Transition Culture

An Evolving Exploration into the Head, Heart and Hands of Energy Descent

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Archive for “Politics” category

Showing results 6 - 10 of 162 for the category: Politics.


26 Oct 2012

Might Costa’s withdrawal from Totnes signal the beginning of the end for our collective love affair with brands?

Yesterday was a day that produced the most extraordinary news.  For the last 8 months or so, the No To Costa campaign in Totnes, supported by Transition Town Totnes, among others, has been campaigning to stop Costa Coffee from opening a branch in Totnes.  Communities always lose battles like that don’t they?  That’s certainly the experience in most places.  But yesterday, Costa Coffee, a huge company with nearly 1,400 outlets, announced that “we had an open and constructive discussion and as a result … we have carefully considered the points made and decided not to open on Totnes high street”.  Its MD Chris Rogers, much to his credit, said “Costa has recognised the strength of feeling in Totnes against national brands and taken into account the specific circumstances of Totnes”. Extraordinary. Here it is on yesterday’s ITV News.

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8 Oct 2012

The emergence of regional Transition? A fascinating day in Lille

The question of what a top-down response to peak oil, climate change and economic contraction, and the regional rolling out of resilience, might look like, has been often discussed since the early days of the Transition movement.  There was the short-lived Somerset experiment, there’s been interesting work in Stroud, Bristol, Nottingham and various other places, but nothing yet that is especially coherent and integrated.  So it was with that in mind that I was really fascinated to be asked to go to Lille to speak at a one-day conference called ‘Assises de la Transformation Ecologique et Sociale’ organised by the Conseil Regional Nord –Pas de Calais, the regional authority for the Nord- Pas de Calais region.

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2 Oct 2012

An interview with Silke Helfrich: “We have to reformulate the role of the state as enabler of the commons”

The other interview I did at the Degrowth conference in Venice recently was with Silke Helfrich, one of the editors (along with David Bollier) of the excellent recently-published book The Wealth of the Commons:  A World Beyond Market and State‘, a collection of 73 articles by activists, academics and project leaders (I wrote one on resilience) on the theme of the commons.  I recommend it.  Silke gave a fascinating presentation at Degrowth 2012, so one day, after lunch, I caught up with her and asked to her to tell me more.  Here, as usual, is the audio should you wish to listen to it, followed by the transcript.

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27 Sep 2012

Dave Chapman’s ‘No-Nonsense Guide to Localism’

One of my highlights of the 2012 Transition Network conference was Dave Chapman’s presentation on the new powers that the recent Localism Act and the changes to the planning system in England and Wales potentially give to Transition initiatives.  I mentioned it in my conference round-up, but Dave has since sent me his slides, so you can download them (Locality No Nonsense Guide to Localism) and listen to the audio below, which Dave has re-recorded since the conference to get the most up-to-date version possible.   If you live outside England and Wales this probably won’t be that interesting, but if you do, this is pretty much essential listening. My thanks to Dave for his slides.

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22 Sep 2012

Day four at the Degrowth conference in Venice: “Democracy without confidence is nothing”

The theme of Saturday, my last day at Degrowth2012 (although it is continuing tomorrow also) was ‘democracy’.  I arrived late for the opening session, due to having been woken several times in the night by a very persistent mosquito, and after I had lovingly posted my write-up of yesterday, for you dear reader, I was running a little bit late.  So I missed Marco Deriu, and arrived half way through the talk by Salvor Nordal, Chair of the Iceland Constitutional Council and the University of Iceland.  She had been speaking about how the financial crash of 4 years ago in Iceland has led to a very creative process of reimagining democracy in Iceland. 

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