Transition Culture

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8 Jun 2011

Nigel in Transition

Is Transition all well-attended events and hugely successful projects?  Well no.  The concept of ‘celebrating failure’ and being honest about what works and doesn’t work is a key part of it, as is sharing those experiences and the learnings from it.  Here is an off-beat film from Hay-on-Wye made in that spirit, as our laconic and reflective host walks us through his experiences of trying to make Transition happen where he lives…

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26 Comments

James Samuel
8 Jun 10:07am

I loved it! Yes a reflective piece, and I think that ‘Nigel’ has touched on something that I suspect many of us have felt. That slightly awkward question about just when large numbers might ‘get interested’ in being part of designing and building the low-energy future.

Wonderfully honest and unpretentious, with a lovely dry sense of humor. Wonderful! It reminded me of some friends of mine. Thanks Nigel. “Give me mad everytime.”

marella Transition Omagh
8 Jun 10:25am

This is great!

Louise Pen y Graig
8 Jun 11:19am

lovely!

Steve Atkins
8 Jun 2:38pm

Know the feeling.
Q: The mainstream conveyor belt is going to?

A: slow down slowly
B: stop suddenly
C: get bigger & faster

Jo Homan
8 Jun 3:01pm

Someone needs to man up and get on with it. :-)

Karin
8 Jun 8:37pm

It shows you need a lot of time, energy staying power and vision to make it work.

It seems to have died a death, or a least gone into hibernation here.

Robin Walter
8 Jun 9:59pm

This is a brave and important piece, so thanks to Hay-on-Wye for posting it. It beautifully captures the enthusiastic initiatives of the Transitioners and the indifference of the public. It certainly reflects our general experience in Shaftesbury, though we do have 2 good projects running.

Rosemary Bland
8 Jun 10:55pm

I enjoyed seeing a wintry Hay, as I’ve been there every summer of my life (fantastic low carbon holiday destination!)

I was feeling that way last year here in Letchworth, as our TT activity seemed not to be making any progress. We plodded on however and now local decision makers and groups are seeking us out and quoting us etc.
I’m sure there will be many more ups and downs along the way but it shows it’s worth sticking at.

It seems to me that where there is already a thriving community it can be much harder for Transition Initiatives to get off the ground as there is not that initial gap for them to plug (as there may have been in the place he mentions with the mini roundabouts!) and people are already busy.

Don’t give up!

Patrick Cleary
9 Jun 5:02pm

Wicked! Thanks Nige. I suspect this will resonate with loads of Transitioners.

John Mason
10 Jun 1:47pm

Quite superb! It reflects some of my own experiences here in Machynlleth – the public do blow hot and cold on such matters, and when they have been blowing cold for longer periods it leaves one feeling burnt-out and disillusioned after putting in such a lot of effort. Rosemary’s comment makes a lot of sense to me, too – I suspect TIs find it harder to get off the ground and keep going in thriving communities where lots is already ongoing.

Cheers – John

[...] might in fact be, as one commenter over during Rob Hopkins’ square on Nigel in Transition proposes, that it is harder to rivet a village that already has so most going [...]

Samagita
11 Jun 4:42pm

Why would we expect ‘the public’ to get excited about recycled carrots in cold cages? Maybe we need to learn more how to start where people are at? listening to what does excite them – and then there is a dialogue begining . . . . in Lancaster we are working out how to make a start on listening and facilitating conversations that start where folk are at . . in their terms – wish us well . . .

Samagita
11 Jun 4:42pm

Whoops pressed wrong button!

Erik Buitenhuis
11 Jun 7:03pm

“Maybe we need to learn more how to start where people are at? listening to what does excite them”

Like: primark, tesco’s, shining cars, holidays in Mexico?

I was very relieved when David Gershon in his wonderful book Social Change 2.0 said: preach to the converted. (I mean like help run an open day for our CSA, http://www.norwichfarmshare.co.uk/whats-on/events-calendar/)

Samagita
12 Jun 11:30am

Hmmmmm . . . .soooooooooo if people are excited by things like . . . ‘primark, tesco’s, shining cars, holidays in Mexico’ . . . well . . so they are . . surely the challenge is to find ways to join the dots a bit for folk – like what might be even better . . . and what the cost to others is of choosing these things . . . but with the fore paw firmly in the positive – transition style . . . and indeed – lets keep preaching to the converted and to ourselves as well – i’m all for that . . .

chris hart
12 Jun 11:01pm

funny

Ray
13 Jun 9:27am

Echoes well here in our little patch. I loved it, and found it positive, not negative.

Steve Last
13 Jun 1:13pm

This hits home on many levels. Being a couple of years into a transition initiative and keeping it going is tough. I went through a phase last summer after we put on a Transition Festival over three weeks and got quite dismayed about attendance. Then I asked myself who was I doing it for. Was it for the town or was it for me and my friends? Would I have still wanted to do it even if we only got 6 people turning up to an event? My answer was ‘yes’

I try not to get stressed about numbers anymore.

I think we all learn the hard way that not everyone gets as excited about transition as we do. I also think that this shouldn’t stop us from doing it. It does mean that sometimes we need a reality check on what we can achieve and what we can’t if we’re facing lack of response.

Maintaining momentum is a biggie. This is a brave film. I loved it.

Jo Foster
14 Jun 12:47am

I sometimes wonder what is meant by “people who have a ‘vested interest’ in saving the planet”!

maren
15 Jun 10:29am

haha, marvellous! :D

Jane Buttigieg
18 Jun 8:02pm

Fantastic. Really honest and a brilliant take on it all. Have thought this sort of stuff very often and I think many of us have. Loved it.

[...] Nigel in Transition Is Transition all well-attended events and hugely successful projects? Well no. The concept of ‘celebrating failure’ and being honest about what works and doesn’t work is a key part of it, as is sharing those experiences and the learnings from it. Here is an off-beat film from Hay-on-Wye made in that spirit, as our laconic and reflective host walks us through his experiences of trying to make Transition happen where he lives… http://transitionculture.org/2011/06/08/nigel-in-transition/ [...]

Carolyn
1 Jul 6:10pm

What a brilliant film- funny and certainly touches a nerve! Thank you Nigel :)

Doly
2 Jul 7:12pm

I think this is exactly the kind of people that may get something good going. Not the ones that promise you something amazing, those just saw too many Hollywood films and are trying to make Transition follow *that* script. *Cringe*

No, it’s brutally honest people like this that can win the day. If this is celebrating failure, failure is worth celebrating every day.

Susie
3 Jul 11:12am

The bottles being put in the Brown bottle bank looke like they were Green. Hope not

Nigel (different Nigel)
4 Jul 2:32pm

Brilliant! Perversely despite the fact that his frustrations so closely matched my own I now feel more inclined to keep trying.