Last night 25 TEDxsters enjoyed beer, wine and dinner under the stars and then went inside to watch two TED Talks. After the TED Talks the conversation continued as we finished off the last of the food and drink.

If you missed the fun you can watch the TED Talk that we watched.

The second TED Talk was by Rob Hopkins of the Transition Network. This is a summary from their website about the work they are doing:

What exactly is a Transition Town?

A Transition Initiative (which could be a town, village, university or island etc) is a community-led response to the pressures of climate change, fossil fuel depletion and increasingly, economic contraction. There are thousands of initiatives around the world starting their journey to answer this crucial question:

“for all those aspects of life that this community needs in order to sustain itself and thrive, how do we significantly rebuild resilience (to mitigate the effects of Peak Oil and economic contraction) and drastically reduce carbon emissions (to mitigate the effects of Climate Change)?”

The community self-organises to respond in four phases.

First, the small initiating group starts a programme of awareness raising and hooking up with existing groups. They articulate the rationale for adopting/adapting a transition approach and show the creative responses that the community might embark upon.

Second, as the group becomes larger, it self-organises in groups in all the key areas such as food, transport, energy, housing, education, textiles etc, and creates practical projects in response to that big question (such as community supported agriculture, car clubs, local currencies, neighbourhood carbon reduction clubs, urban orchards, reskilling classes). Most Transition Initiatives are in this phase.

Third, when the initiative is sufficiently competent with these concepts and practices, it embarks on an EDAP (Energy Descent Action Plan) process. This is a community-visioned and community-designed 15-20 year plan that creates a coordinated range of projects in all these key areas, with the aim of bringing the community to a sufficiently resilient and low CO2-emitting state. A very small handful of Transition Initiatives have embarked on this phase.

Fourth, they begin implementing the EDAP, sharing successes and failures with other Transition Initiatives that are travelling the same path. As of March 2010, no initiative has embarked on this phase.

After the second talk we had a brief Q & A session with Dan Wang from Transtion South Bay LA where he answered questions about the Transition Network and the work that is being done in Los Angeles.

We hope to see everyone next month and thank you to all the volunteers that helped Scott Bell, Randy Leaf, John Marston, Dei Murray, Pam Nicholson, Steve Nicholson, Ricardo Solar and Paul Stromgren.

Finally thank you to Dei Murray and the Hawthorn Suites for allowing us to use your hotel for our meeting.


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