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Rob Hopkins's blog

Divest! Then what?

Last year when I visited the US, Peter Lipman (Chair of Transition Network) and myself had supper with representatives from 3 large philanthropic organisations there.  At one point, Peter asked “so do you invest in coal?”  There was some discomfort around the table, and the reply was “no, coal is a terrible investment!” – the clear implication being that if it had been  a good investment the answer would have been a different one. 

Fiona Ward on learning to celebrate a £10,000 failure

One of the things I love most about working for the Transition Network is the cheerful disclaimer…

“Just in case you were under the impression that Transition is a process defined by people who have all the answers, you need to be aware of a key fact. We truly don't know if this will work. Transition is a social experiment on a massive scale…”

There have already been some posts from Transition groups about when an experiment fails, like this great article by Charlotte du Cann. Within the Transition Network organisation, the board and staff team are incredibly supportive of this experimental attitude within our own organisation. If things don’t work out as expected despite our best attempts, there is a collective shrug, a gathering of learning and openness to a new direction instead.

Sophy Banks on Creating a Culture of Celebration

When I was about 12 a friend of my sister came on holiday with my family. We were quite a typical family of three irritable siblings – when someone started singing or playing an instrument another child was guaranteed to tell them to “Shut up, that sounds horrible”.  We were continually fighting over whatever shifting thing was deemed to be the desirable whatever – sitting in the middle, sitting by the window, going first, going last. My sister’s friend who joined us was an only child and I was stunned to find that she only ever said nice things – to everyone.

How we celebrate! Transition Town Wilmslow's energy group

Like many Transition groups we have spawned different subgroups at different times to meet particular interests and concerns. The Energy group has been going for quite a while and what picked it up was putting in a bid for government Local Energy Assessment Funding. This brought out some new talented people, who have run businesses and charities, a Nobel prize winner on climate change, Cheshire Groundwork as fund holders, and got us a successful bid. In turn that brought in staff time to get out publicity, recruit a lot of new volunteers to use thermal cameras, and advise householders.

Celebrating Transition at the Transition Northwest Conference

Saturday 12th July saw the first pilot Transition Roadshow take place, the Transition Northwest Conference.  And if the four subsequent Roadshows are to prove anywhere near as good, then it represents a great new evolution in how to celebrate and support Transition at the local level.  The conference was held at the University of Cumbria in Lancaster, hosted by the Institute for Leadership and SustainabilityTransition City Lancaster had done wonders in pulling together the event, and their care and attention to detail was clear throughout. 

Chris Johnstone: "Without celebration, we wither away"

Chris Johnstone works in the area of the psychology of resilience, sustainable happiness and is co-author, with Joanna Macy, of Active Hope: how to face the mess we're in without going crazy. Chris appeared at both the Unleashing of Transition Town's Totnes and Lewes, and has interacted with different Transition groups ever since. He's also an accomplished musician (you can hear him playing briefly at the end of the podcast of our interview).  I started by asking him why celebration matters:

How we celebrate! Transition Bristol

 A couple of weeks ago, Transition Bristol held their Small Green Sunday event, to celebrate and reflect on all that they have achieved over the last seven years.

Dave Pollard: Celebration: nodding with a smile to the Sacred

Transition Network's Ben Brangwyn interviewed author, social entrepreneur, thinker, blogger and systems thinker, and also member of Bowen in Transition, Dave Pollard, while he was at Schumacher College recently for their Dark Mountain course.  Our month's theme of Celebration ran through their discussion. 

The house that Baz built

Given that our theme this month is 'Celebration', this feels like a good time to share the story of the oddest talk I ever gave, which took place at a celebration, and which left me with a question I have been unable to answer to this day, one that perhaps you might be able to help me out with.  Sometime around 1998, I was invited to give a slide show at a wedding, thankfully not something I have been invited to do before or since. 

How we celebrate! Crystal Palace Transition Town

The words "A.G.M". and "celebration" don’t exactly flow together. A.G.M. conjures up: minutes; agenda items; amendments to constitutions; corrections to amendments to constitutions; and generally men in suits coughing to get attention. A top table. Members and officers. Two hours listening to people talking.  In this blog I wanted to take a look at how we evolved our A.G.M. over the last three years and how it’s become more and more useful for our group (Crystal Palace Transition Town).  

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