Minutes June 11th 2013

Transition Putney Meeting June 11th minutes

Present: Alice, Mimi, Robyn, Claire, Tiffin, Charis, Marion, Steve, Paul, Marion

Facilitator: Alice

Agenda items:

  1. Check in
  2. Agenda Review
  3. Discuss Marion’s role in TTP
  4. Highlights from Slow Living Summit
  5. Highlights from regional Transition meetings
  6. Old Business
  7. New Business
  8. Closing: What went well, what can be improved


  • Check in
  • Agenda Review and discussion of last week’s minutes
    • There were a few items suggested to be put on the agenda from last week that were not included in the minutes clearly or not in time to make it on the agenda so have been suggested to push back to next meeting and the July 9th meeting these are:
      • Introduce Charis  Bode who will attend our meetings (Paul)
      • Update on Education Working Group (Paul)
      • Funds to support Education Working Group (Paul)
      • For July 9th meeting: Discuss working groups structurally and philosophically
        • Discuss and identify the status/ clarification of working groups
        • Discuss and clarify “where are we (transition Putney) heading”
  • last week’s minutes review:
    • the minutes need to be more detailed and specific
    • During meeting, if there is a point which one feels is needed to be noted by minute taker, please make it known
    • Discuss Marion’s Role in TTP
      • Marion has 200 hours to dedicate to Transition Putney this Summer from now to mid August
      • Marion would be happy to hold office hours during the week in this time she could create a Schedule for TTP in which events would be held every week.  She could also check in with the different working groups to see their needs and progress and create a newsletter (Mimi will give pointers on how to effectively do this).
      • Office space is an issue: while there is no specific place we have, Marion could be at designated locations during the hours which would be publicized on the website, facebook, listserv, word of mouth, and other means
      • To learn how to use the website, Marion will contact Daniel on how to post on the website and rely the information to the core group
      • Marion has lots of ideas of events, discussions, projects and excited to get the transition events up and running and get people involved and excited
      • Marion will send out her schedule ASAP
      • Highlights from Slow Living
        • Tiffin: Went to mostly Transition events which were well attended
        • She read a quote from Lappe’s speech “ Why are we together creating a world that we alone would not choose”
          • more in the speech focused on the best approach is to align with nature rather than work against
          • Lappe compared the food systems of the US to Cuba noting that despite our heightened development, our food is empty calories and processed beyond recognition as opposed to highly organic
  • Judy White spoke about locality: How local is local? Map it out, is a brewery of 50 miles away not local enough?
  • transitionnetwork.org is a site to go to learn more about slow living and transition
  • Tiffin reflected that we should go back to how it began with community talking to just provide a space for people to share and listen and increase general wellbeing for the community
  • She also wished more was focused on what doesn’t work with transitions instead of just the positives.  It’s important to know the challenges
  • Another workshop she talked about was “Creating Visible Change” which talked about transitioning to a new economy from fossil fuel to sustainability
  • Emergency preparedness was another workshop which caught her attention
    • knowing the community is important—a first step to emergency preparedness.  She suggested that Transition should connect to community potluck.  This is a place for neighbors to know neighbors and their needs and the different pockets.
    • Vern is helpful in the area and should be contacted about it
    • powerdownweek.org is a site which gives individuals and communities an idea of what powering down when a disaster hits would be like.
    • Slow living highlights from Charis
      • She reflected the price and the days (Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday) were limiting to who could and would come to the event
      • From conversations she had, she was struck with the importance of relationships and care this led to the discussion of rethinking the idea of community: that we know and interact with the community rather than happening to live next to people we don’t necessarily know
      • She also had discussions about the link between climate change and social justice and that it emerged that they were linked to the very basic levels and could not be isolated from one another
      • She mentioned that race and class needs to be a bigger conversation
      • Everyone mentioned what great work Jamaica Plains was doing
      • Highlights from Paul
        •  got the sense that Transition was really taking off (ex: Jamaica Plains, White River Junction, Montpelier)
        • O’Ryan stated that there was now a greater sense of urgency which move people to action
        • Bryns (Sp?) brought up the idea of resiliency circles: a group of people coming together to primarily focus on the economy then move towards working groups. Paul thought that this would be a great aspect to incorporate into TTP maybe starting up in July through the Education working groups (pro social ethic)
        • Transition Putney was recognized for its success
        • the EDAP is a great way for the Transition voice to get in the town plan
        • group dynamics are very important:
          • the main reason for group disbanding is because of poor group dynamics
  • 2-3rd of October Rob Hopkins will be in Boston (?)
  • On the lines of emergency preparedness: Alex Wilson provides an emergency hub on his property with solar and water (a real community development beacon)
  • Highlights from Alice
    • there is a week long gathering defining power (July 7-14)
    • She talked about Judith Shorts leading a workshop (?) in building soils
    • Alice will try to get the slides from Lappe’s presentation which will be available on film and on websites (smallplanet.org might have it)
    • Ag and business section
      • Hawthorn Farms talked about biodynamic: much more nutrition
      • Pete and Jerry’s (produce eggs) are marketing to dairy farmers.  Their system has a very low carbon footprint
        • they are successful through their low impact business—Cosco buys their eggs
    • Defining wealth and success of a nation
      • Vermont moving from GDP to GPI (Genuine Progress indicator)
    • A reflective moment: take a look at the community, those who are most challenged; we will all be there a little while
    • Food security: We need a 6 month supply for emergency preparedness
      • TTP should do more with this
      • Highlights from regional Transition meetings
        • From Claire
          • She enjoyed talking to people all over New England involved in transitions of different sorts
          • From conversations, Claire concluded we need to learn to eat from the wild
          • Cindy Hebord (sp?) (wisdomofhealing.org) wants to be sponsored by TTP
            • reskilling event
    • learned about alternative methods of dealing with invasives ex: goats with buckthorn
      • all of these alternative methods are learned by word of mouth through networking events such as this regional transition meeting
  • From Charis
    • What defines a region?
      • foodshed?
      • bioregions?
      • New England?
      • is regional transition just scaling up—departing from the original intention of transition?
    • the meeting was a great opportunity to meeting, connect, and exchange ideas
    • an interesting idea: opening with sharing stories to crease a space—used as an organizational tool
  • From Paul
    • He too stressed the importance of the connections these meetings make
    • Micheal Brownly will be in Boulder this summer (?) to get motivation of transition up
  • From Alice:
    • Plan from EDAP: a well organized and useful overview of planning for energy use.  It is from Montpelier but can be applied to other communities throughout Vermont. Let’s not reinvent the wheel.  Take a look at the plan and use it as a basis
    • Saturday the 15th is a full day workshop: Words in the Workplace
      • NVC—slots are available: 9am-6pm
      • Old Business
        • Trainings: Tiffin met with Susel: there’s no time cruch and there is enough funds
          • timing: Sept, Oct, or Nov (weekend event) for the training
            • everyone interested look at calenders and a doodle poll will be created to solidify the date
  • looking at other town’s constitutions: interesting and helpful, take a look (link in previous minutes)
  • Free university:
    • needs 6-9 people to make is happen
    • there are two sections: one would be aligned with transition and through transition Putney (ex: reskilling workshops) the other would be broader (ex: refresher math, using computer classes ect)
    • this is through the education working group
    • New Business
      • design competition to forward to listserv
      • Permaculture event carpooling with Charis – forward to listserv to see interest?
      • Dan Fostier (sp): lyme disease presentation on alternative healthcare (though the education group)