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Job - Web Manager

Thu, 09/10/2014 - 14:05
Job – Web Manager, Transition Network
  • 4 days per week
  • Circa £30,127 p.a. pro rata
  • Based near Bristol or Totnes, UK

All over the world people are coming together with shared concerns about shrinking supplies of cheap energy, climate change, inequality and economic instability. They are taking action to build a future with much less reliance on fossil fuels and greatly reduced carbon emissions, creating just, caring and connected communities living within environmental limits.

Transition Network exists to inspire, encourage, connect and support communities as they self-organise around the transition model.

This is a brilliant opportunity for an enterprising web manager to join an inspiring organisation at an interesting point in its development.

Taking up a pivotal role within a small, motivated and creative staff team, and connecting with people around the world, you will help develop and deliver a web service capable of supporting a grassroots movement as it spreads and evolves. 

Having previously stretched this role between web and comms, we have now decided to focus it solely on web management to pick up the pace of developments and make sure that our planned ‘Transition Network Version 3’ service is user-centred, beautiful, effective and ambitious. 

We have some strong pieces in place - a popular existing website, a great technical group, various stakeholder groups, project requirements and UX tracks underway.  However there are a number of key decisions still to be made - framework, hosting, migration plans etc. - making this a great moment to come in and play a leading role in shaping and delivering a very significant project.

We are looking for someone who can elegantly lead multi-disciplined teams through a variety of decisions, bridging the ‘client’ and ‘technical’ divide to help us develop a streamlined, flexible service with the users at its heart.  You will have strong project management skills and an interest in being part of a team which is exploring and modelling new ways of working.

To apply

Please download the attached documents from this page and follow the instructions in the application pack:

  • Job application pack: background, instructions, details, job spec, person spec (PDF)
  • Personal details form (Word doc)
Timescales and deadlines
  • Closing date for applications: Sun 9th November 2014
  • Shortlisting: week commencing 10 November 2014
  • Interviews: Tuesday 18th November in Bristol, UK

And if you don't think this is for you, but know someone who might relish it - this is a great job and you will be doing them a favour - please send them this page!

PreviewAttachmentSize Transition Network Web Manager Application Personal Details.doc45 KB Web Manager Transition Network Application Pack 161014.pdf356.75 KB

Naomi Klein on the role of Inner Transition

Wed, 08/10/2014 - 06:17

Naomi Klein is currently promoting her excellent new book This Changes Everything.  As part of this, she recently did a 'Guardian Live' event, chaired by Owen Jones and streamed on the web.  You can now watch the event in full below, it's fantastic and well worth watching.  In one question, "could you talk a bit more about popular education?", Klein discusses the Transition movement and the role that Inner Transition plays:

 

"The first Earth Day in 1970 which engaged millions of people in North America was really a series of Teach-Ins more than anything else.  I think it's a really necessary stage for building the kind of movement that we need.  We have a film coming out on these same themes, and part of that has to do with popular education, because obviously film reaches a different constituency, it's more accessible than books in many ways.  Films are also really great at starting conversations, getting people into a room together and starting a conversation.  

It's one of the things that I think the Transition Town movement, which has been really important in this country, and spreading the idea that transition is something to be embraced, that there's hope and joy and possibility in it, it's not all fear.  That's something they do really really well.  They just have film screenings, and there's something really liberating about the way .... we don't do very well, except for weird Lefties like us, of getting in rooms together and just talking.  People need something to help them do it ... it doesn't even need to be a good film, any film!  Just get people together, and then talk afterwards.  

Part of it is that basic science education, just getting over the fear, "you know it's as complicated as it seems, you can do this". It can't just be listening.  It's really important that people talk, and that it be people they relate to doing the talking ... peer-on-peer teaching is really really important.  We're hearing this from a lot of community groups that we're talking about the film with.  "How can this be useful to your movement?"  They say they don't need a lot of it, but they do need some basic climate education to break that fear barrier.  

The other thing that I think the Transition movement does really well is to create spaces for people to talk about the emotional side to this crisis.  Maybe that's not popular education, but I think that's really important.  Social media is a great tool, but I still think there's something weird about the fact that people are alone in their cubicles or in their homes and they're clicking on this video, one minute of these 2 cats and dogs making unlikely friendships, and then, you know, 35,000 walruses scampering onto the shore because ice is melting.  How are you supposed to cope with this?  

A lot of what we call apathy is just people not knowing how to deal with the overwhelming emotions.  So you just push it away.  The way in which our movements are now structured, particularly environmental movements, but many movements, is these NGOs - we communicate - it used to be with mailings, now it's Tweets and emails - and it ends up being a lot of fear-based messaging, but then nothing about what to do with that fear. Scare you - click on this.  The idea is you're going to be scared so you'll become an activist.  But that's not actually how humans behave.  You get scared and you want to curl up in a ball right?  So we need spaces to grieve, and to actually talk about how frightening this is.

One of the reasons why in the book I write more personally than I've written before, about this fear not just of reading the scientific reports, but the fear that comes with raising a child in a world that you're told daily is dying.  We need to address that emotional side.  So when we create these spaces, and we must create more of these popular education spaces - I think the climate movement in the UK has been better at this - the Climate Camps do this really well, and the Transition Town movement has this part of it that they call "Inner Transition", which is addressing this reality.  

That it isn't just an outer transition, but also we have to go through our own personal transformation, and that also involves expressing that grief.  It's something that the feminist movement has done well, and a lot of people in the Transition Town movement who are part of this Inner Transition piece of it, come out of the feminist movement, because there's an understanding that if you're going to collapse peoples' world views, you have to stick around to pick up the pieces.  

October 2014 - Transition Network Newsletter

Wed, 01/10/2014 - 20:56

Getting connected in different ways seems to be a thread in the stories in the newsletter this month. Firstly the website theme of "Making Space for Nature" has a range of interviews and articles, then our world round-up plus the Transition hubs get together. Several takes on the Climate March and some groud breaking news from Totnes. Plus news from training, books, film and events.

Transitioners' Digest (September 2014)
We have been exploring the theme of "Making Space for Nature" from a wide range of different angles throughout September. We started with an editorial piece which argued that one of the key things that nature can bring our work doing Transition is a sense of wonder. Something to do with glowworms. An introduction to all the articles and interviews:
http://www.transitionnetwork.org/blogs/rob-hopkins/2014-09/transitioners-digest-september-2014

The September 2014 Round-up of What’s Happening out in the World of Transition
This month's Roundup covers stories from July and August. Around the UK stories from Brixton, Cambridge, Chepstow, Chichester, Exeter, Harborough, Honiton, Ivybridge, Lancaster, Letchworth, Linlithgow, St Albans, Tooting, Totnes, Wilmslow. Plus there are Transition birthdays in places like Lewes, Crystal Palace, Bristol and Slaithwaite. Across Europe from Liege in Belgium, Hungary, Romania and Berlin, Bielefeld, Leipzig in Germany. In the US, Catskills, Missoula and Guelph in Canada.
http://www.transitionnetwork.org/news/2014-09-11/september-2014-round-what-s-happening-out-world-transition-0

Transition Hubs meeting 2014: a 'lot' to share
The international Transition Hubs meeting in Denmark was a fantastic few days, rich with connections, laughter, progress and good food. More will follow over the next few weeks, but for now, here is a short film about it.
http://www.transitionnetwork.org/news/2014-09-16/transition-hubs-meeting-2014-lot-share

THINKING ALOUD  

Atmos Totnes Creates National Precedent
"I’ve waited seven years to write this article" writes Rob Hopkins. It’s been seven years of highs and lows, of moments of intense frustration and great elation, of patience and determination. "Very slowly,with a loud creaking of rusty hinges, the great iron gates of the factory began to swing open. The crowd became suddenly silent"
http://www.transitionnetwork.org/news/2014-09-26/atmos-totnes-creates-national-precedent

Hearing All The Voices to Make the New Story
Writing on the first day of the New Story Summit at Findhorn, Sophy Banks found an amazing, international group of human beings who are acting to create the New Story in their lives assembling.
http://www.transitionnetwork.org/blogs/sophy-banks/2014-09/hearing-all-voices-make-new-story

Making Space for Flowers
“Did you grow all those yourself?”, a young woman asked Mark Watson last week at Transition Town Tooting’s 7th Foodival. “My only reference for that kind of thing are the supermarket shelves,” she said.
http://www.transitionnetwork.org/blogs/rob-hopkins/2014-09/mark-watson-making-space-flowers

Reflections on the Peoples' Climate March, London
This was a celebratory march. This was the resurgence of the climate movement. Back with a passion. Rob Hopkins reports on his experience of the march in London.
http://www.transitionnetwork.org/blogs/rob-hopkins/2014-09/reflections-peoples-climate-march-london

Love & other illusions: Framing at the People’s Climate March
Elena Blackmore wonders if by being a fairly apolitical event whether the march in London failed to really cal out our economic and political systems as the culprits.
http://valuesandframes.org/love-other-illusions-framing-at-the-peoples-climate-march/

Long-standing economic resistance went mainstream at People’s Climate March
While the People’s Climate March in New York uplifted a narrative around climate change that was impossible for even the most mainstream of media to ignore, the success will be determined in the weeks and months that follow it writes Kate Aronoff.
http://www.resilience.org/stories/2014-09-30/long-standing-economic-resistance-went-mainstream-at-people-s-climate-march

REconomy Project

Learning and outputs from the international REconomy hubs group
The national hubs working together on REconomy have each produced a 2-3 year plan, and learned a lot about how to support each other. Brazil, Germany, Mexico, Portugal, and the USA are now joining our group.
http://www.reconomy.org/reconomy-takes-off-in-europe/

“It’s the economy, stupid” or “it’s stupid the economy”?
A young Transitionista’s perspective on the challenges faced by his generation, and what he’s doing about it.
http://www.reconomy.org/the-economy-its-stupid/

 

TRAINING

Launch onLine begins again on October 8th, and Inner Transition workshops are happening in Copenhagen and London. Our full programme of trainings are here:
http://www.transitionnetwork.org/events/network-training

FILMS

Free Range Child
Raising Children Connected To The Earth & Their Food (film sneak peek)
http://www.resilience.org/stories/2014-09-26/free-range-child-raising-children-connected-to-the-earth-their-food-film-sneak-peek

More film reviews here
http://www.transitionnetwork.org/films

 

BOOKS

This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate
Reviewed by Robert Jensen: Naomi Klein has written a brave book that not only confronts the calamity of climate destabilization but also examines the deep roots of the crisis in the perverse logic of capitalism and the dehumanizing values of the “extractivist” high-energy/high-technology world.
http://www.resilience.org/stories/2014-09-28/extracting-ourselves-from-the-extractivist-mindset

 

COMING UP

The Transition Network Roadshow
St Andrews, Scotland October 10th-11th
Two days of electrifying workshops, powerful meetings, and good company.
http://www.transitionnetwork.org/events/2014-10-10/transition-roadshow-st-andrews

Global #MapJam
This October, the Sharing Cities Network will launch the Second Annual Global #MapJam to bring activists together in cities around the world to connect the dots and map: grassroots sharing projects, cooperatives, community resources, and the commons. Mapping all of the shared resources in your city not only shows that another world is possible--it shows it’s already here! #MapJam’s are easy to organize and a small, dedicated group of people can get together for a few hours to map as many shared resources, cooperatives and sharing services in their city or town as possible.
http://www.shareable.net/blog/mapjam-20-to-put-the-new-economy-on-the-map

Powys Transition & Low Carbon Communities network present their first conference
8 November. Centre for Alternative Technology, Machynlleth, Wales.
ZERO CARBON POWYS Rethinking the Future for our Rural Communities
We have everything we need to create a positive future. This will be an exciting day of keynote speakers, workshops, networking opportunities and much more. At the end of the day you will know much more about safe and reliable energy solutions for the future. The keynote speaker will be Zero Carbon Britain project leader PAUL ALLEN who will introduce the latest Zero Carbon Britain report by telling ‘the extraordinary story of human beings and energy’.
Tickets £5 incl. lunch, advanced booking essential, book here: http://bit.ly/1pq7qWA
http://www.powystransition.org.uk/

Live & Unleashed - New Forest 20 October
Rob Hopkins is visiting the New Forest to open a New Forest Transition exhibition and give a talk. The exhibition in Lyndhurst runs from 18 October – 23 November. Titled Live & Unleashed it is a celebration of how local people are working together for a better future by just doing stuff - and feeling all the better for it.
http://www.newforestcentre.org.uk/october-2014/

 

QUOTE OF THE MONTH

"The awesomeness of nature lies in the stories we tell each other, the aloe vera plant on your windowsill, the smell of your neighbour’s cooking or anywhere else you might choose to find it. "  Hayley Spann 
http://www.transitionnetwork.org/blogs/rob-hopkins/2014-09/hayley-spann-what-nature-taught-me 

 

Follow Transition Network on Twitter
http://twitter.com/#!/transitiontowns 

Be a Friend on Facebook
http://www.facebook.com/transitionnetwork 

Film Reviews
http://www.transitionnetwork.org/films  

Transition Youtube Channel
https://www.youtube.com/transitiontowns 

Resources — Editor's Picks
http://www.transitionnetwork.org/resources 

Find previous editions of the newsletter here
http://www.transitionnetwork.org/tags/transition-network-newsletter 

Read this newsletter online 
http://www.transitionnetwork.org/news/2014-10-01/october-2014-transition-network-newsletter 

Subscribe to Transition newsletter:
http://tinyurl.com/transitionregister 

This newsletter is published on the first Friday of each month. 
Next newsletter is 7 November 2014

 

Newsletter Editor: Mike Grenville,
from Transition Forest Row for the Transition Network
Contact: mgrenville@gmail.com


Coming Soon! The First Transition Network Roadshow - St. Andrews!

Tue, 30/09/2014 - 22:32

Following our successful pilot in Lancaster, Transition Network is on the road, and the next stop is St Andrews, Scotland, October 10/11th, 2014.  We'd love you to join us.  In collaboration with Transition St Andrews, it will take place with Transition Network's trademark, participatory conference style of workshops, Open Space, great hang outs, and engaging conversations.  To book for the event, or parts of it (see below), click here.

Ever wondered if starting a Transition enterprise is for you? Or 'How can I avoid burn out?' or 'Who around here is as excited about the Power of Just Doing Stuff as me?' If so, this conference is made for you. You will be able to choose from a dizzying variety of workshops and sessions, presentations, talks, and some relaxed time to chat over a coffee or something stronger!  The event comes in 4 distinct parts:

Friday October 10th. 

9.30-12.30: Transition Scotland Gathering – Glass Class, St Andrews Botanic Garden

An informal meeting to discuss how we are doing with Transition in Scotland and what we need to build capacity for the future. If you would like to join us for this event you would be very welcome – please select the appropriate option when booking your ticket for the Friday afternoon and/or Saturday using the booking system linked below. If you wish to attend ONLY the Friday morning session please email transition@st-andrews.ac.uk to book your place.

13.30-17.30: REconomy Workshop – St Andrews Town Hall (detailed programme here).

Enabling REconomy in a post-referendum Scotland. 

However you voted, this is a time for ambition around how to develop more sustainable and resilient communities in Scotland. In this climate of opportunity and transformation we invite you to come and explore what it is to revision and change local economies in Post-Referendum Scotland.

This event will be about sharing inspiring examples around the themes of local currencies and trading systems, supporting local resilience, social enterprise and forming relationships based on new enterprise and economic principles. There will be how-to sessions on the resourcing and developing REconomy projects and collaborative activities to build connections and turn ideas into practice based on what works. Register using the link below.

19.00-22.00: Evening Transition Social – Byre Theatre

We are delighted to welcome Rob Hopkins, co-founder of the Transition movement, to join us for a talk on the issues facing local communities taking action on oil dependency, climate change, and other sustainability issues. This will be followed by an evening of musical entertainment and celebration led by student group Music is Love.

Saturday October 11th

9.30-17.00: Transition Roadshow Workshop Day – Arts Lecture Theatre

Transition Network and Transition University of St Andrews have arranged a day of workshops and exchanges on positive community action, suitable for established Transition Initiatives, new groups, and others working on or interested in similar environmental and social issues. A complete programme will be released soon, but attendees will be able to choose between workshops on Transition as a concept, supporting healthy Transition Initiatives, REconomy (a briefer workshop than the previous day), Participatory Monitoring, Practical Ideas for Community Food Projects, and a session on the Big Questions surrounding the work and future of local community initiatives in Scotland and Northern England. Lunch and morning and afternoon refreshments will be provided. Register using the link below.

17.00-19.00: Optional Early Dinner at a Local Restaurant – Venue to be confirmed

The Transition  Team would like to invite everyone to join them for dinner at a local restaurant with options to suit a variety of tastes, diets and budgets. We will aim to be finished around 7pm so those travelling to St Andrews can return home if desired. Please register your intent to attend dinner when you register for the Roadshow so we can make a booking. Please note that all attendees will be expected to fund their own meal.

Saturday Evening Event (if desired) – Details to be confirmed

If many visitors choose to stay on the Saturday night we will organise an additional evening event. Please register your interest in evening entertainment on the Saturday when you register for the Roadshow.

Atmos Totnes creates national precedent

Fri, 26/09/2014 - 14:39

The community of Totnes in Devon just reached a historic agreement which represents the next step for Transition, a huge leap forward in ambition, scale and possibility. In 2007, the Dairy Crest site in Totnes closed, and 163 jobs were lost.  This came on top of a number of other major employers also closing, and the then Totnes Mayor Pruw Boswell was quoted as saying “how much more can this town take?”  At that time, the idea of the community taking over and running that site was born, initially as the ‘Sustainable Business Park Group’. 

For 5 years, the group, which was quickly renamed Atmos Totnes, after Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s experimental ‘atmospheric railway’ for which a pumping station was built but never commissioned, lobbied and campaigned.  Once a community campaign to have that pumping station listed succeeded days before Dairy Crest demolished it, the scene was set for Atmos Totnes to get creative.   It came up with designs for the site, rallied the community, developed business plans and built a team to drive the project forward.  Totnes Community Development Society was formed from a coming together of Transition Town Totnes and Totnes Development Trust to provide the vehicle to carry things forward.

When, by the early part of 2012 it felt like this was all having little or no impact on the thinking of Dairy Crest, a community campaign was started, called “Atmos Totnes: the heart of a new economy”.  Its iconic red heart logo began popping up in windows and on lapels around the town.  Jonathan Dimbleby was unveiled as the first Patron at a photo opportunity at the site gates attended by hundreds of people.  This was followed by the unveiling of Tim Smit and Kevin McCloud, and lastly Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, whose visit drew huge crowds again

A meeting with Dairy Crest in the summer of 2012 shifted the ground, and it felt like finally it began to become a matter of “when” rather than “if”. Since then Atmos have been negotiating the final arrangement, and on 18th August signed a contract with Dairy Crest.  Then, on Thursday 25th September, the public announcement was made. 

The community was invited to the site, where they were invited through the site gates for the first time in seven years.  Early that day Atmos had tweeted quotes from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, such as

"Very slowly,with a loud creaking of rusty hinges, the great iron gates of the factory began to swing open.The crowd became suddenly silent"

and

"The children stopped jumping about. All eyes were fixed upon the gates". 

A statement was read out, a group photo taken and an incredible Atmos cake, produced from the kitchens at Schumacher College, was shared out. 

The deal represents a national first.  You can read it in full here, and some Frequently Asked Questions here.  Here is a section from the statement read out on the site on the 25th that sets out the bones of the agreement:

The agreement sees the site in three parts, as detailed in the map below:

  • Part One will be purchased from Dairy Crest by McCarthy & Stone, and will be built to feature housing for older people. McCarthy & Stone will work with TCDS in their development of this area of the site.
  • Part Two will be purchased from Dairy Crest by the community of Totnes for the sum of One Totnes Pound.  This footprint includes the historic Brunel building.
  • Part Three of the site is more complex, but ultimately will be designed through community consultation.  TCDS have an Option Agreement for this part of the site. Once planning is approved Totnes Community Development Society will most likely exercise their Option Agreement and purchase the site. The final value of the site will be determined by the planning consent and the costs of the remediation and development works.

The 2012 Localism Act gives communities a number of significant new powers, one of which is a Community Right to Build Order (CRtBO).  This allows communities to design the development they wish to see and gives them a new route to planning.  From the beginning of next month, Totnes Community Development Society (TCDS) will be engaging the community in creating a masterplan for the whole site, including McCarthy & Stone’s proposals for a development of specialist housing for older people on this site

In May 2015 TCDS will be submitting a CRtBO for Parts One and Two.  This means that what is built, as well as how it’s built and to what standards, will be determined by this community.  To the best of our knowledge, this has never happened before, anywhere. 

This announcement represents the community taking a first significant step towards taking greater control of its own destiny.  As a national first, it offers the potential to showcase a whole new approach to development, one based on community support, sustainability, a new economic model that builds and nurtures local economies, social justice, creativity, the arts and meeting the needs of this town rather than, as is so often the case, the needs of developers and distant investors.  For a town currently under siege from developers, demonstrating such a model could not be more timely. 

So, all being well, we see the timetable of what happens next like this:

  • October 2014: Community consultation and site masterplanning work begins
  • An important date for your diary is 8th October when there will be a Public Meeting about Atmos at St Johns Church in Bridgetown. This will be an opportunity to further details about the site and the activities for the coming months. It is also a time when we will want to invite questions from the public about this plan.
  • May 2015: Masterplan complete.  The Community Right to Build Order is submitted.
  • Autumn 2015: Community referendum is held.
  • March 2016: Assuming a positive result in the referendum, work begins on site.  

This is a national first, and represents a big step forward for Transition. It's the first Community Right to Build Order run anywhere in the country.  It is the first time a developer has submitted themselves to such a degree of community input.  It is the first attempt to really model what a Transition-inspired development could look like.  

I’ve waited seven years to write this article.  It’s been seven years of highs and lows, of moments of intense frustration and great elation, of patience and determination.  Yet throughout those seven years I never doubted that I would one day get to sit and write it.  At a time when the development machine is increasingly out of control, disconnected from local needs and wishes, and retreating from the idea of truly low carbon housing, it is a precedent that couldn’t be more important.

Transition Hubs meeting 2014: a 'lot' to share

Tue, 16/09/2014 - 06:12

9-12 September 2014 was the international Transition Hubs meeting in Denmark.  The first two days took place at Vig, a retreat centre an hour from Copenhagen.  The second two days were in the city, supposedly at Copenhagen Street Food, but this turned out not to work as a venue, so most of the sessions were held in a nearby car park (or “parking lot”, depending on where you’re from). 

It was a fantastic few days, rich with connections, laughter, progress and good food.  More will follow over the next few weeks, but for now, here is a short film I made about it.  Thanks to everyone in Transition Denmark and Transition Network who made it happen. 

The September 2014 Round-up of What’s Happening out in the World of Transition

Thu, 11/09/2014 - 21:34

This month's Roundup covers stories from July and August, so we've quite a bit to get through!  In July, Transition City Lancaster and Transition Network came together recently to hold the first trial Roadshow.  It was the pilot for another four that will run over the next seven months.  

The Lancaster event, hosted at the University of Cumbria, was a great success, and was written up here. Here is a great video about the occasion: 

It's been a time of Transition celebrations, with a few Transition birthdays going on.  Transition Town Lewes held their Seven Year Itch, a celebration of all that they have achieved during their seven years as a group.  Rob Hopkins documented the event here, and a great selection of photos taken by Mike Grenville can be found here. Here is a great chart showing everything they have achieved over the last 7 years:

Crystal Palace Transition Town were also celebrating, this time their third birthday.  Here's a great short video they made that captures what they've been up to.  They also wrote a great article about their AGM, and how they have turned their AGM into a celebration event:

In our last Round Up we discussed the forthcoming opening of the 'Sensible Garden', a new community garden created by Crystal Palace Transition Town and others.  Well, the event was held, the great Captain Sensible himself, after who the garden was named, turned up, and a wonderful day was had.  Here's a film about it: 

Another birthday is The Bristol Pound, who are celebrating their second birthday.  They tweeted:

 is 2 years old on Fri 19th Sept & everyone's invited to a party! Celebrate an evening of music, market at St. Nicholas Market.

They recently produced a very beautiful Bristol Pound Tourist Map of the city.  They wrote: 

"Clever tourists sniff out local-hangouts. Everyone knows that if you want the best of the best, you head to the locally-owned businesses that serve their local community.  We're proud to announce that we're giving Bristol's visitors a head start this summer as we've created a Bristol Pound Tourist Map! It's a glossy, colourful map of Bristol Pound businesses based in the Old City and Harbourside area".

You can either pick one up in Bristol, if you're passing, or download it here.

Transition Bristol have also been reflecting on their 7 years of work so far, in this fascinating piece.  Our last birthday reference is the Green Valley Grocer, 

In Slaithwaite, the Green Valley Grocer celebrated its fifth birthday!  Congratulations all. 

Transition Chichester held a stall at the TASTE Festival. Here they are:

Transition Harborough have taken over running their local Seedy Sunday.  Bath & West Community Energy are flying .. they recently tweeted:

AGM votes for 7% return to investors for 3rd year running. Money that can be circulated in the - great stuff

Transition Town Tooting's recently held their Garden Day. Here's a photo from the day:

They also are holding a ReStart Party, a space in which people can get electrical items repaired, facilitated by the rather wonderful Restart Project.  This weekend sees their annual Foodival event. Loads of great things are planned for the event.  We'll tell you all about it next month, but for now, here's the poster:

Transition Exeter ran a stall at the Exeter Green Fair. Here they are: 

"Reduce, re-use, recycle" was the main message of this month’s Sustainable Saturday in Transition Town Honiton. The Transition Town Honiton event in the Mackarness Hall featured community recycling scheme Waste Not Want Not, a clothes swap, and special guest Cathy Karniewicz, Mrs Recycle (see right), was also in attendance. Cathy was showing visitors how to make windmills out of items that would have otherwise been thrown away. East Devon District Council’s Street Scene were also on hand to give people information on recycling.

May saw the Totnes Local Entrepreneurs' Forum, a resounding success, described in a previous Round Up, but here is a great new video made of the event: 

Transition Town Brixton are also planning to run a Local Entrepreneurs Forum, and are looking for entrepreneurs who would like to take part. Transition Linlithgow, in the soon-to-be-independent Scotland, recently tweeted:

"Low Port beds never looked so good. Thank to the hard work of Transition Linlithgow's keen Food & Gardening folks." 

Here's a photo of the Low Port community garden team hard at work: 

PL21, the Transition group in Ivybridge, Devon, have been creating a new community food garden around the Ivybridge Youth Centre.  Here's a clipping from their local paper:

The Macclesfield Express reported that "Families take part in annual ride", reporting on how "twenty-five cyclists aged three to 93 turned out for the ride organised by Transition Wilmslow and CycleWilmslow".  One of those taking part was 93 year old Philip Briggs.  The paper quoted Rob Sawyer, who led the ride for CycleWilmslow: “It was fantastic that Philip joined us - I had no idea of his age until someone told me. Philip tells me that he gets out for exercise six times a week - he’s an example to us all".

 

Transition Cambridge held an event focusing on Thermal Comfort in Older Homes.  Here is the handout they produced for the course.   They also ran a stall at a fair in Cambridge.  Here's a photo them hard at work, veg in hand (see right):

Transition St Albans held a Home Grown Food Skill Share. The Brixton Pound just launched their new app!  All looks very exciting, and a real step forward.  

Transition Letchworth tweeted: 

TT 's Growers' Market in town this Sat morning - bring your surplus to swop & trade - see you there!

Transition Chepstow invited people along to help out at its community food growing plot at Hanley Landshare.  The Bucks Free Press reported on the return of Transition Town Marlow's community market.  It writes "As well as meat, vegetables, bread and cakes suppliers, there are a host of stalls from craftspeople and artists.  TTM aims to run a plastic bag-free market, so organisers urge customers to bring their own".

Over the last couple of weeks, the Degrowth conference in Leipzig has brought together thinkers and Degrowth activists.  One of the panels featured Transition Network trustee Tony Greenham, who had been asked to bring one image that captured what Transition is.  What did he bring?  Go to 24:10 on the video below to find out: 

  

Rob Hopkins was recently in Liege in Belgium, visiting Transition projects there, a trip he wrote up here.  Here is a rather cool short video about the big public event that took place on his final evening there:

There have also been the usual slew of Transition newsletters.  Here is a random selection: Transition Kentish Town, Transition KW, Linlithgow, Transition Tavistock, Transition Redhill.  Transition Town Wilmslow have been shortlisted for community funding from the Skipton Building Society ‘Grassroots Giving Campaign and need your vote.  Please click here and help them out. 

In Germany, Transition Town Grafing recently held a Repair Cafe, Creative Cafe and other things. Here's a video about them:

Rob Hopkins was recently in Germany for talks to promote the German version of The Power of Just Doing Stuff, which was recently published there.  He wrote up the trip here.   He first spoke at the Heinrich Boll Foundation in Berlin:

Then he went to Bielefeld.  While there, he asked people what, for them, is Transition:

... and also why they do it ...

Here is the talk he gave there:

To Hungary now. In August Transition Wekerle in Budapest was the scene of a very unusual event: maybe the ever first "washable nappy picnic".  It was organised by local mums, like a demonstration against the environmental impact of disposable nappies. 50 mothers and more children came together to change their experiences about washable nappies and eco child care. As a next step, in September the organisers set up a washable nappy club in Wekerle, they will met every second week.

At the end of the summer was organised the first public event of the landshare project in Transition Wekerle. The landshare project was set up in spring this year. During the test period 3 garden owners and about 6 gardener familly have joint to the project. Regarding the popularity of the project, hopefully in the following months the number of shared gardens and gardeners will raise up. 

In the US, Transition Town Missoula recently gave a talk called Thinking beyond climate change

 

Transition US have been crowdfunding to develop a US version of Transition Streets.  Here's their video: 

Transition Catskills have been in touch recently.  They wrote:

After a long time talking and figuring ourselves out, we finally “went public” this summer— hosting two community screenings of “In Transition 1.0” and a “Farm to Picnic Potluck” event where people could come out and start brainstorming ideas for the community onto a timeline.  All were well attended and there was lots of lively (and sometimes heated!) discussion, and we have built out an email list of about 85 people.  You can watch a couple of videos from the Potluck via the links in the forwarded email below that we sent out to our list.  

We are presently filming a further series of outreach videos to broaden our appeal (the raw material looks great so far!), and we are planning out events for the fall, including at least two public mini-orchard plantings.  We have made good connections with local libraries about instituting a tool sharing library there, our community commercial kitchen is finally about to emerge from all the bureaucratic hoops we had to jump through, and we are working to support the planning around the Fleischmanns biomass heating project (Charles, SUNY-ESF had a lot to do with this!).  We are also going through the ideas generated at our potluck and seeing which of those we can get up and running". 

The group is also proposing a Catskills Dollar.  Here's what they propose it might look like:

Also, here is the video they made about their "Pavilion Potluck":

... and another called "Forage in your Yard":


Transition Guelph in Canada had an innovative idea for a fundraiser ... a canoe race!  Here's the poster:

They later wrote up how it went here. Finally, representatives of Transition Romania participated in the Hay fest where they talked about the Transition movement and permaculture. Hay festival is one of the most famous international green and cultural festival in Romania, organised in a beautiful countryside.  Hay festival (Fin fest) is organised every year as a demonstration against the  opening of a gold mine on a UNESCO world heritage place.

That's it for now.  See you next month, and do send us in any stories you'd like us to include. 

September 2014 - Transition Network Newsletter

Thu, 04/09/2014 - 18:52

Do you remember that our theme was about not doing stuff? That is pretty much what happened in August! However we still have some news to share that includes the latest Transition Free Press, news from REconomy, Permaculture, thoughts on supermarkets, book reviews and new training.

Transition Free Press

We’re out! New Autumn issue is published
In this sixth issue you can find our signature mix of the practical, political and the philosophical. In line with a renewed push towards climate action this autumn, we’re focusing on fossil fuel divestment and climate activism. We are also showing how the humble acts of fermenting cabbage and saving seeds are also radical acts of liberation, why in the face of increased corporate control we are out digging fields, brewing beer, helping our neighbour, telling our own story, doing art in whatever place we find ourselves.

On paper and on-line, our new action-packed edition number 6 can be now found in shops, cafes and at Transition events across the UK. If you can’t put your hands on a copy or have not had one through the door, you can also find it here:
http://transitionfreepress.org/2014/09/01/were-out-new-autumn-issue-is-published-today/


REconomy Project

Community Supported Enterprise
What can a community do to incubate and support the kinds of local enterprises that best serve the interests of that community? Transition Towns Totnes & Brixton are exploring this question…
http://www.reconomy.org/community-supported-enterprise-how-might-that-work/

REconomy in Europe
The national hubs exploring REconomy have created a great summary of over 20 Transition-oriented enterprises emerging in Belgium, Croatia, Italy, Latvia and the Netherlands
http://www.reconomy.org/inspiring-enterprises/more-inspiring-enterprises-from-around-europe/


THINKING ALOUD

Addressing Drought by Thinking Like a Forest
Writing in The Guardian, Rob Hopkins argues that the best way to tackle drought is by learning from how forests manage water.
http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/aug/22/putting-a-stop-to-water-waste-why-local-initiatives-are-key

Can Supermarkets Ever Be Sustainable?
Walmart’s new boss is on a mission. In this Guardian article, Rob Hopkins asks whether his drive for renewable energy and waste reduction will transform the supermarket model?
http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/aug/26/can-supermarkets-ever-be-sustainable

Permaculture and Transition
Having spent two years travelling the Americas, Phil Moore and his girlfriend Lauren are currently touring the UK visiting projects, places and people working toward sustainable, sane and human futures.
http://transitionfreepress.org/2014/08/25/on-the-edge-how-permaculture-and-transition-meet/


TRAINING

We have a new training piloting next month, Permaculture for Transition. You will learn how to apply permaculture principles to transition projects, enterprises, and your life! Launch OnLine is having it fourth outing beginning October 8th. Our next train the trainers is happening in November in Sweden. Details of up and training here:
http://www.transitionnetwork.org/events/network-training

BOOKS

The Second Life of Sally Mottram
Rob Hopkins reviews the first novel in which Transition plays a key role, published by one of the UK's largest publishers. Written by David Nobbs, one of Britain's best known comedy writers, he finds that it captures the power of one person deciding it's time to do something and how infectious that can be.
http://www.transitionnetwork.org/blogs/rob-hopkins/2014-09/second-life-sally-mottram-review

The Collapse of Western Civilization
Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway are science historians, and they are hopping mad at folks who deny that humans are the primary cause of climate change. Their outrage inspired them to write a 112-page science fiction rant that reviewer Richard Reese describes as a gusher of intoxicating hope and optimism.
http://wildancestors.blogspot.co.uk/2014/08/the-collapse-of-western-civilization.html

RESEARCH

Local Food Enthusiasts
You are invited to participate in a survey on Local Food Initiatives. Its purpose is to better understand the challenges, issues, barriers and opportunities in transitioning communities towards sustainable food systems. The results will be included in a research paper being submitted to The Open University. The survey is online until 5th October.
http://tinyurl.com/lceafmc


COMING UP

UK Permaculture Convergence
12-14 September. London
A diverse range of workshops, practical sessions, a visit to a very well established local permaculture LAND centre, project case studies, Diploma presentations, networking, exhibitions, woodland walks, games, adventure activities and lots, lots more!
http://www.permaculture.org.uk/noticeboard/event/convergence/uk-permaculture-convergence-2014-09-12

Celebrating Green Open Homes - September
An opportunity to ask a neighbour about an energy saving improvment that they’ve made, and see if it might work for you.
http://www.transitionnetwork.org/news/2014-09-01/celebrating-green-open-...

5th German Transition (Un-)Conference
3-5 October Zierenberg near Kassel
About 100-150 Transitioners and other activists from all over Germany, Austria and Switzerland - plus Ben Brangwyn from the Transition Network - will gather for 3 joyful days of sharing, learning, listening and celebrating. Films, Talks, Workshops, Transition Theater, book presentations plus many associated organisations will also put their knowledge and wisdom on display. The 3 main themes will be 'REconomy/local Economy/alternative Economy', '(skillfull) Groupwork' and 'Strengthening our Transition Netzwerk D/A/CH'. All sessions will be held in German except the international sessions with Ben. 
http://www.transition-initiativen.org/page/netzwerktreffen-2014-1

Real World Economics Workshop - Well & Good Project
4-5 October. Bridport, Devon
This workshop training includes practical tools to engage your community, thought provoking presentations, group discussions and fun interactive exercises that will equip you to be an effective change-maker in your community.
http://www.transitionnetwork.org/events/2014-10-04/real-world-economics-workshop-well-good-project

Transition Network Roadshows:
St Andrews, Scotland 10-11 October
Penwith, Cornwall 6-7 February 2015
Bristol mid March 2015
Berkhamsted mid April 2015
http://www.transitionnetwork.org/roadshow

 

September's theme on the website is 'Making Space for Nature'. The theme opens at dusk in a field near Plymouth, where something unusual in a hedgerow leads us into an exploration about why Transition initiatives need to make space for nature in their work.
http://www.transitionnetwork.org/blogs/rob-hopkins/2014-08/why-transition-needs-sense-wonder


QUOTE OF THE MONTH

"Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts". Rachel Carson

Follow Transition Network on Twitter
http://twitter.com/#!/transitiontowns

Be a Friend on Facebook
http://www.facebook.com/transitionnetwork

Film Reviews
http://www.transitionnetwork.org/films 

Transition Youtube Channel
https://www.youtube.com/transitiontowns

Resources — Editor's Picks
http://www.transitionnetwork.org/resources

Find previous editions of the newsletter here
http://www.transitionnetwork.org/tags/transition-network-newsletter

Read this newsletter online 
http://www.transitionnetwork.org/news/2014-09-04/september-2014-transition-network-newsletter

Subscribe to Transition newsletter:
http://tinyurl.com/transitionregister

This newsletter is published on the first Friday of each month. 
Next newsletter is 3 October 2014

Newsletter Editor: Mike Grenville,
from Transition Forest Row for the Transition Network
Contact: mgrenville@gmail.com



 

Celebrating Green Open Homes

Mon, 01/09/2014 - 11:57

It's that time of year when Open Eco Homes events happen up and down the country.  Totnes are doing it, as are Bridport, West Bridgford, Lewes, Stroud and others.  A Green Open Homes event is an opportunity to ask a neighbour about an energy saving improvment that they’ve made, and see if it might work for you.  On an event day, householders who have made low carbon improvements to their homes open them up to share their experiences with neighbours and others.

They are an excellent way for people to find out about the reality of getting solar panels, insulation, triple glazing, or new heating options without talking to a salesman.   Visitors can ask the residents whether the installation was a hassle, and how much they’re really saving on their energy bills as a result. These events are an effective way of inspiring people to take action to make their homes more energy efficient. Events come in all shapes and sizes, take place over one day or several weekends, and might feature as few as six or as many as 40 homes.

In 2013, the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) awarded funding to the Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE), working in partnership with Bristol Green Doors (a national leader in running local low carbon open homes events) to set up a national Green Open Homes network to stimulate more activity and provide support for low carbon open homes events across the country.  Transition Network was one of the organisations delighted to be able to offer advisory support.  

The aim was to help new open homes events and networks get off the ground all around the country, to increase people’s feeling that making energy saving improvements is ‘normal in my neighbourhood’. For groups who already ran small open homes events, our goal was to help them flourish, to make the events bigger, easier to deliver, and have more impact.

A searchable directory of Eco Homes events was set up, a collection of 18 guidance notes for would-be event organisers, over £180,000 was distributed in grants, a national roadshow took place, and a newsletter produced. 49 organisations were supported, some of which were Transition groups. At the end of the project, here's a sense of its impact:

  • Number of organisations we supported: 49
  • Events established or revived: 27
  • Number of homes taking part in events: 607
  • Total number of visitors to events: 10,106
  • Visits to the website (‘sessions’): 20,210
  • Website pageviews: 92,980

Here's a video about Sustainable Frome's event:

Here is a short report about the project. If you are thinking about running an Open Eco Homes event in your community in 2015, have a look at the support that's available, and perhaps go along to one of this year's events for some inspiration.  Transition Network would like to offer its congratulations to the Centre for Sustainable Energy in Bristol for running the programme so well, and was delighted to have been able to play a role in making it happen. 

August 2014 - Transition Network Newsletter

Thu, 07/08/2014 - 14:47

Although we are mostly kicking our shoes off this month, we still have some inspiration for you, such as why is it so important to celebrate what you do, plus news of Transition Training in India, and more.

 

The Power of NOT Doing Stuff

Our theme for August is about NOT doing stuff. All too often our default as activists is to do do do, and to give ourselves very little time to pause, reflect or celebrate. I remember once going to the leaving party of the head of a large green NGO. He had been in charge there for a long time, and I asked him "what are you most looking forward to about not working here any more?" "Not working 7 days a week" came the reply. All through his kids growing up, he'd been working seven days a week. Here at Transition Network, we say that's not OK.

We try to model a different approach, one where we balance doing with being. One where it's OK to take a breather and spend time with family, take off with a tent and a sleeping bag, or head to the beach with some sausages and the barbecue. One where your kids remember who you are and get to spend enjoyable time in your company. We feel that having a month of the year where this site takes a breather means that what we produce for the rest of the year is more grounded, better rested, and more focused. No-one reads stuff you post in August anyway.

So we're off. Laptop off, mobile off. We'll be back in September when our theme will be 'Making Space for Nature' which promises to be fascinating. See you then. Have a good break. We'll leave you with this. Last August I wandered into a tent at a festival and saw Camille O'Sullivan singing the song she sings in this clip. A hairs on the back of the neck moment, awesome. Hoping that you get a few of those this summer.
http://www.transitionnetwork.org/blogs/rob-hopkins/2014-07/months-theme-power-not-doing-stuff


The Transitioner's Digest (July): Celebration
During July we set out to explore 5 questions: Why do you celebrate? Why is celebration important? What are the ingredients of good celebration? What is the wider context for celebration? What is the personal context for celebration?
http://www.transitionnetwork.org/blogs/rob-hopkins/2014-07/transitioners-digest-july

Divest? Then what?
Rob Hopkins was shocked to discover that put crudely and at it’s worst, for the damage generated by every £1 million invested by some philanthropic organisations, £10,000 is put up to try and clean up that mess.
http://www.transitionnetwork.org/blogs/rob-hopkins/2014-07/divest-then-what

Learning to Celebrate Failure
Fiona Ward reflects on what to do when things don’t work out as expected despite our best attempts.
http://www.transitionnetwork.org/blogs/rob-hopkins/2014-07/fiona-ward-learning-celebrate-10000-failure

Creating a Culture of Celebration
Sophy Banks on how to create a culture of appreciation and celebration.
http://www.transitionnetwork.org/blogs/rob-hopkins/2014-07/sophy-banks-creating-culture-celebration

All our stories about Celebration:
http://www.transitionnetwork.org/tags/celebration

NEWS OF THE NETWORK

Transition Network Strategy
In case you missed it last month, please take a look at what the Transition Network plans to focus on over the next three years and why.
http://www.transitionnetwork.org/news/2014-07-02/transition-networks-new-strategy

Web Service Update
This is a brief update on where the web project is at the end of July 2014.
http://www.transitionnetwork.org/blogs/ed-mitchell/2014-07/web-service-strategic-update-july-2014

REconomy Project
How to transform you local economy in just 1 day.
We want community-led economic development, the kind that’s just, ecologically regenerative, inclusive and equitable. Easier said than done. Yet for the past 3 years, we’ve been doing something that seems to be working. It’s relatively cheap and easy to do. Jay Tompt reports on the Local Entrepreneur Forum.
http://www.reconomy.org/how-to-transform-your-local-economy-in-one-day/  

Social Reporters

Urgency and the Long Game
Jay Tompt wonders what we can do faced with the growing cacophony of urgent calls.
http://www.transitionnetwork.org/stories/jay-tompt/2014-08/urgency-and-long-game

More stories from the Social Reporters here:
http://www.transitionnetwork.org/stories

TRANSITION FREE PRESS

Transition Free Press crew are now in full swing production for the next September issue. Don't miss out and order yours today!
http://transitionfreepress.org/2014/07/14/getting-it-out-there-autumn-issue-bundles-order-deadline-8th-august/

Fight to Save Grow Heathrow
News Editor Amy Hall reports on the eviction notice.
http://transitionfreepress.org/2014/07/27/grow-heathrow-transition-eviction/

 

TRAINING

Empowering Tribal Communities
One of our intrepid roving Transition Trainers, May East, turns up in another unexpected location and helps build resilience with Tribal Communities in India.
http://www.transitionnetwork.org/blogs/ben-brangwyn/2014-08/transition-tribal-communities-orissa-india

Training and Events
Launch onLine begins again on October 8th, and Inner Transition workshops are happening in Copenhagen and London.
Our full programme of trainings are here:
http://www.transitionnetwork.org/events/network-training

BOOKS

Tales of Cli-fi
A genre of books and movies called "cli-fi", set in the wake of some kind of major climate disaster, has been creeping out of the fantasy and science fiction sections of bookstores and libraries and into the mainstream.
http://grist.org/climate-energy/climate-change-the-hottest-thing-in-science-fiction/

 

COMING UP

OFF-GRID
14-17 August. Wiltshire
A 500 participant only event designed for local abundance and global sustainability, where small is beautiful and shared experience is the fabric of community. Use the discount code OFFGRID10 when buying tickets here:
http://offgrid-festival.co.uk/off-grid-2014-one-planet-community-festival/

UK Permaculture Convergence
12-14 September. London
A diverse range of workshops, practical sessions, a visit to a very well established local permaculture LAND centre, project case studies, Diploma presentations, networking, exhibitions, woodland walks, games, adventure activities and lots, lots more!
http://www.permaculture.org.uk/noticeboard/event/convergence/uk-permaculture-convergence-2014-09-12

Transition Network Roadshow:
Our Roadshows kicked off with two delicious days in Lancaster. 

  • St Andrews, Scotland 10-11 October 
  • Penwith, Cornwall Roadshow: 6-7 February 2015

 http://www.transitionnetwork.org/roadshow

 

Follow Transition Network on Twitter
http://twitter.com/#!/transitiontowns

Be a Friend on Facebook
http://www.facebook.com/transitionnetwork

Film Reviews
http://www.transitionnetwork.org/films 

Transition Youtube Channel
https://www.youtube.com/transitiontowns

Resources — Editor's Picks
http://www.transitionnetwork.org/resources

Find previous editions of the newsletter here
http://www.transitionnetwork.org/tags/transition-network-newsletter

Read this newsletter online 
https://www.transitionnetwork.org/news/2014-08-07/august-2014-transition-network-newsletter

Subscribe to Transition newsletter:
http://tinyurl.com/transitionregister

This newsletter is published on the first Friday of each month. 
Next newsletter is 5 September 2014

Newsletter Editor: Mike Grenville,
from Transition Forest Row for the Transition Network
Contact: mgrenville@gmail.com

Funding support for community energy peer mentoring!

Thu, 17/07/2014 - 10:07

Co-operatives UK have just announced some really useful-looking funding to enable mentoring and peer-to-peer support for community energy initiatives.  It can be used either by Transition groups seeking mentoring support for their emergent community energy companies, or for established initiatives who would like to be able to offer that support. We heard recently the impact such an approach is already having in Sussex.  You can read more about it, and how to apply, here.  It's a fast turnaround, the deadline for first round applications is August 8th.  See Frequently Asked Questions here

Below is a taster, its guidance for community groups seeking support: 

What types of groups will be eligible for support?

You will be one of a growing number of community energy groups and enterprises across the UK working to generate energy and to reduce demand through energy efficient products sharing all or most of the following characteristics:

  • Generating renewable energy including electricity and heat generation, including technologies such as solar PV, wind, hydro, or biomass
  • Interested in sharing the benefits and how surplus generated by projects will accrue to the whole community
  • Aiming to build community cohesion, and often have strong social aims, such as working to combat fuel poverty in the local area, providing an income stream for local projects, or engaging residents on energy efficiency issues.
  • Interested in democratic control, one member one vote, and aiming to build member participation
  • Turning to the use of community shares (equity) to raise finance for your scheme

You should be at a stage early enough in your journey and just setting up where you will benefit most from mentoring support. The only criteria is that you are not a well-established group already delivering a range of renewable energy projects.

Why Get Involved?

We can help you to develop and deliver projects in your community through a programme of mentoring support.

  • Peer mentoring – We have a pool of Peer Mentors to deliver the technical support, experience and knowledge to support communities across England to develop their community energy projects. This will come from experienced community practitioners, who can provide support based on first-hand experience
  • Inspiration – We will share information and good news stories about what can be achieved by community groups through case studies and through you the communities that sign up to the project
  • Network – You will be able to share ideas and connect with other community groups across England through our linked in forum
  • Information – We will provide regular information in our Resources and News and Events section to help provide you with up to date information on the variety of support available to you, funding, tools and inspirational ideas