It’s a bumper roundup this month, as we’re doing 2 roundups at once, seeing as we were unable to do one last month. As you’ll see, it is packed with news and stories from around the world, showcasing the huge diversity of what Transition groups get up to. It also contains a fair bit of apple-pressing-related stories. We’re going to start in Ontario, Canada, with Transition Guelph‘s fifth birthday event party poster, their Transition version of the Sgt Pepper album cover. It certainly gave us a lot of entertainment trying to work out who’s in it.
Also in Canada is a wonderful new project taking root at the Meaford Public Library which might inspire any Transition groups helping funding-strapped local libraries to reimagine themselves. In partnership with Golden Town Outreach, Meaford Community Gardens, and Transition Meaford, the library is now home to the Meaford Seed Library.
So just what is a seed library? A seed library is a place where people can ‘borrow’ seeds for use in their home. And just as books are returned to a public library, a seed library is able to continue when people donate seeds back to the seed library at the end of the growing season. These can be seeds that have been harvested from the plants or else commercial seed packets.
Another story from Canada was sent by Blaise Remillard. September 2013 was an important month for Villeray en Transition (VET). “We celebrated our two year anniversary (see poster below) and our new status as the first officially recognized Transition initiative in Quebec. Villeray en Transition is the 457th Transition initiative in the world recognized by Transition Network. The Meaford Seed Library is housed in the history room of the Meaford Public Library.
Transition Meaford has been working diligently to build a Meaford Community Garden network. The Meaford Seed Library offers a chance to move further along that path. The Meaford Public Library will be hosting a Seed Saving Workshop to help support the seed library. It will be an ideal opportunity to learn how to save seeds and help the Meaford Seed Library continue to thrive and grow.
Members and friends of Villeray en Transition gathered in a neighbourhood park on September 7th, a rainy Saturday, to celebrate and discover the initiatives that VET is currently developing. Discussions held throughout the day inspired citizens and active participants of VET to share their dreams and discuss how we can continue to create a resilient neighbourhood. Kiosks displaying the projects VET is spearheading in the community were open throughout the day.
One such project is a tool library where citizens will be able to loan and borrow household objects that they rarely use. When someone needs a drill or a cauldron, for example, they can borrow it from the tool library instead of buying a new one. Alexandre Couture-Lalande, member of the tool library committee, dreams of eventually having a workshop area set up beside the tool library where people can come to use and learn about the tools. The workshop idea has the potential for re-skilling residents and creating more links among people in the communit.
Following the popularity of her gardening and permaculture workshops, Louise Lacroix is now starting a neighbourhood “forgotten fruit” collection crew. The “forgotten fruit” volunteers will get together to pick fruit from trees and bushes whose owners do not have the time, ability, or desire to harvest themselves. The fruit will be shared with the volunteers, the tree owners, and a community collective kitchen. Louise’s long term goal is to eliminate wasted fruit in Villeray and encourage productive tree planting in the neigbourhood.
Sam Ben Ahmed has designed vertical gardening pockets made using recycled material from shop awnings. He believes his hanging pockets can be used on apartment balconies and in Villeray green-alley projects when pavement cannot be removed. “I’m just happy I’m making sure this stuff does not end up in a dump somewhere”, Sam said. Because his pockets are long-lasting, he is hoping they will compete with plastic flower pots, still often used on balconies and replaced every few years.
Local city councillor Elsie Lefebvre and federal government representative, Justin Trudeau, attended the celebration. Mr. Trudeau, who is also running to be Canada’s next Prime Minister, spoke about citizen empowerment. “This kind of citizen engagement and activism will change politics in the 21st century”. Several Villeray en Transition members expressed frustration at the inaction of authorities locally and around the world to deal with peak oil and climate change. However, VET chooses to remain positive and focus on small, visible local projects that make a difference in the everyday lives of residents. As Martin Strauss put it, “I can explain to my daughter that at least we are doing something!”
The celebration ended with a recounting of the history of Villeray en Transition and the announcement of plans for a great unleashing by the end of 2014. After having spent two years building roots in the community and raising awareness, the unleashing will invite citizens and other stakeholders in Villeray to take part in the Transition movement and make it happen.
Co-founder Blaise Rémillard notes
“Villeray en Transition is not an isolated group of people trying to insert their agenda into the community’s priorities, but rather a movement where everyone and every organisation can join together to act on economic, energy, and climate issues of the 21st century. Our ultimate goal is to make our community a more enjoyable place to live for all of us.”
Still in Canada, Transition Kitchener-Waterloo held a Repair Cafe and tweeted a photo from the sewing stuff section of it:
To the UK now, and we start with news of Crystal Palace Transition Town’s Palace Pint project, which we have mentioned in previous Roundups. The idea is to grow hops in back gardens across the area to flavour a beer. Well, they just produced their first batch of actual beer. Rachel DeThample tweeted “Today 1.8kg of #CrystalPalace grown hops were brewed into the area’s first Palace Pint (made w/fresh vs dried hops)”, kindly providing a photo of said hops.
The beer was duly brewed and served up in select local hostelries. The subline on the pumpclip (hard to distinguish in the photo below) was “using hops grown by people of the Palace”. Someone who tweets as ‘Dame Edna Beverage’ posted a photo of her pint on the bar, with the pumpclip behind …
Crystal Palace Transition Town have also been mobilising people to start work on the UK’s first Edible Bus Station project. It is part of the Edible Bus Stop project, which a number of London Transition groups are involved in. Here’s a great video about it:
… and here are the CPTT team, jacketted up and ready for some serious digging …
Also in London, Transition Town Tooting held their annual Foodival again, and it sounds like it was fantastic. Here is the poster …
You can download the booklet they produced to accompany the event here, a delicious and imaginative celebration of the food culture of Tooting and of what local food means in that setting. You can see their blog about the event here, or here is a film they made:
Melbourne Area Transition recently became landowners, buying 10 acres of land through their Whistlewood Common Limited. They manage to raise £50,000 in shares from from 150 members. You can read the whole story here. Here is a photo of the group looking justifiably pleased with themselves.
Transition Keynsham got together a wildflower patch working party to do some seed collecting. Transition Town Whitehead in Northern Ireland are running a survey on people’s shopping habits and giving away free energy-saving kits.
It’s that time of year when a Transition initiative’s mind starts to turn to pressing apples. Belsize, Chester, Westbridgford, in Germany Niedernhausen, Witzenhausen and also Bern in Switzerland have all been at it. Transition Worcester have taken their apple press on tour, setting it up at a number of different local venues and inviting local people to bring their apples along. Here’s their poster (see right).
Transition Stratford’s Harvest Share scheme is one of the largest community fruit collection and distribution scheme in the country. Over to them:
“In 2011 we saved over 3 tonnes of local fruit from going to waste. In 2012 the poor spring weather severely affected local crops (and bees) – but Harvest Share still managed to collect 900 kilos from local trees.
We are back among the fruit trees again in 2013. During the early months of 2013, Harvest Share volunteers have carried out winter maintenance at the largest orchard in the scheme – at Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust property in Shottery – pruning old trees and planting new ones. At the beginning of August, we moved into our temporary store in the Mulberry Centre, off Mulberry Street in Stratford, and we’ve now started the picking!”
Transition Loughborough took their apple press to the University for University Harvest Weekend, pressing apples for the student throng. Their efforts made the local paper (see photo below).
Transition Dorking’s Dorking Community Orchard group have also been out pressing apples at the Holmwood Market. In fact it’s been a busy old few weeks for Transition Dorking. They also had a visit from Mary Portas to help launch their Golden Ticket initiative (see photo right) which you can read more about here. It was a fantastic initiative for getting people back into their town centre and supporting the town’s traders.
Not content with that, they also have actress Prunella Scales, she of Fawlty Towers and other successes, joining them for an event at the Green Room Theatre as part of the group’s Keep Warm and Save Money campaign. She is quoted as saying:
“Once, at stage school, I was asked to improvise on the theme of waking up. After my turn, the drama teacher said ‘Very good Prunella, very original,’ not realizing I’d simply re-enacted my daily morning routine, breaking the ice in the basin, and boiling a kettle to wash, before stomping through the woods to the bus stop to go up to London to be a student.”
Transition Town Marlow produced this short promotional video for their Marlow Market …. (last Saturday of every month in case you are in the area) …
It was recently announced that Bristol City Council will now accept Council Tax payments in Bristol Pounds. Assistant mayor, Geoff Gollop, said the decision meant more payment options for local people.
“As the Bristol pound goes from strength to strength we’ll be working closely with them to celebrate, promote and encourage the use of one of Britain’s most successful local currencies,” he said.
BBC Points West also ran a piece looking at how the Bristol Pound is doing after its first year in circulation:
MShed Museum in Bristol put an old Bristol Pound alongside a new one in one of their display cabinets:
While we’re on the subject of local economies, you might enjoy having a look at The Grimsey Review: An Alternative Vision for the High Street, a kind of alternative Portas review, in which Transition gets a fair few mentions as a kind of best practice for reviving local economies. In the last round-up, we had a short video about Eastbourne’s new community garden.. Well here is a piece from the Eastbourne Herald which gives a bit of an update, and includes this rather lovely quote:
Sue Moss, whose mother, Rene White, 90, lives close to the garden, said ‘I am delighted that my mother will finally have a beautiful place to sit in the sun.”
Transition St. Albans recently ran an event called ‘Food Smiles’ which brought people together to explore the idea of Community Supported Agriculture in St Albans, hearing from a number of people already doing it, and getting people to connect and see what might be possible. On the group’s website they wrote:
It was a great success. Around 60 people attended, including keen residents, councillors, local businesses, farmers and food producers all bringing energy and enthusiasm to the concept of redesigning a more sustainable, community-orientated and healthy approach to obtaining our food.
Here are the group with the Mayor. And their rather fetching Food Smiles tshirts. The group was also shortlisted for the Mayor’s Pride Awards 2013.
One of the stories that just missed the last Roundup was the publication of Transition Town Brixton’s Local Economic Evaluation, a fine piece of work which asked the question “just what would an injection of £60 million in the local economy mean to life in Brixton?” You can read more, and an interview we did with Duncan Law, one of its creators, here.
Also in Brixton, the Brixton Pound had its 4th birthday party, and around the same time, Transition Town Brixton held its fifth birthday party(see poster, right)! Many happy returns both. Brixton Energy were the stars of a very favourable article in the Daily Telegraph, just don’t read the comments thread at the end if you want to retain some sort of faith in human nature.
The Brixton Pound also sent the Bristol Pound a birthday greeting (it was their first birthday party…):
Another local currency is being planned, this time in Kingston, just on the edge of London. The Kingston Pound team have been out and about drumming up support for the idea. Here is a photo of the team and their rather fetching tshirts:
Abingdon Carbon Cutters held their second Eco Fair recently. They wrote:
Our second Eco Fair was a hive of networking and fun. Local societies, groups, firms and individuals ran wonderful stalls, while local musicians “Flower of the Quern” and “What’s Up Folk” group from John Mason School serenaded us from the balcony. Samantha Bowring, the Mayor of Abingdon, spoke to the throng at 12 noon, giving us a clear idea of why Transition is so important for the town, and this was endorsed by Sandy Lovatt, the leader of the Town Council, who told us he approves of conservation and of the drive to stimulate the local economy. Our unique video message from Rob Hopkins gave a clear account of the benefits of Transition.
Here is that video …
Transition Buxton have been exploring the creation of a local currency for the area, holding an Alternative Economics Seminar to discuss the idea. Chester based Ceilidh Band, the ‘Time Bandits’ played a benefit gig on 5th October to raise funds for Transition Chester. Transition Stroud will be holding its annual Winterfest at Ale House, Stroud on 7th December, 10am-2pm.
Transition Cambridge have just published their very impressive Annual Report. Really worth a look, a fascinating capturing of their diverse work over the past year. Often when we meet groups who say “we haven’t really done much”, I think they should do something like this and celebrate all the great things they have done. Here’s a diagram from the report giving a sense of the spread of their work:
They also held a Skillsfest which sounded great. Here’s the poster:
Transition Abergavenny recently held a big launch event, called ‘A Celebration of Abergavenny’. You can read more about it in their special newsletter to celebrate the event.
Transition Town Maidenhead’s Ben Hart was recently interviewed by artist Soheila Keyani about the group’s work and what they are up to:
In the next short video, Pauline Cory gives a tour around a community garden that has been developing over the last few years near Worthing, Sussex. Located in Angmering, West Sussex, the plot is surrounding by stunning views of the South Downs and the South Coast. Many of the people who contribute and maintain the land are involved with Transition Town Worthing.
Now to Totnes. The group’s award-winning Transition Streets programme is now available for other groups to do. Here’s a rather silly video in which TTT’s Hal Gilmore introduces it, and how to get involved, while riding around on an animated bicycle …
TTT also held its annual Open EcoHomes event. Despite torrential rain there were hundreds of visits in Totnes eco-homes that opened their doors to visitors at the end of September. Highlights seem to have been the Cider Barrel House, the ever popular straw bale house on Kingsbridge Hill and the tour of renewable energy installations and the compost loo at Bowden House but all of the participating homes received visitors keen to learn what they could.
The Eco-Fair that followed on October 5th was also a great success with at lest twice as many visitors as last year when we were competing with the Tour of Britain cycle race. This years new format saw presentations running in parallel to the exhibits with talks on composting, compost loos, sustainable building and electric cars. Exhibitors covered areas such as soft furnishings and materials as well as the usual renewable energy suppliers, architects and builders – and there were wonderful cakes!
Another development in Totnes is the upcoming launch of New Lion Brewery, a social enterprise craft brewery, one of the founders of which is Transition Network’s Rob Hopkins. On November 23rd they will be holding a mini beer festival to kick it off. You can find out more about it in this article from the Herald Express. Here’s a photo of Rob and the team.
Transition Chepstow’s Local Food Challenge had some great coverage in the local Monmouthshire Country Life magazine (pages 52-53). Transition Town Reading held a Repair Cafe, and someone very kindly wandered around it with a camera to give us a flavour of the event…
Transition Town Wycombe also celebrated their fifth anniversary. They put together this short video to capture some of what they’ve been up to during that time. Congratulations all:
We’ll head to the US now, which is in fact what Transition Network’s Rob Hopkins did recently, blogging about it (in chronological order) here, here, here, here and here. Here is one of the talks he gave while there, at an event in Boston. It was an extraordinary trip, and this is as good an opportunity as any to once again thank everyone who made it happen and who supported it.
Transition Trainer Nick Osborne was also in the US running his Effective Groups trainings, which went down a storm. Here, Tina Clarke reflects on the trainings and how they went. Here is an advert from one of those trainings, in LA:
Pioneer Valley Transition Towns recently ran a Film festival, here’s the poster:
Neighbours of the Rosemont Avenue area in Portland, Maine recently planted 49 fruit trees. The initiative was organized by Alastair Lough in combined support for both Orchard Revolution and the Transition US Challenge. The planting will be featured in the documentary film Orchard Revolution. The movie covers the stories of families planting fruit trees in their yards and local parks, focusing on health, sustainability and permaculture. It is scheduled for release in 2014. Here is the trailer:
The following rather lovely video was made to thank everyone who was involved:
Transition Sarasota are now celebrating having gleaned over 108,000 lbs of organic produce from local farms for distribution through the local food bank. Here’s a picture of some of the team with some of what they’ve gleaned:
In a piece on their website recently, they said:
“Although we are proud of the 108,000 pounds of local, organic fruits and vegetables we have donated to All Faiths Food Bank and The Food Bank of Manatee over the past three seasons, from the very beginning, feeding the hungry has not been the program’s only purpose. It also serves to:
- Offer a healthy alternative to the usual budget-strapped food bank fare of Frosted Flakes, Cheez-Its, Pepsi, Hamburger Helper, and canned fruits and vegetables;
- Provide the farms who participate in the program with a tax-deduction for the full market value of the produce we harvest – produce that would otherwise go to waste;
- Prove that the local food movement is not just a pastime for wealthy gourmets;
- Give volunteers an opportunity to get their hands dirty, build community with their fellow gleaners, and know, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that they are making a difference;
- Raise awareness about Transition Sarasota and issues related to local food, which articles published in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Edible Sarasota, Highlands Today, and the East County Observer have done very nicely; and
- Inspire similar projects, like Sarasota County Fruit Share and Saint Pete Abundance, as well as an unknown number of other initiatives started by those who have read about the Suncoast Gleaning Project in Transition Movement founder Rob Hopkins’ most recent book, The Power of Just Doing Stuff.”
Transition Town Amherst held an Garden Bicycle Ride, heading off to visit interesting food gardens in the area:
Transition Lab is a very cool project in Colorado working with young people giving them resilience skills. It’s great. Here, Jake Hanson, it’s first graduate, explains in this video why Transition Lab makes financial sense, and how it’s empowered him with the economic freedom to do work he loves and build a better world.
Gloria Broming, Linda Elbert, Sue Bibee, Moji Banakdar, and the Tanaka Family from Transition Laguna Beach recently travelled to the Heirloom Expo of 2013 in Santa Rosa. When they got home they sat down and filmed their reflections on it.
Various people involved in Transition in Olympia went on their local cable TV channel to discuss what they’ve been up to…
Lyons in France was also the host recently for the National Hubs meeting, which brought together people from 19 different Transition National Hubs. If you are looking for a more informative account of the event, try Gary Alexander’s excellent blog about it. If you’re looking for a completely random selection of odd and very short videos from the event, we can do that too. Here, for example, is Naresh Giangrande eating an apple:
Here are some people kicking footballs at each other …
… listening to some gorgeous singing …
… and being welcomed to the event in French with singing accompaniment …
On now to news of recent developments in Germany. According to Gerd Wessling:
“There were a bunch of activities in Transition D/A/CH (that’s Germany, Austria and Switzerland) in the last months. One highlight was the yearly network-meeting with over 60 active people end of September where further steps on the way to a nationwide association were discussed. Motivated teams were set up and they will contribute to a better and clearer understanding of the german-speaking network. You can read a nice and warm report about the event on the site of Transition Regensburg, and here is a photo of those attending:
Many groups started regional meetings to establish fruitful connections on a level between local and national. Examples are the Transition-Day in Berlin-Brandenburg or the come-together for initiatives in North-Rhine Westfalia with workshops and lectures about permaculture, Urban Gardening and Inner Transition.
On a national scale we see strong efforts by various actors to bring together members of various grass-roots-organizations and scientists in order to discuss the kind and role of research which can contribute to an intermediary between the state and pioneers of change on the way to a social and ecological transformation of society.
As the Federal Ministry of Education and Research explicitly mentioned Transition Towns as research partners in their latest call for projects, exciting research projects are being developed. Transition initiatives from various places and Transition D/A/CH are involved with this.
Until the recent past a database of German speaking TIs was available in an Excel on the site of Transition Initiativen in Deutschland, Österreich und der Schweiz. Thanks for Hannes and Mareile you can found them now on an online map, what’s much pretty, easy to use and give a nice overview about more than 100 German speaking initiatives”.
Transtion Niedernhausen organised an open film event with talk for presenting the movie ’In Transition 2.0’. Here’s a video about Transition in Transition Town Witzenhausen in Germany, including a Transition Training led by Gerd …
Not being a German speaker I have no idea what is going on in this next video, but I know that it is called Stadt im Wandel (German for Transition Towns) and it has Gerd in it, so it looks good to me…
Some Spanish news now. ‘Happy henhouse for private egg consumption’ is the title of the first project set up by Granada en Transición in Spain, since they have launched in November 2012. Here’s how the group told us their story:
“The aim of our project is to build a henhouse in Granada, to make possible for a group of households to get eggs in a sustainable, local way with free-range hens and respectful breeding conditions. The henhouse is going to be located near the centre of the city, in the “Vega de Granada”, (which is currently hampered by building speculation) thereby facilitating access on foot or by bicycle. We work collectively, creating a dynamic space where people are able to relate harmoniously with animals and the environment, promoting creativity and dissemination of other initiatives in Transition.
The project is promoted by Granada in Transition (see below), part of the Transition movement. Its members have extensive experience in various social movements: environmentalists, feminists, rural self-management, organic farming and/or ecological construction. The main objective of this organization is to transform the socio-economic model of the city to a more cooperative, sustainable and fair one. We have therefore developed this project because it shows a Transition alternative to the current production and consumption model.
The main motivation is to create an alternative to conventional egg production, that is cruel and unsustainable, generating a system of self-sufficiency in the same city. We’re also interested in the dissemination and educational dimension that this project will generate. Finally, we would like to recover the original use of the Vega as a provider of local food to the population of Granada. Here is a video about it:
In Hungary also was organised a movie event to presenting the film ’In Transition 2.0’ together with people from Transition Wekerle (from Budapest) and Transition Kecskemét. The movie event was the first stage of a talk series what started in Kecskemét for skill sharing about community gardening and preserving. Very spontaneous tools offered by a local family helped transition people from Kecskemét to preserve fruits in community: 100 litres apple juice and several jar jam of apple, quince and blackthorn were preserved on community events in autumn (looking pretty appetising in the photo, right).
Tracey Wheatly, the funder of first Hungarian Transition initiative (Transition Wekerle in Budapest) recently received an award from the local patriot community association (Wekerle Társaskör) honoring her huge work made in the last years for local environmental awareness and community development (see photo below).
To France now, and this report from Kitty de Bruin:
“It was a sunny weekend the 5th and the 6th of October and more than 12,000 visitors arrived to Bayonne to visit the village Alternatiba organised by Bizi! More than 100 conferences related to this subject, ‘Together, let’s build a better world by tackling the climate crisis!’, music, demonstrations about how to build an eco house and make your compost, a market with local food producers, a stand where the Transitioners from the south west presented their projects, a meeting of more than 50 Transitioners from the south west, but also stand-up conferences from the transitioners from Paris. More details and pictures about the conference on the website of Transition France.
There was also a great REconomy event in Paris recently. You can read a great report of the event here.
To Romania. Last two months have been quite full with activities for Transition Towns Romania, according to Mihai Abagif to whom we are grateful for this report:
“The school gardening project is extending its reach to become a national project started in Bucharest (the city capital) and works are in process to have it extended to other 2-3 major cities starting with 2014 (discussions with schools, with partners NGOs, formal agreements and so on).
Also, for the first in Bucharest, now due to the good media coverage we had in last months we have managed to receive some funding in a eco-project contest (for usage of school free spaces) which we won. This funding was actually the first Romania has started which is also an important breakthrough and reason to celebrate.
In the first pilot school for the School Gardening project (“Gradina din Curtea Scolii” in Romanian), we have started preparation of the garden for next year and thus last two Saturdays there were intense activity with the volunteers and the kids to arrange the new garden. The space will contain part a food forest, part garden and part open future forested/wild zone (in the principle of zone 4-5 as per permaculture understanding) Thus we have built several raised beds and fully prepared them for planting, planted many some varieties of wild and fruit trees, prepared the compost area for gathering leaves.
Our national hub activities and projects continue to diversify. We are glad to announce that on the 10th of November we will have our first tree planting action with a local authority (from small town near Bucharest, i.e. Pantelimon). The action will be a mixture planting fruit and wild trees thus leading the future zone towards a food forest/community orchard. If this action proves successful, then the tree planting cooperation will be extended in Pantelimon and also with other towns/cities in Romania. The new project brand is ….. (city name or zone) Takes Roots (such as London Takes Roots) and this is the flyer for the event (see right):
Claudian, our Transition Towns Trainer was also busy these days. There was a 2 days Deep Ecology workshop being held in Sf. Gheorghe and we’re preparing one other Deep Ecology seminars and an ecovillage design workshop for a future ecovillage next week-end.
A new Transition Towns initiative will be opened next month in Transilvania – Alba in Tranzitie, the 4th introductory workshop to Transition Towns”. As the editor of this Roundup, I have to say, had someone asked me 7 years ago when we started Transition that in 7 years time there would be a Transition Transylvania, I would have thought they were mad.
Here is some news from Belgium, sent in by Ralph Böhlke. The network of Transition initiatives in Belgium is steadily growing – sometime silently sometimes a bit louder: definitely not silent was the “Journée Pissenlit” (Dandelion Day – see poster right) it was the celebration for the official launch of Rochefort en Transition on October 27, with humour, activities for children, music and dance… Soon, there will be 70 initiatives across the country (almost 30 French speaking and 40 Flemish speaking groups).
Liège en Transition partnered up with various other stakeholders in the region to develop food production and transformation services in the area (see photo below). Almost 150 participants took part in the open space on Nov 6 to feed in ideas in order to make the Liège Food Belt become real.
“Circuits courts”, economic activity that serves local and regional needs is an issue that touches increasingly the interest of public authorities in Belgium. The French speaking hub received a government grant in order to expand transition activities and to formalise our hub. There are four persons who are working for the hub (Réseau Transition Wallonie & Bruxelles) since October.
Norway recently hosted its second Transition Training course in Bergen on the 28-29th September 2013. A group of people from the region of Bergen (the second biggest city of Norway) and elsewhere, came together to take part in the Transition Launch course. They received practical training in how they can start to create a sustainable community. The course was based on Transition Training as developed by the international Transition Network, but is enriched with examples and experiences from sustainable life in Bergen and Transition initiatives in the Oslo area. It was arranged by Transition Norway in cooperation with Bærekraftige Liv and Change the World, facilitated by Mauricio Deliz, Transition Norway and director of the Norwegian ONG Change the World.
September saw the first Transition Fest in Italy, which brought together groups from across the country. It looks like a fantastic time was had by all. Here is the poster…
… here is a picture of everyone having a good time …
… and you can read a detailed write-up of it (in English) by Deborah Rim Moiso here.
A Transition Training will be run in Italy, December 7-8, in December in Italy at EcoVillaggio a Pedali, Via Pizzuti, 60/b – Torri in Sabina (Rieti)… here is a short video to promote it:
Cristiano Bottone, one of the pioneers of Transition in Italy, gave a TEDx talk at TEDxBologna recently. Very good it was too (although understanding Italian helps). Here it is:
Transition is also popping up in Rome. The Transition initiative Transition Town Appio Latino recently appeared on a Rome TV programme (www.romauno.tv) talking about their work …
And lastly to Chile. The Transition movement in Chile, in collaboration with the Permaculture Institute, is working with the local and regional actors to move municipal governments forward towards participatory planning for local resilience. The Transition movement will take the role of education, empowering local groups, lifting the level of eco literacy and design competence.
A few years ago after a first contact with Torbjörn Lahti, from Sustainable Sweden, some Chilean actors expressed interest in establishing eco-municipalities in Chile. Torbjörn Lahti has been working with Swedish eco-municipalities ever since the concept was first launched in Sweden in the 1980s. He has developed a concept called “Eco-municipality 5.0”, which has been used in municipalities in Sweden and abroad, and which is described in his recently published book “How to Change Worlds”. The eco-municipality movement in Sweden is organized around an association, “The Swedish Association for Eco-Municipalities” (SEKOM), which currently gathers 84 eco-municipalities.
Starting in October 2010, a Swedish project was launched – “Solutions system combined with territorial change process and with implementation in Chile”. A consultant company, ESAM, is the project owner, with Torbjörn Lahti as the project leader and with financial support from the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth. The project aims to build competence networks in Sweden that could support the processes already initiated in Chile. The network mainly gathers small companies whose activities and products respond to the Chilean processes needs in terms of competence and know-how. During this program, the project leader made two trips to Chile and a Chilean delegation came to Sweden in September 2011. In April 2012 a Swedish delegation visited Chile and Argentina and in June 2012 another Chilean delegation plus a couple from Colombia visited Sweden. Some webinar meetings were also organized with participants from Chile and Sweden.Now there are some Chilean municipalities interested in becoming eco-municipalities according to the Swedish concept. The discussion with the Swedish network and SEKOM resulted in a common desire to develop a EU-funded project in the frame of the “Local Authorities and Non-Governmental Organization” Program. Thanks to existing links with municipalities in Argentine and Colombia, an extended invitation was made to Rosario in Argentina and Bogota in Colombia to be part of the program.
The overall long-term goal for this project is to establish eco-municipalities and eco-regions in Chile and Argentina and Colombia, in a parallel development with the Swedish eco-municipalities. The municipalities of the 4 countries will work according to the “Eco-Municipality 5.0” concept as the main framework, but the model is to develop a process of mutual sharing and learning between the countries, integrating different methods/tools/experiences of local development processes, such as the Chilean Municipal Environmental Certification System (SCAM) and the Argentinian “Adaptation to Climate Change” Local Program (PLACC).
The participating municipalities are to become models for both their own countries and at the international level. In a short-term perspective, the project aims to strengthen the municipalities/regions according to the concept key words regarding the change process: learning, planning, doing. In the project these can be seen as three parallel but integrated processes which ultimate aim is to build/reinforce competence (learning), develop/revise sustainable planning (planning) and develop new/old “good examples” through concrete “pilot projects” in the municipalities (doing).
We’ll leave you with a track by ‘Chilled Vibes’ called ‘Transition Town’. Hard to tell what the connection is, but we hope you’ll enjoy it:
Our thanks to Noemi Andacs for her help with this Roundup. Do let us have any stories you’d like to feature in the next one.