The Essential Guide to Doing Transition. The Essential Guide to Doing Transition. - Page 48

Putting on

great events

Engaging widely with your community will require putting on events that are inspiring, thought-provoking and which provide as many opportunities for interaction as possible.

Transition groups learned pretty early on that putting on a bleak film is not a very effective way of inspiring and motivating people to get involved. We can do better than that. Transition groups around the world have put on countless events, so here are a few of their tips for how to put on great ones.

Maximising the opportunities for people to meet each other is really important. Start every event by inviting people to turn to their neighbour and say their name, where they’ve come from and why they’re here. Listen to the energy in the room buzz! We have also heard of several relationships that formed as a result of two people meeting in this way, and even of one baby!

If you’re showing a film or giving a talk give people a chance to talk in a small group – 3 or 4 maximum – afterwards, maybe before you invite questions. See our tips for hosting good events for more details.

Have clear pathways for people to get involved, for example:

• Always take emails or contact details at events – and ask if people are willing to help out

• Have someone designated to talk to people who might be interested in getting more involved, a “welcome” person or “volunteer coordinator”

• Look out for people who might be a little shy or under-confident and ask them to help with specific tasks or events

• Find ways that people can contribute their time without coming to all the meetings – have a list of people willing to help with events or projects

• Have an online list of “help wanted”, or publish this in your bulletins or newsletters

There are a few things you need to nail down quite early on.

Transition Where?

Getting the scale right is important for a Transition initiative. Towns of a few thousand to tens of thousands seem to work well. Within a city it’s usually good to work within a neighbourhood, though some have worked with a whole city of several hundred thousand. In rural areas you might have an Initiative that covers one or several villages.

Your decision will be based on what feels manageable, and where you feel you can have an impact. It's good to consider what is the recognisable identity of the place you live, is it a neighbourhood, a city, a district? On the whole we recommend starting smaller and letting things grow – and inspire your neighbours!

Liege en Transition launched their Ceinture Aliment-terre Liégeoise project with a big public event . Photo: Liege en Transition.