Networking Event 27 March 2011 – a Transition perspective
A Networking for Environmental and Social Justice event took place on March 27th at the Civic Hall in Cottingham. Organised jointly by local members of Friends of the Earth, the Green Party and Transition groups in Hull and Beverley, it attracted a lively and dedicated group wanting to share, work together and exchange ideas, skills and stories.
The programme started with Professor Gary Craig, who provided a stimulating and challenging opening, outlining many of the obstacles and problems with which we are faced in today’s world. He highlighted the dangers he perceived in the Government’s plans for the ‘Big Society’ which he sees as a smokescreen to obscure the effects of unprecedented cuts. He explored the concept of ‘fairness’ and the need for participation, and the value framework for ethical trading in food, energy, water and economics. Think globally as well as locally.
The ‘just a minute’ session contributions included the Community Orchard, Sculcoates Cemetery, CHEF (City of Hull & Humber Environment Forum), Friends of the Earth (FOE), Marinet (Marine Network of FOE local groups), Transition Network, Green Party, Fair Trade, Greenpeace, Dragonfest, Beverley in Bloom, World Changing, the New Economics Forum and the UNA (United Nations Association).
Simon Bowens of Leeds Friends of the Earth brought us up to date with national FoE’s concerns about two bills going through the House of Commons at present – the energy bill and the localism bill – both a cause for great concern for their impact on planning and sustainable energy.
A bring-and-share lunch and the afternoon session gave everyone the opportunity to talk to each other. The feeling at the end of the day was that the event had been very valuable and that a regular networking event would have a positive impact on activities in the local area. A co-ordinating group would address this, in the spirit that we can achieve a great deal more together than trying to do it all individually.