Minutes of Last Night’s Meeting

Last night we held another very enjoyable and productive meeting at the Barn.

Together we had 18 different agenda items that people wanted to discuss, and we got through them all in the same evening!

We also laid out the broad topic areas that we want to cover over the next four meetings.

They are described, together with the meeting notes, if you click below, and also in the attached file.

Have a good day. I’m about to jump into the car and drive to Totnes. Not very eco I know (is ‘car’ short for ‘carbon footprint’??), but at least the sun is shining!

MEETING NOTES

20 October 2008

SUMMARY:

A very productive and enjoyable meeting.

We identified 18 different agenda items that people wanted to discuss, and managed to get through them all in the same evening.

We also identified our meeting agendas for the next three-four weeks:

–        27 October:          Review what has been done in other Transition Towns, Review what has been done on other campaigns, such as Greening Alton, 350.org, … and clarify what our focus is going to be.
Also invite expert to talk to us about what legal organisation structure we should take on.

–        3 November:        Workshop Exercise to examine/experience archetypes from Henry V, and use this knowledge to improve how we work together

–        10 November:      Revisit and clarify our Visions

–        17 November:      Take the vision into creating a Plan

The following week, possibly convert the plan into clarity on how we are going to organise, communicate, what tools we need, etc, etc.

Present:

Alex Scrivens, Cian Duggan, Eloise Grey, Finn Jackson, Gayle Souter-Brown, Jonathan Still, Joyce Hurd, Nicci Hewett, Robert Simpson, Sara Osman, Steve Potter
Apologies:

Abigail McKern, Carol Thomas, Casper Gray, Gilly Jolliffe, Ian Bysh, Ichin Cheng, James Little, Martin Charter, Martin Thomas, Mary Hay, Paul Whewell, Paula Burgess, Tom Lankester.

1. Garden Share Scheme

Finn talked about the garden share scheme which has been run in other Transition Towns and his desire to get one up and running in Farnham. The idea is to put people who have gardens but are not using them in touch with people who want to garden but need more land. This is a simple and effective project to implement and communicate.

Action:

Finn, Gayle & Cian to research details of what has been done in other places (eg Totnes) and make it happen! (Finn has already put a call in to Transition Totnes.)

Joyce to make contact with Age Concern(?) and other groups she thinks could be interested.

2. Visions

We agreed we wanted to go into greater depth about our individual visions for the future of Farnham, and to combine them to create a shared vision.

Action:

Alex, Rob, Sara, Gayle to come up with (and lead) a ‘workshop process’ that will help us to clarify our visions and build a shared vision.

Same team to see if they can extend that process to create a plan (talk to Richard from Alton) and then into a plan for how we will organise ourselves, meet, the tools we need etc.

Vision workshop to be held on evening of 10 November, and possibly 17 Nov.

3. Henry V

Finn attended a Transition Training event in Totnes over the weekend, based on the Shakespeare play Henry V. Act I is about creating the vision. Act II: building support & resources. Act III: Early difficulties. Act IV: Dark night of the Soul. Act V: Building the garden.

Part of the training examined the archetypes of the Good King (strategic thinking, planning), Earth Mother (nurturing, inclusion), Medicine Woman (creativity, innovation), and Warrior (action, getting things done).

We agreed it would be useful to spend one evening meeting going through the exercises to understand these archetypes in more detail: how all four are different yet all four are needed. And all four have their ‘shadow’ sides.

Action:

Finn to prepare and lead a workshop on the evening of 3 November.

4. Apple Juice

Jonathan said that he had just returned from Poland, had been impressed with the number of emails showing interest in apple pressing. He will be following up over the coming months.

5. Subgroups – how to organise

This is already emerging. We will revisit this once our Visions and Plan are clearer.

Some people discussed the idea of possibly meeting for a longer period once a month, possibly on a Saturday. Again, the need for this will become clearer once we are clearer on our vision and plan.

Nicci is going to see if she can invite an ‘expert’ (sorry I didn’t record his name) to come and talk to us next week.

Action:
All to research and review what legal structure we might take on, for example using this link.

6. Scope, Focus, What do we want to achieve?

We will review this next week, 27 October.

Action:

Everyone to review what other Transition Towns have done, and bring/recommend at least one action we think would be good to do in Farnham.

Finn pointed out that if we want to achieve the Vision that Joyce described last week of:

  • 1 year from now, 80% of Farnham excited and talking about Transition Farnham, then
  • 11 months from now could be when we have the Great Unleashing,
    which means that
  • 10 months from now we need (say) 1,000 people actively enthusiastic about Transition, and each inviting 30 people to the unleashing,
    and
  • All our energies for the next 10 months (say) should be focused around activities and events that generate interest, excitement and understanding about Transition that generate those ‘1,000′ people

Footnote: After the meeting, Marios told me that research has been done that shows that when approximately 1 in 17 people know about something then it really takes off. This implies that we need to reach 38,000/17 = 2,235 people. Shall we aim for 2,500?
Or 350×10??

7. Greening Alton. Do we want to do what they are doing? Do we want to invite them?

Rob talked about the success of the Greening Alton campaign.

We agreed that if the campaign contained ideas that supported our aims of (briefly) reduced carbon and increased community then we were happy to ‘steal’ from them.

The critical point, though, was who was going to take responsibility to make this happen.

Action:

Rob is going to investigate inviting Richard Hames to a meeting.

Is also going to bring some examples of Greening Campaign actions to the discussion meeting next week, 27 November.

8. Ideas for Sustainable Fashion

Eloise proposed a number of different projects for getting people to make/adapt new garments out of old clothes. The idea was enthusiastically received.

Action:

Eloise and Nicci to develop a plan for this area.

9. Communications

Eloise discussed the possibility of a Yahoo group or a group on Facebook.

The preference seemed to be for a yahoo group.

Alex suggested that Google Groups (?) could also be a good way to develop documents together.

As an aside, Finn emphasised the importance he had learned on his weekend course, that external communications need to be “10% information, 90% inspiration”.

Action:

Eloise to set up a Yahoo group. All of us to trial using it (in the ways we want to).

Eloise to investigate other potential tools.

10. Talk at the Barn at the weekend

Marios is holding an opening event at the Barn this weekend and has invited us to speak.

Alex was unsure as to whether we had a clear message. We agreed we did. This is a good opportunity to continue to raise interest in Transition.

Action:

Alex to pass the DVDs to Marios to be shown.

Finn to print flyers and give to Alex (with the DVDs).

Alex to create a printed form that interested people can use to tell us their names and contact details.

Additional Actions:

Nicci, Joyce, Eloise are each going to investigate setting up additional film screenings (End of Suburbia, Power of Community) with different groups that they are aware of and think would be interested.

11. New Scientist articles

Jonathan and Cian had both brought copies of the recent articles in the New Scientist that talk about the impact we are having on the planet and the need for change and action.

The issue number is 2676. Articles are here:
http://www.newscientist.com/channel/opinion/mg20026786.000-special-report-how-the-economy-is-killing-the-earth.html

12. Organic Market Stall

There is a farmers market in Farnham but it is only once a month, several of the ‘farmers’ are not very local, and the event is rather dull.

Nicci is interested in setting up something more local, vibrant and interesting.

She asked for ideas/support in finding a location.

Alex said that Marios is keen to have a stall in the alley way leading to the Barn.

We talked about the idea of a ‘Secret Market’ that would take place in many small sites across Farnham.

Action:

Nicci and Alex to talk to Marios and investigate further.

13. Plaw Hatch Community farm

Alex reported his visit to Plaw Hatch Community farm, see: http://www.tablehurstandplawhatch.co.uk/

He was very inspired. The farm follows a biodynamic approach. The apprentice training includes how to make cheese and yogurt.

Many of us expressed interest in repeating his visit.

Action:

Alex to set up a group visit to the farm.

14. 350.org

We discussed the idea previously circulated by email to do 350 things in Farnham that would help reduce CO2 levels towards the target of 350 parts per million, over the next 350 days.

Action:

All to discuss at the next meeting. Alex to further research setting up the website. Rob to instigate the production of 350 ‘medallions’.

15. Email catchup

We discussed whether there had been any further email discussions during the week and agreed that the Yahoo Groups would give us a good tool for email discussion, plus an easy way to catch up on all discussions in one go.

Action:

Eloise to set up a Yahoo group and us all to try it out.

16. Events

We now see events as building towards the Great Unleashing in a year or so’s time.

Nicci and Sara have been discussing how to make this happen. This will continue to evolve over the coming weeks.

17. What is our focus? What are other Transition Towns doing? What form of legal entity should we form ourselves as?

We will discuss this next Monday 27 October.

Action:

Everyone to review other Transition Towns and bring at least one thing they think we should be doing here in Farnham.

Those who wish to do so, review bring ideas from Greening Alton and other campaigns.

18. Google Flight

Alex took us all on a Google flight around Farnham.

He pointed out that to the west of the town the land is agricultural, to the south and east it is ‘suburban’ and forestry/heath-land, and to the north we are part of the built up “Western Arc” that comes down from Reading.

Most of Farnham’s residents live in South Farnham, and are daily commuters out of the area.

This means we face a different situation from Alton, Totnes, or Lewes, which are surrounded by rural land. And we face different ‘audiences’ in south and north Farnham, whom we will need to communicate with differently.

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