March 2016 Supporting community-led responses to climate change and shrinking supplies of cheap energy, building resilience and happiness.
In this newsletter we have a round up of all the recent articles on Burn Out plus some new ones; Amazon’s debasing of language; a call for more mavericks; a Neighbourhood Planning update and two book reviews plus events and courses coming up.
How Amazon Debases Our Language, and How We Can Take it Back. The word ‘fulfilment’ has two distinct meanings. The first, according to the Cambridge Dictionary, is « the fact of doing something that is necessary or something that someone has wanted or promised to do », and the second « a feeling of pleasure because you are getting what you want from life ». Rob Hopkins likes the idea of the second one, a life of fulfilment, it’s something we all aspire to, right? You might even argue that we long for fulfilment: at the very least it’s certainly what one might call a Good Thing. http://www.transitionnetwork.org/blogs/rob-hopkins/2016-02/how-amazon-debases-our-language-and-how-we-can-take-it-back
Why We Need More Mavericks, Not Less. Rob Hopkins watched the recent BBC documentary on Kids Company, Camila’s Kids Company: the inside story, with great sadness. It told the story of Camila Batmanghelidjh and the unravelling of one of the UK’s best known charities, who did remarkable work helping some of the most disadvantaged kids in the UK. While what happened is clearly complex, and while its demise leaves many vulnerable people in very precarious situations, the programme also left the viewer with a sense that charismatic, maverick people are bound to lead to trouble, and I found that deeply unsettling. http://www.transitionnetwork.org/blogs/rob-hopkins/2016-02/why-we-need-more-mavericks-not-less
The Island that Never Was: an English castaway in Bilbao The spirit behind Transition, that invitation for a community to come together to reimagine and rebuild itself, takes many forms, not all of them choose to use the label Transition, and some, like the story told in this book, emerged before Transition but very much sees itself as being a Transition initiative in spirit. Earth builder, ecological designer, author, educator and occasional Transition Culture contributor Robert Alcock has just published a book that gives a powerful taste of one manifestation of that spirit, set in the city of Bilbao, Spain. http://www.transitionnetwork.org/blogs/rob-hopkins/2016-02/book-review-island-never-was-english-castaway-bilbao-robert-alcock
Biology of Wonder: Aliveness as a Force of Evolution and the Commons Andreas Weber’s book proposes that science study a very radical yet unexplained phenomenon — aliveness! He rejects the neoDarwinian account of life as a collection of sophisticated, evolving machines, each relentlessly competing with maximum efficiency for supremacy in the laissez-faire market of nature. Biology he says is discovering subjectivity as a fundamental principle throughout nature. As a conclusion he suggests that developing an environmental ethic is more than legislating new policies; it is about re-imagining humanity in the world itself. http://www.resilience.org/stories/2016-02-29/andreas-weber-s-biology-of-wonder-aliveness-as-a-force-of-evolution-and-the-commons
Spiritual Ecology Youth Fellowship St Ethelburga’s Centre for Reconciliation and Peace – London Starting Autumn 2016. Application Deadline: April 30, 2016 Young emerging leaders aged 22-30 who have the potential to be future catalysts for change, and who recognise the need to create a future that is not driven by materialism and greed, but rooted in the spiritual values of interconnectedness, service, stewardship and reverence for nature. The Fellowship will be offering a nine month experience of deep study, reflection and practical project development integrating the principles of Spiritual Ecology. A central component to the program will be the exploration of how these principles can be incorporated into projects, and how the values can be lived in ways that create lasting change. https://www.stethelburgas.org/programme
For COP21, Transition Network produced a beautiful, full-colour 96 page book, ‘21 Stories of Transition‘, telling the stories of 39 Transition groups in 15 countries and the remarkable things Transition groups are doing. It’s indispensible stuff. You can read all the stories, and order your copy here.