Transition Stroud

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

Monday, 16 July 2007

Local Government Liaison becomes Business and Government

The fashion when Transition Stroud was first established was for several of the groups to go through various name changes as they tried to really focus on their role and what they wanted to succeed. Even Transition Town Stroud has now become Transition Stroud (but we've kept this blog address for all those regular readers).

Photo: On second dose of cappuccinos

Anyhow last Thursday saw 4 of us (2 apologies) in the Local Government Liaison Group have a 9 to 12.30 meeting in Star Anise cafe to focus on the role of the group and how best to maximise the changes needed locally. It became clear from this meeting and previous ones that we also needed a name change: we are now the Business and Government Group - this hopefully will reflect more our role.

Martin and I fed back on the Green councillors meeting with the lead Strategic Officer responsible for the Environment Strategy. Mike fed back Stroud Town Council's endorsement of Transition Stroud and agreement to look in the future at how they could support TS more.

There was much useful discussion and a raft of actions that include following up formerly our contacts with the District Council, the Chamber of Commerce and the Severn Wye Energy group.

One interesting discussion was whether we should seek District and Town Councils endorsement and possible sign up for the Oil Depletion Protocol - we had originally thought this would be the best way forward. However it was agreed for the moment that we need seek no ones permission or endorsement - other organisations will choose to sign up or not for themselves. It has been observed in the past that some organisations are happy to sign but then do little or nothing to make the changes necessary: we need active commitment to change. We will no doubt return to this discussion.

The meeting concluded with Fi and Mike summarising our purpose and aims which I have just added to the Wiki Transition Stroud site:

Purpose of Business and Government Group

To effect Transition Stroud objectives, we will create shifts and new possibilities within business and local government through a focus on high-quality relationships

This group will work as follows

• Acting as a resource to interpret, link, enable and support relationships between Transition Stroud and business/local government
• Actively seek to influence policy and thinking within business/local government
• Identify opportunities for meaningful engagement between TS and business/local government.

Only just getting the hang of that Wiki stuff. Indeed it wasn't long ago I was asking 'What is Wiki?' Here is a description for those still wondering:

Wiki is in Ward's original description: The simplest online database that could possibly work. Wiki is a piece of server software that allows users to freely create and edit Web page content using any Web browser. Wiki is unusual among group communication mechanisms in that it allows the organization of contributions to be edited in addition to the content itself. Like many simple concepts, "open editing" has some profound and subtle effects on Wiki usage. Allowing everyday users to create and edit any page in a Web site is exciting in that it encourages democratic use of the Web and promotes content composition by nontechnical users.

This Business and Government Group would welcome other members and look forward to sharing more with the rest of the Transition groups about possible ways forward to achieve the change we all want and need.


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