Vermont State Transition Organizers Meeting

On April 24, 2010, organizers from Transition Initiatives in Vermont gathered in Montpelier, VT for the first Vermont State Transition Organizers Meeting. Here is a report on the meeting which featured a talk by Richard Heinberg, and several open space discussions.

Three questions were presented to frame the Open Space session:

1) How can we get to know, inspire, and support each other?
2) How can we create a collaborative vision for a post-oil Vermont?
3) How can we reach beyond state borders and work regionally, nationally and internationally?

Summary of the Meeting

A Vermont Statewide Transition Organizers meeting was held in Montpelier on April 24, 2010. The event was attended by approximately 60 members of Transition Town organizing groups throughout Vermont, and included organizers from New Hampshire and Massachusetts.

A highlight of the day was the presence of Richard Heinberg, author of Power Down, fellow of the Post Carbon Institute, and board member of Transition USA. Richard remarked that, with its small towns, agricultural base, and rural flavor, Vermont could become a model for the country of a Transition state.

The day included a half hour presentation by Richard, an idea sharing/get to know you conversation café, delicious pot-luck lunch, and a two-and-a-half hour open space event which resulted in the following groups: Education, Taking Action, Community – Empowering the Choir, Community – Reaching Beyond the Choir, Heart and Soul, Politics, and Energy. Kathryn Blume shared an African song that we sang together three times throughout the day.

The event yielded many ideas, great connections, and a common sense of purpose. A similar gathering is being planned for September.

Detailed notes:

Paul Levasser of Transition Putney welcomed everyone, saying, “The days of lone wolf are over, we must do the work together.”

George Lisi of Transition Town Montpelier: “This is a very powerful gathering where we can warm ourselves at this human hearth.”

Kathy Blume of Transition Charlotte: “ We can create a magnificent model of transition, and what can come out of this is the gift of engagement, not actions alone.”

George Lisi: “This is a powerful gathering of the bioregion, a first of its kind. Transition is based, at least in part on Permaculture principles, which align with how eco systems function. We respond and align with the ecosystem as human beings, as a community, as a bioregion, and as part of the earth. The time now is deeply unsettled, changing, and in flux, and our response is interactive, in relationship to the need to relearn the power of the way of conviction. We are here because we care. The Transition model doesn’t invoke a particular belief but asks us to look at the conditions we find ourselves and act, making a new culture. Many brothers and sisters in other lands have understood the relationship with their ecosystems, and the web of interconnectedness with the earth, and we can also learn this.”

Kathy commented that we should spend one quarter of our time in celebration. She led the African song Isse Alua, KolebaJeo.


Read more notes from the open space groups here or view the attachments.

VermontStatewideOpenSpaceNotesApril242010.doc54.5 KB
VermontStatewideSummaryWelcomeandHeinbergtalkApril242010.doc27 KB

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