There were 22 local Transitioners at Jeannie and Glenn’s farm on Monday evening near Stowmarket, from 10 Transition Initiatives. Most were from Suffolk and a few from Norfolk.
It fulfilled what I have come to expect from these cross-group events: very interesting people, very stimulating discussions, always a pleasure to be at. Transition at its best.
Some people there had been to the recent Transition Conference at Seale Hayne, and the main purpose of the meeting seemed to be to share their experiences with those of us who weren’t there.
People reported briefly on the workshops they had attended: EDAPs, food mapping, social enterpreneurship, co-ops, working with councils, and others. There was a longer discussion of the Pattern Language workshop and a very long and deep discussion of the Stoneleigh talk. We discussed holding a larger, Eastern regional meeting, at which these two would be the main topics. We felt that these, especially, need to be widely shared.
The discussion of the Stoneleigh talk, predicting a major economic crash in the very near future, led us to consider how that affected our personal lives and our plans for our Transition groups. The feeling was that we need to prepare ourselves and improve communication between us. “Transition is my pension” was one response. There was a big emphasis on education and re-skilling. We should share some of the practical projects and skills being developed in our various groups: bee keeping, allotments, orchards, cloth bag making.
This discussion led naturally, after a short refreshment break, to a discussion of how we could work together. Some of the comments included: We need to shift our emphasis in the short term, somewhat away from creating awareness towards building sustainable lives for ourselves, in ways like local food and car sharing. We may be able to use the Pattern Language to evaluate what we are doing. A brief discussion of the various websites we have available led to the conclusion that we should be making more use of the new transitionnetwork.org.
We talked about future meetings, and felt that these sub-regional meetings had advantages over the bigger regional meetings, like Transition East, that we have been holding. This meeting was much easier to get to (some came by bicycle), and didn’t require all the planning of the regional meeting, just an email and blog entry.
We all left pleased. “It was an inspiring meeting, and I don’t like meetings.” one of us said.