I was at Hay Festival last week and had the pleasure of spending an hour listening to one of my great heroes, the illustrator, Sir Quentin Blake. His lecture was entitled In and out of the book – the uses of illustration (you can see the transcript of his talk here). The first part of his talk looked at the role of illustration in bringing stories to life and in introducing children to the joys of reading. It was the second half of the talk though which I found most fascinating. He talked about the work he has been doing most recently in hospitals, and the power of illustration to help people in a variety of therapeutic situations and life transitions. It really got me thinking about what role illustration could play in Transition in its widest sense.
The other day I read an excellent piece by Calvin Jones, Professor of Economics at Cardiff Business School (see right) called Technology Cannot Tackle Climate Change. Having argued that, due to a range of issues, economic growth is no longer possible, he writes:
“Faced with these issues it is easy to withdraw into either a belief in an economic growth fairy, or into passive, nihilistic depression. But this is not necessary. Many societies historically have functioned perfectly well without ever-increasing levels of growth and complexity”.
He also wrote “the cognitive dissonance we feel, as GDP figures rise, and we feel ever more tired, stressed and scared, is real, and must be challenged”, rapidly becoming one of my favourite quotes. Given the challenges of condensing complex arguments into short articles, I thought it would be good to have a chat with Calvin. So what follows is either the audio file to listen to while you’re hoovering the stairs, or a transcript of our talk.
Here’s a fantastic video from DW (“Germany’s International Broadcaster”) about Transition in South Africa. It is a clip from a longer programme called ‘Global 3000: The Globalisation Program’, and it looks at the work of Transition Town Greyton in South Africa. It is a fascinating response to the question of “what does Transition look like beyond Europe and the US?” It may well become one of my favourite videos about Transition:
Thanks to Transition Town Freiburg in Germany for this. Horst Köhler, recently-resigned German president (and former president of the IMF) gave a speech to a big world mobility conference (i.e. lots of car companies in the audience), in which he waxed lyrical about Transition! And a few days later he stood down. Here is the video of his talk, followed by a translation of what he said.
There are now just over six weeks until the publication of The Power of Just Doing Stuff: how local action can change the world. I thought this would be a good opportunity to tell you a bit more about it and why you might want to start building into a fever pitch of excitement. It will be published second week of June, will have 160 pages, will sell for £7.95, will be a thing of great beauty, and an inspiring introduction to what Transition is and the ‘Big Idea’ that it represents. Here’s a longer introduction: