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Here in Los Angeles, we currently have between seven and twelve local Transition groups (depending upon at what stage of development you wish to begin counting them).  And we're eager for more.  The nature of our greater L.A. area is that eventually we will need to have in place a vast network of local groups, each neighborhood working on this process.

I'm frequently being asked for tips on how to get a new local group started.  As I sat down this week to write it out yet again, it seemed like the kind of info that might be of interest to other groups (both Transition and not-yet-Transition groups).  So, I decided to post it here.  If you're contemplating beginning a Transition group in your local neighborhood ...

'Community' is a term widely used in conversation and writing on Transition. What does community mean to you? Here's a guest post shared by Jim Belcher, a member of Transition Orlando, Florida, exploring a vision of community.

Essential to the effective Transitioning from fossil fuel dependence to local resilience is our own Transition from isolated, self-centered individualists to compassionate creators of genuine community. Here's one vision for genuine community: 

The overnight train journey from Milan (after a short train ride to Milan from Bologna) was fun since there were two women sharing the very small cabin who spoke Spanish. Although I slowed the conversation down a bit at times, they were very patient and we had a lot of laughs. I had hoped for a reclining seat on the train, but when I made the reservation, I could only have a sleeper for four. The two women had so much luggage that one more person couldn’t have fit into the compartment.

It's a no-brainer to be attacking consumerism.  "Zero waste" is a concept that even massive city departments are embracing.  "Unshopping" is no longer unfamiliar.  People are finally beginning to get that the "Reduce, reuse, recycle" jingle has more than just the final element.  Hooray!

Meanwhile, within the Transition movement, we understand that we must change not only our outer, physical world, but our inner landscape as well.  That means the psychological and spiritual aspects of this great turning within society.  We are faced with changing our outlook, our world view.

I have been inventing, scheduling, and organizing public events for 20 years, 5 of those years in the topics of the Transition movement.  And consumerism is a huge issue -- Consuming events.  I'm not talking about how low-waste your events are.  (At this point in time, striving for low-waste should be second nature.  Striving for powerdown events whenever possible is necessary too.)  Now I'm shifting to the inner landscape:  Do your audiences "consume" your events?

When an international peak oil celebrity comes through Totnes, Rob Hopkins often posts a brilliantly insightful interview with carefully crafted questions and thoughtful interchanges.

Last week, Nicole Foss (pen name "Stoneleigh") came through Los Angeles.  Rather than sitting down for an hour or so of focused interview like it sounds Hopkins does, ours was a multi-day visit unfolding amid the stark realities of our Transition operations.

Nicole arrived on my doorstep a few hours early while I was still scrambling to print future events fliers for distribution at the evening's event, and simultaneously giving my homeschooled daughter a spelling test.  I made lunch while Nicole availed herself of my wifi.  Soon we were dashing off to connect with other members of the Transition LA team, copy the fliers, dress for the evening, then jump into our carpool.  (breathe!)

Written by Kentaro Toyama on May 26, 2011

ALBANY, CA: “Urine, if you dilute it and drink it, is great for your health,” a woman claimed. My disbelief must have registered on my face, because she continued, “I used to do it all the time. It’s good for you!” I wasn’t sure that something that my body works so hard to get rid of should be ingested.

Luckily, Lourdes Gonzaga, the woman leading the group came to my rescue: “Of course, even if you doubt its medicinal value, urine is still great for your garden if you dilute it with water. It’s rich in nitrogen.”

Good day sweet ripplers,

The Long Descent

It was a tiring journey to Italy. I spent the night in the Tel Aviv airport, then took two flights to Italy (via Greece for a cheap flight) and then two trains to Bologna! By the time I got to the hostel and found out they didn’t have food for sale, I was too tired to go find some and instead crawled into my cot and fell into a deep sleep. I felt refreshed the next morning and was excited to see the city and meet new friends. Bologna is an incredibly beautiful city with many in-tact, medieval buildings still being used. It’s home to Europe’s oldest university, established in 1088.

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