Update on Transition Town work in rural Wisconsin
I am trying to start a new folder or tread instead of just using Don’s "What happened to…"
Our rural town has 502 people in the Village and about 1,200 in the school district of Prairie Farm. We have a very active community of "alternative" folks. Obama’s election was a great chance to see who was active and we had a wonderful Obama-rama at the school that was attended by alternative people and the "locals". Off of this energy, and the information from the crash course, we have started a Transition Town Initiative. If you have never heard of Transition Town (TT) I encourage you to look it up on Youtube and watch Rob Hopkins talk about it in the many lectures on the web.
Work done so far: A steering committee of 6 or 7 people has met 3 times to discuss launching TT. The first step is to do education work in spreading the information about peak oil and global warming and TT. We are using the CC as our primary tool along with some other good movies. Plan now is for each of us to host House Parties showing the CC in several evenings with discussion of our feelings, fear etc. and introduce TT. Before this, many of us have been introducing the ideas in CC to key people in our town.
Reception has been mixed. Many people know that something big is looming and are excited/desperate for information and some direction of WHAT TO DO! Others don’t want to face the facts and talk about it all being just Gloom and Doom. I was glad to hear what Chris had to say in his new podcast telling people that what is really gloom and doom is to do nothing. Using TT in conjunction with CC is very helpful because of the emphasis on active and hope in the TT.
Our next step is contacting the town board and key members of the community, school etc. We have been making personal connections ahead, paving the way for this. I can’t emphasise enough the importance of relationships in doing this work. People want real contact with people.
After the above steps are well underway and the town is fairly buzzing with interest, we will hold the "Great Unleashing" where people get to put their interests into action however they want. This is a way to give people company as they figure out how to prepare for the changes facing us both personally and for the community.
My friend Dana and I started this ball rolling and will be attending a training for TT soon.
Help we need? Not sure at this point. These are very grass roots operations based on personal contacts. Most helpful is knowing that people are doing work in their corners of the world. This is not a time to be quiet and wait.
Personally, I am gearing up to reduce my energy use 50% over the next few months by driving much less and getting ready to mostly self sufficient. Yes, I have been ready Sharon Astyk!
Best wishes to all of you.
That is an excellent update. Thank you so much for sharing. The TT movement is an important initiative.
I, too, have been trying to reduce my energy usage for the past year, and I will tell you, it is not easy. It scares me that the average American consumes 20 times the energy required to sustain a human being from a caloric intake standpoint.
Let us know if there is anything that we can do… flier design, business cards, presentation slides, etc.
Awesome! Your approach is exactly what I’m doing in Broomfield, Longmont and Westminster (Boulder soon?). Thursday night I interviewed with the Broomfield city council for a volunteer position on their land use committee. They asked me about some of the stuff on my resume and may have decided I’m better fit to work on their arts committee. Go figure. I don’t care where … I just want "in" so I can perform my magic influence: use CC to create an sense of urgency and use TT as the naturally occurring answer to peoples need to do something.
I love my work. I’m also beginning to work up a pitch on CC / TT. I intend to have 2 versions. A 15 minute teaser and a 1-hour presentation. I’ll be selling DVDs as I go. So far I’ve given out 25 DVDs to library, TT members, contra dancers, family, etc. I haven’t gotten paid by anyone yet. I give it to them saying "watch the 1st 15 minutes, then, if you are not interested, return it to me. If you are interested, watch the rest and you owe me $10." I’ll let you know if I ever see a dime. If you want, you can find me on Transition Colorado, Transition Longmont and Transition Broomfield/Westminster. I’m considering moving this summer out to "Willow Way" a farm on the diagonal hwy between Boulder and Longmont. It’s right across the street from IBM where I hope to be working soon. Then I walk to work and farm the land. Sweet! … Don
Prairie Farms….that’s up there, and I thought I had a hard climate here in southern Michigan! Please keep us updated on the project. I’m not too familiar with TT, but will be looking into it.
Luc…good call on design materials. To you and Kate, if I can help and am available, I will.
Also, I’m not sure if you already know about this, Kate, but there is a social network created on Ning for TTs in your area. You might find some resources there (or maybe you’re already there?). It looks like there are sub "groups" which is how each community keeps its own identity…might be helpful: