Notes from Last Night’s Meeting

Last night we met at The Barn.
(You can see the meeting schedule for the rest of the year here.)

It was good to catch up with Marios. And also with Jake, who was in an especially friendly mood! (Ask Paula 🙂 )

As part of our new meeting process, we tried out the Open Space approach that is so well-beloved of Transition.

It works like this:

> Instead of any one person or group of people deciding what the agenda is going to be, people say what they each want to talk about (if anything)
> If there are just a few topics, then the  group divides into those sub-groups
> If there are many topics, then similar or related ones are combined
> Everybody joins whichever group interests them most
> There is a focus on creativity and innovation, whoever comes are the right people, and the “Law of Two Feet” says that whenever someone feels they are not contributing or getting something out of the group then they must move to another one.

Despite initial teething problems, this self-organising approach enabled us to get several things done in a short space of time last night.

The three discussion groups were:

1. Farnham Garden Share Scheme

Good progress was made in finalising this project, ready for the launch in the Farnham Herald on Thursday. There will also be more information in our newsletter on Friday. Contact for this initiative is Ian Bysh.

2. Transition at the Carnival

Transition Farnham will have a stall in Castle Street as part of Farnham Carnival. Contact for this initiative is Alex Scrivens.

3. Outreach

A key aim for Transition in the first quarter of 2009 is to contact as many people and groups in Farnham as possible. If you know of a group who you think would like to talk to us, please let us know. Last night we took the first step of identifying the major groups, and how we might contact them. Contact for this initiative is Finn Jackson

Details of all three initiatives will appear on this website shortly. They will be linked from the “What’s Going On” page, which will form our one-stop-shop for the latest information all the initiatives in Transition Farnham.

Closing Announcements:

At the end of the meeting we fed back the progress that had been made in the different groups, and the following announcements were made:

> Joyce told us about the upcoming launch of the new site at FLFI on 4 February. There are also planting days and other exciting events. For more information visit http://farnhamfood.com/.

> Finn said that Waverley Borough Council has offered us two potential sites for use as a central office or ‘hub’ for Transition Farnham. He will visit them shortly and anyone who wants to go along should contact him asap.

> Finn asked people who are interested in attending the two day Transition Training to contact him. If numbers are sufficient then we will arrange a training session in Farnham. Transition Towns Godalming, Haslemere, Guildford have also been invited.

> Finn reported back on his and Ian Bysh’s meeting last week with Atkins. Atkins is the second largest employer in Farnham, after Sainsbury’s, and the Managing Director is very interested in Transition. He has asked us to go back and speak to the employees and also to the director of strategy.

> Rob announced that as Environment Officer he is now setting up the Greening Campaign in and around Bentley.

> Rob said that he had attended the Alice Holt Community Forum and has been asked to help them regenerate the forest. He is very interested in a project to help people celebrate trees.

> Rob had also attended an Amnesty International conference where they talked about food policy and human rights. He feels it is important for us to remain outward looking, to learn from and help other people in the world.

> Chris has started his communal garden project and welcomes anybody else who would like to join him.

> Chris has also been moving forward a project to get teenagers working on allotments.

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