Author Archives: Sarah Byrnes

Camp Commons: Living in the Transition – An Activist Family Summer Camp

WFC

THEME: Living in the Transition to a New Economy
Facing the Future, Building Hope: Tools for Community Resilience

Thursday July 17 through Sunday July 20, 2014
World Fellowship Conference Center
White Mountains, near Conway, New Hampshire

Come for a day! Come for all four days!
Bring your kids! Bring your parents!

Join a group of fun and engaged activists for the joy of exploration, singing, rethinking, dancing, laughter, eating, sharing skills and organizing strategies, and more singing, storytelling and game playing.

Camp Commons is a multi-generational four-day summer camp for community resilience activists working on economic, ecological and social justice, strengthening the commons, community resilience and the transition to the new economy.

Costs start at forty-six dollars a day, including all meals, lodging, programs and recreational opportunities. Options range from private rooms to camping. Reserve your spot directly through World Fellowship at www.worldfellowship.org.

AGENDA HIGHLIGHTS

Talks and Workshops

  • Transition to a New Economy: A Lay of the Land
  • Changing the Story about Economic Growth
  • Divest from Fossil Fuels – Invest in the New Economy
  • Organizing for the New Economy:  Mutual Aid, Affinity Groups & Resilience Circles
  • Breakout Sessions: Challenges Facing the New Economy Movement
  • Storytelling for Activists –Hone Your Story!

FUN & COMMUNITY

  • Swimming, Hiking, Napping, Biking, Sun Bathing!
  • Friday Fun night variety show
  • Saturday Story Slam.  Theme: “Transition”
  • Cosponsored by New England New Economy Transition and the Institute for Policy Studies

GOALS

  • To build community among activists and cultural workers from different areas, bringing our whole families together
  • To learn from one another in a relaxed and natural setting
  • To celebrate our work and tap into our creativity and humor to strengthen our morale for the struggles ahead

LOCATION, COSTS, & REGISTRATION

The historic World Fellowship Center, near Conway New Hampshire and the White Mountain National Forest

Founded 1941, during the war, with motto: “In a time of war, prepare for peace.” World Fellowship has a rich history of political and cultural resistance, the “Highlander Center” of the Northeast.

Costs start at forty-six dollars a day, including all meals, lodging, programs and recreational opportunities. Accommodations range from camping to private rooms. Book your accommodations directly through World Fellowship today!

SCHEDULE in DETAIL

Thursday, July 17

Evening: Opening Plenary

“Transition to a New Economy: A Lay of the Land”
Featuring members of the New Economy Working Group

The current economic debate pits austerity against prime-the-pump economic growth. Neither approach addresses the extreme inequalities of wealth and the ecological limits to growth that our economy is facing. What is the alternative vision of a new economy?  What are the stages of how we get there?  What is possible at the local level and where can we engage meaningfully at the national and global level?

Friday, July 18

Morning: The New Economy in New England: Challenges and Opportunities
Members of the New England Resilience & Transition Network

What exciting innovations are happening around New England and beyond to create community resilience? Many believe that we must go beyond localism and support community resilience strategies that impact larger regional and national policy.

Can New England as a whole take steps to ensure that we all live well in the new economy? Join members of the New England Resilience & Transition Network to discuss these challenges and opportunities.

Afternoon: Ongoing discussion and breakout groups

Evening: “Fun Night”

Saturday, July 19

Morning: Organizing for the New Economy: Mutual Aid, Affinity Groups, & Resilience Circles
Sarah Byrnes and Samantha Wechsler

How do we organize for real, deep, and lasting change? Many believe that we need a revolution that goes “all the way to the bottom, all the way down to our basic understanding of self and world.” In this interactive workshop, we will explore individual and collective approaches that help us to deepen this kind of understanding. Participants will learn about small group organizing — a a powerful strategy that helps people overcome isolation, build lasting community ties, and help each other meet needs in this tough economy. In groups like Resilience Circles, affinity groups, and mutual aid networks, people are discovering alternative ways of meeting their needs, such as barter, gifting, and mutual aid.

Afternoon: “Storytelling for Organizers”

Storytelling is essential to effective social change work.  Come practice your story telling skills and consider telling a story at the evening story slam!

Evening: Storytelling Slam
MC: Mary Hannon & Chuck Collins

Theme: “Transition”

Sunday, July 20

Morning: Divest from Fossil Fuels, Invest in New Economy
Chuck Collins

The movement to divest from fossil fuels was sparked on college campuses but now has spread to religious networks, governments, pension funds, and individuals. What is the case for divestment? And how to do we shift capital to build a new economy that is sustainable and equitable?

Region-Wide Resilience: Here We Come

On March 15, sixty-five people from around New England gathered in Keene NH to tackle a big topic: the resilience of our region as a whole. We had a lively discussion and came away with nine fun and impactful Action Ideas to build region-wide resilience. Check out the map below to see where attendees hailed from.

To get involved with the emerging network of resilience and Transition groups in New England, fill out the blue box in the right-hand column or contact Sarah Byrnes (sarah@localcircles.org).

Dakota Butterfield

Dakota Butterfield

We started the day off with a “Common Ground” exercise to find out who was in the room. We stood in a big circle – barely fitting into the space! – to start. Dakota Butterfield, our able facilitator, first invited folks from Connecticut to step into the circle. They each said their name, and were welcomed by the whole. From there, we met folks from the rest of New England’s states, and lastly, our participant from outside the region (Pamela Boyce Simms, the organizer of the Mid-Atlantic Transition Hub). Folks from Transition Initiatives, Time Banks and universities were invited into the circle, as were gardeners, bike-riders, and people “who have found a way to live joyfully during this time of crisis.” A heartening number of folks stepped into the Circle at that invitation.

Dan Jones

Dan Jones

 

Jennifer Atlee

Jennifer Atlee

After these fun intros and some inspiring words from the President Steve Jones of Antioch University in New England, we heard a brief “Story of New England” from Dan Jones and Jennifer Atlee. Their story grounded us in the layers of history upon which we stand here in New England – although, as Jennifer pointed out, “at one time New England didn’t exist.” Their story called to mind both the proud legacies we carry and the dark moments from which we need to heal. As Dan put it as he discussed the Puritanical belief in predestination, “We have to be careful about which set of cultural memes we hold on to.” Read their full Story of New England here.

The story led us into a moment of reflection. Dakota invited us to silently think about the past, the future, and this moment. What is calling for our attention? What is calling for our energy and work right now?

IMG_6446Keene 2 med IMG_6455This grounded us to launch into a conversation about the pre-drafted Concept Paper on Region-Wide Resilience. This paper spells out a rationale for considering the regional scale (in addition to the local and national ones), and lists ten key dimensions of regional resilience. Participants were invited to note where they disagreed, most strongly agreed, what “sparked” their interest, and more. The “dot exercise” and full group conversation revealed large areas of agreement among us, and we also identified areas that need further discussion (see the full notes from the discussion).

Over lunch, participants self-organized into tables focused on topics such as time banks (with hOurworld’s Linda Hogan) and the Mid-Atlantic Transition Hub (with Pamela Boyce Simms). In the afternoon we jumped into “Action Ideas.” We heard a brief overview of each of the nine ideas, and then went into breakout groups to dig into the planning of each.

One Action Idea was to create “Whole New England Catalog” modeled loosely on the Whole Earth Catalog of the 1970s. It will be a book showcasing the resources, tools, and other goods and services produced in New England to support our regional economy. Another idea was a New England “Photo Slam,” where folks from around the region will be invited to submit photos of resilience and Transition during the month of May. The pictures will be displayed online to show the collective impact of our work. Stay tuned for when and how to send in your photo!

IMG_6478Steve Chase summarized two other ideas in his blog post: first, a New England network of college and university faculty and students supporting the Transition movement through community-based research, student internships, and various service learning and civic engagement projects; and secondly, region-wide use of the the Sustain-A-Raisers “Starter Kit.” Developed by the NH-based, grassroots organization Global Awareness Local Action (GALA), the “Starter Kit” includes volunteer recruitment strategies, press release templates, a list of needed materials and tools, step-by-step construction guides, talking points and training curriculum, branding support, and an online orientation to help local community organizers engage their constituents in a people-powered sustainable home and yard makeover movement.

Huge thanks go out to Transition Keene Advocates and Antioch University for hosting the event, to Sarah Harpster and her team for the amazing food, and to Dakota for facilitating. Thanks also go to the “Ad Hoc Planning Team” and to the convening organizations: Transition Keene Advocates, Somerville Climate Action, Global Awareness Local Action, the Resilience Hub of Portland, Transition Montpelier, Transition Newburyport, and the Jamaica Plain New Economy Transition. Thanks lastly to the Institute for Policy Studies and the New England Grassroots Environment Fund for providing financial and other support.

To get involved with the emerging network of resilience and Transition groups in New England, fill out the blue box in the right-hand column or contact Sarah Byrnes (sarah@localcircles.org).

Coming Up in New England…

Announcements & Upcoming Events

April 10 2pm Webinar: Net Zero New England – How our Region Can Supply All its own Energy through Renewables. With Commissioner David Cash of the MA Department of Environmental Protection. Read more here.

Camp Commons: An Activist Family Summer Camp. July 17 – 21, World Fellowship Center, White Mountains, NH. Come for a day! Come for four days! Bring your kids! Read more here.

Training for Transition: Launch Workshop. March 29-30, Wilton NH. Contact Mike Anderson (rma@updownway.com603-654-6639) or Michael Conley (michael@michaelconley.net) for more info.

The Art of Participatory Leadership. April 11 – 13, Saco ME. An intensive 3-day event where you will experience and practice a set of simple, yet powerful, processes for building community, facilitating powerful conversations, building strong partnerships, and leading change. Scholarships are readily available for grassroots leaders! Read more here.

Training for Transition: Launch Workshop. June 21-22, Greenfield MA. Contact Susal Stebbins (susalstebbins@hotmail.com) or Tina Clarke (TinaClarke@TransitionNetwork.org) for more info.

The Slow Living Summit. June 4 – 6, Brattleboro VT. Read more here.

CommonBound: Moving Together Toward a New Economy, June 6 – 8, Boston MA. Read more here.

An Exciting Manifestation of Transition

On October 4, Rob Hopkins and Peter Lipman of the Transition Network stopped by Jamaica Plain, Boston, as part of their US tour. Rob and Peter spoke at a packed breakfast hosted by local leaders and then went on the “New Economy Walking Tour” in JP. This tour is led by Orion Kriegman and Chuck Collins. Rob later reflected on his blog that JP NET is an “exciting manifestation of Transition.” Check out the pics above, and stay tuned for a full post from Rob dedicated to JP NET.

 

Sticker Shock

Take a look at this photo. It’s small local butcher shop, right?

Sticker Shock

 

Look more closely and you’ll see – it’s actually a sticker stuck on an abandoned building. The repeating identical hams give it away.

Rob Hopkins began the talks on his US tour with arresting image. Rob, the founder of the international Transition movement, found this “sticker economy” shot in the Irish town of Belcoo, which was anticipating a visit from the G8. To impress the dignitaries, Belcoo literally papered over its crumbling local economy. The irony is overwhelming: after all, local economies are crumbling because of groups like the G8.

But Rob points out that there’s a reason that sticker didn’t portray a Walmart – no one wants to look at that. Even fancy dignitaries want to look the signs of a vibrant local economy.

But how do we build these economies? How do we scrap the stickers, and do the real thing?

Transition Regional Gathering, Portland ME, Oct 5 2013

Transition Regional Gathering, Portland ME, Oct 5 2013

The Transition movement has inspired hundreds of people all over the world to do just this. Along with resilience building efforts of many stripes, Transition Initiatives are shopping local, growing food, finding sources of local energy, and reconnecting with their neighbors. They’re fighting climate change and preparing their neighborhoods for emergencies. They’re creating local, living economies.

Transitioners Enjoy Lunch at the Oct 5 Gathering

Transitioners Enjoy Lunch at the Oct 5 Gathering

And these groups are connecting with each other. The day after Rob’s stop in Portland, ME, 120 people from across New England stuck around to talk to the real experts in community resilience: each other. It was a great meeting of the minds, hearts and spirits, as people shared stories, inspired each other, and met in Open Space to discuss topics as varied as creating a vision of New England-wide resilience, to the use of livestock for carbon sequestration.

This was the third such New England-wide gathering of Transition and Resilience groups. Conversations are continuing, and people will meet again in Keene, NH in the winter or spring (sign up in the blue box to the right to get updates).

For more on Rob’s thoughts about revitalizing the economy, check out the excellent white paper he co-authored with Asher Miller of the Post Carbon Institute, “Climate after Growth.”

Rob’s Stop in Jamaica Plain

Rob Hopkins and Peter Lipman of the Transition Network also stopped by Jamaica Plain, Boston, as part of their US tour. Rob and Peter spoke at a packed breakfast hosted by local leaders and then went on the “New Economy Walking Tour” in JP led by Orion Kriegman and Chuck Collins. Rob later reflected on his blog that JP NET is an “exciting manifestation of Transition.” Check out the pics above, and stay tuned for a full post from Rob dedicated to JP NET.

Letter from Carolyne Stayton, Co-Director, Transition US

Dear Transition Leaders,

We are thrilled that you all are gathered today and we wanted to give you a quick overview of highlights from the global Transition movement as well as an update on some exciting activities we have coming up.

Transition Initiatives are now in 43 countries – including Brazil, Japan, Greece, India and South Aftrica! Transition Greyton in South Africa is a relatively new TI and shows an impressive take on Transition beyond western culture.  An inspiring 7 min. video here (if you choose to watch it): https://www.transitionnetwork.org/news/2013-05-07/transition-town-greyton-south-africa-tv

In December 2012 the Transition Network won the European Economic and Social Committee Civil Society award for their REconomy work. This prestigious award, in part, has stimulated the most exciting news we have.

For those who have not heard this.  Rob Hopkins was invited by an international foundation to be personally introduced by them to a number of funders and foundations in the US.  Although Rob has not flown for a number of years he weighed the value of potentially bringing substantial financial resources to the overall global Transition work and decided he had to come. Adding to this initial fortuitous expedition with his foundation hosts we are planning a cross-country tour for Rob with the intent to both energize Transition work and help raise public awareness.

One objective we are holding is to schedule a stop in the Northeast in early October for all of you to meet with Rob and for Rob to meet all of you.

A little more context on his visit: For the first time on earth we have passed 400 ppm of carbon in the atmosphere – on track for a 6 degree C rise in temperatures by 2100. I won’t go into the more sobering implications other than to say that there seems to be a consensus that the window for making pivotal change is now – as is the opportunity to fire up the ordinary person into action.  Now more than ever, we have to ignite the sentiments of the nation.  In the fall of 2013 Transition US will be putting a tremendous amount of effort into this awareness-raising campaign starting with Rob’s tour.  It will be a great opportunity for us all to build on that momentum. So think creatively on that today too!

Another avenue Transition US has been avidly promoting and organizing is an advanced training module that we will launch across the US.  This course is really geared to provide groups with a number of skills to more effectively work together and organize their communities into action.  An international communities’ study came up with the results that 90% of groups fail because of poor group process! We are determined to outdo those odds by leaps and bounds. To that end we hope to schedule a 2-day Effective Groups course in your area too in the fall.

Lastly we are collaborating with a host of others on an extensive Resilience Indicator toolkit project for communities to better assess their vulnerabilities and chart a more focused and impactful way forward. A path forward that, by its design, brings with it the major community stakeholders.

Please keep apprised of all of these new offerings through our website and email distribution lists.

Finally some other overview bits: Transition Initiatives have started in 139 cities, towns and regions in 35 states with more than 200 others currently forming.  Although some TI’s have gotten rather quiet, changed into something else or stopped altogether we are now uncovering inspiring legacies – all of those projects/actions/hard works that have been sparked within communities because of the catalyzing efforts of Transition Initiatives.  To name a few: In California – the whole Grange movement has been reignited.  In Ann Arbor Michigan Reskilling festivals are rocking and in Sandpoint Idaho they now have a well established and permanent Folk School.  There is so much to learn from every part of the process.  So much to celebrate. So much new wisdom to put back into the system. While we are busy at this remarkable resilience-building work let us build that muscle of experimentation, of giving things a wholehearted try, of learning and of celebrating both our successes and our failures.

There are of course too those many Transition Initiatives that are currently making impact in large and small ways. Like Transition Sarasota FL that gleaned 75,000 tons of food for their local food banks, the energy tours conducted by Transition Sebastopol that is seeding the way for Sonoma Clean Power – a community choice alternative energy option, or Transition Amherst that is creating 350 new edible gardens. During the month of May there were more than 7,000 actions taken across the country by many of you and by many others who participated in the Transition Challenge. Actions saved water, conserved energy, grew food and built community. All over the country new gardens sprang up, fruit trees were planted, grey water systems were installed, and communities came together in meaningful and colorful ways.

With Rob’s visit likely being so prominent, we have a rare opportunity to highlight the groundbreaking and painstaking work being done by the Transition Initiatives across the US.  To help with this we have sent out a survey (really short – only 10 minutes!). Information from this will be a guide for Transition US’s next steps.  The results too will form the basis of a report that Rob can enthusiastically refer to while meeting funders and giving talks.  To sweeten the survey deal Post Carbon Institute is providing Transition Initiatives and Mulling groups who complete the survey with their Energy: Overdevelopment and the Delusion of Endless Growth coffee table book.  So please fill out the survey!  If you have any questions email us at survey@transitionus.org.

I wish you all an inspiring, heart-opening, momentum-building day. Believe me when I say we would love to join you/meet you/roll up our sleeves with you!  Please let us know what you learn, what inspires you and what we might do stronger and better together. All our best from Transition US.

Carolyne Stayton
Co-Director
Transition US

Transition Track at the Slow Living Summit

Convened by the New England Resilience & Transition Network

Thursday, June 6

10:30 – 12:00 Workshop: Introduction to Transition, with Tina Clarke & Paul LeVasseur
How do we increase our own resilience and strengthen our communities as energy costs rise, and economic and environmental problems deepen?

3:45 – 5:15 Workshop: Transition Across Race & Class, with Carlos Espinoza-Toro & Orion Kriegman
To build broadly participatory initiatives, we need to speak to local concerns about inequality, jobs, the cost of energy, youth opportunity, violence, food security and more.

7:00 – 9:00 Transition Gathering, Centre Congregational Church, 193 Main Street. Snacks will be served.
A chance to connect as a Transition community, share what is most alive for us right now in our work as organizers for transition, and reflect on what we hope to gain by being together at the summit.

Friday, June 7

8:30 – 10:00 Transition Plenary, featuring Tina Clarke, Gus Speth & Chuck Collins

10:30 – 12:00 Workshop: Transition Visioning Game, with Steve Chase, Sarah Harpster, & Katy Locke
Join this engaging activity to plan in small groups around six key content areas.

1:45 – 3:00 Workshop: Emergency Preparedness and Regional Planning, with Sarah Byrnes, Chuck Collins, & Conrad Willeman
Can emergency preparedness and regional planning be a way to engage people in organizing for community resilience and transition?

3:25 – Summing Up Plenary, including a “Transition Caucus”

Saturday, June 8

12:00 – 4:00 Meeting of the Resilience & Transition Hub, Centre Congregational Church, 193 Main Street. Light lunch will be served. RSVP to Sarah@LocalCircles.org

Join us to share stories, lessons, and strategies with other Transitioners from around New England! We will consider the state of the New England network, create a better understanding of existing regional connections, and envision our next steps as a regional community.

Transition Gathering at the Slow Living Summit

Transition at the Slow Living Summit

The Slow Living Summit is a fantastic annual event covering many topics near and dear to Transition. This year, there is also a “Transition Track” of workshops and a Transition plenary. To register for the Summit, click here. There are several discounted rates, and you can register with our special code to get 20% off (Transitioner2013). To attend the Transition Plenary on the morning of Friday June 7, featuring Tina Clarke, Gus Speth, and Chuck Collins, you can show up at the door and pay a small donation without registering for the Summit. Camping, inexpensive hotels, and some in-home hospitality are available. Email sarah@localcircles.org for details.

SUMMIT SPEAKERS: Frances Moore Lappe, Judy Wicks, Steve Chase, Carlos Espinoza-Toro, Claire Wheeler and many more.

PLENARY: “Transition to a New Economy” Plenary Session (Friday morning 6/7 at 8:30 am): “Transitioning to a New Economy,” with Gus Speth, Tina Clarke and Chuck Collins

WORKSHOPS: There are many fabulous workshops planned for the Slow Living Summit on local food systems, permaculture, local business, and other topics relevant to what you care about. In addition, we will have our own track of “transition/community resilience building” workshops including:

  • Introduction to Transition Movement
  • Community Transition Initiatives Across the Race and Economic Divides
  • Transition Visioning Game
  • Emergency Preparedness and Regional Thinking for Transition Organizing

Click here to see times & locations for the entire “Transition Track” at the Slow Living Summit.

SLOW LIVING SUMMIT – SEE DETAILS

Schedule at a glance
Detailed schedule
Speaker bios

REGISTER HERE – Then email info@localcircles.org to let us know you plan to attend

DISCOUNT CODE FOR TRANSITION NETWORK MEMBERS (20%): Transitioner2013
REGISTER HERE – Then email info@localcircles.org to let us know you plan to attend.

BACKGROUND

In October 2012, representatives of over 24 New England “community resilience building” efforts came together in Boston to share stories, learn skills and talk about ways to strengthen our regional work. These included transition towns, local environmental justice projects, and alternative business networks.

Participants were excited to gather again – and a steering committee was formed to take next steps. We formed an ad hoc “Transition & Community Resilience HUB” (aka, “Transition HUB”).  We agreed to piggy-back on several existing events including the Slow Living Summit and a week-long family summer camp – “Camp Commons” – at World Fellowship.

The 3rd annual Slow Living Summit is a regional gathering taking place in Brattleboro VT from Wednesday, June 5 through Friday June 7, 2013. The organizers invited us to mesh our events and create a number of concurrent Transition events as part of the Summit. The Strolling of the Heifers is a community festival happening Saturday June 8th and Sunday June 9th in Brattleboro.

Our Goals:

1) Relationships: to reunite Transition Communities from across New England, to share stories, catch-up, celebrate, and learn together in the context of music, food, and workshops.

2) Regionalism: to discuss NE Transition & Resilience – ongoing projects and plans for future gatherings.

3) Outreach: to share Transition topics and strategies for launching Transition Initiatives.

WORKSHOP DETAILS

Introduction to Transition Movement

How do we increase our own resilience and strengthen our communities as energy costs rise, and economic and environmental problems deepen? Transition is a global movement in 34 countries, inspiring community projects on local food, buildings, energy, economy and culture that bring people together for positive, creative action and fun. How does the process work? How does it support existing local groups and leaders and help everyone collaborate? We’ll share experiences and successful models, and explore how communities can come together to thrive in changing times. Learn about the origins and key principles of this model for cultivating resilient communities through grass-roots, neighbor-to-neighbor initiatives. Information will be offered on regional and national resources to support starting up a new Transition Town.

Tina Clarke, trainer, Transition Massachusetts, Montague MA
Paul LeVasseur, Transition Putney, Putney VT

Community Transition Initiatives Across the Race and Economic Divides

Many transition initiatives are formed by people with a deep environmental concern about peak oil and climate change. But to build broadly participatory initiatives, we need to speak to local concerns about inequality, jobs, the cost of energy, youth opportunity, violence, food security and more. Come hear stories about community resilience building efforts that bridge class and race divides in our communities.

Carlos Espinoza, Jamaica Plain New Economy Transition
OTHER Speakers TBA

Transition Visioning Game

Join this engaging activity to plan in small groups around six key content areas. Participants will then creatively report back to the whole break-out session.

Steve Chase, Antioch New England and the Transition Keene Task Force
Katy Locke, Transition Keene Task Force
Sarah Harpster, Transition Keene Task Force

Emergency Preparedness and Regional Thinking for Transition Organizing

Food, energy and transit are part of regional systems. Similarly, when disaster strikes, we depend on regional response systems. Can emergency preparedness and regional planning be a way to engage people in organizing for community resilience and transition?

Conrad Willeman, Transition Newburyport
Chuck Collins, Institute for Policy Studies

REGISTER HERE – Then email info@localcircles.org to let us know you plan to attend

Camp Commons: Activist Family Camp, July 7 – 14, 2013

WFC

TELLING THE NEW STORY
Facing the Future, Building Hope: Concrete Tools for Community Resilience

Sunday July 7 through Sunday July 14, 2013
World Fellowship Conference Center
White Mountains near Conway, New Hampshire

Come for the week! Or come for a couple of days!

Join a group of fun and engaged activists for the joy of exploration, singing, rethinking, dancing, laughter, eating, sharing skills and organizing strategies, and more singing, storytelling and game playing.

A multi-generational week-long summer camp for community resilience activists working on economic, ecological and social justice, strengthening the commons, community resilience and the transition to the new economy.

Register now!
Click here to book your accommodations directly with World Fellowship, then email the dates of your stay to info@localcircles.org.

  • To build community among activists and cultural workers from different areas, bringing our whole families together
  • To learn from one another in a relaxed and natural setting
  • To celebrate our work and tap into our creativity and humor to strengthen our morale for the struggles ahead

ORGANIZED by the New England Community Resilience Building Network, with help from the Institute for Policy Studies and World Fellowship

Location

World Fellowship Center, Near Conway New Hampshire and the White Mountain National Forest. Founded in 1941, during the war, with motto: “In a time of war, prepare for peace.” World Fellowship has a rich history of political and cultural resistance, the “Highlander Center” of the Northeast.

Basics

  • Sunday through Sunday, including full weekend for those who can’t come for whole week. Come when you can, leave when you must.
  • Activities for children and young people during the day
  • Morning Workshops (political discussions, presentations)
  • Afternoon Recreation, Creativity and Open Space (Hiking, Games, Craft projects, Napping, Excursions, Swimming)
  • Evening Programs – Speakers/Presentations/Discussion, Fun night, Story telling slam)
  • Mealtimes – self organized topic tables
  • Late Night: Dancing, games, celebration, sleep.

Questions? For questions about logistics and lodging, contact World Fellowship directly at (603) 447-2280 or reservations@worldfellowship.org. For questions about the workshops and program, contact info@localcircles.org.

ABOUT WORLD FELLOWSHIP

  • Participants book lodging & logistics directly with WFC – book here
  • There is a craft/arts programming for young people
  • All meals healthy and on site, BYOB
  • Outdoor activities, including bicycle trips, hikes, swimming
  • 2 and half hours from Boston
  • 90 min from Portland, ME (Jet Blue)
  • 2 hours from Manchester, NH (Southwest)
  • WFC can help provide airport transportation

COST & REGISTRATION

Diverse accommodation options: from camping to nice private guest rooms ($46 – $80 a day, per adult, including 3 meals, meeting rooms, facilities, etc.).

See rate information here.

Book your accommodations directly through WFC here. After you have booked, please email the dates of your stay to info@localcircles.org.

PROGRAM

Evening Programs and Workshops

  • Leaders from the Campaign for Climate change; Campaign to Divest from Fossil Fuels (Janet Redman, Institute for Policy Studies, a Representative from 350.org)
  • Stories from Community Resilience  & Transition efforts (Carlos Espinoza-Toro, Boston, and representatives of local community resilience building efforts)
  • Introduction to Transition movement (Steve Chase and Dakota Butterfield)
  •  “Walk Out, Walk On: Daring to Live the New Future Now” (Deborah Frieze, co-author with Margaret Wheatley of Walk Out, Walk On:  A Learning Journey Into Communities Daring to Live the Future Now)
  • The Art of Storytelling & Activism (Norah Dooley)
  • Wealth Inequality & the New Economy (Chuck Collins, Institute for Policy Studies, author of 99 to 1: How Wealth Inequality is Wrecking the World and What We Can Do About It)

Daytime and Fun Programing Workshops – Follow-up Discussions, Creativity, Fun and Entertainment

  • “Personal Resilience: Hope in the face of despair” (Dakota Butterfield)
  • Organizing Resilience Circles (Sarah Byrnes, Saturday workshop 10 am-4 pm)
  • Introduction to Transition Towns
  • Games and Upcycled Arts & Crafts
  • Evening Storytelling Slam (Mary Hannon, MC)
  • Fun Night Talent Show (Stories, Music, Skits)

DETAILED AGENDA

Camp Commons Schedule

Sunday 7/7 Evening
Movement for Climate Justice
Janet Redman & Friends

What is the current science of climate change? What is the state of the movements responding to the climate crisis and what can we expect in the coming year?

Janet Redman is co-director of the Sustainable Energy and Economy Network, where she provides analysis of international financial institutions’ energy investment and carbon finance activities.

Monday 7/8 Evening
Walk Out Walk On: Daring to Live the Future Now
Deborah Frieze

In this era of increasingly complex problems and shrinking resources, can we find meaningful and enduring solutions to the challenges we face today as individuals, communities and nations? Walk Outs are people who bravely choose to leave behind a world of unsolvable problems, scarce resources and destructive individualism. They walk on to the ideas, beliefs and practices that enable them to discover new potential, new gifts, new possibilities. Through sharing stories, we’ll explore what becomes possible when we walk out of limiting beliefs and walk on to build healthy and resilient communities.

Deborah Frieze is a leading thinker and activist in the movement to build a new economy. She is co-author, with Meg Wheatley, of Walk Out, Walk On: A Learning Journey Into Communities Daring to Live the Future Now.

Tuesday 7/9 Evening
Introduction to Transition Movement
Steve Chase & Dakota Butterfield

Across the U.S. and the U.K., communities are coming together to face climate change and peak oil. Learn about this dynamic movement of local activists building new food systems, transportation, businesses and futures.

Steve Chase is the Director of the Environmental Advocacy And Organizing Program at Antioch University New England in Keene, NH. He is author of Letters To A Fellow Seeker: A Short Introduction To The Quaker Way. Dakota Butterfield is a long-time activist and nonviolence trainer from Boston. They are both certified trainers connected to Transition U.S.

Wednesday 7/10 Evening
Art of Storytelling for Activists
Norah Dooley

How can we integrate the art of storytelling and our personal stories into movements for social change? Norah Dooley is a storyteller, critically acclaimed children’ s author and educator, and co-founder of massmouth.com, an organization devoted to promoting the art of storytelling.

Thursday 7/11 Evening
Stories of Community Resilience
Carlos Espinoza & Friends

How do we prepare our communities for the dramatic changes in climate and economy that lay ahead? New England activists talk about their local community resilience building activities.

Carlos Espinoza is coordinator of the Jamaica Plain New Economy Transition program in Boston (www.jptransition.org).

Friday 7/12 workshop 10 am – 4 pm
Organizing A Resilience Circle
Sarah Byrnes & Thomas Atwood

Resilience Circles are small groups where people come together to increase their personal security through learning, mutual aid, social action, and community support. This is a workshop for people interested in starting a circle in their community.

Sarah Byrnes is the coordinator of the Resilience Circle network. Thomas Atwood is a longtime activist and organizer from Redwood City, CA. See www.localcircles.org.

Friday 7/12 Morning
Wealth Inequality & the Transition to a New Economy
Chuck Collins

The extreme inequalities of wealth and income are thwarting our transition to a new, green and durable economy. How do we make a transition to a new economy that is ecologically sustainable and economically just?

Chuck Collins is senior scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies and co-editor of www.inequality.org. His most recent book is 99 to 1: How Wealth Inequality is Wrecking the World and What We Can Do About It.

Friday 7/12 Evening
Fun Night Variety Show

Saturday 7/13 Evening Story Slam

An evening of stories from participants, MC’d by Boston storytellers and activists Mary Hannon & Chuck Collins.

Photo Source: World Fellowship Center