No 106 Posted by fw, January 20, 2011
I was rummaging through some old e-files and found this one: Victoria Region Transition Initiative: Strategic Plan, dated March 2009. Although dated, it may still be of value to the start-up steering teams of new Transition Initiatives. So, a hearty thank you to Transition Victoria for a plan of potential benefit to all transitioners.
Note Transition Victoria’s name change from Victoria Region Transition Initiative to Transition Victoria: A Regional Initiative.
Here, then, is Transition Victoria’s 2009 Strategic Plan –
Introduction to the Transition Initiative
Transition Initiatives are a global movement providing empowerment, leadership and support to community-led responses to the pressing and interrelated issues of peak oil and climate change.
Climate change makes a drastic reduction in our carbon usage essential; peak oil makes it inevitable. Transition Initiatives make it viable and compelling.
In response to the unique challenges and opportunities the carbon crisis presents, Transition Initiatives focus on stimulating and sustaining a positive, pro-active process that engages and empowers the whole community, with an emphasis on hope and creative visioning as antidotes to the fear and grief that awareness of global environmental problems can often engender.
The Victoria Region Transition Initiative (VRTI) is based on a dedication to a tangible, clearly expressed and practical vision for our community. These are our core beliefs: We used immense amounts of creativity, ingenuity and adaptability on the way up the energy upslope, and there’s no reason for us not to do the same on the downslope. If we collectively plan and act early enough there’s every likelihood that we can create a way of living that’s significantly more connected, more vibrant and more in touch with our environment than the oil-addicted treadmill that we find ourselves on today.
The Strategic Plan
The Steering Committee to establish a Victoria Region Transition Initiative is made up of various individuals from across Greater Victoria and was formed in January 2009. This is our strategic planning document.
We envision a city of Greater Victoria that is transformed over the next twenty years from the current addiction to fossil fuels to a diverse, sustainable, resilient local culture and economy. The Victoria Region Transition Initiative will be a model to inspire similar community transformations across Canada.
We will empower this transformation of Greater Victoria through a proven approach that has been adopted by many communities around the world: The Transition Model.
The Victoria Region Transition Initiative will foster a post-carbon way of life in the Victoria area by raising awareness, building connections, and having fun, in order to support positive vision and actions toward more resilient, vibrant communities that no longer rely on fossil fuels as their primary energy sources.
The Victoria Region Transition Initiative is dedicated to the Seven Principles shared by other Transition Initiatives around the world:
1) Positive visioning – creation of tangible, clearly expressed and practical visions of the community beyond its present-day dependence on fossil fuels;
2) Helping people access good information and trusting them to make good decisions;
3) Inclusion and Openness – reaching the community in its entirety, and endeavouring to engage the local business community, the diversity of community groups and local government;
4) Enabling sharing and networking among all constituencies;
5) Building resilience across a wide range of areas and organizations;
6) Inner and outer transitions, recognizing the challenges we face are not just caused by a mistake in our technologies but as a direct result of our world-view and belief systems; and
7) Subsidiarity — self-organization and decision-making, working with everyone so change happens at the most appropriate, practical and empowering levels
The carbon crisis on our planet is the greatest threat our species has yet faced; no other crisis calls out as urgently for collective action to transform our lifestyles and communities. If we wait for governments to act it will be too little, too late. Individual action is also not enough. Only a creative community response holds the potential to adequately respond to this urgent need for social transformation. The Victoria Region Transition Initiative will be a catalyst for change:
Leading the way through awareness-raising and education;
Facilitating community efforts; and
Complementing the work of local and regional groups dedicated to environmental issues and/or community development
We seek to embrace the unique challenges and opportunities the carbon crisis presents, by stimulating and sustaining a positive, pro-active process that engages and empowers the whole community from the grassroots up. Energy descent can be fun!
Goals, Objectives and Supporting Strategies
Phase 1 — Raising Awareness and Building Connections
Objective 1: Facilitate communication and cooperation among Transition groups based elsewhere and existing local/regional/provincial groups with related goals.
Strategies to support Objective 1:
Create a Communications Plan that describes:
Our key strengths (what we offer);
Key audiences and messages (mission, values, position, etc);
Our human resources (who will do what), and timeline;
Type of materials for the public and who will write/develop them (e.g., introductory or educational materials, backgrounders, news releases, brochures, Power Point slide presentations, website);
Event profiles for small or large meetings such as the “Grand Unleashing,” which identifies venues, type of presentation and speakers needed;
Budget needs (photocopying, postal costs, printing, web hosting etc., cost of venues, advertising?);
Sources of funding for material costs and possibly for employee(s) to help with administration, promotion, and fundraising; and
Who will be the spokesperson for the media (need media briefing kit).
Research and create a database of contacts
Develop clear materials for presentations to other groups about climate change, peak oil, Transition Initiatives, etc.
Research local community to establish which groups are already doing related awareness-raising or have educational materials which support one or more of our objectives. What are the opportunities for others? Why should they work with us? Can we borrow or use their materials? Can we easily coordinate a shared event with them? Can we use their venue, mailing lists, etc.
Send out letters and email announcements seeking opportunities to meet face-to-face and to liaise or work on common objectives; and
Build bridges to local government and business leaders. Seek opportunities to address / inform municipal government and local business leaders, starting with individuals or companies with overlapping interests.
Objective 2: Raise awareness among the general public relating to the topics of peak oil, climate change, and local resilience-building.
Strategies to support Objective 2:
Hold awareness-raising events such as film viewings, speaker series, public discussions, etc.;
Collect names and email addresses of those interested in being informed and involved, and facilitate their involvement;
Support projects involving large-scale community engagements aimed at building people’s understanding of resilience and carbon issues; and
Organize a “Grand Unleashing” for the Victoria Region involving interested groups and individuals
Phase 2 — Supporting the Development of Working Groups
Objective 1: Create working groups in key sectors focused on food, energy, transportation, health, education, the economy (livelihood), culture, and psychology of change. he purpose of the working groups is to support the generation and realization of effective, flexible Energy Descent Action Plans (EDAPs) that include specific, coordinated targets and strategies to reduce reliance on non-renewable resources over a 15-20 year timescale, and a process of integration so that these various plans work together. As working groups form, the Steering Committee will begin to dissolve, to be replaced by a Coordinating Committee whose purpose is to facilitate connections among the working groups.
Strategies to support Objective 1:
Create information materials and opportunities for the training workshops offered by various people, and locate venues for workshops;
Research local / regional / provincial organizations to establish which groups are already working on Energy Descent Action Plans (EDAPs). Is there an opportunity to use the same venue, meeting or committee to begin establishing an EDAP group? Are there benefits to working with them (e.g., access to information)? What are the gaps in what they are doing?
Objective 2: Launch an integrated, community-created and -implemented, effective and flexible EDAP for the Victoria Region
Strategies to support Objective 2:
Encourage the development of EDAPs from each working group (provide a timeline and assistance);
Organize a launch for a comprehensive EDAP for the entire Victoria Region.
Possible projects to support Objective 2
Supporting development of community gardens;
Film viewing, discussion events, fun and creative stunts that encourage public participation;
Advocating permaculture in public spaces, private spaces, and educational institutions;
Advocating the creation of car-free zones in the downtown core and the upgrading of facilities from bicyclists and pedestrians;
Cooperating with other groups to support the design of high density, livable neighbourhoods;
Re-skilling projects to help the survival of highly useful traditional knowledge
Business waste exchange aimed at matching the waste of one industry with another industry that can use this waste;
Repairing old items instead of throwing them away; and
Supporting exchange systems that foster locally-based businesses, for example, through barter and small markets, or by creating a local currency redeemable in local shops and businesses