Notes From Last Night’s meeting

Last night was a sort of catch-up meeting.

We discovered that Casper had returned from Japan an engaged man, so he is about to enter a Transition of his own! Our warmest congratulations go to him.

And as well as one or two old faces we welcomed several new ones as well.

Brief notes are recorded below.

Please note that next week’s meeting will be held in a different location from usual. We will be holding an ‘activity meeting’ (I believe the correct term is “Experiential Learning”) in the Lantern Room at St Thomas’s church on the Bourne. Based on Shakespeare’s Henry V, it promises to be rather fun!

Present:
Ian Bysh, Cian Duggan, Tony Grace, Casper Gray, Nicci Hewett, Joyce Hurd, Finn Jackson, Tom Lankester, Abigail McKern, Sara Osman, Alex Scrivens, Chris Secker, Jane Still, Jonathan Still, Martin Thomas, Andy from the Barn.

1. Jonathan pointed out that reading the recent New Scientist articles had made him realise how serious the situation is and how urgent the need for action. Reports that 25% of people working in the City would lose their jobs at Christmas meant that people in Farnham, and the shops, schools, etc that depend on those people, are likely to be impacted.

2. We talked about the international campaign to raise awareness of the need to decrease carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere to 350 parts per million. Joyce told us about the 18 things that she is already doing. We agreed it would be good to go with Alex’s idea and post ideas to a website that are a) fun, b) have been done (not just ideas), and c) are all different. Alex said he had not yet built the website and agreed to talk to Casper to take it further.
(In the meeting Finn said that he would create a 350 page on this website. He later realised this was inappropriate and agreed with Alex that Alex would continue to develop his original vision.)

3. Eloise has set up the Google Groups email group. This joins the google docs tool that Alex had already set up.

4. Nicci has put her name down for Transition Training (general training on how to organise a Transition Town) and another course called “How to give a Transition Talk“.

5. Joyce has made enquiries with several groups in Farnham about setting up a garden share scheme. She said she had met with low levels of interest.

6. We discussed Secret Markets.

7. Sara gave a good report of the meeting held between her, Robert and Alex to discuss a process by which we could deepen our team vision.
Instead the group had come up with the idea that we need to talk to the various inhabitants of Farnham and get them to come up with their visions. Sara talked about a good process to identify key groups, key messages, and who is the best person from the team to talk to each group. Andy talked about mind-mapping, the idea of getting from where we are to a specific vision, the value of having a Purpose rather than a vision for the group.

Finn talked about the need for action.

At the moment we have 38,000 people who do not know that Transition Farnham exists. Our vision is that by 2020 we have 38,000 people engaged in Transition Farnham in whatever way makes sense for them.

If we talk to groups and people in Farnham now, there will be one of three outcomes:

  1. We are not interested thank you
  2. We are interested, but we know what we need to do and don’t need your help, thank you.
  3. We are interested – but how on earth do we get started?

It is this third group, surely, that we need to support and develop: the number of people in Farnham actually doing something to Transition. And that starts with us.

That means we need to form workgroups looking at specific issues (food, transport, energy, arts, and so on…). We need to research alternative approaches, come up with a prioritised plan, and start implementing small actions step by step.
Then, as new people realise that they want to get involved, they can join whichever group(s) interest them most. And as more people join each group, so the size and scale of what they can achieve will grow.

That way we instantly achieve the vision of “people in Farnham engaged in Transition Farnham in whatever way makes sense for them”. And the only thing that happens over the next few years is that the number of people involved rises from 15-20 to 15-20,000 and more.

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