Claire and Alan have written reports, for those who were unable to attend. Click Read More to see reports
I was one of a number of people from Liverpool that attended this Conference. As different Workshop and Open Space sessions were provided in parallel it was impossible for any one individual to get a complete picture, however the full proceedings of the Conference including Workshops and Open Space sessions will be posted here.
Some key points emerged however;
1) Bristol and Nottingham seemed to be the cities most organized for transition
2) Bristol is particularly well organized for local food initiatives and I would strongly recommend that any one interested in local food initiatives watch developments in Bristol here (site under development). Bristol Transition Initiative have developed an excellent resource sheet ‘Transition and local food – useful resources’ I have been promised an electronic version of this document, which I will post on the TSL website.
3) Sheffield Food Network is also seeking to map food in Sheffield here (site under development).
4) Greenmap is a website dedicated to providing access to a range of green maps including one for Liverpool , it also sets standards for the design and construction of green maps.
5) One Workshop that I attended was given by the Campaign to implement the Sustainable Communities Act. This Act, when implemented by a local authority, will allow local initiatives on environment, wellbeing and general interest, the possibility of passing directly into law. It also encourages the formation of local, regional and national alliances on environmental, sustainability and wellbeing issues. The briefing pointed to the urgent need to work for local implementation of the Act. Broadsheet available from Unlock Democracy,Freepost, 6Cynthia St. London N1 9BR .
6) I made an Open Space presentation on the close links that exist between Transition and Health and Wellbeing; this will be posted on the TSL website
Claire took some notes that she thought may be of interest.
The conference had about 80-100 in attendance, including people from TT groups, council members and people from other green groups. Although a lot of the workshops and open space sessions were not specific to Transition Cities, the closing session allowed everyone to come together and draft a blueprint for TCs, to supplement the existing 12 steps which apply to all TTs, big and small. This was achieved through many groups dealing with one aspect of transitioning and writing important points on pieces of paper, which were stuck up on the wall at the end to reveal the overall picture. I’m sure this will be available very soon on the website.
These are probably the main points from the sessions I attended:
We saw three very different approaches to starting our EDAP (Energy Descent Action Plan), ranging from the very serious to the semi-ridiculous – and the ridiculous one seemed the most interesting and possibly even the most useful – it was created in 2 hours as part of an unscripted theatre production of Alice In Wonderland and required no prior knowledge of TTs whatsoever! This seemed a very good way of getting other people interested in TTs and also seemed a way to get past the idea of writing an EDAP as something daunting.
I found out that Bristol have recently set up a Peak Oil Taskforce which has representatives from not only the transition group but also other green groups and even a councillor. They are looking at the Local Development Framework for Bristol and will pass feedback to the council before it’s approved. This group is accepted by the council and there is (supposedly) at least one paid person involved. Should Liverpool have one too?
At a local groups open space, it seemed that we are ahead of a lot of groups in terms of our awareness of how to move forward without burning out. Almost every group I talked to at the conference had problems of burn-out and getting people to keep attending. It seemed to me that the Core Team's Away Day allowed us the time to think through our approach in a way that the other groups hadn’t done. I shared our new idea on working with ‘communities of interest’, rather than assuming that everyone will want to get involved in their physical communities (Pete’s idea, actually, I think!) The people in places like London and Bristol seemed to find this really helpful. Also, the idea of putting all our energy into one area until that area was ready to get some practical projects going made sense to the others as well, as opposed to trying to divide ourselves everywhere at once - although some were concerned that this might have the unintended consequence of boring the core team, if we are always repeating the same stages again and again.
Read the full notes here