Our theme for these couple of months has been ‘The Power to Convene’. It’s been another busy couple of months. We opened with an editorial that set out what the term means and some examples of it, setting up the exploration that followed. We then looked at different aspects of convening. We talked to James Furse about the importance of good mediation in bringing people together. Transition Stroud talked about how they increasingly use the idea as a lens through which to see their own work. We heard how the Atmos Totnes initiative has been built around the concept. Pamela Boyce Simms told us about her work using the Power to Convene to bring faith groups together.
Transition Town Tooting in London, in an inspirational post, shared how they use imagination and creativity as key tools for convening their community. “We looked to involve not just the community of Tooting, but the communities of Tooting” they wrote. We heard about Transition Buxton’s Economic Resilience Study, and how they are seeing that as the foundation for some serious convening. Rob Hopkins looked into the power communities have to undermine unpopular and damaging planning decisions by withdrawing their consent.
In parallel we also looked in more depth at our Support Offer theme for the two months, which was ‘Starting an Initiating group’. We asked a number of Transition initiatives to tell us their stories about “how we got started”, hearing inspiring stories from Transition Stratford, Transition Black Isle and New Forest Transition.
Our Agony Aunt has also been on good form, answering questions about cohousing, when theme groups fail to form, reviving failed initiatives, how to talk about peak oil, and how to manage groups that can’t agree on anything. If you have any questions for her, send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. We also mourned the passing of the very wonderful Transition Free Press.
We introduced our Transition Story project into which we’d love your input by Wednesday 4th March please. Should only take you a few minutes, but it would be hugely appreciated. We also explored in more depth the recent paper from UCL about unburnable carbon, speaking to its co-author, Christophe McGlade.
Lastly, we reviewed a truly dreadful book called ‘The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels’, which somehow seemed to capture the essence of all that this month’s theme wasn’t. Our theme for March/April is ‘The Arts and Social Change’, and for March we will be looking in more depth at the Transition Healthcheck. If you have any ideas for things you think we should include, please get in touch.