Monday 18 October 2010

Social Entrepreneurship and Transition

The Suffolk School for Social Entrepreneurship is now open for business:
Could this be a resource we could use to accelerate Transition in our region?

Sunday 17 October 2010

Bungay - Green Drinks and Economics

We are re-launching our Green Drinks evenings, giving each one a theme and inviting a speaker – or perhaps more accurately an expert conversationalist – who can answer our questions about a specific subject, or steer our discussions along fruitful paths.

October theme: Economics and Livelihoods

It will have escaped no ones notice that the 20th is the day of the government’s Comprehensive Spending Review when they will announce what will be cut, when and how hard. At the same time, and as part of this process, there is an expectation that communities and voluntary groups (like ours) will join something called the Big Society and take greater responsibility for the provision of services in their areas – from social care and libraries to cleaning the streets.

Pile that on top of a growing energy crisis, an increasingly depleted resource base, climate change, huge global inequality of opportunity and consumption (and destructive over consumption in countries like our own) and it looks more than a little bleak. Especially as the only answer economists and politicians can offer is to accelerate the consumption driven growth that got us into this mess in the first place.

But there are also big opportunities for positive change: a new economic paradigm is required and we really can start to create it here in Bungay – it’s just hard to know exactly where or how to start!

Fortunately our guest on Tuesday will be Dr. Gary Alexander and, though would be fair to say that he doesn’t have all the answers, he will bring some examples from history of where human-scale economics based on trust and collaboration have worked as well as some interesting and perhaps provocative ideas of his own.

Dr. Alexander believes sustainability and a set of values that promote sustainable livelihoods and social relations must be the key. His introduction is bound to stimulate conversations about the Big Society, Suffolk County Council’s plans, opportunities to establish exciting new social and co-operative enterprises in Bungay, alternative currencies and much much more…

So when better than the 19th to have a beer and talk about the future of the economy, Bungay and what we’re going to do about it all?

Green Drinks at the Green Dragon start at 7:30pm end at some point later in the evening…

Wednesday 6 October 2010

Bungay, Halesworth and Beccles - Apple Days - 16 and 23 October

Several Transition Suffolk initiatives are hosting Apple Days this year in celebration of our great native fruit and all things juicy and sweet - from local community orchards to the best apple recipes. Sustainable Beccles and Halesworth are both holding stalls in their respective town centres on 16 October and Beccles hosting an apple talk and community lunch on 23 October (see poster).

Sustainable Bungay meanwhile hosted a stall at this years' Bungay Apple Day on 2 October in collaboration with the Suffolk Wildlife Trust. Our main aim was to promote the Abundance of Fruit project and sign up people with surplus fruit, neglected trees who were keen to help gather, process and redistribute fruit much along the lines of the inspiring Abundance project in Sheffield and similar to the work Transition Beccles and Halesworth are doing.

We pressed apples and gave away juice, tried some of the 50 varieties of apples that Jim Cooper of Clarkes Lane Orchard grows and ate Elinor's delicious apple cake (Josiah Meldrum).

Scratting (breaking the apples up before pressing them)

Some of Jim's apples