The question of what a top-down response to peak oil, climate change and economic contraction, and the regional rolling out of resilience, might look like, has been often discussed since the early days of the Transition movement. There was the short-lived Somerset experiment, there’s been interesting work in Stroud, Bristol, Nottingham and various other places, but nothing yet that is especially coherent and integrated. So it was with that in mind that I was really fascinated to be asked to go to Lille to speak at a one-day conference called ‘Assises de la Transformation Ecologique et Sociale’ organised by the Conseil Regional Nord –Pas de Calais, the regional authority for the Nord- Pas de Calais region.
Let’s start this month’s round up in Australia. Transition Sydney also recently held an event about social enterprise and reviving local economies through resilience-building, entitled the ‘Living Economies Forum’, with a great range of speakers. Here is the poster. One of them was Michael Shuman, and here is his excellent talk, called “Building Resilient Local Economies through Local Investment”:
At the 2012 Degrowth conference in Venice one of the highlights for me was the talk by Arturo Escobar (my notes from which can be found here). He is the author of Encountering Development and Territories of Difference, among others. His talk looked at how Transition might look in the context of the Global South, and held many fascinating insights. Here is the interview I did with him, first as an audio file, and below as a transcript.
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:
[Here is a press release just put out by Atmos Totnes] When it comes to building houses, which offers the best return to a local economy, concrete blocks or straw bales? Gypsum or clay plasters? Imported timber or local timber? Atmos Totnes today announces the release of a ground-breaking new paper, ‘Can Totnes build itself?’ (a kind of successor to 2009’s ‘Can Totnes and district feed itself?’ study), which looks at the local building materials potentially available for the construction of the Atmos Totnes development.