MIMIC THIS! When you get invited to events 3000 miles away (or 20 of them just across town), use COPY & PASTE with the really interesting events to seed your own community's plans for similar events. Why start from scratch.... Beg, borrow and mimic! More....
This is NOT about Obama -- this is about our Transition Ning Network -- the website you are using at this moment and the community that stands behind it! Obama responses will be deleted.
The Transition Social Network -- dubbed by one of our wittiest as TransitioNING -- has been in operation now for 180 days! Let's take a moment to step back and take stock of what we feel this online community has accomplished. The purpose of this memo is to celebrate accomplishments and to solicit your experiences.
A Few Stats
77 social networking sites, plus an additional 51 sites with 2132 members “loosely affiliated" with us along the way
50 States are now live in the U.S.
10 international sites: Europe, UK, South Africa, New Zealand, Ontario Canada, Austria, Germany, Italy, Nova Scotia and Community Exchange...
4743 members have built profiles, shared directories, dreams, and good practices…
1301 forums and blogs serve initiators, workgroups, study groups, reviews, opinions…
226 current events (plus hundreds of past events archived from the calendar)...
327 groups, localities, and virtual interests who have declared their focus on peak oil, zero waste, financial security, localization, post carbon, local resilience...
1000’s of photos, videos, music, podcasts... concretizing the abstract...
Social networks are essentially about PEOPLE collaborating, websites being no more important than aircraft in which we travel or pools in which we swim. So let's WE THE PEOPLE bless our accomplishments. At the bottom of this page is a REPLY. Please use this REPLY to record the experiences, insights, AHAs! and the successes that you attribute to your participation in TransitioNING.
You've met somebody you didn't know before. And you’re really grateful…
You're aspiring with a new group now to change the world…
You've made headway personally, organizationally, socially…
Formed a new business or new group
Read a book, watched a film, attended a meeting based on this group…
Made a referral and the two parties you referred are going great guns!
You've searched and you've FOUND! Thought and ACTED!
What one or two or three memories stand out as "worth it all"? One-liners are perfectly appropriate. Reply and let us all know. Please be specific. Your specificity is another member's or group's transformation! Be free to comment on other members' contributions.
The more people who join and the more people who participate, the more useful this site becomes. I've been using these sites not only as a tool to communicate with people who are interested in Transition Towns but also as a way to document what our conversations and actions are. Anyone can show up, see where we're at and what we're doing and participate themselves if they want.
Thanks to this Transition website, I have reconnected with old friends in a marvelously meaningful way, I am continually being informed on the things I am most passionate about, I am connecting with kindred spirits in my own community, I am being kept abreast of invaluable resources, and I am learning new technologies like Skype.
The first person I connected with from Colorado to teach me Skype is now an Amazing friend and source of support.. I am so grateful for TransitioNING! As a burned out activist, I am reinvigorated in totally new ways by all the folks here. I am so so so looking forward to watching this place grow - and finding my way to contribute. I am not yet fully involved since I am still brainstorming as to how I want to be a part.. As mainly an artist and writer who doesn't know one end of a hoe from another, I've got a bit to figure out.
The idea of collecting stories of wisdom from elders really appeals to me. My grandpa and grandma lived so simply in the city with a tiny backyard that included an apple and peach tree. They grew so much of their food in that little space. They canned, they reused everything, they prepared for emergencies, they would rub out the wrinkles in foil and reuse it over and over, they used clothes lines for drying, they kept the old recipes from Hungary alive, and much more. But they both died before I even thought to appreciate them! However, It's not too late for me to gather that wisdom from others. When I start, you can bet I will be blogging it all here as I interview folks and write it all down. It's great to have this place to do this.
Sharing a blog on a memoir I am writing of my life as an activist would be fun to do here, too. We can all learn from each other's stories of our passion for change and how that evolved, dissolved, devolved, revolved and transvolved, tee, hee..
I forgot the most exciting thing! A member of my community, Melissa Campbell, has been organizing my community around Transition with the help of my cousin, Christie Jonas. And best of all, Melissa is organizing our first Transition Training for our St. Louis community through this website - see Transition Missouri! She is bringing in Becky and Bill from Stelle, Illinois! Yeah...that's what this is all about and I am most grateful for. Melissa told me she doesn't have much experience organizing but with you all here with this site, she's going to be able to get all the support she needs to help steer our community. I am so grateful to Melissa for the work she's done to get me and others involved in the greater St. Louis area. As burned out as I am, I am very leary of involvement with anything but she's got me tagging along. Thank you Melissa!
My friend Linda Seeley from Transition California and my cousin Christie are the reasons I first latched onto you all here - literally. I do feel in great need of a teet. I am a baby goat all the way - stubborn to boot. Linda mentioned her involvment months ago but I didn't really take the time to investigate. Christie finally got me to watch the full length Rob Hopkins Interview over Christmas and I was super excited. She told me of your site so I had somewhere to follow up when I got all gaga about Transition, which I did - mainly cause Rob honors the psychological needs of folks and believes in taking responsibility for putting out the "bad news" by not just offering a positive vision but compassion for all the feelings it generates. Having worked with Joanna Macy and others on despair and empowerment work around change, I found this was critical for me to hear and become attracted to this movement.
Not that I am doing much yet with the movement - and I am going to miss this weekends local meeting. I know there's a sense of urgency and desperation about things but that only burns me out further when I get caught up in that. I need to take my time, whether I have it or not - to hear my calling around this. It may be to finally put all my training with Joanna and others to use here in my community in some way. We'll see! Lots of potential.
I was grateful to read the article in Shambhala Sun on "Beyond Fear and Hope" by Margaret Wheatley (I love her book Turning to One Another). I encourage others to read this article who struggle with burnout. I also love her ideas in Turning to One Another on how we can keep our gaze on all this "hard" stuff without turning away. That's the hard part for me. Emotional overwhelm. With all my training, I am like John Seed when he told me once he could use a "Council of All Beings" every weekend to keep from getting stuck in despair. I haven't created that for myself in my community. We in the midwest are not like the Coasts...experiencing feelings around this stuff is really taboo. People either intellectualize or deny. It's frustrating. I think Transition folks are going to help make feeling our feelings more mainstream - and that's going to be such a huge catalyst to the healing we all need around coming home.
Having been involved with the Relocalize.net program, I really appreciate the value of developing social networks and connecting with others doing similar work. It's very encouraging to know that you are not alone and that there is a growing community of people - online and offline - that are really expanding and deepening our collective understanding of what it means to relocalize and Transition our lifestyles and the places in which we live, work and play.
Thanks to all online and off who are contributing their time and energy to reshaping our communities and bringing about positive change!
Transition Colorado has already become a “water cooler” web site - a place I go to find great learning and sharing opportunities. For example, so many regional Events (Boulder-Denver Colorado) are being posted that it is already impossible to attend all of the wonderful opportunities available to learn and develop our local Transition Initiatives
Being able to create a Group, spontaneously, and not having to “ask permission” is refreshing and deeply motivating. It is the ultimate testimony to one of the A B C ‘s of Transition – Let it go where it wants to go!!
The user friendly interface of Transitions Colorado and Transitions USA empowers all members to send links to other relevant web sites, post photos and videos and truly collaborate. This is highly energizing.
I live and work in a very conservative state. I've found my way to the more "liberal side of town." Being connected to "Transition United States" supports what I stand for and for what I teach. Although I have not become actively involved with this movement directly.....I certainly promote their objectives each day I teach little second graders. I am very interested in creating an early education/primary/intermediate school that holds the movement's objectives as part of its mission. Anyone interested? Thank you.
As someone who is watching this from England and working to set up connections between Transition Towns there, I am hugely impressed with the ease and skill with which you have stimulated such a lot of collaboration between the U.S. Transition Towns.
Keep up the good work, and let us all learn from you what are the factors that make this work so well.
Your core UK network have over 50 UK Transition groups holed up on FACEBOOK, and many more on Twitter and other places, because your core group discouraged people from using the UK ning site telling them it was inferior, while promising there would be another real site later. Even current letters from the Grays continued to degrade the work here, without even trying it out or examining so many other possibilities for collaboration and collection of information. This sent alot of people in a tizzy, and many left because we were referred to as UNOFFICIAL and inferior.
This is all like a doctor holding a woman's legs together at the time of birth and telling the mother he is not ready for her to give birth!
That actually happened to my mom.
As for the censorship of anything Obama on Transition ning sites now, i never heard anything so absurd. Obama, Obama, Obama. I came back to get an inspirational paragraph I wrote defending the Transition Movement, and it was deleted.
1. That a grass roots NING site is inferior to a UK-lead non-existing site is surely absurd, and feels like a top-down control of "brand", not a democratic spontaneous unfolding of what actually exists and has in actuality existed in more powerful ways within the reinhabitation movement imbedded within the Bioregional greater movement practiced for generations that goes way beyond Transition Initiatives. Transition is still slicing up people with grid maps, borders, counties, states, countries, and at base, slicing up entire watersheds to real detriment of all Nature community interaction including our own homo sapiens.
What happened to the liberating Transition Town idea that what is "official" is supplanted by what is brought into being by the bottom up, and “Let it go where it needs to go”? Isn't that what Permaculture principles stand for? And, isn't Permaculture at the base of Transition? Isn't Transition's way to be organic with all steps taken out of order as needed by the microclimate changes we all experience, and with the fiber of each community being capable of following its own predilections, not held to a one-size-fits-all dictate?
There has been a recurring echo in Transition for those taking on leadership roles to fall back into a top-down dictating approach.
We were told from top-down to change nomenclature and pare down size of our first groups, months after starting out in our towns around Boulder. This caused undue harm to those it excised. It caused internal confusion around who felt the need to follow the "grail" of the hub "Leader" and who could be allowed to think out one's own town's history with its already achieved re-skillings, liasons with governing bodies, and the holding of very different demographics, being told to slow down, cut out people, rename their groups to conform to dictates, and to take the trainings and re-trainings in the "Training meeting" immersion model that leaves out those who cannot afford them with money nor time.
Notwithstanding all the above, I have found that using the idea of me+you is working really well in our Transition Lyons. I was always used to being the "expert" and teaching what I know to others. It is the model used by all modern societies, except for those who have found the courage to splinter off into intentional communities, start eco-villages, immerse themselves in Permaculture systems, honor our indigenous heritage, know our implication in all indigenous genocides, and work hard to integrate multicultural diversity, and reclaim Nature within our own nature.
Specifically, beyond the scheduled events, movies, talks, pot lucks, re-skillings, Library readings, honoring of elders, am using the one-on-one way at cafe's and in people's gardens, and attending other group's meetings to listen to others, go where they go, go where they are, learn who they are, teaching myself to listen listen listen, which opens new dialog. It is not easy to stay in listening mode and let those before you conclude as they will what they wish do with the material you have presented. What seems like being shot down as a proposal in essence becomes a format that is better, timelines able to be mustered, not dictated by me or anyone else. By practicing Transition process I have been amazed that the self-organization used by our town's governing groups for instance, has been exceeding my own initial suggestions for resilience and localization. Observation, learned in Permaculture practice comes in handy to counter the need for ego and control.
2. To cut out any mention of a major conflict with the nomenclature, Transition, is also absurd. To be censored is absurd. To stop the thinking of things out by serious comparison, debate, and other creative means is so absurd. I almost did not want to answer this exercise for its show of power at the expense of empowerment.
I have a personal wish for more person to person communicating, coming from the empowering participation in Bioregional Ceremonial Village. No skype will replace face to face meetings for me. Just the fact that so many other email groups and social networks are already diluting concentration, keeping us busy finding one another is distracting.
From an elder's view, I Love that I can reach out to others on one extensive network, and be reached by like-minded folks across the planet, many some new, some old.
I actually followed one lead to a transition group in Montpelier Vermont, taking a trip there to see for myself how they are living with the wild Herbs in their marsh zone. It was an inspirational visit. I've heard from afar, and do enter conversations with any discussion that interests me. This function of the Les Squires produced NING Transition sites is very productive, and heart warming, The videos, photos, and leads into the Energy Bulletin and all other Transition sites are wonderfully enriching.
Here for all is my file of videos I've been compiling for anyone's use to give url's to people asking "What is Transition?" or "What is Permaculture". And two pictures of the "Wisdom of the Herbs" walk at the Montpelier VT group's Marsh, with George Lisi, George Etnier and Annie Mc Cleary.