“Dear Agony Aunt. Our Transition group has been going for 2 years now, we’ve several great projects underway and feel things are moving well. We read in the Transition books that we should have an ‘Unleashing’. Do we have to? Have we left it too late? Would it be a good thing to do?” P.D.
The Unleashing, or Launch event, has happened in many different forms – from street parties to town hall meetings, from a day long celebration and Open Space conversations to a quiet event in a local venue. There are projects that are really successful that have never had an Unleashing – and some where it’s been a key part of getting new groups started, and new people excited and involved.
The Unleashing gives a way for a project to get publicity, to invite people to get involved, and to announce to your community that you want work for its well being. It can definitely be too early for an Unleashing – if you haven’t connected with other organisations locally, especially those working in a similar area they might feel as if you’re wanting to take over their territory. And if you haven’t already galvanised enough interest that the event falls flat it will be hard to look appealing enough for people to want to get involved.
It can also be the case that it is a bit late to “unleash” if you’ve been going a long time and the people who you want to know about you already do. In this case, rather than launching your project, if you want to make a bit of a splash, you might want to have a celebration event, or launch a new project – and create an event around that instead.
The question for you is what your group needs right now. It sounds from your email as if things are moving along well at the moment – in which case I doubt you need to divert energy into organising a big event. So maybe you should leave the question until you to create a bit more of a stir, and then think of what would be exciting to local people to hear about, or be invited to be part of?
Well done for getting so much happening in the two years you’ve been going! I hope you’ll share any successes you’re especially proud of in the Transition Network projects database, here. You will find more on Unleashings here.
Today’s Agony Aunt was Sophy Banks.