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Ciao, buongiorno, benvenuti a casa mia, mi spiace che non sono lì al simposio, ma spero che questo intervento fatto così sarà un buon contributo Io non parlo italiano abbastanza bene per fare tutto questo intervento in italiano allora, parlo in inglese. Mi spiace! I was sent a few questions and asked to reflect on those so I hope that that will be a useful thing for me to do. The first one was how and why Transition was born. I suppose, Transition was always seen really in a context of being a response to the end of the age of cheap and easy fossil fuels, to climate change, to the economic crisis, to what her in the UK is increasingly being called "the epidemic of loneliness" and… I suppose really our sense was the one of a key ways to deal with those things. Is to build local economies, to make the places where we live, more resilient; to make them more diverse, to make them more connected to the local ecosystems, the local bio-regions and that doing so, we actually represent the really key economic shift, rather than being increasingly dependent on longer and longer distribution chains, that we will bring that close to the home and re-imagine our local economies based around social justice, around cohesion, I suppose. So for me Transition has always actually been a heart about "how do you build a more healthy human culture", a human culture which is more able to adapt to times to change very fast. So, practically, I suppose, Transition is groups of people that come together in their communities and look at how they're going to roll that out in the place where they live, and the beauty for me of Transition is that it looks different in every single place. Every way you go, Transition is different, but at the heart, and what's common through all of that, is that these ordinary people like yourselves who decided that now is the time to do something remarkable. Now is the time to do something really extraordinary. And so, that's really, I suppose, what we see happening around the world in Transition is that key thing ultimately, how do we make the places where we live more resilient, happier, more connected to each other and model a different way of running an economy, one which serves our needs rather than the needs of distant corporations and bankers. So, the second question I was asked was "How do you do Transition? What are the elements of making it work, what are the methods?" So: What I wanted to share with you, I suppose, are nine things: You know, we've always really seen Transition as being an experiment, it's been an experiment for the last seven or eight years. All we did, really, was putting an invitation to people and say "Would you like to be part of this?" You know, nobody has the answer to the challenges that we face but, maybe if we can all be doing it together in all of our different places in Bologna, in Birmingham, in Brussels, and we can all share in the learning that work, we can share our insights then, maybe we can crack it. So, as I say, It's really been an experiment, but now, after seven or eight years we get a sense of what really makes this thing work. So actually, if in your community, as a result of your time here at the symposium and all the inspiring things you've been exposed to, meeting some of the greatest folks who are doing Transition in Italy as well, you feel inspired to do this way you live, then here are some of the things that really are ingredients of success. The first one is what we call an Initiating Group. So having a group of people who come together and their intention, really, is just to get the thing going. So it's that first stage of not saying "We're going to build a power base for the next ten years, and I will be the chairman in ten years time..." It's really about saying we're here to serve, we're here to lay the foundations for this project will need in order to get started. You know, it'll need an organization, it'll need a bank account, it'll need a website. It's to do all of that to lay the foundation to what comes next. The next one is developing your group. This needs a group and actually that group is something that needs attention paid to it. I think that sometimes people look at Transition and imagine it will happen by magic, but of course, it happens because there is a dedicated group of people who make that happen. But those groups need to pay attention to how they work to the process to make sure that one will fall out with each other and then they run meetings and everybody wants to come to! rather than going "Oh no, another Transition meeting!". “Vision” is a really important one as well. Having a vision of the group, of what it wants to do and also for the Transition group to help people in the community to develop a vision of how the place could be. If you went out from a venue today, ask people on the street: "What would this place look like if every year it reduced its carbon footprint by 10%?" Many people would imagine something like the Flintstones, you know some sort of stone age thing. Actually, having a vision of how it could be for we can them work toward, is very powerful. “Engaging your community”, finding creative ways to get together with the people around you. I was just hearing a story today about a city near me Exeter, were about to launch a local currency and they're working with their local rugby club, the "Exeter Chiefs" and the Rugby World Cup is in England this year and "Exeter Chiefs" are hosting some of the games, so they're going to launch the "Exeter Pound" and they're going to produce a special £ 15 note to commemorate the World Cup coming. Really good way of involving people in a local currency, who normally would never really get involved. I don't know how to say "partnerships" in Italian, but networks and partnerships so feel group to build connections with other groups in the community who are doing similar things, is also really, really valuable. Your Transition group whatever be able to do everything on it's own, but building those connections and networks is very, very powerful. “Practical projects” – Rolling up your sleeves, doing things, getting together with people, going out planting trees, starting food gardens, insulating people’s houses, doing things. Taking a step across “I’m thinking about it” to actually making things happen is a very powerful part of this process. I have no idea if I’ve quite translated this one right. “Inner Transition” – The transition is not jus an outer process of growing carrots and bring up solar panels. It’s really a process… as well, it’s an inner process. It’s about how we look after each other. How we keep the inner aspect of the work going well as well. It’s not just about… “work, work, work, work, work!” blowing out. It’s about how we support each other and make this a process that --- she really nourishing. “Being part of a movement” We aren’t doing this in isolation from each other, but this is something where, if we’re all part of a network, now there are transition groups in 50 countries around the world, thousands of communities, we should feel part of that network and share those learnings, that’s really powerful. And then the last one is “Consolidate”. So when you have that initiating group up and running, next step is, you take that step across into becoming a real driver, a real force for change in your community. So, in terms of what does this Transition look like, what are the insights in terms of sustainability? What does it mean? I think for me, one of the key issues is: This isn’t something that we can just crack in terms of the climate crisis, just by driving a bit slower, changing our light bulbs, this is something that really means we need to change the scale on which we do things. Bring things closer to home, make things more local, it’s about resilience, building into our local economies, that ability to withstand shock from the outside, to adapt to difficult times, and so for me that thing of building and strengthening local economies, rather than imagining them as something disposable, in the progress of having more and more supermarkets, more and more chains, actually Italy for me is in an incredibly fortunate position of having lots of sunshine, of having a great climate, still having small farmers, small markets, that’s something that acts as a foundation for the new economy. Not something that’s just disposable, and we can just frack everywhere and have economic growth. That local independent economy is really precious. So what the Transition groups do, so I suppose, there’s a whole range of things, I could spend the next three or four hours, as long as you like telling you exciting ideas, projects that are happening in different places. From very small things to increasingly ambitious and bold projects. Small things might start with… like having an open space, bringing together people in your community to brainstorm what they like to see happen. Starting new food gardens in all kinds of different and unusual places. Starting new food markets where those markets don’t already exist. Bringing people together to think about what the new economy of a place might look like. Starting local currencies. These for example are… this is the local currency from Brixton in London, this is the Brixton Pound. They actually have David Bowie on the £ 10 note, which is by far the coolest £ 10 note I’ve ever seen, and so much more interesting than having the queen, I think… This is a £ 21 note from Totnes where I live, people sometimes say why do you have a £ 21 note? and I say “ma perché no?” You can have whatever denomination you like. It’s entirely up to you. A lot of places start to think about what would the economy of this place be like doing what we call an economic blueprint, a kind of a study of an economic potential of localising the economy. That’s really powerful! Starting to set up new organisations like, inviting a community to invest inwards rather than invest outwards. Many people have a pension or some kind of savings or rather than to bring them outside, bring them in, investing them in things like community renewable energy, or community vineyards. In our town, here I’m involved with a project called the Atmos Project, where the town, the community itself will become its own developer. Build its own houses, building its own public space. And these kind of things we can do, because Transition is very ambitious. We want to change the way, the places where we live, feed themselves, house themselves, power themselves, run their local economies, that’s very ambitious and very exciting and we are starting to see that happening around the world, but Transition is the thread that can tie all of that stuff together. So for me, in about ten years from now, I’d see a world which is much more local, that this idea with the economic regeneration comes not from just throwing your economy open to corporations to sweep in and do as they like, but actually it comes from us, in our communities, doing things in a different way, connecting with each other in a different way, spending and investing our money in a different way. We start to move to a much more healthy human culture which is rooted in place, which is about connecting people closer together. Ultimately, Transition is about relationships. It’s about rebuilding the relationships that fossil fuel age just said we just don’t need anymore. I watched the other day the new film “Selma” about Martin Luther King, in which she said “We are motivated by dignity”. Transition feels to me like something which is motivated by dignity and about bringing people together and creating something really extraordinary, really historic in a time that really demands that. So I hope that this has been a useful contribution. If you want to know anything more about Transition, ask the many fantastic Italian transitioners who are there in your event. I hope you have a fantastic day and… “Ciao! Arrivederci!”

Video Details

Duration: 13 minutes and 15 seconds
Country: United Kingdom
Language: English
Producer: Rob Hopkins
Director: Rob Hopkins
Views: 31
Posted by: marezio on Feb 24, 2015

It's a presentation of Transition Towns by his founder Rob Hopkins in the occasion of the 2nd Symposium about sustainability

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