We start this two-month round up with a remarkable tale from Chile, that of the Transition training attended by the local police. In November 2013, a 2 day certificated Transition Training course took place in the first eco-neighborhoods of Chile: Villa 4 Alamos, Maipú where the town’s community police participated, along with members of the eco-neighborhood 4 Alamos, and leaders of neighborhood council, representative of Mapuche organizations, a member of the municipality of Maipú and other independent people.
The community police officers who participated have the mission to do preventive work, have direct contact with the community and do work in the local schools with themes such as the environment. After finishing the course the police wrote:
” … I hope that the seeds you have sown in those days in Chile flourish with good fruit and in abundance, to build a world more just, more humane, more egalitarian and cleaner. ..”
The course was conducted in the first ecological district of Chile aims to be fully sustainable in the near future. The eco-neighborhood already has in public places fruit and native trees, medicinal herbs and an important social process. During the course the eco-neighborhood decided to become a Transition Initiative and it was born a network of several working groups of the community. The course was facilitated by Mauricio Deliz and organized by Change the World, Eco- neighborhoods – the board 4 Alamos and counted with the collaboration of the Municipality of Maipú. How might it look like if your local police got involved with your Transition initiative?!
The first Newsletter from the Hub Wallonie-Bruxelles in Belgium was published in December with news about the food project of Liege, inner transition, Reconomy project and also about the international hubs meeting organised in Lyon in September. If you would like to follow up the activities of Belgian Transitions why do not subscribe to their newsletter.
Thanks to Michelle Colussi, here is a nice story about the version of Transition Streets being developed in Canada:
“Transition Victoria in BC Canada has partnered with the Social Planning Council to develop and test approaches to Building Resilient Neighbourhoods. Our objective – to explore how far resilience can be taken at the neighbourhood level and learn what it takes to get there – was born out of a pilot with Transition Streets a couple years ago. We asked ourselves “How many streets would it take to reach the tipping point and impact neighbourhood wide attitudes and behaviour?” There was synergy with the Social Planning Council mandate to strengthen social cohesion at the neighbourhood level and Building Resilient Neighbourhoods was born.
Three main types of activities make up this project:
a) working with a demonstration neighbourhood on resilience assessment (our framework has 20 characteristics of resilience organized into 4 dimensions: attitudes and values; resources and infrastructure; local economy; community process) and action planning at the neighbourhood level
b) in that same neighbourhood, implementing Resilient Streets (re-branded from our Transition Streets pilot) and
c) continued regional learning workshops and presentations on resilient communities including launching Resilient Streets in other neighbourhoods. Our year one Learning Report, Resilience Checklist and Resilient Streets Toolkit are available on the site: www.resilientneighbourhoods.ca.
We have shared our “Canadian” version of Transition Streets UK with others in Canada and we know of two TTs at least who are also piloting adaptations of this program – Guelph and Toronto!
Transition Town Emskirchen were the subject of a film broadcast recently on TV in Germany about their work. It also includes footage from a screening of In Transition 2.0, which is now available to view for free online.
A los of activities are happening all around in German-speaking Transition initiatives too. After the network meeting of Austrian, German and Swiss intitiatives hold in September several new regional Transition meetings were organised, including the initiatives from Berlin-Brandenburg region in Eberswalde and in Essen for the initiatives from Rhein-Ruhr region.
They are looking forward to a busy year. In February are going to organise a Launch Training, and in the same month publish the German version of the book The Power of Just Doing Stuff with added information about German-speaking Transition initiatives.
In November Transition Witzenhausen organised a participative planning event with the title ’10 rooms, 100 ideas’, to found out what kind of places are needed and what kind of activities should be organised in the new Transition House. The main goal of the organiser was to make a community house with a large scale of activities for all local people from age 0 to 80.
Local people had possibility for a week long to write their ideas on the wall and comment the other ones, so finally there were collected more than 100 ideas about the possible future ways of the house. Main proposals were about activities like yoga or massage, cooking and preserving food, but a lot of local people would like to give place for skill sharing or swap events also.
At least three pianos were also offered for the Transition House, just to make the local transition more musical! Based on the wonderful ideas Transition Witzenhausen at first is going to start with the renovation of three rooms, the workshop place, a free place and a place for kids and parents.
In autumn Transition Regensburg started to organise community kitchen every Sunday. They prepare meal from food saved on Friday’s and Saturday’s local organic and farmer markets and a local bakery. The event is open for everybody.
More great news from Regensburg. At the end of November local Transitioners opened the swap shop (Wechselwelt Umsonstladen), where you can bring your not needed but still functioning staffs (clothes, electric machines, books etc.) and take as many other thing as you have donated. The shop is also a good place to pop in for have a chat or a coffee with nice people.
And still from Germany. The film Voices of Transition is already availabe on DVD. Voices of Transition is a film which is optimistic but clear-sighted. It makes clear that climate change and dwindling natural resources are current and impending crises, but as the examples from France, England and Cuba demonstrate in the film they are also positive challenges!. Here is the trailer:
In Ireland, Transition Town Kinsale’s Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) group recently harvested quinoa (see right), a staple food crop grown mostly in the South American Andes as far back as the pre-Inca period. Regarded as a ‘super food’, it contains all the essential amino acids a body requires as well as being rich in B vitamins and vitamin E. It’s a highly nutritious protein source, which can be ground to make flour, cooked and eaten like rice or spread over food like a seed. The local paper also carried a really good article about their wider CSA work.
This month the group was also recognised in the Cork Environmental Forum’s Annual Environment Awards. Awards are presented to people whose work and commitment to protect and preserve the environment and make communities better places to live. They won the Community and Voluntary Environmental Award 2013.
From Italy, Deborah Rim Moiso, a facilitator and trainer for Transition Italia, reported on the recent TransitionFest 2013 organised by Transition Italia. In her article, she quoted Pierre Houben of Transition Ferrara as saying:
“Transition Italia has existed as a hub for five years now. It was designed to serve a certain purpose: to set things in motion, nationally, promote the Transition process, train some facilitators, help the first initiatives start up. But all that is done now. New people have gotten involved, including me and you… there is a network of initiatives and some of them have never crossed paths. Not to mention, the founders deserve some recognition, celebration, and a break. It’s time to start something new. A phase II for Transition in Italy”.
“Sounds about right. And how do we do that? How else? WE PARTY!”
A different recent gathering by Transition Italy brought together a discussion panel which is captured in this video:
To the UK now. Anyone anywhere can now do a Transition Launch training online from their own homes- no travel no travel costs and at a very reasonable price. Participants are supported in their learning via eight weekly webinars that cover all the topics that we normally cover in a face to face training and an online platform for discussion, questions and peer to peer support in between times. All webinars are recorded so you can listen to them as many times as you like and download them, and all course materials are made available too.
The first Launch onLine has been a great success, here’s what one participant said:
“I have more than 10 years of experience both designing/delivering and participating in online learning but I have never experienced what I experienced today at my second week of transition training…
Energized, emotional, inspired…again, a group of wonderful people from Denmark, Sweden, Ireland, UK, France, Senegal, Netherlands, US, Spain, Brazil, New Zealand and Canada demonstrated that around the world there are people who care.”
The next course starts January 15th, 19.00 UK time. For more information and to book see Transition Network’s site.
Crystal Palace Transition Town has produced 5,000 of the pocket-sized guides, that also offer tips to a more ethical and sustainable approach to shopping. The directory celebrates the myriad of shops, artisan workshops, pubs, bars, markets and eateries on offer in the area and aims to back the local economy and promote community life. Annabel Sidney, a steering group member of Crystal Palace Transition Town, told Inside Croydon:
“We are very lucky to have such a mix of shops and our local businesses deserve our support. They have chosen to put down roots in Crystal Palace because they see and experience qualities that reflect their own personal and social values. They are passionate about what they do, have great product knowledge, provide a personal service and often stock locally made and unique products.”
A couple of the first copies were put directly into the hands of Labour Party leader Ed Miliband and Chuka Umunna, Shadow Minister for Small Business and Enterprise, who visited Crystal Palace Transition Town on Small Business Saturday. Here’s a photo to prove it:
Their local Chamber of Commerce has gone public about considering the introduction of a Palace Pound, similar to those of Bristol, Brixton and other places. Paul Bartholomew, the chairman of the CPCC, was quoted as saying:
“We are going to be discussing the possibility of Crystal Palace having its own currency – the Palace Crystal – along the lines of similar schemes in Brixton and Bristol”.
We have heard in previous round ups about the Palace Pint and other local beer projects in London. Well, Transition Belsize are at it too, recently tweeting “Launch of Belsize/Kentish local beer project next Monday from 7pm, with @brixtonbeerco, showing @BestBeforeDoc at @thegraftonnw5. Join us!”
Transition Town Bridport have been teaching people how to become draughtbusters, which was reported in their local paper. It quoted one participant as saying “The workshop has shown me how, and given me the confidence to line all my curtains”. Handy.
TransitionNetwork.org reported on how fruit picking groups in Brent, north west London, have had a bumper harvest this year, saving almost three tons of fruit that would otherwise go to waste in local gardens. Two Transition groups (Kensal to Kilburn Fruit Harvesters and Willesden Fruit Harvesters) and Mapesbury Residents’ Association (MapRA) have between them picked a record amount of fruit, which has been shared with local schools and community groups.
Transition Dorking held their Golden Ticket event which went really well, in spite of the rain. Here is a picture from the day of someone, for some reason, dressed as a huge chicken, standing in the rain at some point during the day.
Also, actress Prunella Scales visited the Green Room Theatre recently to speak at the launch of the Keep Warm, Save Money leaflet produced by sustainability group Transition Dorking in conjunction with Mole Valley District Council. You can read more about it here.
Transition Basingstoke ran an event called ‘Community Energy: what’s in it for us?’ in partnership with the Centre for Sustainable Energy from Bristol. Transition Keynsham have also been running a series of meetings dedicated to moving towards a community energy company for the area, tweeting “Thanks to all who attended the TK energy group meeting tonight. Next stop the Keynsham Community Energy Company!”
Transition Bristol produced a fantastic Timeline of what they’ve been up to since they started. A gorgeous thing it is too. A great tool for any Transition group who wants to stop, record, and celebrate what they’ve been up to. Transition Belper recently produced their Christmas newsletter.
Transition Town Totnes featured in a long section of a documentary on ARTE TV (starts at 29.40). You can see it here in German:
… or in French ….
As part of their seeing their work increasingly in the context of the austerity measures being imposed by government, TTT recently brought together a wide range of local organisations working in the field of health and care, to discuss:
“… how Totnes could build on its reputation for its innovative and pioneering approach, the strength of its community with many successful voluntary and charitable organisations, and for generally being “a town that cares” to face the major challenge as public spending cuts bite deep, non-statutory council services are withdrawn, and welfare changes begin to impact on local people”.
They also appeared in a recent article in New Start magazine called How we did it: Totnes local enterprise incubator. Transition Town Tooting were recent award-winners, and tweeted: “BATCA Heroes Award this evening for TTT Community Garden & Gatton School project #Tooting #Transition Yeah!”. Congratulations. Here is a photo of them celebrating their award…
As well as winning awards, their community garden also produced some rather extraordinary paper recently. Here’s a photo. It is made from sweetcorn leaves!
The group also held their annual Foodival festival. Here is a short film they made about it:
Transition Stroud held their annual Winterfest. Here’s the rather groovy poster:
Transition Reading held a Repair Cafe recently and made a short film about it:
Transition Chichester have been planting more trees in their community orchard …
… and also made some rather smart compost bins.
Here are a couple of short films made, I think, by students from the London School of Economics, who it appears, were given a project to find out about Transition. Here’s the first, who went to Transition Belsize and seems to have had quite a good time …
… while the second group went to Bethnal Green, didn’t let anyone know they were coming, wandered around rather aimlessly and then headed home to make this …
Now for some news from Romania. “In the last mounthly roundups we have already written about the schoolgarden project of the Transition Bucuresti, what is their main project and is very successful. Now here is a short video about the project.
The fourth local initiative was launched in Romania in Alba Iulia with a Transition Towns introductory seminar and a Deep Ecology. It was a very fine beginning in Alba Iulia, as the local group is being supported by authorities from the local university and particularly the Ecology faculty, some of the Transitioners in the newly formed group being still students in ecology and environment management.
For our dearest project Gradina din Curtea Scolii (School Gardening), as the time for gardening is far, we’re working on a website that would be used as a national platform for school gardening, where any school can join the project, thus having access to the materials that we are preparing, the lessons that we have learned from implementing the project in more than an year and our good people with proficiency in permaculture. So far we have 4 schools (and kindergardens) being signed up for next year and probably many to come. We’re working with a professional web designed to make this happen and hope that by mid spring for the platform to be ready. We’ll keep you updated on the developments.
Here is some news from Juan del Rio, from Cardedeu in Transition in Spain:
“Our Transition group may be very embryonic, but nevertheless, in just two months, has found many ways to combat the cold second half of the autumn. With the idea of learning, sharing and celebrating, we have now held three monthly “Berenars” (“Afternoon Teas” – see poster, right) with ever-increasing success, thanks to the woodburner, homemade cake, and activities which awaken the mind and the body. The last one for example was shared with people from another new transition initiative Granollers en Transició.
At the same time, a smaller group has committed to undertake the development of “Cardedeu en Transició”, and to ensure everybody arrives fresh and creative, we precede the meetings with a brief and inspiring Transition Walk.
Amongst all that, and certainly not to be overlooked, is the Transition Towns course which several of us participated in last month, and which has undoubtedly helped to catalyse and inspire the whole journey.
The festive period is now rapidly approaching, but we hope to continue with the same energy, momentum and enjoyment in January.
Lastly, in the US, Don Hall from Transition Sarasota reflected on a few days he spent being part of, or around, Rob Hopkins’ recent trip to the US and Transition Houston published their newsletter.
And that’s it for December. All of us here at Transition Network would like to take this opportunity to wish you a very happy Christmas or whatever else you choose to celebrate this season, and a wonderful New Year. Keep sending in your stories, and we remain, as always, in the deepest admiration for all that you do. Our thanks also to Noemi who has been interning at Transition Network for the past few months, and who has pulled these roundups together. We are very grateful to her, and wish her all the best.