Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Planning day at CERES

I nipped up to Melbourne for the day yesterday as I'd been invited to a planning day at CERES, the Centre for Education and Research in Environmental Strategies, in Brunswick. CERES is planning for the next five to ten years taking into account what we face as a result of Peak Oil and climate change, especially the social needs which will arise. It was great to spend a day with twenty people who talked about what I think about! And thanks to Serenity Hill and Kirsten Larsen from the Australian centre for science, innovation and society at Melbourne University who dobbed me in as a participant.

Despite my wife running a nursery in Foster I'm no plant guru, so my contributions were restricted to the social aspects of the future. David Holmgren was there with his partner Su Dennett and briefly sketched in his future scenarios which we worked off. Then we broke up into small groups and came up with our plans.

The day went very quickly and I had to head off at the end of it to do some business for the nursery which meant I didn't get a chance to talk to the very many interesting people there other than Serenity, Kirsten and Chris Ennis, the Manager of CERES Organic Farm and Training. What the day did do is confirm my belief that the inner urban parts of Melbourne are probably going to to do reasonably well with the changes we are now in — they have a critical mass of bright, committed people with enough power in their hands and the right priorities to steer their communities in useful directions.

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