Transition Stroud

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

Friday, 4 January 2008

Transition meeting, new website and other plans

Last night saw around 15 Transition Town folk descend on the 'Gold room' in Lansdown (see photo left) - a room that has kindly been donated to us for use until August....

....the minutes of the meeting will be circulated soon to members of the Google email list so I wont cover the full details here - if you are not a member you can still sign up from the Wiki website here to get emails. Anyhow this meeting was formerly the 'Core Group' that has since been disbanded - the shape and contents of the monthly meeting has been much debated and again I wont cover that here - but for those interested do look back over Transition Town emails (stored on the Google site) - so what were we to discuss at this new format 'Open Meeting'?

Photo: Jacqui and Mike

Well more of that in a moment first a few key announcements that were agreed:
1. The Open Space event (scheduled for 3rd Feb) is going to be pushed back a little - hopefully a new date will be confirmed shortly

2. Feb's Open Meeting is on 7th Feb, at Centre for Science and Art, Landsdown - NEW TIMINGS (for all future monthly meetings) 7.30pm - 9.30pm starting and finishing promptly!

3. Jackie and Mike facilitated the last two meetings - the intention is that the role rotates, so it would be great if there were volunteers to take over the role for the next couple of meetings. Working as a pair seems a good option and Jackie/myself would be happy to share our experiences/learnings. Best to contact me in the first instance if interested:

Consensus Decision making

OK so first up was a discussion about using Consensus Decision making techniques presented to us by James.
"What is consensus? Consensus is a decision-making process that works creatively to include all persons making the decision. Instead of simply voting for an item, and having the majority of the group getting their way, the group is committed to finding solutions that everyone can live with. This ensures that everyone's opinions, ideas and reservations are taken into account. But consensus is more than just a compromise. It is a process that can result in surprising and creative solutions - often better than the original suggestions." From Seeds of Change
I would urge those unfamiliar with the approach to follow the 'Seeds for Change' link - we also adopted for the evening the 'Hand Signals' - download from here. These help the meeting run more smoothly (see photo of some in action left) and help the facilitators identify emerging agreements. For some they may seem very alien but as I am someone who loves using my hands I felt fully at home with shaking hands in agreement and more. Indeed it seemed to allow more participation and keep the flow of the meeting going - I greatly welcome this suggestion by James and hope that in future meetings we find it useful and continue using it.

Agenda and new website

We then created an agenda - see photo of Mike - which sadly we did not get through in the two hours - so they will be carried forward until the next meeting.

It kicked off with a short presentation by Ben and Dave (see photo of Ben) of the new website they have been developing - this will look vastly superior to the current wiki site.

The suggestion which largely met with approval is that this new site will be the first online contact point and will carry all the background info re climate change, FAQs plus details of working groups.

The site will be easy to use - like the current Glos Green party website which allows a few key people to upload text and photos quickly. Some reservations were noted about less people being able to upload stuff than currently but it was also noted that working groups may continue using a wiki or other site for the bulk of their info? The Transition blog - ie what you are reading now - will also continue to record some of the events and flavour of the developing groups and more.....

Key roles and feedback

We only had time to discuss in length the 'Events Programme Organiser' - Jacqui has kindly agreed to take this on - the other roles also had a bit of discussion and the minutes will show where we still need help. The feedback from sub-groups was also brief - some of that info is already on this blog.

Other bits

Nailstock have offered to help recycle cans and rubbish at this years' event in return for a stall will be looked at further by Simon and the Open Space event as noted above has been postponed to give us more time to prepare. There's probably allsorts more but it was a very positive and constructive meeting with some fun!


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