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.
Let’s start this month’s round up in Australia. Transition Sydney also recently held an event about social enterprise and reviving local economies through resilience-building, entitled the ‘Living Economies Forum’, with a great range of speakers. Here is the poster. One of them was Michael Shuman, and here is his excellent talk, called ”Building Resilient Local Economies through Local Investment”:
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.
Transition folks from around the world gathered last weekend at Battersea Arts Centre for the 6th annual Transition Network conference. In a week when the Arctic ice reached its smallest ever extent, scientists warned that the world’s weather could be on the verge of running amok and it was suggested that Saudi Arabia, always meant to be the ‘swing producer’ on whom the rest of the world could depend for reliable oil supplies, may become a net importer of oil by 2030, the theme of the conference was, appropriately, ‘Building resilience in extraordinary times’. Unlike previous conferences which had spanned two, perhaps three days, this was, in effect, a 6 day ‘Festival of Transition’, and it turned out to be an extraordinary event which deeply affected those attending.
So, it’s bag-packing time as I get ready to set off to Battersea for the Transition Network conference. There probably won’t be much activity on these web pages over the duration of the conference as it tends to be hectic bonkers from start to finish and little time to sit and blog. However, there will be lots of Social Reporters activity going on on the Transition Network’s Conference 2012 blog, with audio files, photos, blogs, tweets and whatever, all lovingly collated here. Several people have asked if there will be a live streaming for those who can’t make it. There won’t, and the simple reason is that it’s not that kind of conference. There aren’t presentations to the whole conference, rather lots of workshops, breakouts, Open Spaces and so on.
The Social Reporters will be trying to capture what they can, but by its nature it’s a hard one to document in the traditional fashion (if you are attending, and would like to be part of this, please chat to the lovely Social Reporters). Last year lots of people got in touch who had followed it remotely to say how well it worked, so let’s hope it works as well this year. Likelihood is I’ll be mostly Tweeting (@robintransition) using the hashtag #tnconf2012. So, see you on the other side…