Mallika Bhattacharya, a student at Oxford Brookes University, has recently published a research paper called “An Investigation of the Transition Movement as a Model for Sustainable Development: ‘Haddenham in Transition’” (click on the link to download). Haddenham is a village in Buckinghamshire of about 8,000 residents, about 16 miles from Oxford. The research looked at the group’s work, and the level of awareness of its work across the community. The study aims to find out how aware and involved Haddenham residents are with Transition activities, what their priorities are for the village and what changes they would like to see, the Transition group’s current and planned activities and successes and issues within the initiative. It’s a very useful piece of research with some useful insights for other initiatives.
December is one of the quieter times for Transition initiatives, but even so, we’ve quite a packed December round-up for you. We start, seasonally, with two Winterfests, a seasonal opportunity to celebrate and reflect on what a Transition group is up to. We’ll start in Stroud, with this short film of the Transition Stroud Winterfest:
As I enter the final stages of editing the new book I have been working on, provisionally titled ‘The power of just doing stuff‘ (more information to follow), I am at the stage of, for one reason or another, cutting out perfectly good stuff that just doesn’t fit anymore (it’s a small book). Seems a shame to waste them, so I’ll be posting a few here. Here’s the first, which expands on something that got a mention in the video I posted here last week, the concept of thinking of Transition, and how it spreads, as being like mycorrhizal fungi.
For many people, the highlight of the 2012 Transition Network conference was the ‘Transition Town Anywhere’ activity, where a resilience local economy was built, lived in, celebrated and then taken down again over the space of one morning. Ruth Ben-Tovim, one of the event’s organisers, tells us how the event came about, how it worked, and how you could do a version in your community. She started by asking “how many people does it take to build a town?”
“About 240 in the case of the 2012 Transition Conference. Over five hours, the very large Grand Hall at Battersea Arts Centre was filled with a self–built, living breathing Transition Town Centre Anywhere. Many of you who were there and many who weren’t have asked for more details about this activity, so as promised, here it is. Also in response to several requests, at the end of this post there are details about how you could bring the Transition Town Centre Anywhere group activity to your Town if you would like to.
In his recent piece on climate change on the network, Jo Confino wrote of the dark place he found himself in after a few weeks immersed in the latest news on sustainability – his climate change ”dark night of the soul” if you like. For the past six years I have been part of an experiment known as Transition, which encourages people to do just what Confino suggests: to sit with the pain of this awareness, while also pointing to a path beyond it.