PowerSwitch Main Page
PowerSwitch
The UK's Peak Oil Discussion Forum & Community
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

TBH has completely imploded...
Goto page 1, 2  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    PowerSwitch Forum Index -> Transition Initiatives
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
UndercoverElephant



Joined: 10 Mar 2008
Posts: 8638
Location: south east England

PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2010 4:43 pm    Post subject: TBH has completely imploded... Reply with quote

Hopeless....

Quote:

A message from the Chair of Transition Brighton & Hove

Many of you have received a message recently inviting you to a meeting on Wed 24 November, sent from 'newsletter@transitionbrighton....' by Doly Garcia, organised by a small group of people who have called the meeting an 'AGM'. Many people have been in touch with me and colleagues querying it. The message contained inaccuracies and was seen by several people as being odd or subjective.

The Transition Brighton & Hove (TBH) AGM is supposed to be organised and hosted by the Co-ordination ('Enabling') Group, giving 21 days notice Constitution 8.1. The meeting is not endorsed by the Enabling Group, who are not hosting or organising it, and it is being held against the wishes of the Enabling Group. The reasons that the Enabling Group do not wish to hold an AGM at present, nor any public meetings, are because they cannot guarantee a safe, healthy, productive or enjoyable space for attendees. Enabling Group members have mostly resigned or disengaged amid a stack of unresolved complaints about a perceived toxic atmosphere and abusive, bullying and disruptive behaviour. The annual and financial reports will not be ready for that meeting.


Sadly, over the last year many people have wanted to engage with Transition, but have left uninspired, annoyed, exhausted or burned; a handful have put up with unacceptable attacks and accusations by a very small number. For many TBH has become a place to avoid, and subsequently once vibrant project and interest groups have withered.

I and a few others have been subject to a number of wild accusations, untruths and misrepresentations. There may be some valid concerns among them; those would be simple to resolve and the accusations are without solid foundation. Sadly, attempts to resolve complaints and find an agreed way forward have faltered.

There are many in this city who have been and who will be inspired by the positive vision of the Transition Towns model and spirit, and who would still like to see a vibrant, active community experimenting with solutions for life beyond cheap oil, building resilience and having some fun. Tragically, TBH is commonly seen as being a long way from the Transition model and spirit, permaculture, and early agreements about how we would work together.

Since most have disengaged, including all who have participated in Training For Transition, there are quite a few who would like to see TBH dissolved or frozen until we can foster again an enjoyable, useful, welcoming and productive space, employing Transition methods. Equally there are those who think that the organisation should continue.

The small group calling this meeting have also been attempting to draft a new constitution, which requires a 2/3 of at least 20 people to vote in favour of it at an AGM or Special General Meeting. Most people have either raised concerns or chosen not to engage in the process. The previous attempt to review the constitution identified some urgent areas that needed resolving, including:

*speaking or acting in the name of TBH
*behaviour and codes of conduct
*maintaining a safe, useful and enjoyable space including emails and online
*the conditions, rights and responsibilities of membership
*following the Transition model
*project support
*what it's ok to go ahead and do, and what we need agreement from the wider community for


There are a variety of options before us and different ideas about where the community of people inspired by Transition in this city should go next, but there is little remaining willingness to take it forward. What happens next is open. Whatever happens, I think it is important that we pause to celebrate our significant achievements; there has been much that has been successful, important seeds have been sown, and there are many who have taken up the Transition torch in their lives and in projects beyond TBH. And that we look back at the last couple of years in the spirit of Transition: as a bold experiment with plenty that we can all learn from.

With sadness and hope, and apologies for the length of this message

Martin Grimshaw

Chair, Transition Brighton & Hove

livelihoods2020@transitionbrightonandhove.org.uk


Inspirational stuff...not.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
JohnB



Joined: 22 May 2006
Posts: 6457
Location: Beautiful sunny West Wales!

PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2010 5:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The concept of Transition is brilliant, and just what we need. It's a shame that a lot of the people involved don't understand what it's about, and seem to do their own thing, rather than following the guidelines. Transition is about making big change, but too many people seem to see it as a "green" club where they can do a few nice things without really changing their lifestyle. That's fine if that's what they want to do, but I wish they'd do it under a different umbrella, so genuine Transition doesn't get hijacked, and the people who want to make serious change get driven away.

Unfortunately it's what people do. It's not a fault of the Transition concept.
_________________
John

Eco-Hamlets UK - Small sustainable neighbourhoods
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
UndercoverElephant



Joined: 10 Mar 2008
Posts: 8638
Location: south east England

PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2010 5:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JohnB wrote:
The concept of Transition is brilliant, and just what we need. It's a shame that a lot of the people involved don't understand what it's about, and seem to do their own thing, rather than following the guidelines. Transition is about making big change, but too many people seem to see it as a "green" club where they can do a few nice things without really changing their lifestyle. That's fine if that's what they want to do, but I wish they'd do it under a different umbrella, so genuine Transition doesn't get hijacked, and the people who want to make serious change get driven away.

Unfortunately it's what people do. It's not a fault of the Transition concept.


I wasn't blaming anything in particular...I don't know the ins and outs of this particular meltdown. I have been following the emails they sent me and the whole thing sounded so depressing I never bothered to turn up. This a problem though...because if TBH can't even attract people like me then there is no hope for it.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
raspberry-blower



Joined: 14 Mar 2009
Posts: 1453

PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2010 6:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

UndercoverElephant wrote:

I wasn't blaming anything in particular...I don't know the ins and outs of this particular meltdown. I have been following the emails they sent me and the whole thing sounded so depressing I never bothered to turn up.


I've also been receiving the TBH newsletter and I can only agree with you UE. It came across as too many egos treating it as their own personal fiefdom rather than actually trying to engage with the Transition concept. Sad Sad Sad
_________________
A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools - Douglas Adams.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Little John



Joined: 08 Mar 2008
Posts: 5667
Location: UK

PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2013 1:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's hard to tell from the email where responsibility lies for the mess or, at least, where the primary responsibility lies. Any divisions are either going to be egotistical, ideological or the one masquerading behind the other. Oh, and let's not forget that old English chestnut, class rivalries/denigration.

Once bad behaviour starts at a personal level, though, unless it is nipped in the bud really early it can quickly turn into an escalating tit-tor-tat which then becomes very difficult to morally untangle.

Reminds me of this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gb_qHP7VaZE


Last edited by Little John on Sat Mar 30, 2013 2:38 pm; edited 2 times in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Yahoo Messenger
UndercoverElephant



Joined: 10 Mar 2008
Posts: 8638
Location: south east England

PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2013 2:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

stevecook172001 wrote:
It's hard to tell from the email where responsibility lies for the mess or, at least, where the primary responsibility lies. Any divisions are either going to be egotistical, ideological or the one masquerading behind the other. Oh, and let's not forget that old English chestnut, class rivalries/denigration.

Once bad behaviour starts at a personal level, though, unless it is nipped in the bud really early it can quickly turn into a escalating tit-tor-tat which then becomes very difficult to morally untangle.

Reminds me of this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gb_qHP7VaZE


You're responding to a spambot, Steve...
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Little John



Joined: 08 Mar 2008
Posts: 5667
Location: UK

PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2013 2:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

UndercoverElephant wrote:
stevecook172001 wrote:
It's hard to tell from the email where responsibility lies for the mess or, at least, where the primary responsibility lies. Any divisions are either going to be egotistical, ideological or the one masquerading behind the other. Oh, and let's not forget that old English chestnut, class rivalries/denigration.

Once bad behaviour starts at a personal level, though, unless it is nipped in the bud really early it can quickly turn into a escalating tit-tor-tat which then becomes very difficult to morally untangle.

Reminds me of this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gb_qHP7VaZE


You're responding to a spambot, Steve...
No, I'm responding to your initial post UE. Although, i hadn't noticed that last post was a bot till you mentioned.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Yahoo Messenger
Little John



Joined: 08 Mar 2008
Posts: 5667
Location: UK

PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2013 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am also bound to say that Grimshaw's and the Enabling Group's refusal to acknowledge a call for an AGM in light of the severe breakdown of the group, citing his reasons as being "not able to guarantee a safe and constructive space for members", all sounds a bit limp-wristed, if not a little passive aggressive.

But, then, I'm no kind of person to be passing objective comment on the workings of groups since I am just about the worst team-player I know.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Yahoo Messenger
kenneal - lagger
Site Admin


Joined: 20 Sep 2006
Posts: 9822
Location: Newbury, Berkshire

PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2013 3:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I removed it. The bot!
_________________
"When the last tree is cut down, and the last river has been poisoned, and the last fish has been caught, Only then will you find out that you cannot eat money". --The Cree Indians
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
UndercoverElephant



Joined: 10 Mar 2008
Posts: 8638
Location: south east England

PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2013 11:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

stevecook172001 wrote:

Reminds me of this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gb_qHP7VaZE


Yes, and it's not surprising that these things were particularly problematic in Brighton, of all places. Brighton is home of the first Green council and the first Green MP because it is a mecca for alternative people of all types, with greens/hippies being no exception. But instead of this making the Transition Town initiative easier, it actually made it harder. Too many cooks wanting to be the head chef.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
JohnB



Joined: 22 May 2006
Posts: 6457
Location: Beautiful sunny West Wales!

PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2013 11:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

UndercoverElephant wrote:
Too many cooks wanting to be the head chef.

Which is exactly the opposite of what Transition is supposed to be about, but I don't think a lot of people understand that.

Since this topic was last active, I've been through the breakup of a Transition group, where no one seemed to understand how it should work either. And in an area nowhere near as green/alternative as Brighton.
_________________
John

Eco-Hamlets UK - Small sustainable neighbourhoods
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
UndercoverElephant



Joined: 10 Mar 2008
Posts: 8638
Location: south east England

PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2013 11:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is another side to this story though. Part of the problem is that there is no overall strategy/vision for people to use as guidance, for very similar reasons to why the green movement in a more general sense is in a state of existential crisis. The problems we want to see solved are either unsolvable, or close to unsolvable, but more important than that there is a fundamental clash between trying to save the ecosystem and trying to save the humans (and civilisation in general.) And this foundational/strategic conflict leads to very real conflicts over everyday decisions and especially the sorts of decisions a transition town governing body would have to make.

Pretty much everybody who would join a TT initiative is going to have similar views on what the problems are, but there will be a very wide range of views, some of them deeply conflicting, about what should be done in response to them, and what our priorities are going to be when tough choices have to be made.

This is a bit of a ramble, but what I'm trying to say is that the TT movement, along with the rest of the environmental movement, is in dire need of a new strategy, a new vision and a clear set of priorities. At the moment there is too much chaos and confusion and conflict.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Little John



Joined: 08 Mar 2008
Posts: 5667
Location: UK

PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2013 12:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think there are likely to be very real differences in the motives of those would join such a group.

For some, it will be in order to discover ways of cutting back on consumption for reasons of ideology. For others, it will be the same, but a significant driver will be economic. Straight away, when push comes to shove, these two groups will come into conflict because the first will always put the bigger picture, as they see it, above immediate economic imperatives, whereas the second may feel forced to choose the economically optimal above all other considerations.

Then there will be those who join for reasons of social identification. I have made mention of this group before on here. I would refer to them as the new middle class who take advantage of all of the latest green subsidies, who proudly boast about their shiny new solar array on their roofs, their shiny new wood stove in the lounge and their ever so green brand new Ford Prius. For these people , there is neither an economic nor very real ideological imperative behind their membership. If the cultural markers for their perceived self-identified class-status changed tomorrow, they would change their cultural allegiances just as quickly.

Finally, there are the hard-core, deep-green militant types who have seen the light, but are way too far down the line for anyone else to be able hear them. They will tend to be seen by everybody else as a bit over the top.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Yahoo Messenger
JohnB



Joined: 22 May 2006
Posts: 6457
Location: Beautiful sunny West Wales!

PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2013 12:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

To me, my experience was of a group of fairly "green" minded people who wanted to do "greenish" stuff, and jumped on the Transition bandwagon without really understanding it. So it was difficult for people who really did get it to really do anything. The there were the "I won't join that club if those people are members" brigade, who didn't get involved. Then along came some people who really do understand the seriousness of the situation, but didn't get how Transition is supposed to work. The result was a big bust up, and no Transition Group at all, and far less action to help deal with what we've got to look forward to. I was sort of stuck in the middle, trying to do what I could to do proper Transition, as having an imperfect group to work on was better than having no group at all.

A few of us have discussed trying to achieve some the outcomes that Transition aims for, but in a different way, without the now tainted (in this area) Transition label, but haven't got anywhere yet.
_________________
John

Eco-Hamlets UK - Small sustainable neighbourhoods
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
PaulS



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 602
Location: Cottage Farm,Cornwall

PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2013 1:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This all sounds very familiar, speaking from a personal experience.

Here in Cornwall we have some 20+ Transition groups of which perhaps 3 are still functioning on some level. It makes me think that perhaps the whole concept is unsustainable.

The problem is human nature. We are, like it or not, naturally competitive - in all sorts of ways - being a leader, being friends or for that matter lovers, etc etc.

At the same time we all are selfish. Most of us try not to be too selfish or openly selfish, but lets face it, its often just a mask. Transition, as currently described, may be unattainable in the long run or even short run. And I am speaking as one inspired by the transition movement and still active in it, even though disappointed by the very limited successes achieved.

This is why capitalism works so well - provided that structures exist to limit excesses. In capitalism most people look after their own interests and, mostly as a side product of looking after ones own interest, we also serve others in various capacities.

Almost everyone charges as much as 'the market will bear' or as much as they can get away with etc. And that's OK as long as there is competition, as long as we have enough information, as long as we can see the full cost and as long as the seller does not mislead. - which are some of the problems of our current systems.

As an example, compare which system is transforming our energy supply better and more realistically: private business incentivised by subsidies or community schemes - even with massive grants (i.e. other people's money)

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about our food system, was has been captured by the supermarkets. It will require a similar incitivication or even legislation to save our food system from disaster. One possible way forward might be to accept the undeniable existence of supermarkets and their convenience to shoppers, but require that say 20% of the floor space to handed over to a local group of food producers, who would have complete control of that isle, including display, pricing, quality etc and where the supermarket would simply collect the cash on their behave for a fee not exceeding say 10%. I think that would revolutionise local food markets and would achieve very quickly far more than all the Transition groups put together.

What do you think?
_________________
What a shame, seemed quite promising, this human species.
Check out www.TransitionNC.org & www.CottageFarmOrganics.co.uk
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    PowerSwitch Forum Index -> Transition Initiatives All times are GMT + 1 Hour
Goto page 1, 2  Next
Page 1 of 2

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group