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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Sebastopol Community Mapping Event

A new community organization, Transition Sebastopol, will be sponsoring a Community Mapping event on March 11, from 7:30 – 9:30pm at the Sebastopol Community Center.

On January 15th, the group sponsored a talk at Sebastopol’s Aubergine by Jennifer Gray, a British graduate of Schumacher College in Devon. Jennifer explained to a standing-room-only crowd of about 162 the Transition model. Initiated by permaculture teacher, Rob Hopkins, in Totnes, Devon in 2006, the idea is to bring together all aspects of a community to envision together the future we desire --and then ‘backcast’ to the steps needed to get there.

The impetus for this in the UK was concern about the possibility of coming dislocations in economic or climactic systems. The idea is to tap into the genius of the whole community to come up with fun projects that lead to greater community resilience and local self-reliance. Building optimistic enthusiasm for positive shared goals can result in mutually created social events, and on-the-ground projects.

For example, in Totnes the community built a natural-materials bus shelter, organized produce-preserving parties, and sponsored a municipal nut tree planting, storytelling events, a local currency, and an elder wisdom oral history project, among many other programs. See The idea has spread with amazing speed. Now there are more than 400 towns and cities doing the model in the UK, and so far 8-10 in the U.S.

The purpose of the March 11th Community Mapping event at the Community Center is to figure out what groups are already working on the many areas of life –water, food, transportation, jobs, wellness, energy, et al. We’ll also find out where there might be gaps and therefore new opportunities to invent the preparations we’d like to make for thriving in our place no matter what challenges lie ahead. See

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