Transition Stroud

This is a shared history blog. Together we can write the history of our process of transition as it happens.

Friday, 1 June 2007

Transition Network conference success

The inaugural conference of the Transition Town network was yesterday, 31-May-07.

Photo: getting ready for 'Whoosh' at end of day.

I've enclosed the programme below with some brief comments added - a full report will be coming soon but wanted to get at least something out to share this exciting day - over 80 of us squeezed into Ruskin Mill from 15 Transition Towns and another 15 or so in the making...

Photos: Aonghus Gordon opens the days, a sub-group explores more about moving forward Transition Towns, Oddie from Transition Stroud outlines where Stroud has got to and Rob Hopkins, from Transition Network makes the opening address.

There was a huge buzz and I feel very privileged to have been part of it - it was particularly good to hear Rob Hopkins speak - see his excellent blog here.

Another highlight was meeting and hearing Professor Richard Heinberg.

I've done various blogs about Heinbergs talk, about some of the groups that took place and more - see here for much more detailed reports (scroll to todays date or use archives in right hand column) - there is also info about Heinberg' presentation to Stroud District Council.

Photo: slide from Rob Hopkins talk

Of course best of all (apart from the cakes) was meeting all those people from around the country - Isle of Man, Cheshire, Bristol, Totnes, Isle of Wight, Brixton, Oxford and more - wonderful to hear their stories - am now brimming full of ideas but also wondering about how best to proceed to ensure activities are sustainable!

9.00 Coffee, tea and mingling Great opportunity to start getting to know some of the 80 plus others present - some 15 Transition Towns represented and a further 15 or more due to be 'unleashed'.
9.30-9.40 Welcome to Ruskin Mill – Aonghus Gordon Aonghus, founder of Ruskin Mill Educational Trust (and Glasshouse and Freeman Colleges in Stourbridge and Sheffield) was our host on the day. Aonghus was instrumental in bringing Richard Heinberg over and "donating" him to this conference.
9.40 - 9.55 Opening address – Rob Hopkins An introduction to Transition Towns.
9.55 - 10.30 Getting to know each other
Each Transition Town, city, hamlet, island and penisula gave a brief account of where they were at.
10.30 – 11.00 Break and refreshments Wow are the cakes good at Ruskin Mill cafe!
11.00 – 12.40 2 Open Space Sessions In Open Space for this and the next item 24 topics/questions were picked by anybody present and then that person would lead a discussion on that topic - anybody could join any one of those tables and participate or move onto another table.
12.40 – 1.00 Recap on Open Space The two topics I got involved in were involving people who appear disinterested in these issues and then the question I asked was about how can we sustain the groups and avoid burnout - I'll add a blog later about these but also there will be full notes available from the day.
1.00 – 2.00 Lunch in the canteen: buy it or bring your own The canteen is organic and very scrummy - soup, a huge roll and more cake!
2.00 – 2.45 Workshop 1 – Peak Oil briefing (Heinberg) A chance to equip ourselves with the facts, figures and irrefutable arguments that'll convince even hardened sceptics that Peak Oil is a reality
Workshop 2 – Post peak Healthcare Running at the same time which I missed was Dr Pamela Gray, from Transition Penwith "health & medicine" group: industrialised healthcare and oil addiction; tips on how to build the health group in your own community; options for an efficacious post peak healthcare system. Also includes Dr Vav Simon, Isle of Wight, discussing resilient healthcare systems for the animals we breed for food, for working (shire horses, oxen) and for company (pets). Again write-ups will be available from TT Network soon.
2.45 – 3.30 Workshop 3 – CSA and food Stroud is leading the country in sustainable (and profitable!) integrated community food systems. Could it work for your community...? Nick Weir led this workshop which I missed as I was at the Heinberg one at the same time.
Workshop 4 – Relocalisation initiatives worldwide (Heinberg) The topic was what can we learn from other communities around the world that are taking their own imaginative steps into the unknown to design a lower energy and more resilient future?
3.30 – 4.00 Break and refreshments More cake! But first TT Oxford wanted to grab a 5 min video of my experiences and thoughts of Transition Stroud - feeling exhausted by now so hope my enthusiasm still came across!
4.00 – 5.00 The "12 First Steps" for a Transition Initiative Rob Hopkins and TT Totnes gave an inspiring talk with many stories about the process - plus the 12 steps they have devised to help others- again these will be available soon - here are the earlier 10 steps.
5.00 – 5.20 Transition Network A discussion on how the Network can support us and we can support each other.
5.20 – 5.30 Wrap up and closing WHOOSH! All outside for a 'whoosh' and photos and more - the whoosh being a large circle and a load whoooooooosh - all filmed - infact a film is being put together of the day.


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