We had a good Transition Newcastle meeting this week. Instead of our normal open space we tried a world cafe. The 14 of us considered the questions “What one thing could we do to help the most in creating a sustainable future?” As a question it was a bit clunky, but it generated some good discussion. We had three rounds of around 15 to 20 minutes each and then spent some time looking for “pieces of gold”. Each round considered the same question and then we moved to another group of people to continue the discussion.
We weren’t seeking agreement nor a direction for Transition Newcastle. It was more an opportunity to reflect on what we could do as a group or individually. I really appreciated the opportunity to think about what I could do and to hear what other people thought.
The evening confirmed my feeling that I would like to work with the City of Newcastle (my local Council) to continue their process of planning for 2030. Their recent draft community strategic plan has quite a focus on sustainability but needs to become more specific. I’m interested in seeing how Transition Newcastle can help Council continue discussions about sustainability. It is a priority in the strategic plan and could be a tool to promote broader community discussion about what we can do.
Somebody else is keen to set up a social enterprise focusing on mothers. It would be a place where people could bring their children and there would be a variety of resources of use to mothers (not just in their role as mothers). Somebody else is keen on building alliances with other groups, not just environment groups.
I think most of us found the evening a good way to start the year and to give us some energy for the year to come.