12 Steps

Six Steps to Community Engagement

This presentation came as a bonus to the work I was doing for the Waiheke Community Supported Agriculture project. As I attempted to find an effective way to communicate the "How" of that project, I found I had stumbled upon a model that could be applied to any community project.

Ever since coming across the Transition Towns work and seeing how the 12 steps in the transition towns work to keep a local initiative on track, I quickly noticed that the same 12 steps could apply to an individual project. The six steps suggested here have distilled and simplified this even further, and you can watch and listen to this 5 minute video and then read the transcript, with embedded links.

Your comments are welcome.

Here is the transcript of the slideshow. » Read more

12 Steps to creating a Waiheke CSA

Transition Towns has a 12 step framework, which I have adapted here to see if could be useful as a guide for how we might bring the Waiheke CSA into fully operational existence, and meeting its vision of "Waiheke Well Fed".

My additions are in italics. Your comments are welcome. » Read more

12 Steps: Step 12 - Create an Energy Descent Plan

Each subgroup will have been focusing on practical actions to increase community resilience and reduce the carbon footprint. » Read more

12 Steps: Step 11 - Let it go where it wants to go...

Although you may start out developing your Transition Town process with a clear idea of where it will go, it will inevitably go elsewhere. If you try and hold onto a rigid vision, it will begin to s ap your energy and appear to stall. Your role is not to come up with all the answers, but to act as a catalyst for the community to design their own transition. » Read more

12 Steps: Step 10 - Honour the Elders

For those of us born in the 1960s when the cheap oil party was in full swing, it is very hard to picture a life with less oil. Every year of my life (the oil crises of the 70s excepted) has been underpinned by more energy than the previous years. » Read more

12 Steps: Step 9 - Build a bridge to local government

Whatever the degree of groundswell your Transition Town initiative manages to generate, however many practical projects you’ve initiated and however wonderful your Energy Descent Plan is, you will not progress too far unless you have cultivated a positive and productive relationship with your local authority. Whether it is planning issues, funding issues or providing connections, you need them on board. Contrary to your expectations, you may well find that you are pushing against an open door. » Read more

12 Steps: Step 8 - Facilitate the great reskilling

If we are to respond to peak oil and climate change by moving to a lower energy future and relocalising our communities, then we’ll need many of the skills that our grandparents took for granted. One of the most useful things a Transition Town project can do is to reverse the "great deskilling" of the last 40 years by offering training in a range of some of these skills. » Read more

12 Steps: Step 7 - Develop visible practical manifestations of the project

It is essential that you avoid any sense that your project is just a talking shop where people sit around and draw up wish lists. Your project needs, from an early stage, to begin to create practical, high visibility manifestations in your community. These will significantly enhance people’s perceptions of the project and also their willingness to participate. » Read more

12 Steps: Step 6 - Use Open Space

We’ve found Open Space Technology to be a highly effective approach to running meetings for Transition Town initiatives.

In theory it ought not to work. A large group of people comes together to explore a particular topic or issue, with no agenda, no timetable, no obvious coordinator and no minute takers. » Read more

12 Steps: Step 5 - Form Sub Groups

Part of the process of developing an Energy Descent Action Plan is tapping into the collective genius of the community. Crucial for this is to set up a number of smaller groups to focus on specific aspects of the process. Each of these groups will develop their own ways of working and their own activities, but will all fall under the umbrella of the project as a whole. » Read more

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