Transitioners’ Digest (September – October 2015) Fairness
By rob hopkins 26th October 2015
Over the last 2 months we have been looking into Fairness from a variety of angles. We opened with an editorial by Sophy Banks which put fairness at the heart of what we are trying to do in Transition.
We spoke to Juliet Davenport of Good Energy, sponsors of the 2015 Transition Network International Conference, about what, for her, a ‘fair’ energy system would look like. In the days surrounding the publication of our interview with Juliet, the UK government announced a review of the Feed in Tarriff given to community solar energy projects, proposing cuts of 87%. Rob Hopkins reflected on the “throwing the baby out with the bathwater” nature of this proposal in a piece called ‘Community energy is too good an opportunity to miss’.
Following the International Permaculture Conference that took place in London in September, we published the speech Geoff Lawton gave at that conference, under the title of ‘On food, fairness and permaculture design’.
We talked to Richard Wilkinson, half of the team who wrote the seminal book ‘The Spirit Level’, about fairness and equality. September also saw the launch of the latest local currency scheme, the Exeter Pound. We caught up with one of its founders, Martyn Goss, to hear his thoughts on how the Exeter Pound might make Exeter a fairer city.
Rob Hopkins visited Ungersheim in eastern France to see an amazing example of Transition led by the local Mayor, an astonishing insight into what it looks like when a local government really ‘get’ and run with Transition. On his way there, having passed through Gare de l’Est in Paris, he also wrote a piece called ‘Starbucks – or stations as pollinators: a weary traveller reflects’ which led to some interesting discussion.
Headlines during the two months of our theme have been focused on the refugee crisis. In a couple of posts we heard stories of how Transition groups are responding to this. The first was the heartwarming story of how a group in the centre of Brussels, many of them part of a Transition initiative, rallied an amazing community response in a short period of time, changing hearts and minds. We also heard from Tracey Wheatley of the Transition Hub in Hungary about what the grassroots response to the crisis looks like there.
Lastly we heard from Nicole Vosper about what a fairer criminal justice system might look like, through her work on the idea of ‘prison abolition’. “Indigenous communities all over the world have managed to function without the use of huge state-run prisons”, she told us. Lastly we spoke to Julie Brown of the wonderful Growing Communities in Hackney, London about what a fair food system might look like, and were introduced to her brilliant ‘Food Zones’ map.
Our next theme will be the Transition Story, which promises to be a fascinating and challenging couple of months! Oh, and our 21 Stories of course…