For those who could attend I wanted to post a little summary of last night. Not a formal minutes as it wasn’t really an official meeting (though we did set our next meeting date!).
It obviously went great! There were about 35-40 people there, there were only a couple empty chairs at the start of the movie. The End of Suburbia can be shocking (including some intentionally shocking language by James Howard Kunstler) and a few people said it did shock them.
It spurred a great discussion afterward. There was mention of when it was produced (2004) and how many of things forseen in the movie as being harbingers of peak oil came true. Skyrocketing oil and gas prices, laying blame everywhere but in the right places, outages and supply disruption, and recession.
There was lots of discussion throughout the night about how Transition Towns can, or will, be different from any other volunteer group. There is always the trap groups can fall into of having lots of energy at the start and then never actually accomplishing anything.
“How do you know when you’re successful?”, someone asked. And really. There is and isn’t a concrete answer for that. Really, as far as what Transition Towns is about, it’s about realising that the problems we face require holistic, inclusive solutions. That means breaking down traditional barriers that might exist between current groups. And reconnecting with our neighbours in ways modern society has sometimes taken away from us. So when will there be success? I think it’s when we start seeing that cooperation, and start seeing working groups taking on projects and initiatives. It’s just as much about the process as it is about the end result.
And by that measure, we already have success. We have a steering group that already includes a cross section of people from a number of existing groups as well as the City. We have a Food Group getting revved up for big things (See below), and an Awareness Raising group that has published its’ first article in the AVTimes and put on a very successful movie night!
If you’d like to see more examples of what a successful Transition Towns will look like in the future, head over to Transition Town Totnes and look at all the projects on the go. (21 in all) And this, from a City of 8000!
Towards the end of the meeting Colin asked for some of the new people to name some specific things they’d like to see from Transition Towns. Here’s what I jotted down, and what we’ll be exploring further.
– Give TTPA Presentations about TTPA, Peak Oil, Climate Change, Sustainability, Food and other topics in senior Valley schools – Have a Party and Celebration (TT Totnes called it an Unleashing) of Accomplisments to celebrate what is already happening in town, and what is to come.
– Hosting Coffee House type gatherings to present TTPA
– Make a Film of TTPA groups active in Community… made by ADSS students
– Study more extensive use of Grey Water
– Explore Bike and Human Transport in the City more closely and possibly promote ideas as they have with magazines in Vancouver. To that end, Pat Deaking sent a link to the Transportation Demand Management for Medium and Small communities w… where they have a toolkit document communities can use to get ideas about building sustainable transport in their town or city.
And finally, there was lots of talk at the movie night (and in the movie itself) about farming and local food production. Gary and Jaques Swann were there and Gary mentioned that the Alberni Valley has an incredible 6000 hectares of land that could be farmed. That is an incredible resource that really could feed the entire Valley.
To that end, there is an important meeting for anyone interested in food and farming in the Alberni Valley. The TTPA Food Working Group will be meeting at Mike Lewis’ farm in Beaver Creek on September 2 at 7:00PM. Anyone with an interest in local farming and food security is welcome! Please RSVP Mike at firstname.lastname@example.org and he will send out agendas to everyone.
So there are two meetings coming up:
Food Working Group, Everyone Welcome, at Mikes place, Sept 3, 7PM RSVP Mike Lewis at email@example.com
(9777B Somers Road end of Beaver Creek)
Regular TTPA Meeting, Everyone Welcome, Sept 16, 7:30PM at Dan Schubarts
(5010 Bush St off Kitsuksis).
See the Calendar for maps.