April 2014 – Transition Network Newsletter
By Mike Grenville 3rd April 2014
This month sees a new Digest which brings together all the articles on the theme of the month. REconomy relaunches its website and has a job offer, Transition Free Press gets ready to relaunch, ideas of reusing stuff, saying goodbye to supermarkets and a school dips in its river. Plus new training, the World Roundup and of course much more.
The Transitioners Digest
Our theme for March was ‘Living with Climate Change’, which we explored from a variety of angles. The month was framed by an opening editorial which reflected on how different the storms of 2014 felt from previous extreme weather episodes and reflected on the response to the storms from various quarters. It is fitting that our theme drew to a close on the day the latest IPCC report was published.
- “The biggest diplomatic challenge of all time” is what Sir David King told Sarah McAdam. He calls this “the big moment to achieve a global agreement” on climate change.
- Our conversation with George Marshall of COIN discussed why it is that being exposed to extreme weather doesn’t necessarily increase awareness of climate change, and how Transition initiatives should discuss climate change in their communities following the storms.
- Sophy Banks argued that “if we were rational, we’d have climate change sorted by now”.
- Guy Watson of Riverford Organic Farm talked about the realities of trying to run a farm in the face of extreme weather.
- Chris Rowland talked about how OVESCO are now running a peer mentoring scheme for local communities.
- Our interview with Paul Kingsnorth, a founder of the Dark Mountain Project encouraged concluded that the useful thing you can do is keep telling the truth and get on with doing what useful work you can do at your local level.
- Katherine Knox of Joseph Rowntree Foundation introduced us to ‘climate injustice‘, and the social impacts of the recent floods and who stands to lose the most from climate-related impacts.
- We also heard from Transitioners around the world reflecting on what climate change looks like where they live. Reports include from Los Angeles and the drought that has been affecting California; what climate mitigation looks like in a Netherlands community; two reports from the Somerset Levels; the sheer power of the storms on the Isles of Scilly.
- By far the most popular article of last month was our Open Letter to the BBC in response to Nigel Lawson’s appearance on Radio 4’s Today Programme. We followed up this month with a response to the BBC’s reply to the huge numbers of people who objected. The flood of complaints resulted, finally, in the closest thing to an apology from the programme’s producer.
For all these stories above and an overview of what we’ve covered, the highlights and some key insights:
Round-up of What’s Happening out in the World of Transition
We have reports of removing mountains of rubbish on South Norwood High Street, Brockley going a-wassailing, the Kingston Pound to be piloted, a Skillshare event in Cambridge, Loughborough creating a community allotment, Sandmount in Dublin held Ireland’s first ever Repair Cafe. Plus news from Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Mexico, Netherlands, Portugal, South Africa, USA, and Uruguay.
New REconomy Project Website Helps You Transform Your Local Economy
Transition groups everywhere are already running brilliant, inspiring projects and enterprises that create new livelihoods. We’ve re-done our resources and website to make it easier for you to do the same.
Introducing Paid Work to Your Transition Group
Funding is always a good thing, right? Well it can also cause big problems if you introduce paid work to a mainly volunteer group without careful consideration of the issues. This simple PDF guide will help you anticpate and deal with them.
Get Paid to Help REconomy Ideas Spread in the UK
Are you excited by the idea of helping Transition groups transform their local economy and create new livelihoods? Here’s a paid opportunity to work with the REconomy Project team.
TRANSITION FREE PRESS
May 1st sees the relaunch of Transition Free Press (TFP) following its successful pilot which produced four very popular and high quality papers. The relaunch also represents a shift in emphasis for the paper. Alexis Rowell, TFP’s Managing Editor, says that “the focus is shifting slightly to include anything that is “Transition-like” without necessarily being Transition.
What will really make a difference to make sure that TFP thrives is the number of people who sign up to become subscribers, paying £15 a year in advance for four copies. Do you know a friend or relative who might enjoy a subscription to TFP?
Get Transition Free Press circulating in your area! Order deadline for distributors is 11th April.
NEWS OF THE NETWORK
Transition Network is seeking new Trustees
Outgoing Trustee William Lana has been on the Board since Transition Network began, and after 7 years’ service is standing down. He was asked about his experience of being a Trustee and what advice would he give to anyone who is contemplating applying to be on the Board.
Are you a Drupal developer?
We’re looking for a lead developer/technical architect to work with the ‘Transition Technologist’ group on our web project.
One Year in Transition
Applications are open now for this September as One Year in Transition (1YT) gets into its third year. It is proving very successful, with all our first year graduates now doing the work they designed for themselves while on the programme and happily fulfilling their potential as change-agents for resilient communities. 1YT is a low-cost collaborative learning programme that empowers young adults to create the Transition livelihoods they want by growing people, community and projects together. Put One Day in Transition, in Bristol on 12 July, in your diary. It’s the place to meet the current students as they complete their year, connect with Transition Bristol and bring community project ideas along for tips on how to grow them. To find out more visit our great new website:
Doing Stuff in German
Rob Hopkins book The Power of Doing Stuff is now available in German called “Einfach.Jetzt.Machen! It is a huge success & the publisher is very pleased with the first results. There have been many positive articles about the book that has an extra chapter on the current transition activities in German-speaking countries. To order and for more info:
Transition Germany Becomes Legal
After 4 years in “legal limbo” Transition Germany at last has a legal structure! The NGO “Transition Netzwerk e.V.” will be located in the small Town of Witzenhausen in the center of Germany and was created in an intense & joyful 2-day-workshop by 17 representatives and long-term Transition activists, representing many different German Transition intitiatives. More about our new NGO in German here:
Launch online starts again on April 23rd. It has sold out every time so far, so if you are thinking of attending this or know anyone who is, then now is the time to get in early while there are still places.
We are starting to offer Thrive in Europe, with Spain, Belgium, and Sweden leading the way, and have a full programme of Launch trainings, and a few Effective group trainings too. More details:
There is a special and highly recommended workshop in Germany in April with Charles Eisenstein entitled, ‘Transition Activists and Leadership Intensive’ with Charles Eisenstein.
Packed with imaginative ways to delve into the practice of Transition showing you how to set up, run and grow a Transition Initiative. It is also useful for people who have recently become involved in Transition and want to develop the essential skills and insights to help their Transition initiative become a success. More details:
Keep Your Stuff Alive
Every object has a dark side – and that’s especially true in fashion. Two-wash-two wear tea shirts have a devastating impact on watercourses, air quality, soil toxicity, and human and ecosystem health, in many parts of the world. It is one thing to draw attention to the hidden costs of fashion, says John Thackara, quite another to figure out what to do about them.
Goodbye to Supermarkets?
When we shop at the supermarket, it’s important to remember that the food we purchase supports particular agricultural practices, and provides demand for the food policies that dominate our food system. Rebecca Roberts sees cracks in the supermarket model that are beginning to show.
Food in Community: keeping community groups fed in Totnes
An article Rob Hopkins wrote for the Live Better section on the Guardian’s website about a small group of volunteers that are redistributing produce that would have otherwise gone to waste, with inspiring results.
Primary Schools in the Watershed
Story-teller and artist Helen Sands talks about how she experienced the “Mythic Dart” days with young children that we hope will inspire you to do similar work around your own river.
QUOTE OF THE MONTH
“The reason that the vast majority of people do not believe in climate change is because it’s a direct challenge to their sense of the world and how the world is….The solutions always lie in ways of talking, ways to behave that would involve pulling people together.“
George Marshall, COIN, the Climate Outreach and Information Network
The theme on the website for April is “What is the impact of Transition, and how do we know?” If you’d like to suggest or submit anything, do get in touch.
The Social Reporters are taking a well deserved break.
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This newsletter is published on the first Friday of each month.
Next newsletter 2nd May 2014
Newsletter Editor: Mike Grenville,
from Transition Forest Row for the Transition Network