Saturday 22 March 2014

Building resilience in local communities and economies: the Transition Town movement today

In the light of the Chancellor's pronouncement that 'We're building a resilient economy'
Futures Forum: Budgeting for resilience?

... and in view of concerns over 'dependence' on Russian fossil fuels
Expert views: Ukraine, Russia and Europe's energy security | Carbon Brief

... it seems that the ongoing EU summit on energy
Futures Forum: EU 2030 Climate and Energy Framework: ..." What is at Stake?"
is taking a very urgent look at 'alternatives':
EU talks turn to renewables as Ukrainian energy crisis looms - Utility Week

In which case, we seem to be looking again at the Transition Town model promoting resilience for local communities and economies:
Resilience refers to the ability of a system, person, community ... to tolerate significant shocks. If something severe happens to us, particularly if it was unexpected and caused by something beyond our control, our resilience is tested. The more resilient among us are better able to bounce back and keep going. The concept of resilience is central to Transition.
In Transition we are particularly looking at the resilience of our towns and communities. We are looking at their ability to provide for us in the future. How vulnerable are they to shocks that might come from outside our communities and beyond our control?
"Resilience is, in a nutshell, the ability of a system, whether an individual, an economy, a town or a city, to withstand shock from the outside. Resilience is about building the ability to adapt to shock, to flex and modify, rather than crumble. You can think of it as being like building surge protectors into an electrical system."
Taken from Transition in Action, an Energy Descent Action Plan
Surfing the Waves of Change - YouTube

The current economic situation is really testing the resilience of our communities. We are also very concerned about our ability to cope with restricted energy supplies and the prospect of highly fluctuating oil prices, as well as anticipated changes in our climate.
Transition recognises that our communities currently lack the resilience to withstand these sorts of shocks. Through Transition activity we are exploring and developing ways to strengthen our communities from within in order to reduce our vulnerability and increase our ability to respond, survive and prosper.
In Transition we see Resilience a desired state; the rebuilding of which could be hugely economically advantageous to our local communities.
What is resilience? - Transition Town Totnes
Localisation and Resilience at the Local Level: The Case of Transition Town Totnes » Transition Culture

Here is an excellent video of Rob Hopkins, instigator of the Transition Towns movement, on his tour of the U.S. in October 2013 - where he gives concrete examples of how towns can organise themselves for local resilience in tough times:

Organizing For Resilience - YouTube
Transition Towns - Organizing For Resilience (video)
Organizing for Resilience: The Transition Towns Network | Dowser
Resurgence • Article - Resilience

With a further video from January 2014:

This film is an inspirational immersion in the Transition movement, gathering stories from around the world of ordinary people doing extraordinary things. There are stories of communities printing their own money, growing food, localising their economies and setting up community power stations.

In Transition 2.0: a story of resilience and hope in extraordinary times - YouTube
In Transition 2.0 - a story of resilience and hope in extraordinary times | Permaculture Magazine
In Transition 2 | Transition Network

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