I have a dream…

It is now 45 years since Martin Luther King delivered his most famous speech. Since then, not every part of his dream has been achieved. But much has. And within just two months of his speech, the US Congress had passed a new Bill of Civil Rights.

Two days ago, on Monday evening, twelve members of Transition Town Farnham sat down together and shared our visions for the future.

We described the kind of Farnham we wanted to live in, and identified one thing we could each now do to bring that vision closer.

The fantastic thing (for me) was the way that everybody approached the Vision question differently. We all came up with different answers.

And yet somehow there was a synergy between us all – an overlap, a shared-ness.

The visions were all different, and yet somehow they were all the same.

Now we are starting to work on our simple steps, to make those futures happen.

To find out more about our dreams, and what we are doing to make them happen, click “read the rest of this entry” below, or open the attached document.



13 October 2008


We discussed our visions for the future, and one thing we want to do now.

The fantastic thing (for me) was the way that everybody approached the Vision question differently, and  everybody came up with different answers.

And yet somehow there was a synergy between them all – an overlap, a shared-ness.

The visions were all different, and yet somehow they were all the same.

As one of the discussions (and I think it was Alex) uncovered: there is a feeling that Farnham Town Council has somehow lost out to Waverley the power to shape its own destiny, our town’s destiny. There is a common thread here in these visions that is about Farnham reclaiming its own identity.

Here are the visions and actions we talked about, in the order we discussed them. I have added the input received by email at the end.

Any errors/omissions are mine. Please advise any changes/updates/additions you would like to make.


Alex Scrivens, Cian Duggan, Finn Jackson, Gayle Souter-Brown, Joyce Hurd, Martin Thomas, Nicci Hewett, Paul Whewell, Paula Burgess, Robert Simpson, Sara Osman, Steve Potter (new member)

Abigail McKern, Carol Thomas, Casper Gray, Eloise Grey, Gilly Jolliffe, Ian Bysh, James Little, Jonathan Still, Martin Charter, Mary Hay, Tom Lankester.

Alex Vision and One Thing I Am Going To Do combined:

By taking individual actions I have changed myself by strengthening my relationships with the people, communities, and environment in this place I call home.

Individual actions are enough.

I am enough to make change through my actions.

I’ve already made changes. This is enough because I know what has changed.

Cian Vision:

Less travel – for me and for everyone in Farnham.

But getting to places is easier, more enjoyable

One Thing I Am Going To Do:

Talk to the Maltings. Get one significant building to become dramatically more energy-efficient / a big step closer to Carbon Neutral.

Paul Vision:

Better-functioning local community

One Thing I Am Going To Do:

Develop local food cooperatives

Robert Vision:

‘Local’ is where you travel.

Want to increase the number of ways people travel in/around Farnham.

People then see the place in new ways, and value it more.

‘Beating the bounds’, footpaths, psycho-geography, ‘My-Farnham.com’, ‘Their-Farnham’, different for different age groups

It’s about Home, Belonging.

One Thing I Am Going To Do:

Engage with the Arts community in Farnham to explore different ways of giving a sense of place.

Joyce Vision:

ONE year:

Everyone in Farnham aware of the problem and starting individually to do something about it.

12 years – 2020:

We have worked fast. Every building has insulation & solar panels, everyone grows at least some of their own food, there are cycle paths, fewer cars, Farnham is self-sufficient, there is a great sense of community, social-centredness.

One Thing I Am Going To Do:

Talk to Jean Parratt at the museum.

Ask her to give a talk on what we can look back to in previous times of resilience (eg World War 2).

Learn from this. Create advice.

Ask her to write about Transition Farnham in the Farnham Diary.

Also doing the following:

Installing eco-bulbs, roof insulation, double-glazing, growing food, getting greenhouse back into action,…

Steve Vision:

Farnham an exciting place to be.

One Thing I Am Going To Do:

Not sure yet. (Only my first meeting!!)

Sara Vision:

Same as Joyce!

One year:

80%-100% of people talking about and excited about Transition Farnham, and talking about what they could do.

One Thing I Am Going To Do:

A series of events and especially one big event (the Great Unleashing!) to show people what they can do to get involved (eg transport, food, …) and get people talking and thinking and excited.

Gayle Vision:

That people’s gardens in Farnham are a productive life force!!

One Thing I Am Going To Do:

Teach people to design gardens that are a productive life force.

Paula Vision:

That people in Farnham:

  • want less
  • expect more
  • live simply
One Thing I Am Going To Do:

Farnham Local Food Initiative.

LA21 (transport)


  • re-skilling (eg green wood working)
  • community orchard
  • Green roofs/roves
    (reducing water run-off)
Nicci Vision:

Same as Paula’s

One Thing I Am Going To Do:

  • Build a bicycle that can be used to power a television
  • Interactive fun things that generate some electricity!!
  • Cycle Path Warden (withTom)
  • Help with events planning
  • Develop a web portal for all local campaign groups, eco events, volunteers, green suppliers, training etc.
Martin Vision:

  • A better quality of life for Farnham.
  • A more inclusive society
  • Less consumerism
One Thing I Am Going To Do:

Hold a film screening for friends and relations.

Finn Vision:

Farnham is a globally-recognised centre of excellence for sustainability, in all areas including food, energy, enterprise, community,…

One Thing I Am Going To Do:

  • Turn most/all of my garden over to food production
  • ‘Facilitate’ Transition Farnham internally and externally: facilitating internal communication, dialogue and action; facilitating external communication, dialogue and action
Tom Vision:

  • historic core zone in the town centre where pedestrians are free to roam and vehicles have to negotiate through (the ‘naked streets’ concept)
  • Non-motor vehicle routes (Greenways) connecting all outlying communities to the town centre
  • Low cost, electric local bus services
  • Every car and motorbike parking space with an electric charging point
  • Cycle and disabled buggy covered parking with PV powered (buggy and pedalec) recharge points
  • Clean air (esp. town centre and The Street, Wrecclesham)
  • Less (traffic) noise
  • Efficient buildings that minimise electricity use, retain heat and therefore retain wealth in the local economy
  • Local electricity and heating/cooling grids making use of local resources – hydropower from revamped water mills, PV from building roofs, ground source heat pumps and CHP using wood fuel and biogas from bio-digestion of garden and food waste
  • Building level renewable use for buildings not connected to the local energy grids
  • Goods by rail as well as road
  • Local goods/shopping delivery service(s) using electric vans for all businesses to use (not just Sainsbury’s and Tesco)
  • Reduce wasteful water run-off from the urban environment, greywater recycling
  • Active management of the land, maintaining local woodland, heathland and grassland biodiversity.
  • More locally produced food and drink
One Thing I Am Going To Do:

  • Greenway development
  • Promoting electric vehicles
  • Energy efficiency
  • Renewables
Eloise Vision:

Diverse and varied – a multitude of stories, happenings, exchanges and especially feelings.

It is a continual task that we initiate and invite the community we engage with to come up with these.

One Thing I Am Going To Do:

1.   Create or participate in a sub-group with the remit to develop a communications strategy for Transition Farnham

2.   Make recommendations around online media to use for a) communicating as a group b) using the internet c) interfacing to different parts of the community. I can do a) & b) in the near future.

3.   Local politicians: I have some communication lines with John Sandy (portfolio holder for the environment Waverly BC) & Jeremy Hunt MP – could start an ‘introduction’

4.   Get Some Students On The Case
Form links with those who are studying/practising the arts/ communications to see if they might as aspiring professionals take on a ‘brief’. They’ll come up with something really good: and given we don’t have too many people under 25 in our group, they’ll be able to talk to a different audience. For example there are undergraduate degrees in:  a) BA Graphic Communications: Develop a powerful logo & visual identity for TF. b) BA Advertising and Brand Communications: create a professional ‘brief’ for a group of students to come up with an advertising and brand strategy for Transition Farnham in time with our ‘unleashing’ deadline. Use the language & theory of brand for our work.

5.   Farnham Maltings:
Start conversations with resident theatre/dance groups and work with them to create some drama/dance-based production or ‘event’ that is about TF. Hand it over and see what they come up with – probably something we’d never dreamt of. From Farnham Maltings website: “We invest in and produce a number of theatre and dance companies. These companies create new work, often performing in unusual spaces, to reach new audiences. We are also expanding the range of work that tours the region – to village halls, allotments, seafronts, cafes and new suburban estates – by working with local authorities, town councils, community groups, national and international touring companies.” Sounds rather like they’d be interested.

We don’t have to create these things – we nurture them.

Ichin Vision:

1.   Choice: provide residents with new choices for a prosperous life

2.   Accessibility: promote development and transportation alternatives and connect the region

3.   Nature: protect, restore and integrate nature into the live of residents

4.   Justice: work towards more socially, economically and environmentally justices

5.   Conservation : encourage resource conservation and reuse as a way of life

6.   Context: design ad respect for the uniqueness and history of locations and the region

7.   Community: strong sense of community and place and responsibility

One Thing I Am Going To Do:

  • Start to think how we engage more people and organization (eg UCF, UCA, other schools,The Bourne Residents association, the business community)
  • If our weekly newsletter could be published on local newspaper every week
  • if population is 38,000, need 10% to buy-in (3800 people) so short term goal could be to reach say 1%, 380 people. Would make that 3800 achievable
  • start to explore the Farnham GHG mitigation goal and adaption strategy (plus information)
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