Transition Network: Newsletter Sept-08

Here’s the long awaited newsletter for Sept08.

So much has happened since the last newsletter an (embarassingly long) while ago. Where to start…

“Official” initiatives and all the mullers

In the Japanese myth, the hundredth monkey represents the point at which a learned behaviour spreads instantaneously from one group of monkeys to ALL related monkeys once a critical number is reached. So it’s somehow fitting that the 100th official transition initiative was Fujino in Japan.

For those at the conference earlier in the year, you may recall that we were at 50 in April. That means the number has doubled in less than 5 months – and the number of contacts on our database has just about doubled in that time too. The number of communities “mulling it over” has also pretty well doubled to nearly one thousand.

And it’s not just the number that’s heartening, it’s the reach. Eight more “officials” from Australia, four more from the US, one from Chile and obviously, Fujino. Meanwhile, while we’re busy clucking away in English, the Hungarians have been busy! For those that don’t have conversational Magyar, “A 12 Lépés az Átmenethez” means 12 Step of Transition.It’s starting fast, reaching far, and there’s still a long, long way to go…

Software platform for Transition

We’re kicking off a project to create a software platform that’ll facilitate the 100th monkey syndrome and allow these initiatives to grow exponentially – a platform that will provide three main things:

  • a quick and function-rich web presence for initiatives
  • a community networking capability
  • a knowledge collaboration and sharing system

The project programme has been drafted up, and we’ll be facilitating several teams to take us through this process. So, if you’d like to get involved, here’s the online form to let us know how you can help.

Let’s unleash the techno genius within so our initiatives can scale up to the size and impact that’s really needed to tackle the challenges and grab the opportunities that will be facing us in the coming years.

Introducing Transition Chat!

Transition Chat! is a new initiative co-ordinated by the Transition Network, which will provide a forum for people to share successes, failures, ideas, best practice and so on. Each session takes place on a Monday, between 2 and 3.30pm GMT (it can roll on if the conversation is particularly animated) and it is hosted in a web chat format. Pop them in your diary, the first one is Monday 8-Sept.

The Timetable
The first 10 have been arranged, and they offer a mixture of deepening your understanding of various aspects of Transition, the opportunity to ask the questions you struggle with to experts in the field, and chatting with other Transition folks. The timetable thus far is as follows:

  • 8-Sept: Transition Network Structure Document: hosted by Rob Hopkins and Peter Lipman. An opportunity for anyone unable to make the discussion day on the 10th to input into this important document.
  • 15-Sept: Transition Training Clinic session #1. An opportunity to ask all your practical questions, what is working and/or not working for you in the early stages of your initiative. Hosted by members of Transition Training.
  • 22-Sept: Dr. Colin Campbell of the Association for the Study of Peak Oil answers your questions on peak oil (tbc)
  • 29-Sept: The Transition Timeline. Establishing the assumptions underpinning our Energy Descent Planning. Hosted by Shaun Chamberlin, creator of the Transition Timeline
  • 6-Oct: Inner Transition, Heart and Soul. Hosted by Sophy Banks
  • 13-Oct: Transition Training Clinic session #2. Getting started, raising awaress, building a good head of steam.
  • 20-Oct: Transition Cities. How to do this in the city? Hosted by Sarah Pugh.
  • 27-Oct: Transition Training Clinic session #3 (tbc)
  • 3-Nov: Peak oil and climate change: hosted by Dr. Jeremy Leggett.
  • 10-Nov: Collaboration/leadership/structure. Hosted by Mike Jones of Transition Stroud.

How to Chat
To participate, follow this link, type into the box the name you want to be known as online – ideally your own name so we know who are are speaking to (not cheekymonkey18 or bigbob), and then follow the instructions. Do let us know what you think of it.

The Launch of the Lewes Pound, 9-Sept. Be There!

On Tuesday 9th September 2008 at the Foundry Gallery in Lewes, Transition Town Lewes will be launching the Lewes Pound, the second currency to be issued by a Transition initiative, the first being the Totnes Pound (although Brixton are at the early stage of planning their Brixton Brick). The evening will be hosted by the Mayor of Lewes, and will include short talks by Stewart Wallis, Executive Director, New Economics Foundation, Polly Toynbee, Guardian columnist and author and Transition Network’s Rob Hopkins.

It will be followed by a celebration with music from SkaToons, food from Bills, and drinks from local brewery Harveys, who are rumoured to have brewed a beer called ‘The Lewes Pound’ in its honour! The evening will be your first opportunity to get your hands on the new currency… don’t miss it! It’s not every day that a new currency is born! They also got some great exposure in Sunday’s Observer and have also got their local Barclays Bank to accept and issue the notes.

Transition Network Structure Document – we need your input!

Hopefully by now you might have had a look at the draft Transition Network Structure document. This document arose from the Strategy Day in Bristol in April, and it sets out how this vastly expanding network might organise itself. So far people have fed back their thoughts and comments via the Network forum.

Now there are two more ways to input your thoughts and help to shape it. The first is through the Transition Chat session on Monday 8th at 2pm (see above). The second is to come to a get together to discuss it in Bristol, on Wednesday 11th September between 11am and 4pm, at the Half Moon in Bristol. Details here.

There will also be the opportunity for those of you who are unable to make it on the day to follow the event online, thanks to our fab scribe for the day, Steph.

Transition Towns Come to London: Tues 16-Sept, London

Building sustainable and resilient cities will be crucial to navigating an orderly route through the coming climate and energy challenges. This event will help move the discussions forward and identify practical ways we can all contribute.

Presenting at Transition Towns come to London will be:

  • Mike Grenville of Changing Worlds – discussing Peak Oil and the urgency of action required
  • Rob Hopkins, author of The Transition Handbook – speaking on how communities can respond effectively to climate chaos and the end of cheap oil, and describing how to start to build local resilient networks

Panel Discussion speakers include:

  • Suzy Edwards of Camden Climate Action Network
  • Duncan Law of Transition Town Brixton
  • Mary Fee of LETSLink
  • Lucy Neal of Transition Town Tooting

Next steps and more details:

  • Registration
  • Where: Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1
  • When: Tues 16th Sept, 6.30pm – 8.30pm
  • Cost: £5 on the door (includes refreshments)

Transition Gathering Camp, 19/21-Sept, Sussex

Thanks to the sterling efforts of the South East Transition group, a transition gathering that welcomes all the family and provides a space to meet transitioners from other places will be taking place on 19/21-September-2008 in Sussex.

There will be a basic framework of activities and also space for sessions you would like to offer. Unplugged music, story telling, skills, questions, debate, open fires and much more.

It will be a time to gather together, a time to celebrate, to share good food, visions for our future, skills and knowledge, have fun, to connect and just be with each other.

The camp site is on a beautiful organic farm in the heart of Sussex at the end of the Bluebell railway line and close to the Ashdown Forest. Elena’s kitchen will offer delicious food and a there will be a yurt sauna. Children most welcome.

Suggested donation for the weekend camp Friday and Saturday nights: Adult £25 and child £10 family £50 (no day tickets)

Next steps and more details:

Transition Stroud: Open Homes for a sustainable future, 13/14-Sept

Transition Stroud have organised 12 homes around Stroud to open to the public so that they can see renewable energy in action, discuss energy efficiency and get advice on eco-renovations.

Over the weekend, in addition to a whole range of measures on different homes, there will also be a chance to see the largest PV generation in the country on private housing, see how co-housing works and there will also be tours of Tranquility House that has been dubbed by the Building Contracts Journal as ‘the most energy efficient house in the world’. There are also two guided walks of the homes which are part of the Stroud’s Walking Festival and a cycle route.

Here’s the event flyer or check out the Stroud Open Homes website for all the details. Alternatively, contact Philip Booth, Project Coordinator – Transition Stroud, on 01453 755451.

University of Transition: development day, 11-Oct, Hereford

The focus of the day will be on Universities OF Transition. In other words, what educational structures and programs are needed to enable learning about all the technical, personal and other skills needed for the transition to a post peak oil, low carbon future.

Download the programme which sets out the purposes and objectives and outline plan for the day.

For more details, go to the Event thread on the forum.

Transition Training: going global!

If you want to get a picture of how Transition is spreading, take a look at the training schedule for the two-day “Training for Transition” course. The challenge is to build an army of trainers able to deliver this work, and a train the trainers course has already taken place and further ones are planned.

Transition for Wales: networking event, 25-Oct

There’s lots of transition activity in Wales now and there’s a big “all Wales” meeting on 25-Oct (probably in Builth ).

Keep an eye on the Wales forum for more information.

Low Carbon Communities Network: conference, Llangollen, North Wales, Saturday 4-October

Transition Network is working more and more closely with the groups that are aiming for low carbon or zero carbon within their community. For example, they’ll be instrumental in helping us create the software platform noted above.

So we’re very happy to help promote their 2008 Conference next month in Wales. All the details are on the conference website – it promises to bea highly participatory event, with a musical star turn by the wonderful Seize the Day.

On the programme are:

Resources for your transition initiative

Lots on this page, so please add yours if you think it’ll be useful to others. This includes a fully scripted peak oil, climate change and transition presentation that you may be able to slice and dice into something that suits your style of presentation.

A great little peak oil animation

And to finish off, here’s a real gem, courtesy of Adrienne Campbell from TT Lewes – “… came across it in the Daily Telegraph website of all places!” Thanks Adrienne, you continue to be an inspiration to us all.

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And thanks to the rest of you, for helping take your communities on the journey beyond oil towards climate stability. It’s a long road ahead, so let’s remember to rest awhile, lest fatigue overburdens us. And I’m practicing what I’m preaching now, heading off for three weeks for a wedding (my own!) and a honeymoon in the mountains and gorges of Spain and France.Happy transitioning…

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Ben Brangwyn and all the rest of the gang at Transition Network==============================================
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More of RJ Robinson at http://richardjrobinson.blogspot.com/

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