Posts tagged: bottom-up empowerment

TRANSITION TOWNS: LOCAL SUSTAINABILITY FOR GLOBAL CHANGE

By , May 15, 2009 6:57 pm

In the Transition Towns movement, www.transitiontowns.org,  political action is thoroughly integrated at the local level, building local sustainability and community as a basis for the “resiliency” needed to affect long-term, global change. But even more importantly, skill training for emotional and personal growth and conflict resolution is built right into hands-on, political action. 

Here is a short definition of  Transition Towns from a Facebook Event page announcing an Introductory Workshop and the 2009 Transition Towns Conference in the UK:
           “The Transition movement is a fast-growing, bottom-up response to peak oil and climate change. There are now thousands of communities around the world using this model, and it is being widely acknowledged as a positive, solutions focused approach, ‘more like a party than a protest march’.”
        
From the Transition Towns website, www.transitiontowns.org :

…A Transition Initiative is a community (lots of examples here) working together to look Peak Oil and Climate Change squarely in the eye and address this BIG question:

“for all those aspects of life that this community needs in order to sustain itself and thrive, how do we significantly increase resilience (to mitigate the effects of Peak Oil) and drastically reduce carbon emissions (to mitigate the effects of Climate Change)?”

After going through a comprehensive and creative process of:

  • awareness raising around peak oil, climate change and the need to undertake a community lead process to rebuild resilience and reduce carbon
  • connecting with existing groups in the community
  • building bridges to local government
  • connecting with other transition initiatives
  • forming groups to look at all the key areas of life (food, energy, transport, health, heart & soul, economics & livelihoods, etc)
  • kicking off projects aimed at building people’s understanding of resilience and carbon issues and community engagement
  • eventually launching a community defined, community implemented “Energy Descent Action Plan” over a 15 to 20 year timescale

This results in a coordinated range of projects across all these areas of life that strives to rebuild the resilience we’ve lost as a result of cheap oil and reduce the community’s carbon emissions drastically.”

I like the actual example of a transition town which you can experience at Transition Town Westcliff. You’ll get a taste for all the fun and educational and hands-on gatherings, meetings, celebrations as a town works together for local sustainability affecting global change. “More like a party than a protest march,” indeed! I can’t wait to build or to join such a community.

I like the emphasis upon personal and emotional growth, mutual support, and conflict resolution skill training added into the more specific political goals of building local resilience as part of changing global problems of peak oil and climate change.

I have offered copies of my manual, Focusing in Community: How To Start A Listening/Focusing Support Group, as one model of peer-based support which teaches core skills, Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening,  that can be applied to  emotional, personal, interpersonal, and group-level growth and community building.

There is a handbook for starting a transition town, The Transition Town Handbook: from oil dependence to local resilience,written by founder Rob Hopkins. You can order the book at the link.

Find out all about Transition Towns, and the 2009 Conference in London, UK, May 22-24, 2009 at www.transitiontowns.org . The conference itself sold out immediately, but you can still sign up for evening Introductory events and pre- and post-conference workshops.

The Creative Edge Focusing(TM) Approach To Community Building

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)’s Culture of Creativity  fights apathy by engaging every person  at the Creative Edge of individual experiencing. Whether in Creative Edge Education or Creative Edge Organizations, Listening/Focusing Turns are used as a basic method for helping people to find and articulate their own Creative Edge.

Creative Edge Focusing and Creative Edge Listening can be used for problem solving at home and at work, alone, in parenting and relationships, during interpersonal conflict, and in group or community decision making situations. The Creative Edge Pyramid describes applications from Focusing Alone to Creative Edge Organizations.

For application in business settings, see my article, “Creative Edge Organizations: Businesses and Organizations As A ‘Kind’ Of Focusing Community” from The Folio: Thirtieth Anniversity Tribute edition at The Focusing Institute, www.focusing.org .

CREATIVE EDGE FOCUSING(tm):  SELF-HELP SKILLS FOR HOME AND WORK

Free Downloads:

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

Creative Edge Focusing (www.cefocusing.com ) teaches two basic self-help skills, Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening, which can be applied at home and at work through The Creative Edge Focusing Pyramid.

Based upon Gendlin’s Experiential Focusing (www.focusing.org ) and Rogers’ Empathic Listening, our website is packed with Free Resources and instructions in these basic self-help skills. Learn how to build Support Groups, Conscious Relationships, and Creative Edge Organizations based upon these basic skills of emotional intelligence.

You can try out    “Focusing: Find Out What Is Bothering You.”

Click here to subscribe to Creative Edge Focusing(TM)’s  Instant “Ahah!” e-newsletter and get the latest exercises first!!! 

Click here for a free Intuitive Focusing Mini-Course

Click here for a free Focused Listening Mini-Course

 See  Core Concept: Conflict Resolution to find a complete mini-course on Interpersonal Focusing and Conflict Resolution, including Rosenberg’s Non-Violent Communication, Blanchard’s “One Minute Apology,” Patricia Evan’s books on Verbally Abuse and Controlling Relationships, McMahon’s Beyond The Myth Of Dominance, and much more.

See  Core Concept: Intimate Relationship to find a complete mini-course on increasing intimacy and sexuality, including the “Sharing Your Day” exercise, Listening/Focusing Partnerships for The Way of Relationship, untangling and equalizing desire, tantric sexuality, and much more.

Download complete Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual, in English and Spanish, from CEF Website, or download from links at top of this blog.

Find links to free articles, personality tests, multi-media Self-Help training, Classes and workshops

Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)

www.cefocusing.com

GRASSROOTS GREENING: PLANTING GROWS COMMUNITY

By , May 7, 2009 12:13 pm

The “One Small Thing” method of Creative Edge Focusing (TM) helps organizations find that one small step people will take to become motivated and engaged. Building Community through Listening/Focusing Partnerships/Groups/Teams  is an easy outgrowth of these first collaborative efforts. Below is an example of the “one small thing” that turned a traffic lane into a green and walkable neighborhood.

“Grassroots Greening —  Two Bike Lanes, 3 Miles of Green Space, and a Hundred New Friends: How One Woman Transformed a Neighborhood” (Sunset magazine, May 2009, pp.46-49) tells how Gillian Gillett, who bought a home on a busy intersection and six-lane thoroughfare in San Francisco, created a neighborhood community by starting with “one small thing” — she collected 300 signatures on a traffic calming petition” needed by the city to consider safety improvements. “While the traffic slowed down (the speed limit was reduced from 40 to 25), her plan to make her neighborhood more people-friendly sped up.”

By Fall of 2004, Gillett had received a $75,000 grant from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission for neighborhood revitalization. She got bike lanes added and traffic lanes reduced from six to four. She got a traffic light installed. Now she and others could cross the street to the nearby hospital! This “one small step” now allowed the area to become a walkable “neighborhood.”

Gillett and her husband found themselves now the core of a group of activists, including neighbors, schools, and merchants, all suddenly seeing themselves as part of this neighborhood. Gillett and her husband Jeff Goldberg started looking for the next step in building a community. Research and canvassing pointed in the same direction: planting trees, plants, greening a neighborhood builds a community.

They got permission to plant the highway median, the only greenspace available. At the same time, the mayor of San Francisco got on board, proclaiming that 5000 trees a year be planted in SF and appointing a “green czar” to help it happen.

The first planting, of two blocks of median, had 126 participants. The next, 400.  “We do the plantings as a block party with a band and food and participation of local merchants, “Gillett explains. “Before this project, traffic was so heavy that people didn’t really know their neighbors. It’s really contributing to the resiliency of the neighborhood.”

And another quote from the article: “This project connected me to the neighborhood,” Gillett says of her now seven-year quest to improve not only her own block but her entire community. “This was never about plants. It was about making a neighborhood I could walk in. Drivers in their cars think of this road as a way to get to the highway. We think of it as home.”

The article ends with a listing “Green in the hood” community-based greening projects around the West : Seattle’s www.groundswellnw.org , Portland’s www.cityrepair.org , LA’s www.laguerrillagardening.org  , national urban forestry support at www.treelink.org/nucfac , and Gillett’s organization, www.sanjosequerrero.com .

See the article, at www.sunset.com , for details.

You can share your own experiences of being the “first” in your neighborhood with greening at [email protected].

See Empowerment Organization at Creative Edge Focusing (TM) for more examples and “The One Small Thing” Focusing exercise.

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)’s Culture of Creativity  fights apathy by engaging every person  at the Creative Edge of individual experiencing. Whether in Creative Edge Education or Creative Edge Organizations, Listening/Focusing Turns are used as a basic method for helping people to find and articulate their own Creative Edge.

Creative Edge Focusing and Creative Edge Listening can be used for problem solving at home and at work, alone, in parenting and relationships, during interpersonal conflict, and in group or community decision making situations. The Creative Edge Pyramid describes applications from Focusing Alone to Creative Edge Organizations.

For application in business settings, see my article, “Creative Edge Organizations: Businesses and Organizations As A ‘Kind’ Of Focusing Community” from The Folio: Thirtieth Anniversity Tribute edition at The Focusing Institute, www.focusing.org .

CREATIVE EDGE FOCUSING(tm):  SELF-HELP SKILLS FOR HOME AND WORK

Free Downloads:

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

Creative Edge Focusing (www.cefocusing.com ) teaches two basic self-help skills, Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening, which can be applied at home and at work through The Creative Edge Focusing Pyramid.

Based upon Gendlin’s Experiential Focusing (www.focusing.org ) and Rogers’ Empathic Listening, our website is packed with Free Resources and instructions in these basic self-help skills. Learn how to build Support Groups, Conscious Relationships, and Creative Edge Organizations based upon these basic skills of emotional intelligence.

You can try out    “Focusing: Find Out What Is Bothering You.”

Click here to subscribe to Creative Edge Focusing(TM)’s  Instant “Ahah!” e-newsletter and get the latest exercises first!!! 

Click here for a free Intuitive Focusing Mini-Course

Click here for a free Focused Listening Mini-Course

 See  Core Concept: Conflict Resolution to find a complete mini-course on Interpersonal Focusing and Conflict Resolution, including Rosenberg’s Non-Violent Communication, Blanchard’s “One Minute Apology,” Patricia Evan’s books on Verbally Abuse and Controlling Relationships, McMahon’s Beyond The Myth Of Dominance, and much more.

See  Core Concept: Intimate Relationship to find a complete mini-course on increasing intimacy and sexuality, including the “Sharing Your Day” exercise, Listening/Focusing Partnerships for The Way of Relationship, untangling and equalizing desire, tantric sexuality, and much more.

Download complete Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual, in English and Spanish, from CEF Website, or download from links at top of this blog.

Find links to free articles, personality tests, multi-media Self-Help training, Classes and workshops

Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)

www.cefocusing.com

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