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It’s time to talk about We, A response
This page is for developing a response to
"It’s time to talk about We", Oct 22, 2018, published by Transition Network
Hi Naresh and all, thanks for some stimulating questions and comments
Three types of We
I like "We need more We." & "... we are still in the early stages of co-creating a movement"
I'm less sure (will try to explain later) about "... presently unthinkable alliances... are needed" & "... could some new form of cooperation between citizens, governments, and business be effective?"
If I'm understanding your reflections correctly it seems to me that you're talking about different types of we, which hopefully can be reasonably summarised as
- Transition Network
- a wider set of grass roots movements (which I'll refer to as the bigger or wider we)
- others (the rest, which I'm lumping together for the purposes of argument, to express opinions, or if you like provocations) - (your 'big we' might be interpreted as all of us - in the sense that there's an argument that all of us share both responsibility & having something to offer)
The wider we, how will we be?
As I self identify as part of the bigger we, I'm keen for more co-creation, and more and better alliances. Using the term 'others' is not intended to emphasize separateness, but to express opinions on focus or priority, and what might be realistic.
I was happy to see that Nenad asked: " What stops us from ... actually co-creating something like this? (followed by link to do with Wiser.org, which can be looked up on Wikipedia). Although it only lasted 'till 2014, and although it was only for a couple of years I very much enjoyed co-creating with and within Wiser. As I understand it one of the things Paul Hawken used to say about Wiser, was that it (did, or at least tried to?) reflect the movement back to itself.
What if? ...there is some truth to what Paul said in 2007? Specifically concerning
- the size and diversity of the movement he talked about, and in that you say "Millions of bottom up, grass roots organisations and initiatives worldwide are creating the world they want, in their place, in diverse ways. Transition is part of an ecosystem of change." it sounds as if you are reasonably in agreement with this?
- and that " This is where salvation will be found." Towards the end he says " So it is up to us to decide. How will we be? Who will we be?" And I'm assuming the we in that is the movement he refers to.
Alliances and cooperation with others
I like "... presently unthinkable alliances... are needed" & "... could some new form of cooperation between citizens, governments, and business be effective?" to the extent that it seems a recognition of what works eg the examples you give in your conclusion.
There's also perhaps some sort of argument that in some way it's the right thing to do, as you say later in comments about your gardening.
Just to try to be clear I'm all for being open to whatever alliances may become possible, particularly at the local level, but beyond that I wonder about the realism of different possible priorities.
Just a few short years before Transition Towns got going, I, like many other active citizens across the UK and in other countries involved myself in Local Agenda 21 (again can be looked up on Wikipedia).
As I was one of them I at least partly understand how it led to some people becoming frustrated and disillusioned. But I don't really understand why as a movement we seem to have kind of airbrushed it out of history? Locally (to me) I believe it included and led to some successes and in some parts of the world successes were perhaps sustained for longer. At the very least it was an experience in the doing of "... presently unthinkable alliances... " & "... cooperation between citizens, governments, and business". That experience (and some learning?) is still there, not only amongst some institutional partners such as local government, but also and by no means least of all in the minds of those active citizens and community groups that took part.
Perhaps because of the way it came about, including the series of Earth Summits, a certain amount of buy in by institutional partners became possible. In brief I don't see any realistic prospect of similar buy in that TN could access.
The way LA21 tried to be inclusive of all 'stakeholders' in a locality also perhaps stemmed from recognition, belief or ethos that it's the right thing to do.
In my experience, one of the main stumbling blocks to sustaining alliances of this kind seemed to be the way we tend to think about Resources. So, partly in the jargon, institutional partners (and perhaps also some of the rest of us) found it difficult to fully recognise what it was that community and grass roots groups 'brought to the table'.
Your article prompted more thoughts (particularly on possible alternative views of Resources, and within the wider we the importance of recognition) but that's probably enough to be going on with.
Alternative view of resources
We ourselves are our greatest asset
How will we be? The value of recognition
"It’s how we work together that will bring the emergence we now need...This seeing each other as vital pieces of the bigger ecosystem of change, suggests some sort of acceleration is possible - indeed, close to hand. Awakening, from this perspective, is not simply to the real problems and solutions that are possible. But to the people and initiatives around you, now, that are already available to step up and work with you." Indra Adnan 
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