It’s not just me. There are people and groups active all over the country creating a more caring society. A week ago Sunday, I organised for people from 11 different Transition Towns in my area meet to work out how we can help each other. I kept getting thanks for setting it up, although it was so simple to put into place I felt a little bit of a charlatan.
The story starts late last year, when four mature students from Ashridge Business School did a project to help a local organisation get more organised and strategic. We were very grateful that they chose Transition Town Berkhamsted (TTB) as their subject.
After spending time interviewing members of TTB and talking with other Transition Towns, they put together a presentation to let us know their findings. They told it to us straight, about how far from being well organised we were. We needed to be clearer about our vision and strategy, have a decent communications strategy and get serious about funding. While on the one hand this was not easy listening, on the other it gave me confidence that we were heading in the right direction.
One particular recommendation they were keen on was to form closer ties with the Transition Network and with other local Transition Towns. Together, we could potentially pool resources and get an office or hire someone.
So when Andrew Davies and Lena Sunblad offered to facilitate a meeting on any subject we pleased, the natural choice was to get the local Transition Towns together. I felt slightly guilty about the enthusiastic thanks I got at the end of the day as it had been so easy. The facilitator was already in place, the resplendent Box Moor Trust venue fell into my hands thanks to Marion Baker organising another workshop on local food (“Best Food Forward”) and the attendees almost invited themselves. That only left getting the marker pens and colourful post-it notes.
Abbots in Transition, Change4Chalfont, Haddenham in Transition, Hemel in Transition, Low Carbon Chilterns, Transition in Kings, Transition St Albans, Transition Town Letchworth, Tring in Transition and Winslow Transition have all achieved a huge amount in the past few years, from apple presses to solar farms, orchards to thermal imaging cameras, guerrilla gardening to recycling for fetes.
The baking skill that went into those delicious cakes that everyone brought was something to savour.
We will hold another gathering in a few months’ time, and in the meantime will share with each other where we have templates for starting community energy projects and event recycling as well as physical gizmos like a bike with a smoothie blender attached.
I will be following up with Mike Thomas at Transition Network about how they can help with this process, such as using their website to share resources or assistance with setting up a regional conference next time.
It is uplifting to realise the number of people who are actively creating the inevitable new normal, where happiness, fulfillment, kindness and love are more important than the endless chase for more stuff and more money.