March round up of what’s happening in Transition
By rob hopkins 1st April 2011
It’s the end of the month again, which means it’s time to bring you a taste of the wonderful Transitioney things that have been going on around the world. We’ll start in South America with some very exciting news from Colombia where they recently held their first three Transition Trainings, and here’s a report with a few pictures. And then there’s news of Chile’s first Transition Town at El Manzano in the BíoBío Region, started by three brothers who also established the Ecoescuela where they teach sustainable lifestyles.
Over in Japan, Transition Town Koganei recently held an awareness raising event for local leaders and stakeholders including the Chair of the Chamber of Commerce, local business owners, and people from various groups representing farmers, women, environment, local government, and non-profit organisations etc. They also held an Open Space session in Tsuru City, some mind map and timeline visioning exercises in Transition Town Koganei, and an all-Japan Transition Town meeting. They’ve started a bilingual wiki site called ‘Transition Town in Asia’, designed to help people in the ‘West’ find out about Transition activities in the Far East and will include an English page for each Transition Town in Japan, such as this one for TT Fujino. They’re also planning a big launch of the Japanese version of the Transition Handbook, which should be published soon. Thanks for the update Paul. They were to have an all-Japan meeting in the middle of March, but due to the very sad and unforeseen recent occurrences in Japan, the meeting has had to be postponed. You’ve been in our thoughts a lot.
Down in Australia, Transition Town Riddell recently launched their initiative at their first local food fare, which they’ll combine with a farmers’ market, tours of local food gardens, cooking demonstrations, tips on preserving foods…and…a bit of a treat…a lunch cooked by local chefs from local foods… Transition Town Perth is continuing its film screenings with the Economics of Happiness, while Transition Town Maroondah’s ‘Organic Backyards Out East’ group is meeting regularly to help in each other’s gardens, go on excursions, share seeds and plants, and hold skills share workshops.
Transition continues to flourish in Europe where there have been more training events in Winterthur, Switzerland and another coming up in Freiburg, Germany. There has also been an open discussion evening in Winterthur, which generated much press coverage and awareness of Transition in Switzerland. There are about 40 Transition Initiatives at various stages of development in Germany with over 550 people registered on the German-speaking Transition website. Transition Town Dordrecht in the Netherlands were recently out and about picking up rubbish in their area…
In the UK, Transition Town Oundle made an appearance at the Oundle Festival of Literature where a Transition Town Panel answered questions and gave advice on energy, recycling and transport for the ‘How Green is Our Oundle’ event at the festival. They also held a local produce recipe competition, with the recipes on display for sharing. Transition Town Grangemouth has got together with Recyke-a-Bike to sell refurbished bikes at cost price…Stocks are limited so don’t delay! Transition Town Finsbury Park recently met for a foodie event (see left) in the fantastic Blackstock Greenhouse where they cooked their foraged food, such as hogweed and nettles, and followed up with a discussion of what a food strategy should look like in N4. They also held an open space event ‘Show Me the Money’ to discuss support for local businesses, fair trade, ethical alternative banking systems and much more! Well done Transition Town Tooting, whose Trashcatchers Carnival was shortlisted in the Best Event category of the national Climate Week Awards…
Here’s an article about some of the Transition Town Totnes peoples and their projects from Devon Life magazine, with some great pictures. Abbots Langley Transition Town Association held a very successful ‘Big Green Day’ (see right) to discuss how the community can work together to prepare for the effects of climate change, and all amidst an atmosphere of celebration and optimism.
South Ribble Transition Town held a clothes swapping party (see left) so that all those dedicated-followers-of-fashion could find some new outfits, while Transition Town Bromsgrove enjoyed their first local food fair where people could buy local food, participate in workshops and swap seeds, seedlings and plants… Transition Town Kingston took part in a ’Kingston Vision for 2020: A Green Energy Future’ event with people from the local community, local government, green industry and green business discussing this vision, the opportunities it could bring and how achievable it would be. Transition Town High Wycombe now has an energy group that’s part of the Community Carbon Task Force and will be organising community projects to share advice, information and examples and also provide funding to the local community. Transition Town Marlow’s 100 solar project recently made the local news:
Sustainable Streatham recently held a meeting to decide whether to become a Transition Town or whether to put this on hold for a year…and you can find out here what they decided!… Chelmsford has now become a Transition Town, so we welcome them, and the group is inviting people to meet their members at the Big Green Bus… and we also welcome the new Basingstoke Transition Network.
As part of a Transition Town project and in celebration of living in Tottenham Road for 48 years, Fiona Green undertook a photography project to capture images of 45 people who live and work in her street…and you can see a few of Fiona’s pictures here. Taunton Transition Town has been very busy with their Transition Together project, and they’re inviting more people to join, so if you live in Taunton then why not get involved and save money on your energy, food and transport (see right). Transition Edinburgh South and Transition Herriot-Watt University have been awarded funding by the Scottish Government’s Climate Challenge Fund, so congratulations to both. Transition Town West Kirby has lots of activities coming up, including songs on toast and forages for razor clams.
Colleges and universities are getting increasingly interested in Transition: on Plymouth University’s campus there’s a Slow Food project AND a farmers’ market! Wow! Bristol University has a student kitchen on campus that’s run by students for students where they teach each other about food and cooking, and Transition Southampton has set up a skillshare with Southampton University to share cooking skills. The University of Brighton is starting a food coop that’s expanding into the community, and they’re also working with a scheme called ‘Harvest the City’, while their Eastbourne College campus has set up a community allotment and is working towards a Garden Share scheme. Transition Town Worthing have been busy making short films as part of their Energy Descent Action Plan process… the first asks “what is Transition Town Worthing?”:
… and then the following three films look in more depth at peoples’ visions for the future of Worthing:
Transition Town Shrewsbury recently held a Climate Action Think-Tank workshop to develop effective messages for encouraging people to reduce their carbon footprints. They also thought about different messages for different age groups and also about the easiest actions for the greatest impacts. Great idea! Transition Town Andover held a light bulb amnesty where people could take their old light bulbs and exchange them for free new low energy light bulbs…
Transition Town Totnes’s Business and Livelihoods group wants to help new business ideas become a reality and also create the right conditions for social enterprise to flourish in the town. They’ll also raise awareness amongst existing businesses about the dangers of continuing with business as usual, and help them minimise these risks so they thrive in the future. Transition Cambridge just celebrated their third birthday (here‘s Rob’s write up of the evening, and some pics taken on the night) and here’s a fab video of pictures to show what they’ve achieved so far…
In North America, Transition Town Putney helped organise a 2-day Putney Economic Summit, which explored practical ways of reviving and enriching the local economy and community. Transition Colorado held a conference (see left) to discuss the contribution of localised food systems in the Transition of their local economy, and there’s a useful report here. Transition Newton recently held a workshop to demonstrate and discuss methods of bio-intensive gardening and composting, while Transition Town Manchester showed ‘The Man Who Planted Trees’ to inspire people to plant hazelnut trees as part of their Hazelnut Planting Project.
Karen Lanphear and Richard Kuhnel were on the Prepper Broadcast talking about Sandpoint Transition Initiative and the wider Transition movement, and you can listen to the show here. Transition Mill Valley recently hosted a film screening with a talk, live music and discussions on strengthening the local economy and building community resilience, while Transition South Bay will soon be holding classes to learn all about their native plants, including which ones thrive best in the different ecosystems and how to care for them. In Transition New Port Richey, Eric Stewart recently gave a talk about Transition:
Haliburton County residents invited their neighbouring Barrie Transition Initiative to tell them all about Transition, and the meeting received a positive response with a commitment to make Haliburton a Transition community as well. Transition Victoria will be presenting the case for Transition Towns at a Regional Climate Action Forum in Quesnel being hosted by the Quesnel Climate Action group. Transition Guelph recently held its Resilience Festival combined with their Great Unleashing. The festival was a huge success and exceeded their expectations…see here for some fab pics. They had around 250 people attend the Friday evening keynote speech, and over 500 visitors to Saturday’s Eco-Market! The afternoon talks and discussions were well attended and in the evening there was a potluck, concert, drumming and dancing with around 300 people enjoying these Unleashing celebrations. Congratulations! Here is a short film made by their local bookshop about their top 5 recommendations for books about resilience (!):
We have great news for French-speaking Transitioners…the French voice-over for ‘In Transition 1.0’ is now complete and on-line, with many thanks to Jean-Luc Henry of Très-Saint-Rédempteur en Transition and all his helpers… Here are some lovely pics of the team recording the voiceover… (see left for one of them…) Prince Edward County residents brought seeds to exchange, attended workshops and enjoyed a Seedy Saturday event sponsored by Transition Prince Edward County. The exchange was well attended by gardeners and exhibitors. Here’s a short film about it…
Happy planting or happy harvesting…depending on which side of the world you live…and we look forward to hearing all about your wonderful Transition activities throughout the month of April. Finally, don’t forget to put the dates of the 2011 Transition Network conference in your diary! It’s going to be the best yet…
My thanks, as ever, to Helen, for creating this round-up.