Some of the people involved in the Stroud transition process are concerned at the apparent centralisation and hierarchical approach emanating from Totnes and the Network. This has been encapsulated in their offer of 'training', implying a superior understanding of a process that is bound to be different in each location - and experimental. Here is what Mike Jones had to say on the subject:
I see TN as an enabler, connector, catalyst – and definitely not as a disseminator. It has felt to date that TN is the hub at the centre of the wheel with spokes going out to the different TT’s. What is needed is more of a web-like, virtual, loose type of infrastructure. Regional and on-line forums sounds like a great start.
My own experience, and that of others, is that it’s felt very difficult to get engagement with TN, that it’s very unresponsive, that ideas go in but very little comes back- that it’s a blocker rather than an enabler. And that it’s too Totnes-centric (and appears overly centralised).
These are potentially big challenges to overcome and I also recognise that the people involved are working hard, and committed, and really want to be of service. But for me, it’s not working – it might be necessary to revisit the core organising principles (akin to Visa / Chaordic organisations – Dee Hock, – how decisions get made, by whom, etc). Sorry if this sounds critical – its meant to be more in the spirit of information sharing’ (just one perspective among many that might help with the sense-making and finding a way forward). We’re also struggling in Stroud – I keep reminding people that the whole thing is very embryonic, that there isn’t a right’ way and that we need to just try stuff and learn as we go along.