so much in our culture, it’s about competition, the strong surviving, the weak being the laughing stock in clips on YouTube in perpetuity.
Last Friday I had a taste of a very different kind of Dragon’s Den, one that is still giving me goosebumps when I think about it, and about the potential I saw there. Last Friday was the second Totnes Local Entrepreneurs Forum, organised by Transition Town Totnes and the REconomy Project, and it was quite stunning. Here is a short film I made about the day:
South Hams District Council took an active role in the creation of the Totnes & District Local Economic Blueprint, so I sat down with Richard Sheard, Chief Executive Officer at SHDC and began by asking him why he thought the Blueprint matters.
You can download the Blueprint here, and see the first review of it here. Have a good Easter.
Today sees the publication of what may well turn out to be one of the most important documents yet produced by a Transition initiative. Over the next few weeks we will be returning to it, to hear a range of perspectives on it, and hope it will generate debate and discussion. The document is the ‘Totnes & District Local Economic Blueprint‘, and you can download it for free here. The Blueprint is the first attempt that I am aware of to map in detail a local economy and to put a value on the potential benefits of an increased degree of localisation. If you like, it identifies “the size of the prize” of Transition.
Here Fiona Ward of the REconomy Project introduces the Blueprint: