Rethinking Transition in Brighton – Open space meeting, 26 July 2014

What would a thriving city look like beyond carbon and how do we get there?’ 

Open Space discussion notes

1 .What kind of things might we do ?

  • Carbon conversations is starting in Brighton – 10.10 and BPEC have funding for carbon conversations and want to get the word out –  Carbon Conversations : 6 / 8 meetings of 2 hours in evenings

    Comment “already looked into carbon conversations , thinks it’s too time intensive for most people, too much of a commitment for people in a busy city with a lot going on , doesn’t think people will sign up to it  / won’t be able to stick with it – suggests a much shortened version would maybe work” – Committment questions ?

  • Repair Cafes “Don’t toss it , fix it !”
    In a group – also in the group there are volunteers to help you put the arm back on your chair , fix your bike chain .
    Reskilling , durability .
    Repair cafes are looking for funding support to find a regular ‘base’
  • We need a building , a community hub .
    buildings , meeting spaces , Atmos project – Totnes
    Remakery Brixton
    Hippodrome ??
  • Where do we find comfort /support / within Transition? What does that space look like ?
    A space / nurture / pitstop place
    Safe space place
    Hanover – community space available to use Thursday daytimes
    What do communities want from their own space ?
  • Create a culture of Transition Towns in society 
  • Sj: climate conference in Brighton on bigger scale to what she has previously done , maybe at Brighthelm.

2. How to take things forward in our city

How to link together , co operate , moving forward from where we are now

educating people with the real facts , finding one shared goal : renewable energy , switching to renewable energy , an easy action everyone can do to ‘get on board ‘ with it

Transition helps with the psychological jump between knowing something is happening ( climate change )and being able to do something.

Should be easy , enjoyable , with support from others …

People need to be brought up to date with how things are NOW with climate , destruction of habitat , pollution , overpopulation etc

Lots of examples of what people are doing already in communities ie as opposed to in governments  eg fuel ,eco housing , different ways of running businesses ,using money ..

Hisbe : 4 yrs to get it off the ground , uses local produce , creates little waste , created by two sisters

So what’s missing ? all these things are being done ….what needs to happen next ?

let’s do what we CAN do , what areas of concern can we actually influence?

what could we do THIS YEAR ?

get the name of Transitions known

Have a flashmob for Transition towns and get talking in the centre of the city

a really good update talk on where things are really at

A specific project in one area i.e. housing

echoes what John says on some sort of  ‘climate conference ‘

3. Housing

Issues/topics raised:



Eco housing

Open eco houses

Self build


a website for Brighton

Cohousing – John mentioned flats in Hove

Veggie project setting up in Brighton

Offers opportunity for interaction between generations

Culture shift – do we need to shift goals and priorities from earning money to own a house and a car, is that feasible any more?

Different types of security needed for the future

Law – gradually changing

Green Building Council

4. How to bring different generations together for collaboration

Skills – could be lost e.g. artisanal skills, young people disconnected with grandparents etc – skills not passed on?

What spaces are there for generations to meet and share?

What are the opportunities for young people?

Intergenerational skill share programme

Issues of advertising – tempts people away from remaking and fixing?

Young people could offer to share skills such as computer, internet, filling in form

Clay oven tutorial

Online tutorials from older people are great – but not as much face to face interaction which is preferable

Brighton Free University – platform for skill share

Community space needed – it’s a community investment

Wasted space could be used – like the Totnes Atmos project

Spaceplace – Hanover Community Centre, Brighton

5. How should we organise ourselves?

(This became more of a description of how we currently do organise rather than comments on how we should but a few useful comments and observations were teased out of this)

Meetings are irregular intervals, days and times of day to allow for other commitments and last 1 hour 30 mins

On average we are meeting weekly

– question; would less frequency be useful?

At some future point it will be relevant to widen the invites

The ‘rolling agenda’ of 6 months planning, often takes second place to more immediate concerns

Communication – principally combination of emails & OnlyOffice, still learning how to make the most of these

Ground rules and sociocracy principles in place for decision making and best practice procedures. Allowing differences and embracing individual concerns

The volunteer aspect and the difference between having a job and volunteering time and not having a job and the vital importance of making this project work – to some ‘volunteering’ is something they fit in around the rest of their lives. To some this doesn’t mean volunteering in the same way – need to think about the word and its connotatons

Reference to a co-operative set up where basic roles are shared and the success of this – people have working groups which relate to roles/skills/interests. also rotating groups to look after things like staffing etc. Groups entrusted to make decisions unless big (especially big and financial) – these go to full co-op meeting

Development of sub groups within Transition when appropriate

Ideas for Projects and Ways Forward – Written on Post-its. 2 or 3 people supporting 3 ideas:

Eco Housing with Co-Housing in Brighton (2 post its)

Acting as a cultural (change) project

An eco house building initiative bridging generations (a youth programme)

  – and including university students

A conference (3 post its):

An event with stalls representing different areas so that people can find out  what is going on in the city, build their own networks

An event updating us on climate change with interesting speakers and some kind of party or social get together after.

These could be combined.

How can we get an open community space here? (3 post its):

Designate a transition building – redevelop a space for community.

An owned meeting, working community space