The Transitioners’ Digest (May)
By rob hopkins 3rd June 2014
Our theme this month has been ‘Transition and Health’, and it’s been fascinating. We’ve been reflecting on where Transition and public health overlap and the benefits all round that could be gained by forging a more explicit link between the two. Here also is our rather stylish new Digest graphic, click on it and it takes you to all the articles! Wow we’re good. You could even stick it on your Facebook pages, if you have such things. We’d like that.
Our opening editorial reflected on what a Transition Hospital might look like. We heard from Monica Picavea about how Transition Brasilandia’s Sustainable Health Fair is modelling what Transition and public health coming together in the setting of a favela could look like.
Clive Hamilton told us about the potential public health impacts of geoengineering. Frances Northrop of Transition Town Totnes reflected on how the ‘Caring Town Totnes’ initiative is building new connections and alliances. We met Sarah Timmins, who is trying to introduce an awareness of climate change to her fellow nurses. Angela Raffle, public health worker and co-founder of Transition Bristol told us “health and sustainability are like twins”, and shared her experiences of trying to bring the two together.
Margy Henderson of Transition Stourbridge reflected on the group’s Harvest Share project and the benefits it brings to health locally. Martin McKee, one of the authors of The Lancet’s remarkable Manifesto for Planetary Health, shared his thoughts on how the things that motivate Transition are increasingly indistinguishable from the things that motivate the public health community. Social Reporter Kerry Lane reflected on the differences between trying to promote health in urban and rural settings (she just moved house!).
In her regular column, Sophy Banks reflected on what distinguishes a healthy system from an unhealthy one. We heard how EcoBricks are enabling communities in the developing world to turn waste into a solution that clears up the mess, provides affordable buildings, income opportunities and improved public health. Janet Richardson, academic and public health professional, shared how she created the first Health Impact Assessment of a Transition initiative, and what was learned from it.
We met David Pencheon, the man bringing Transition to the NHS, who told us “public health is by far the best investment we could make in local, meaningful, resilient, sustainable communities”. Mark Dooris, Professor in Health and Sustainability and Director of the Healthy Settings Unit at the University of Central Lancaster, shared his vision of how sustainability and resilience could be embedded into public health. Finally, we pulled some of the interviews together and suggested we might look at Transition as Social Health.
Our theme for June is going to be Transition and Politics, which promises to be similarly fascinating. See you there.