Tuesday, December 4, 2012

From the Start: Our Positive Goals and Connection to the Wider Transition Movement

sustain-ability: The ability for ecological and human communities to thrive in the present and adapt to the challenges of the future in social, economic, and environmental terms. It is not a one discipline, one ideology, or one identity issue.

In response to peak oil, climate change, and economic uncertainty, Totnes, Devon, England became the world's first Transition Town. Based on principles of permaculture, the community came together to educate each other and make positive, lasting, change--
including creating their own currency. That was five years ago. Since then, thousands of Transition Towns have sprang up all over the world with the aim of creating a more resilient society from the bottom up. Examples range from community owned renewable energy plants in Lewes,East Sussex, UK to neighborhood skillshares in Melbourne, Austrailia. Initiatives are popping up n Sao Paulo, Brazil, Nelson Mandela Bay, South Africa, and Tongi, Bangladesh.Members of Transition Towns work locally to counteract systemic global failures, effectively returning control of the future back to where it belongs--in the hands of community members.

In January of 2012, a few students, faculty, and staff who had heard of the Transition movement got together and discussed the prospects for bringing this movement to our campus. Transition Hampshire was born. Our initiative consists of an expanding group of students, staff, and faculty working towards a just community in social, economic, and environmental terms. We want a happy, healthy, and just environment in which to live, work and play. To achieve such monumental ends, this action-based initiative works from the bottom up to encourage collaborations betweens disciplines, identities, and ideologies, to open pathways for the production of a better future, and to celebrate the history and infinite possibility of our quirky, unique, and loved community.

That first semester was spent hosting small talks where we would share positive visions for our community, designing a class for fall 2012 called 'Think Globally, Design Locally", creating a website, hosting events at Spring Jam, and, our biggest accomplishment, creating the Transition Mod.

The Transition Hampshire Mod is a Transition Hampshire initiative that aims at creating an intentionally open, inclusive, and resilient living space with a strong emphasis on sustainability. We believe that sustainability can be defined by a wide array of facets; ideally, the term encompasses the economic, environmental, political, social, and spiritual ability of a community to continue and thrive without depleting resources. We choose to live in the Transition Hampshire Mod because we believe in these communal ideals and want to work towards putting them into place in our own living space and in the greater community. We plan to do this by being by being open to collaboration and working together with the student body. We are trying to build a strong emphasis on inclusion of the diverse members of the Hampshire community, and we encourage people to get involved and voice what sustainability at Hampshire means for them. The mod members carry out independent and collaborative projects that work towards the mod's goals:

1. Reducing energy use to responsible levels (determined by the group) via
monitoring water, electric, and heat usage.
 
2. Sourcing food from local farms and co-ops; eating in as sustainable a way as
possible.
 
3. Engaging partner mods in discussions and dialogues around sustainability and
sustainable living via the implementation of Transition Together.
 
4. Living in a communal and respectful space. 
5. Hosting various community engagement events at the mod throughout the
semester
 

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