Monday 16 November 2009

Transition East Gathering - First Report

We had a great day. In spite of the torrential weather 55 people from 18 different initatives travelled from Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Suffolk, Norfolk and Essex and converged in Diss. Here we are (most of us anyway) just at the end of our plenary in which we summed up the events and the conversations we had enjoyed together.

In the morning we mapped ourselves in time and space. We said outloud where we were 1) along a time line according to when and how our initiatives began and 2) where we were within the Eastern Region and what our plans were for the future. We then had an Open Space session, conducted by Rachel from Downham Market, with twelve different subjects from Insulation to Abundance schemes to Communication with the Media.

Lunch was terrific, great dishes accompanied with home-baked bread from Diss and the Downham Loaf, local cheese, vegetable soups, apple pies, quinoa salad, spiced chick peas, curried potatoes . . .

Afterwards back in the great circle we had keynote speakers giving the highlights from their respective initiatives: Cambridge's packed event programme, Norwich's Transport Group and original Transition Circles, Downham Market's great Food fir the Future Day with 400 visitors, Ipswich's massed bike ride for the International Day of Climate Action.

The main slot of the day was Transition Troubleshooting in which we posted our troubles on the wall and set about finding ways of dealing with them in five different groups led by the Transition East Support Team. These included Group Dynamics, Communication (inter-group and media), Facing Profound Lifestyle Changes, Burn-Out and Fall-Out and Dealing with Officialdom. This was a new creative move within the Transition process that rippled across country to Totnes (see Rob Hopkin's post on today).

Meanwhile we'll be adding more details here about the day during the week . . . stay tuned!

photo by Robert Stanford (Bassingbourn Transition Village)