Sunday, October 25, 2009

The meeting on Thursday night

We had a good turnout, and I had some calls from people who would have liked to have come but had other commitments. There were quite a few people I'd never met before. We watched a film about Cuba, "The Power of Community", which was interesting although it kind of avoided the issue of exactly who decided Cuba was going to go permaculture. Was it Castro or the plebs? Perhaps it doesn't matter for us because if the figures they gave of the radical reduction in fossil food usage for food production are true then we should be OK even here, with our poor soils.

But back to the meeting. We had a discussion after the film where we went around the room and each person spoke about their area of interest and reason for coming for the evening, and we used that to make a list of the areas of concern. These we've emailed back to everyone. There will no doubt be additions and alterations but the list gives us a basis for planning a future for the district which will take the changes we're facing into account.

Here's our Transition Corner Inlet topic list
Bulk purchase
Community projects
Leadership example for other communities
Efficiency & design

Encourage others to join
Spread awareness & understanding
Film Festival
Environmental issues
Basic energy knowledge for home or community
Using local libraries to stock relevant books/periodicals
Climate change & energy resource issues education

Local economy
Tourism eco/transition
Bartering/alternative currencies
Bulk buying & co-operatives
Small-scale local economy
Practical crafts and handy skills
Multi use of facilities (halls, community gardens)

Food production
Producing basic food groups
Preserving/value adding
Survival food
Food security
Sustainable practices
Community gardens across all communities

Explore & trial ideas
Alternative fuels
Alternative modes
Getting networks in place
Safety for cycling
Hand tools use and manufacture
Practical recycling of resources
Animal use & management

Growing medicinal herbs
Preventative health

Values (modest scale/frugality/generosity)
Sharing with youth
Maintaining social connections at a distance
Older people & physical demands
Employment conditions/availability
Welcoming incomers
Toxic politics/polarisation of views/community division
Starting with simple steps before tackling bigger things
Using/maintaining community halls as social centres more effectively
Personal growth through social involvement
Helping communities help themselves/encouraging community self-reliance
Setting targets/measuring outcomes
Process driven from bottom up
Using the Net & other technology to connect to others
Using non-threatening messages to promote change
Dealing with anxiety, stress, grieving
Co-operation and sharing skills
Network expertise
Developing, maintaining and sharing contacts

Some of our topics are a bit thinly populated. I'm sure health is a much bigger issue, but we were missing the crucial people who could have contributed there. But this is just the beginning and over the next year or so we will expand our contacts and refine our list. We will use the list to develop action plans which we'll be able to pass on to the areas of the community who need to see them.

I was happy to see how so many people are anxious to get their teeth into something real and it takes away the feeling of isolation which I've been feeling for a long time in relation to my vision of the unfolding events. Onward and upward!

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