Bruce Darrell thinks that a secure food supply is an essential part of the response to the climate, energy, economic and health crises. As state planning for such a supply has been grossly inadequate, he detailed the key actions that we need to take at a personal, community and regional level to compensate.
The New Emergency
Emer O'Siochru believes that the proximity principle has to be turned on its head if communities are to become sustainable. She argued that, instead of bringing similar activities closer together to reap the benefits of scale and agglomeration, different activities should be beside each other to be more energy- and carbon-efficient. She wants new, low-carbon food, energy and shelter production systems to be integrated locally to transform and invigorate rural communities.
Anne B. Ryan argued that the adoption of a new self-limiting worldview is as crucial as the adoption of new technologies. "We are all born with the capacity for enough and everybody has a part to play in the creation of a culture of enough, as a way to understand the world and to live in it," she says.
John Sharry, a family and child psychotherapist, looked at the way communities are responding to the current crises. He drew on modern psychological models of motivation and change, and of how people deal with threat and loss, to suggest strategies which can be used both to help individuals change and to galvanise communities into collective action.
Davie Philip, coordinator of the Irish Transition Towns network, sees the 'new emergency' as a 'once-in-a-species' opportunity to make a controlled, planned transition to a post-industrial society. He asked whether the Transition Initiatives emerging around the world are up to this challenge and what more this young movement could be doing to facilitate the building of resilient communities.
Recording of parallel workshop with Julian Darley. This video is available to Feasta Members and attendees of the conference only. Please contact website @ feasta.org for access.