British Sea Power played at the first ever Sea Change festival in Totnes this summer. To get into the spirit, this special beer label brought a piece of local nautical history to life. Between 1940 and 1945, Totnes created a 600-person shipbuilding industry from the ground up, transforming the town’s rubbish dump in the process. Mostly unskilled men and women learned to build 23 wooden-hulled minesweepers using local timber. J 672 (shown on the label) cleared mines from the Bristol Channel and the Italian coast, saving countless lives.
‘21 Stories of Transition: How a movement of communities is coming together to reimagine and rebuild our world’ (harvested by Rob Hopkins) launched at the COP21 climate negotiations in Paris. It’s a joyous and inspiring celebration of what the Transition movement has become. The design of the 100-page book (in both English and French) was driven by images submitted by the 21 Transition groups… it’s very visual, more like a magazine, and was really fun to design. Great to see it squeeze into Shareable‘s ‘Top 22 New Books for Winter’ list. Read Lucy Neal’s review and buy it for £10 incl. p&p here.
Every year for one jam-packed day, the Local Entrepreneur Forum brings together entrepreneurs, investors, and other change makers to learn from each other, form new relationships, and hopefully, to begin working together on new enterprises that create meaningful livelihoods and contribute to the community in positive ways. The day includes Community of Dragons – pitching for local support (of all kinds) and investment. Brixton hosted its first LEF last year and Totnes is working towards to its fifth on May 12th, 2016.
Juma strives to break the cycle of poverty by paving the way to work, education, and financial capability for youth across America. They do this by providing customer-facing, socially engaging employment opportunities and matching every dollar a Juma student saves two-to-one. Working with Juma’s Major Gifts Officer, we’re developing some print and web marketing for a big fundraising event at AT&T Park, home of the SF Giants. I’d love to see Juma collaborate with AltGen in the UK, who help young people set up workers co-ops as a collaborative and empowering solution to youth unemployment.
FutureBound carefully facilitates study tours – experiences of personal, transformational learning. They are testing out a ‘Totnes Tripple Tipple’ tour, a visit to all three of Totnes’ breweries to meet the entrepreneurs and brewers behind them. The breweries could be seen as competing for custom in a small town, but a tour like this connects them as entrepreneurial ventures, highlighting their individual stories.
Dart Valley Timber supplies locally grown softwoods and hardwoods like
larch, spruce, cedar, oak, chestnut, ash – both fresh sawn and air dried. Zav’s perspective is that his business will grow alongside the timber. If he has to import, then he’ll evolve his livelihood into something else – growth isn’t the objective. Therefore, the identity and collateral were developed with a lightness that makes design a pleasure.
This year’s Transition Network International Conference brought 350 people from 35 countries to Devon to discuss the many ways that resilient and active communities make a real difference in creating new solutions to food, energy, housing, livelihood and relational needs. T-shirts were a new addition this year, and the message seemed to hit the spot. I asked those who generously bought one to send me photos of themselves wearing it… here’s Rob Hopkins and Pete Lipman sporting theirs.