Transition Stories #8: Skilling Up a Movement


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Nation in Transition:
Stories from the Field Issue #8

Rob Hopkins

Rob to Speak at SXSW Eco Conference in Austin

Watch the live webcast October 9, or contact us if you want to use the TUS discount code to purchase SXSW Eco tickets.

Slow Living Summit

Effective Groups

Join us in learning how to better work together to get things done! Read on...

Heinberg on the New Economy

Building Resilient Communities Convergence

Rob will give a keynote at the Building Resilient Communities: Northern California Transition & Permaculture Convergence.

Transition NorCal

August Roundup of What's Happening in Transition across the United States...

Above photo: Marissa and Angelo from the Northern California Regional Transition Network spreading the word about Transition and the upcoming Building Resilient Communities Convergence at the Solar Living Institute in Hopland, CA (photo by Annie Esposito).

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Building on the monthly "Roundup of What's Happening in the World of Transition" pulled together over at Transition Network, here are some highlights of what's keeping Transition Initiatives busy across the US...

In the UK they say August is the month of NOT doing stuff... but we're not so sure about that! Transition Initiatives across the US are busy skilling up and building capacity to prepare for the influx of new faces, new energy, and new resources that we anticipate Rob Hopkin's tour will catalyze. But, at the same time, many of us are remembering to take time to celebrate the bountiful beauty of summer's end and beginnings of the harvest.

In Amherst, MA; San Rafael, CA; and Culver City, CA; Transition US and local TIs are gearing up to host Transition Network's Nick Osborne for two-day Effective Groups workshops. If you live near one of these locations and want to take your Transition work to the next level, you won't want to miss this opportunity.

If you can't make it to one of these trainings, join our FREE Effective Groups teleseminar on 8/27 with course founder Nick Osborne of Transition Glastonbury and stay tuned for the next round of Effective Groups trainings, taught by experienced local facilitators who complete an Effective Groups Train the Trainers Workshop (could this be you?).

In other reskilling news, Transition US co-hosted Laguna Fest in Sebastopol, CA, a reskilling fair with so many amazing workshops - from the practical (cheesemaking, cob building, and seaweed harvesting) to the magical (bird language, herbal medicine, and mushroom cultivation) to systems-thinking (permaculture and the Grange movement) – that no one could leave without a few solid additions to their resilience toolkit.

According to Sebastopol resident Natalie Hogan (nurse by day, aspiring homesteader and herbalist by night): “What I liked most about Laguna Fest was that the workshops were taught by normal people, sharing practical ways to make your everyday life more sustainable. Even if you lead a busy life and don't feel like you have time to do it yourself, it's really not that hard. It was refreshing, empowering, and a lot of fun.”

In Big Sky country, Transition Town Missoula recently launched a time bank, which, in its first month, has already grown to 50 users and 153 hours exchanged - at the same time cultivating a community “pay it forward” culture. In the words of Missoula weaver extraordinaire and time bank member Bonnie Tarses, "I've always believed that if you give me something, I may not give something back directly to you, but I will give something back to somebody else. It's a bigger circle." Read more in this story in the Missoula Independent, and join our upcoming teleseminar on Timebanks and Transition if you want to learn more about starting a time bank in your community.

And now we travel to the Dairy State, where Hay River Transition Initiative hosted it's annual Pluck & Cluck Tour, loading community members into a school bus to visit four sustainable local farms and learn from best practices in composting and soil-building, planting for pollinators, green and off-grid building, native landscaping, wine-making, animal husbandry, and sustainable food production.

Out east, Transitioners in the Mid-Atlantic are organizing a regional hub and exploring a bio-regional, fossil fuel-free waterway revitalization project.

Also taking a stand against fossil fuels are members of Transition Charlottesville-Albemarle (VA) who joined the Walk for Our Grandchildren, a one hundred-mile march from Camp David to the White House to ask President Obama to keep fossil fuels in the ground. Read or watch more of the inspiring personal stories from the walk.

In the spirit of celebrating all this hard work, Transition Media (PA) is rocking a Transition Jam, where community members are invited to share their eclectic musical talents ranging from toe-bells and wooden-spoon drumming to singing and strumming.

A number of TIs are hosting events this month with Roberto Perez, Cuban environmental educator and permaculturist featured in Power of Community, now on tour promoting the International Permaculture Convergence in Cuba. This makes us wonder if a number of Transitioners might be headed to Cuba this November! Let us know if you're planning to attend so we can try to organize a Transition gathering, Havana Nights-style.

And finally, Transition Initiatives across the country are hard at work mobilizing for Rob's visit. Check out our website for updates and stay tuned for more details!

We're looking for committed volunteer organizers to join our grassroots media and fundraising teams to maximize the impact of Rob's trip. Let us know if you can share your expertise to tell the rest of the US that Transition is alive, well, and transforming communities from New Orleans to Boston to Houston to LA to Milwaukee and everywhere in between.

Let's call it a skill share for the future of our planet.

Images (from top): Nick Osborne's Effective Collaboration short video; Laguna Fest talk on animal husbandry under the Grandmother Oak Tree (photo by Grace Cheung-Schulman); Hay River Transition Initiative 2013 Pluck & Cluck Tour (photos by Don Pitlick & Willie Williams); Joanie of Transition Charlottesville-Albemarle in the Walk for Our Grandchildren; Transition Media "Transition Jam" graphic; Rob Hopkins tour flyer courtesy of Post Carbon Institute.                                                        

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