January 2011 Network Newsletter
By Mike Grenville 7th January 2011
The January 2011 Transition Network Newsletter
~ Round-up of What’s Happening out in the World of Transition
~ US Dollars Doubled!
~ A ‘Transition Enabling Act’
INCLUSION & DIVERSITY
~ Inner City Inclusion
~ How can Transition groups become more inclusive?
~ Inclusion as a Transition Ingredient
~ Transition cities: Mission impossible?
~ Capital Bee Competition
~ Freedom Heating
~ Food Hub database system available
~ Update on the ‘Ingredients of Transition’ project
~ A Transition Take on the Big Society
~ Interview with Christopher Alexander
~ A Critical Response to call for ‘Deep Transition’
OLD YEAR, NEW YEAR
~ Unsung peak oil heroes of 2010
~ Top 10 peak oil books of 2010
~ 2011 calendar
~ Website Updates
~ Transition mobile update
~ Ever wondered what’s happening in Transition near you?
QUOTE OF THE MONTH
Round-up of What’s Happening out in the World of Transition
Stories this month include an unleashing in Brazil, reskilling in Chile, saving gas street lamps in Malvern, a ‘Sow the Seed’ cabaret evening in Omagh, training in Portugal, Transition US’s 77th initiat ive, and more from down under, and many other places besides.
US Dollars Doubled!
Thanks to hundreds of donors nationwide, Transition US crossed their $100,000 Challenge Grant threshold with just 8 days left before the deadline. Thanks to a generous grant, the contributions were matched, doubling the dollars raised.
A ‘Transition Enabling Act’
At December’s ‘Confronting Change’ event in London, a question was asked about politics, and how Transition might be accelerated in terms of mainstream politics. Polly Higgins, a barrister, and who is promoting the idea of international legislation to outlaw ‘ecocide’, suggested that, in the same way that certain key pieces of enabling legislation have led to great advances in the past, perhaps the time is right for a Transition Enabling Act, designed not to ban lots of things, but positive legislation that enables all that needs to happen in order for Transition to scale up rapidly over the next 5 years. This was met with much excitement, with Michael Meacher MP saying that were such legislation to exist, he would be happy to help drive it through the House of Commons. The next step is that we really need to hear the thoughts from Transition initiatives on the following two questions:
1. What have you or your Transition initiative been unable/hindered in doing to create successful transitioning in your community?
2. If you are able to say, what would enable your proposal to happen?
What we need now is your input, debate and discussion….
INCLUSION & DIVERSITY
Inner City Inclusion
Danielle Cohen from Transition Town Stoke Newington argues that some visions of inclusion risk implying and perpetuating hierarchical power relationships
and in this video interview, Danielle argues that Transition needs to take an integrated head, heart and hands approach in working on inclusion. She suggests that rather than seeking to include, perhaps we should also be seeking to be included by others. You can also download her dissertaion on the subject:
There is a discussion going about ‘How can Transition groups become more inclusive?’
and while we are on the subject you can read up Inclusion as a Transition Ingredient:
Transition cities: Mission impossible?
What do you do about a big city like Los Angeles? Sensible people say it’s impossible, but impossible things happen every day. Joanne Poyourow, cofounder of the Environmental Change-Makers, the initiating group that brought Transition ideas to Los Angeles, explains how the Transition movement in LA unfolds today via a series of neighborhood initiatives.
Capital Bee Competition
A competition for 50 communities in London to win the equipment, bees and training to help them start up with beekeeping – enter by Friday 28th January.
For those of us in the grip of winter, this is a timely project about free heat systems for indoor spaces by utilizing the energy created in carbon-nitrogen combustion reactions found inside organic breakdown.
Food Hub Database System
The Stroudco Food Hub have been working away at connecting local people with local food for many years. Now they are giving away a php application that runs on a web server to support a local food distribution hub to other food co-ops.
Update on the ‘Ingredients of Transition’ project
The first cut of Rob’s Transition pattern ingredients project is nearly complete. He sees this as a useful point to reflect on what you think of this project so far, and how it is progressing.
A Transition Take on the Big Society
Based on the thoughts and ideas generated at the Transition Network Big Society day in Bristol in September, Peter Lipman & Rob Hopkins have produced a document that reflects on Transition in that conwhat was raised there.
Interview with Christopher Alexander
Architect, thinker, designer, author of the seminal ‘A Pattern Language’ interviewed by Rob Hopkins
A Critical Response to Michael Brownlee’s call for ‘Deep Transition’
The concept of Transition has been regularly critiqued, a positive process which has helped to shape what it is today. Most critiques run along the lines of “Transition, nice idea, but it isn’t [ … ] enough”. So, for some Transition isn’t technologically savvy or optimistic enough, others it isn’t politically savvy enough, or guilty of ‘premature triumphalism’, isn’t sufficiently rooted in alternative culture or focused enough, while for others it is too riven with New Age thinking and pseudoscience. Now, according to Brownlee, it is fatally flawed by not having the ‘Sacred’ at the heart of what it does.
OLD YEAR, NEW YEAR
Unsung peak oil heroes of 2010
Transition Voice compiled a short list of people who have helped get peak oil onto the agendas of the world’s nations. The list Ralph Nader, Rob Hopkins, Sharon Astyk, Transition US, Bianca Jagger and in Memoriam, Matt Simmons.
Top 10 peak oil books of 2010
Having read enough books with Hubbert curves and charts of barrels-per-day, we’re now into powerful stories that explore peak oil through suspense, romance and humanity.
But so you won’t feel guilty having so much fun at the expense of the whole premise of industrial civilization, this list from Transition Voice has thrown in some more fact-y tomes too. Peak oil stalwarts from James Howard Kunstler to Richard Heinberg to Robert Hirsch made the list along with some surprising newcomers.
If you still have room for a calendar then PACT Penrith UK transition initiative has a 2011 calendar now only £3 each inc P&P
TN Website Updates
The technologists have been busy over December and produced yet another astounding list of site enhancements. Well done Jim and Laura and Chris! Here is a (not complete) list:
Transition mobile update
Our first ever mobile application prototype is on the ‘Android’ platform and with one on the Apple platform planned, It is currently a ‘pre-beta’ prototype, but we hope to be seeing this out and about by early summer.
Ever wondered what’s happening in Transition near you?
Some of the events in the diary include:
Dragon Dreaming: Creating outrageously successful projects;
Working Symposium on the Built Environment and The Rural Urban Fringe;
Islamic Community Food Growing;
Economics for Transition -a masters degree course;
A talk about getting elected by Alexis Rowell;
Lots more events listed here:
QUOTE OF THE MONTH
“If we want to thrive, we need to move from a growth imperative to a resilience imperative”.
Tom Homer-Dixon ‘Upside of Down’ 2007
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