Welcome to the June 2014 roundup. It’s another bumper edition, busting at the seams with news of how Transition is manifesting itself around the world in a dazzling diversity of ways. We start in the UK with the launch of the new Totnes Pound. May 20th saw the release of a full suite of beautiful notes, at an event in the packed Civic Hall. The t£10 note features Ben Howard, local musician and winner of two Brit Awards in 2012. Ben came to the launch and is pictured below with the Totnes Pound team.
Here is a report of the launch from the Western Morning News. It was also reported at the launch that Totnes would soon be getting an e-currency, supported by the Bristol Pound. This was reported in a number of local papers. The funding comes from the Technology Strategy Board, whose CEO, Iain Gray, said:
“This is a particularly exciting initiative, which provides companies with an opportunity to test the feasibility and commercial potential of their technology-focussed ideas for attracting shoppers and retailers to UK high streets.”
New Lion Brewery, the new social enterprise brewery set up as part of the wider new economy work in the town, brewed a special bottled beer to celebrate, called ‘The Totnes Pound: an IPA that’s defiantly positive about Totnes’. Here’s the label:
Also at the launch were two people from Aubervilliers in France, visiting Totnes to learn more about Transition. They kept an online diary of their visit which you can find here. TTT’s Arts Network held a one day course in using rammed earth and earthship construction. Here’s a short video they made of it:
Crystal Palace Transition Town just celebrated their third birthday. They had a big AGM event, which looked a little like this:
… and they produced this great short film setting showing what they’ve been up to over the last 12 months (Spoiler Alert: lots)…
They’ve also been busy working on the community garden at St John’s. Here they are:
The poster for their AGM is, in itself, a brilliant celebration of all the great work the group has been up to over the past 12 months:
Transition Town Tooting are building up to this year’s Foodival, by posting photos of the plants that are being grown in preparation of the event. Given that it’s in September, the plants are still young, like this pepper…
We reported a while ago about how Melbourne Area Transition had set up Whistlewood Community Woodland and used a community share launch to raise the money to buy 10 acres of land. Well Whistlewood was mentioned in a piece in the Guardian recently about communities acquiring their own assets. Here’s a taste:
“We aim to establish a new type of community woodland based on permaculture, which combines food production, forestry and education,” says Sarah Spencer from the group, which is a registered co-op and this winter planted its first 1,400 trees.
The Transition movement glowed with pride recently as OVESCO won the Ashden Award for Community Energy (see photo above). Receiving the award, Chris Rowland of OVESCO said:
“We want to see a POWER generating revolution in the UK. We believe that community owned energy companies are an essential part in making that happen.
At OVESCO we hope that our success will inspire others to take action in their communities, so that we can build the world anew and community owned renewable energy becomes the new normal.
We believe this is totally possible. Thank you”.
Here is the short video that the Ashden Awards people made about OVESCO to be shown on the night:
As part of the Chepstow Festival, Transition Chepstow will be running ‘An Evening Town Walk with Transition Chepstow’ on June 30, 2014 @ 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm. Anyone interested is invited to meet outside the library. It’s free, and they say “Enjoy an evening stroll around Chepstow and learn more about Transition Chepstow and it’s projects”.
A WILLOW arch above the River Test will be one of the landmarks of this year’s Romsey Festival.
Transition Town Romsey TTR is inviting the public to get involved in a unique art project, entitled Amplifying the Test, with sculptor Trudi Lloyd Williams.
Transition St Albans are trying to get local people signed up for Transition Streets. If you live locally, you can do so here. Here’s an article from the local paper about it:
Transition Belper just held their Belper Goes Green Festival for the second time. Here’s their advert thingy:
… and a short film about the 2013 Festival…
Transition Reading just held their latest AGM, and a Repair Cafe too…
Transition and Draughtbusting got a mention in an article in the Guardian about energy efficiency:
“Draughtbuster” Sarah Nicholl runs workshops along the south coast and says people are often surprised when their new double-glazed window units are revealed to be leaking around the edges. “They may be double-glazed, handmade and beautiful but if they are poorly fitted you can have cold draughts coming in all the way round,” she says. Sarah gives workshops via the fast-growing Transition Town network, a community-based movement encouraging people to be more self-sufficient in areas such as food, energy and transportation.
These Repair Cafes are all the rage it seems. Transition Cambridge held their first one, and published this map so people could find their way about what was on offer:
Transition Chesterfield have been at it too, issuing the following invitation:
Bring anything broken along to the repair cafe and the team will try and fix it for you.
A 50 minutes long film was presented on Croatian television about the Transition movement and the Reconomy project (mostly in English with Croatian subtitles). Unfortunately it doesn’t have the ability to embed the film here, but I really recommend, it’s great.
This from Josue in Belgium: “The annual conference of the French speaking initiatives took place in Brussels the 24th May (see pic below). The sunny day began with some games and mapping. Then some information was given about Transition around the world, the regional network and the resilient economy program… A great shared and colorful meal followed. Then we had an open space, a song and a celebration together and with the Portuguese Transition hub by Skype. We also met with other people and associations that were in the area to celebrate skill sharing. A funny day in Transition!
Also, Ath en Transition just began their first crowdfunding project for their Transition Streets program. The idea is to find money to make the program more funny and inclusive: If some families, low budget or others, need some materials for the action they choose, the Transition group want to be able to lend or give them (Ea : bike trailer, water-saving shower, compost tower…). The idea of the project is to lower their bill and their carbon footprint, and having fun. So if you want to help this Transition Streets project to be more inclusive and funny, you can go to this page.
In May, we also had our first “Transition Thrive” training in Brussels the 17 & 18 May, facilitated by Naresh Giangrande, with two trainers from Belgium, Josué Dusoulier and Bart Vanden Driessche. Pioneers of Transition in Belgium were there to review the progress on their projects. The diagnostic tool was much appreciated, as well as various theoretical and practical contributions and exchanges between participants. They went back in their initiatives with the support of pairs in neighbouring initiatives, and of course packed with ideas to helptheir initiative to move to their next steps. Here in Belgium, we really want to thank Naresh for his coming and for sharing his experience of transition around the world!”
In Ireland, TINI (Transition Ireland & Northern Ireland Network) have been doing amazing work in helping to shape energy policy in Ireland. You can read the full story here. In Canada, Transition KW were at EcoFestWR to promote their Climate Action Toolkit. Here they are at their stall:
In the US, Transition Houston are building up to rolling out a US version of Transition Streets. They just held a meeting addressed by Gerald Herd, a member of the NARI Houston Chapter, who discussed building insulation: types, uses, strategies, etc.
In July Rob Hopkins will visit Germany and is going to participate on the presentation of the German language version of the book ’The Power of Just Doing Stuff’. The events are going to be at 2th July 19:00h at Böll-Stiftung Berlin and at 3th July 19:00h in Audimax of University Bielefeld. On the event you can met also Gerd Wessling who contributed to the German edition and who translated the book, and other active members of D/A/CH Transition movement.
Gerd gave a talk in Hannover, I think in 2010, but the film only just made it onto YouTube. Here it is:
“>Part Two here. Also from Germany, here is Andreas Bauermeister of Transition initiative Weimar im Wandel discussing Transition:
In Spain, a screening of In Transition 2.0 was followed by a short video message from Rob, and a couple of days later we had the following email:
“I’m glad to share with you our yesterday success. We showed your video and at the end we create a new Transition group in Madrid, so we’re very happy, thanks a lot!!!!”
Go Madrid Transition… keep us all posted!
Rob also presented virtually to the G21 Swisstainability Conference last week. Here’s a photo someone tweeted of him in action:
From the 3rd of July 2014 (International plastic bag free day), Greyton aims to become South Africa’s first town to phase out single use plastic shopping bags. This is a drive initiated by Greyton Transition Town (GTT) and supported and assisted by Hayley McLellan from Rethink the Bag. This is just one of the many creative waste reduction programmes run in Greyton. Here is a clip of them on News24 TV talking about it:
Peter Langlands, co-founder of Transition Town Guildford in Australia, appeared at the Strictly Hypothetical event in the city, whose theme was PERTH 2050 – Post Climate Change in the World’s Most Isolated City. Here’s a clip of his introduction:
Here is a story from Brazil thanks to Isabela Maria Gomez de Menezes: “Brazil is living a very unique moment. The World Cup is putting some light about our problems with corruption, lack of infrastructure and how do we exercise our citizenship.
And Transition Granja Viana region is also living an opportunity moment,the revision of the master plan of the municipality. It is a plan made from a scientific diagnosis of the physical, social, economic, political and administrative situation of the city, the city and its region, presenting a set of proposals for the future socioeconomic development and future uses of spatial organization of urban land, the networks infrastructure and key elements of the urban structure of the city and for the city. These proposals are to set short, medium and long term, and approved by municipal law.
After three preparatory meetings for review of the master plan of Cotia, something was awakened in our community. On 28, May, we began a cycle of talks about the Master Plan involving technical guests, people of the City Council and the community .
This was an initiative of Transition Granja Viana in partnership with other movements of our region, as: Site da Granja, MDGV| Movement for the Defense of Granja Viana, Motion Vivo Morro Grande and JDA Magazine. The first meeting drew 25 people, the second drew 43 and we could see that they are really motivated to make a difference in our city.
In a climate of respect and peaceful spot, a social collaborative technique has been used to conduct dialogues called “Aquarius”, that is a circle in which the guests talked, listened and debated in contemporary exercise of democracy with a relay chairs. Only participating to understand!
Divergences, convergences, culture of peace and creative intelligence scored the first meeting of this working group that was born with power, grounding, ethics and good humor. This is the policy that we dream for the 21st century.
After years of inactivity, we’re seeing the community of our region mobilize and exercise their citizenship and collaborate in the planning of our region. The Transition Group also created a Facebook group for everyone to put their dreams and desires for the region. We have two more meetings to go and one thing we now, never before our community discussed so profoundly the future of our region”.
In Hungary, as part of the ’Communities in Transition’ project which started last year, a 2 day long workshop was organised for representatives of 12 Hungarian Transition initiatives and other sustainable community initiatives. Participantes have learnt about the Transition movement and its methodology, discussed what’s important for their communities, what are their strengthens, what kind of tools do they need to set up and run succesfull a community project.
Despite of the almost 40 degree hot temperature attendees had a lot of fun, inspiration and help from each other. Delicious meals were served made from ingredients of the local organic garden which is run by one of the most successful Hungarian social cooperatives.
As a next step of the project, members of initiatives are going to visit each other to study and learn new practicies e.g. paper briquettes technology, permaculture gardening, urban community gardening.
More next month: do send us any stories you’d like included.