The April 2014 Round-up of What’s Happening out in the World of Transition
By rob hopkins 9th April 2014
Let’s start on the UK’s south coast, where Transition Town Worthing’s annual beach clean-up was given a boost through some funding from Southern Water, which covered their insurance and 100 high visibility jackets. Barbara Shaw from TTW (right, with David Bone from Southern Water) told The Worthing Herald:
“It’s reassuring to have the backing of an important environmental organisation like Southern Water. The beach clean attracts around a hundred volunteers participating in a well organised scientific survey of coastal litter. With the help of Southern Water we now have the certainty of covering some essential overheads for the next three years, which as a voluntary group is a huge relief.”
Transition Town Whitehead in Northern Ireland have been planting a community orchard, funded by the recently introduced Plastic Bag levy. Here’s a rather lovely film they made about it:
Transition Town Reading have been out planting trees in two community orchard sites, with another two sites planned for next year. Rich Waring, of TTR, said:
“In these tough economic times we can’t rely on a constant stream of grant money, so we’re using what we’ve been given to teach ourselves how to thrive without it. The funding secured for the project covers six orchard sites over three years, and the plan is to build the skills in the community to allow us to plant further community orchards around the town without the need for further grant money.”
Transition Letchworth were recently celebrating becoming an official Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Southend in Transition have been building some fine new beds on their community allotment. Transition Loughborough have also been busy. They tweeted “The fruit cage frame is up! Workshop about to start with Andy showing how to grow soft fruit & make Hugelkuktur beds”, and posted the following photo.
Transition Town Walthamstow have been running a series of gardening courses. You can learn all about how to nurture veg, fruit bushes and vines. As part of the Cultivate Urban Food Growing Festival, Transition Walthamstow & the Walthamstow Family Bike Club ralso an a special bike ride on Sunday 30th March 2014 to explore food growing sites between Walthamstow & Chingford.
The Bristol Pound appeared on Dutch TV:
An ongoing skills and practical training project from TT-Bridport in Dorset continues to go from strength to strength with the support of over 6 local organisations (see right). Known as the Home Counties here in the UK, Transition groups from Beds, Bucks and Herts were invited along by TT- Berkhamsted to a regional conference/big push for local resilience.
Transition Streets is going well in St Albans, the group asking “if you would like to join a Streets group in your area, then give us your details and, when we spot a few people who live near each other, we’ll put you in touch. Just give us your name, the name of your street, and your postcode”.
In addition to the now thriving community market (see left), TT Marlow in Bucks will be turning the market into a hub for sharing practical expertise with regular Skills Workshops.
According to Horncastle News, “Transition Town Horncastle are hosting a festival in May and want local residents to find out the benefits of renewable energy”. The event takes place on May 17th and will feature information, talks, workshops, and even electric and hydrogen-powered cars. There will be a range of experts to answer peoples’ questions on both renewable energy generation and energy-saving. Jean Peacock from the group said “we do research into what is available for ordinary people to use and this is why we are having the Energy Festival.”
On Sunday May 25th, Transition Bristol will be hosting its ‘Small Green Sunday’, which it describes as “a gathering and lunchtime garden party, celebrating the amazing grassroots transition and sustainability work going on in and around Bristol”. It will be held at the Trinity Centre and starts at 10am (see flyer below).
In the last Round up there were lots of Seedy Saturdays and Seedy Sundays, but here’s news of the first Transition Tuesday. Transition Redhill held theirs on March 18th. Transition Langport have been busy… They tweeted:
Faithful #Transition #Langport #litter pickers collected 6 sacks of rubbish picked from community & wildlife areas
… and the following photo:
The end of March saw Whitstable Transition hosting an East Kent Transition gathering, inviting Transition initiatives from their wider region. Here’s their invitation:
Do come to this special gathering of transitional activists and hear about other positive community, environmental, sustainability, ‘transition town’ initiatives that are going on all across East Kent and beyond. Meet like minded and like hearted folk.
No word yet on how it went. Here’s Transition Belper’s latest newsletter. Gill Jacobs who writes about food and health issues, and who is a member Transition Kentish Town, gathered together some fellow members of the group recently to teach them about fermented foods, and wrote it up for The Guardian. She began:
I’m part of the Transition Network where I live in north London, and naturally a lot of our conversations focus on food. I got chatting to the people who run a local veg box scheme, and we decided to collaborate on an event that would teach people how to make ferments such as sauerkraut, as well as explaining the science behind it.
For the third year in a row, members of TT-Exmouth (Devon) planted a number of new trees courtesy of Exmouth Town Council which included hazel, willow, field maple, rowan, oak and silver birch (see right).
Transition Dorking’s community orchard continues to go from strength to strength. You can join them on May 18th for a “Blossom Picnic”. Good name for a band that. They write:
We did have the biggest crowd in the orchard so far, when over 140 people came to the very successful “Wassailing” event in January, and are delighted that this resulted in quite a few new “Friends” signing up to support the orchard. So we are gradually getting better known. We will definitely be wassailing again next year!
Transition Town Tooting held their Spring Growing Celebration and Seed Swap which sounded great. Here is the poster:
May 13th sees the third Local Entrepreneurs’ Forum in Totnes. It’s an amazing event, and here’s the rather fine poster. If you want to come you can register here.
The Garden Earth blog also ran an article by Gunnar Rundgren which looked at Transition in Totnes, in particular it’s work around local food. Ealing Transition Town tweeted:
Great way to spend a lovely Spring day: 10 trees planted, forest garden off the mark! Thanks 2 everyone who helped, dig, plant, weed & trim!
Transition Chichester have also been gardening. Here they are at work in the Bishops Palace Gardens:
To Germany now. According to national hub co-ordinator Gerd Wessling, after 4 years in “legal limbo”, Transition Germany finally managed to give itself a legal structure! The NGO “Transition Netzwerk e.V.” was created in Göttingen/Germany on March 15 & 16 2014. It 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 activits, who represented many different German Transition intitiatives.
It is open to all to become a member; be they individual Transitioners or Transition initiatives (who can join the network as such). It will serve our German network in handling legal and financial issues, but will not BE the network itself. More on our general structure will be discussed in the large Transition D/A/CH (German-speaking countries) network meeting, which currently is planned for probably (3)/4/5 Oct 2014. More about the new NGO in German here.
On March 17 & 18th all currently 7 active German Transition Trainers met for the first time together in person in the city of Essen, to intensively work & talk about how to best evolve our very succesful German Transition courses (called “Werkzeuge des Wandels”) in Austria, Switzerland and Germany. More about the results will soon be posted here.
Charles Eisenstein will be at the University of Bielefeld / Germany April 26th (15:30h) & 27th (9h to 15h) for a talk & a workshop. The talk (no bookings required), will be entitled “Money, Gift, and Society in an Age of Transition“. The workshop (booking required), is called “(Transition) Activism and Leadership intensive” and you can book here.
Here is a video about the work of Transition Town Haren in the Netherlands:
Here also is a film about Transition Town Zutphen …
From Italy here is a film of a presentation featuring Martina Francesca, one of the founders of Transition Italia and Oreste Magni, Vice President of the SCEC (an alternative currency scheme) in Lombardia:
New Zealand’s Nelson Mail ran a piece by Gord Stewart called Transition Towns are on the Rise, which follows his experience of starting a Transition initiative in his community:
Then I received an email from Ben, a young dairy farmer living nearby. Ben wrote, “Is there a Transition group in our town? I’d like to get involved.” I thought: “No, there isn’t, but there should be.” Now, I’m not the community organiser type, so my intention was to write about Transition Towns – spread word as best I thought I could – then get on with life.
But it wasn’t to be. Ben and I decided to give it a go – show our environmental “stripes” and see if we could get something started in our community.
Transition KW (Kitchiner/Waterloo) published their Climate Adaptation Toolkit. They held an event to launch it too… Sylvie Spraakman from Transition KW wrote for this website and told me about the story of how the Toolkit came about.
Here is a report from Juan del Rio in Spain.
“Transitioners of all over the world, we would like to share a quick new about what is going on in Spain in this beginning of spring 2014. The Spanish Transition hub has just launched its new Transition website in Spanish. A collaborative work from people of different initiatives that after long months is finally there. A website that wants to catalyse the movement in Spain and help the Spanish spoken countries in general. It will try to connect the initiatives, inform about what initiatives are doing, about Transition trainings and events, and give a big array of resources to help initiatives with their challenging work. Here we share the new logo of “Red de Transición España”. We hope you like it, use the web, and help us to disseminate it.
The website was launched in a very interesting meeting co-organised by the Spanish Transition Hub, called “Barriers and Oportunities for Social initiatives towards Sustainability” that brought together, different social and ecological initiatives, academia, and people from institutions from Barcelona and other places. The main objectives of the meeting were to show the results of the Project “Barriers and Opportunities for Building Resilience: A Critical Assessment of Transition Initiatives in Spain” done with the Transition Research Network, present the new website, present the new European network ECOLISE, and finally to make a participatory world cafe to discuss among everyone about the main barriers, opportunities for social initiatives towards sustainability, as well as create synergies among them. The results were very rich and hopefully they will help to the different initiatives. Here you can download them (in Spanish).
To Serbia now. Nikola Burić from Novi Sad in Serbia got in touch with us. Nikola is part of ZELENA TAČKA, an environmental/educational hub. After having learnt via a quick internet search that Serbian and Croatian are similar languages (different dialects) we put Nikola in contact with Nenad Maljkovic from Transition Croatia/ZMAG.
Nikola has already organised a screening of In Transition 2.0 (using the Croatian subtitles) and is reading and using material from the Transition Network website to weave in to ZELENA TAČKA. Watch this space for an emerging Transition Serbia National Hub!
From Japan, here is an article by Jun Omuru in The Japan Times about Transition Town Hamamatsu which is a 3 year old Transition initiative in Western Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan.
In Queensland, Australia, a Fraser Coast Chronicle reader decided to go along to a Transition Town Hervey Bay (TTHB) meeting expecting a gentle chit chat about gardening over a cup of coffee. Instead, she got sleepless nights after a rude awakening to the vulnerability of the banking system! Read her story here.
There are a number of fantastic posts on the FB page of TTHB. The Bank of England story she refers to is dated 25 March and is courtesy of Positive Money.
Lastly to the US. Sustainable Berea, Kentucky hosted its fifth annual Local Foods Expo, bringing together 38 exhibitors and hundreds of hungry guests (despite rainy weather) to celebrate the vibrant local food system. Sustainable Berea is also planning a 1.4 acre urban farm and orchard. Fifty-four community members attended the first open meeting to provide input on the farm!
Later this month, Transition Town Media, Pennsylvania will be hosting “Happiness Week” with daily events like a Spring Bird Walk, screening of the documentary “Happy,” a Flash Mob, Children’s Improv Workshop, Happiness Yoga, and more.
The Mid-Atlantic Transition Hub (MATH) hosted a Resilient Response to Extreme Weather potluck & discussion, an innovative approach to broadening Transition’s reach by engaging faith communities around the launch of the new movie “Noah.” Read more in this blog post about Unlikely Suspects – Deep Outreach by Pamela Boyce Simms.
In Northern California, Transition US partnered with Art of Hosting to organize a 3-day Art of Participatory Leadership training which brought together more than fifty Transition and community resilience leaders to hone their facilitation skills. Another training is happening this weekend, April 11-13 in Saco, Maine. Read more about Hosting the Toughest Conversations of Our Time.
During the month of May, Transition US will be hosting the Community Resilience Challenge (formerly known as the Transition Challenge), now in its 4th year. Join Transitioners across the US in taking action to save water, conserve energy, grow food and build community!
On March 15, 65 people from across New England gathered at Antioch University in Keene, NH, to discuss the resilience of New England as a whole. Grounded in the region’s deep history, participants provided feedback on a regional resilience concept paper and came up with nine initiatives to start building regional resilience, including a “Whole New England Catalog” and a Transition Research Network of students and academics. Read more or view the short video organizers used to invite people to think about organizing at a regional level.
That’s it for this month! See you in 4 weeks time…