Nov 20, 2009

Agents of change

Transition Sunshine Coast, in its previous form as the Sunshine Coast Energy Action Centre, is featured in the recently released book Sustainability Innovators - Agents of Change on the Sunshine Coast by Dr Dana Thomsen from the local university.

I was interviewed by Dana a while ago and now the book has been officially released, which is very exciting.

It was interesting to read how Dana saw the work we are doing in Transition Towns, it's good to get an outside perspective, it sheds new unbiased, uninvolved, objective light on the process.

As you're all aware, Transition Towns are about action. There's a lot of talking about how bad the whole situation (of climate change, peak oil, peak food, water, energy... etc) is, but there is little in the way of what to do - what action people can take beyond changing the lightbulbs.

Transition Towns are generating real action - projects are happening, changes are taking place - it's little by little at the moment, but within the framework of TTs lies the ability to make all those small changes we need to make to have a big impact.

It's unique focus on bringing local community action and council action together is really exciting a unique point of difference that has the potential to make a difference.

It's also about all the positive things we can do to shape and change the future.

The future is something we create - it doesn't just happen to us.

Transition Towns in their ability to start action happening, bring together research and learning by doing - which I love.

There are a lot of low risk changes we can make - the 'no regret' changes, the low hanging fruit.

These are the things we can and are starting to work on. Local food, local water, local energy... understanding the full scope of what needs to be done and getting started with what's relevant in our community.

When I was interviewed by Dana I explained how Transition Towns find what is already happening in the area and tap into that (eg we link with existing cycling groups, seed savers, LETS etc) this is the part where we don't reinvent the wheel, but in doing this, we also identify the gaps and then we have the opportunity to create new systems to fill those gaps (eg the community want a local food co-op or community gardens or a local transport hub - Transition Towns provide the framework to do just that).

When we do this we don't wait for someone else to do it, we step in and get it started - learning as we go.

Dana describes this as a... "participatory action research approach where participants trial activities, share knowledge and are prepared to learn from their mistakes."

So that is what it is!

Sonya Wallace
Transition Sunshine Coast
Transition Town Eudlo
Think Green Consultancy

Transition Town trainer, facilitator and consultant

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