Our Rob has been very busy thinking about the next Transition Handbook and how to communicate Transition between ourselves and others. His thoughts have lead him to seeing and talking about Transition as a ‘Pattern Language’. He ran several workshops on the topic at the conference (workshop recordings here), put all the patterns up for comment, and got some sound feedback.
We will soon have a new online directory for the patterns which will enable Rob and Helen (who is doing lots of research into them) to share their thoughts and invite Transitioners to offer comments, suggest projects, images and more.
In the meantime, you can’t keep a good idea down, nor a passionate movement quiet (not that anyone would want to). Ideas seed themselves and spread, rooting themselves in the different experiences and cultures of initiatives, taking on different forms and working in different ways.
Sustainable Bungay have been thinking a lot about how the Patterns overlap with their world and have written a wonderful piece which they have kindly agreed to let us copy; lock, stock and barrel – thanks all – here it is:
In the recent Transition Sufollk meeting we discussed highlighting the patterns our groups had already engaged in and had created some of the identity/style of the initiative. In our up-and-coming August gathering Sustainable Bungay are going to look at their future in terms of the Patterns. To help catalyse this process I have written a brief (and personal!) summary of the patterns we have have experienced so far . . .
We may not have an office or a big grant, but
we have down – summer picnics, Christmas parties, birthday drinks, green drinks. We all like food and we happily bring and share meals and cakes, swap plants and chickens. This informal exchange system is what really helps with
Emotional Support/Avoiding Burnout 3.5.
We’re not therapy types, so wouldn’t go down a counselling route, or seek outside help for
Conflict Resolution 3.15
. Instead we help ourselves. We have learned that by communicating and working with each other and exchanging “stuff” the responsibility for the initiative is shared. We can keep up
and not burn out.
We almost did last year. One of our greatest challenges arose when antagonistic town councillors turned down our application to put on a Big Green Street Market. It came at the same time as a stressful involvement with a Community Consultation for the Town Plan and our Unleashing (see below). Several members had worked very hard on the project and the refusal was a big shock and very difficult to talk about. However eventually we were able to make light of being called “smock-wearing eco-fascists” and
Celebrate Failure (and Success) 3.7.
The mood of the town council softened towards us and we became stronger and more determined as a result. One of the hardest things Transition has to face is the “old order” coming through people and quashing the new. As well as the divide-and-conquer mentality we inherit from our culture that can so easily split groups.
This shock also enabled us to become more aware of what we were engaged in and more strategic. In short we regrouped and became more resilient. We have occassional Big Meetings in which we put a day or an afternoon aside to look at the year ahead
Gathering Feedback (how are we doing?) 3.8.
We were aware that awareness-raising events can easily come and go leaving no trace, so creating Working Parties has really helped the Pattern of
Practical Manifestations 3.9.
Our Community Garden in the centre of town is beginning to act like a Transition beacon as well as our community beehives and other
Local Food initiatives 3.10.
If there is one subject we all share it’s food. So as well as our highly successful Growing Local food event, Bungay Community Bees and Seedling Swap we are starting up a pig club and an apple share project. We’re really lucky having Josiah in the group who has a working knowledge of sustainable food systems, as well as many enthusiastic growers and cooks on board.
Bungay Cycle Strategy outside our meeting house, the local Library, July 2010; helping plant a community orchard at the local co-op Greengrow, February 2009