April Round-up of What's Happening out in the World of Transition - US Edition

California >
A spin-off committee of the Northern California Regional Transition conference calls kicked off their organizing meetings for a Northern California Regional Transition Conference to happen in the fall of this year. This is the time for Initiatives that are interested in having a direct voice with the visioning and planning process of the conference to have a representative be on the committee. If you missed the announcements and want to get involved, contact scott@transitionus.org

Building Green Communities conferenceHumboldt Village is brewing up an exciting conference focused on Transition topics for July 19-20. Their umbrella organization, Plan It Green, in conjunction with Humboldt State University, is presenting the 6th Annual “Building Green Communities” conference. This year’s theme is “Adaptation: Climate Change & Peak Oil.” They are seeking Transition communities who may want to participate as remote sites for the event.  The organizers will provide all the necessary information on how to stage such an event in your community and share your knowledge with the world.  Please contact Larry Goldberg if you're interested in participating!

The Transition LA Hub is bustling with activity. They’re going strong with their agenda of growing food and having fun!
They gathered to install three community garden beds at the Emerson Avenue Community Garden, one of four sites on the Westside to participate in Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s Good Food Day of Service.

Part of the project was continuing construction of a circular seating area/outdoor classroom, building a compost pile, and caring for the existing plants. garden bed so participants can sample fresh produce grown on site.

The Emerson Avenue Community Garden project was begun by the Environmental Change-Makers aka Transition Los Angeles/Westchester working with Los Angeles Unified School District with the support of many other organizations. It is designed a unique combination of school garden + traditional community garden + community pocket park. The one-acre space is located on the grounds of Orville Wright Middle School.

The Next Economy, where companies are whole, resilient and local and are set up to enhance all life, was the topic of an April community event in San Francisco titled “Empowering Businesses in the Next Economy.” The event was led by Kevin Bayuk, permaculturist, entrepreneur, and co-founder of Lift Economy, a business coaching organization focused on structuring Next Economy organizations to scale for the benefit of people and planet. Kevin guided the group in an interactive dialog to explore issues such as: “making a positive social and environmental impact while making a living” and "getting started and defining our mission once you have an idea for a new business." Part of the conversation as also about business resources and tools in the Next Economy.

At their April Potluck, Transition Santa Cruz invited Marco Vangelisti, finance and investment management veteran, to talk about Slow Money and how to be a local investor. Key questions included:slow money
♦ What would the world be like if we invested 50% of our assets within 50 miles of where we live?

♦ What if there were a new generation of companies that gave away 50% of their profits?

♦ What if there were 50% more organic matter in our soil 50 years from now?

Colorado >
Congratulations! Transition Colorado was named as one of three finalists in the Environmental Heroes category of the Boulder County Real Awards! The Real Awards honors local individuals and businesses that really make a difference in the community, and who help make Boulder County unique and vibrant. Although they didn’t come in first (this time!), it’s exciting that there is such recognition of the work being done!

Florida >

Transition Sarasota hosted a screening of The Big Fix, a movie about the Deepwater Horizon explosion in 2010 that caused the deaths of 11 workers and the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history. The Big Fix sounds the warning of an environmental coverup that will likely be repeated with deepwater drilling, fracking, and extraction of oil from the tar sands. Following the screening, the audience got to have a live video Q&A with the award-winning Director of the film, Josh Tickell ( also director of the film FUEL).

Have you checked out Transition Venice recently? They are moving full-speed ahead with a Transition Handbook Discussion Course on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of each month, a meeting with Debra Birkinshaw of Transition St. Petersburg on May 20th, and a talk on backyard chicken-keeping with Dr. Robert Kluson on May 22nd.

Minnesota >
Transition Northfield is hosting a series of public meetings to prepare a Community Resilience Transition Plan – an outline of local, workable, concrete action steps to take as a community and as individuals in response to the pressing issues related to energy, the environment, and economics. Over the past months, they’ve already held meetings focused on the topics of Energy, Food, Economy, Youth and in April held their meeting on Water.

Transition Northfield Earth DayTransition Northfield also co-sponsored a number of great-sounding Earth Day workshops:

  • Savory and sweet breads
  • Free Food Help Yourself raised bed garden
  • Building a compost bin together
  • CRWP Rain barrel workshop
  • Improving your home’s energy performance

Photo: Transition Northfield's Info Table at their Earth Day event.| by Paul Sebby

New York >
In mid-April, Woodstock Transition in New York's Hudson River Valley held an Alternative Economics Panel on the New Economics, a look at an alternative economy that gives priority to supporting human well-being and Earth¹s natural systems.  The event drew more than 50 community members. Thank you to Kevin Kraft for sharing this report back:

We asked 3 primary questions to our Panelists: 

1. What would an economy built on principles of fairness and sustainability look like? 
2. How do we model it; where is it emerging?

3. How do we collectively strategize to fully implement it?

Our panelists included -
David McCarthy, a long-time resident whose writings on economics can be found at the blog Trickle-In Economics. Nick Kacher (a regional expert) who is on the staff of the New Economics Institute and helps coordinate the BerkShares local currency. Also on the panel were a Chamber of Commerce Representative and a representative from our local Woodstock Time Bank.
The panel discussion was followed by small break out sessions discussing thoughts and ideas about what the new economy will be like....It was clear from the conversation people see the need for compassion, sharing and  a strong desire to replace the gross national product (GNP), for GNH -  “gross national happiness”.  Well-being and Happiness are defining of the New Economic Paradigm and we don’t need more stuff!  The floor was then opened to questions of the panelists.. We took some great pictures that you can check out on our website here...

(photo credits go to Jennifer Zackin)

cloth diapering flyerPennsylvania > The Transition Honesdale SkillShare project is going strong with regular events on the calendar. To effectively “unearth the “collective genius” of the greater Honesdale community”, they have set up an online survey to allow everyone to share skills, knowledge or simply energy. A great inspiration and community-building effort indeed! AND they have some pretty fun flyers to announce the skill share events!

Transition Honesdale also participated in the inaugural local Clean and Green 2012 event. The event was sponsored by The Greater Honesdale Partnership and was a true community event with nearly 3 tons of trash collected according to a news article .Transition Honesdale was excited to clean up the Railroad tracks behind the Historical Society and southward to 4th Street.

Port Townsend's L2020 Transition Initiative
, the 11th Washington State Initiative and number 111th of the 115 Official Initiatives in the US, held a big launch event on Earth Day that drew a crowd! The family-friendly, indoor-outdoor celebration was located alongside the Saturday Farmers Market. They set up tables showcasing environmental displays, products, kids' activities, demonstration projects and workshop opportunities!

Wisconsin >
Transition Milwaukee is gearing up for their third annual Power Down week to be held in early July. Power Down Week has 2 Objectives:

  • Make your carbon foot print as small as you can
  • Do it with others

There will be lots of workshops and get togethers! For inspiration, more information and a great list of ways to power down visit: http://transitionmilwaukee.org/page/power-down-week-2011
You can also check out the recap from 2011 on the Transition US site.

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