On Saturday, October 27th, Transition Town Media participated in the first National Transition Online Summit, an online gathering of Transition Towns from all over the US, organized by Transition US, the US National Transition Towns Hub. We got together as a “watch party” to view inspiring interviews and hear about replicable projects Transition Towns are taking on around the country. Then, at 4:15pm Eastern time, everyone got online together in a giant Zoom call. Here are the videos of the main parts of the event if you’d like to see what was going on.
The main part of the live session at 4:15 was an awards ceremony where Transitioners in 7 categories were celebrated for their contributions to the movement. The first category was the Community Impact Award, given to “honor a Transition Initiative that has made a big difference in its local community through leaderful, grassroots efforts”. We are thrilled to announce that that award went to Transition Town Media! It is both humbling and amazing to us to be acknowledged among all the great Transition Towns doing great things around the US.
Other awards given out were 1) Grassroots Leadership Award, to a local or regional Transition leader who embodies the best qualities of Transition leadership, given to Leslie MacKenzie of Transition Twin Cities, MN; 2) Building Bridges to Justice Award, to an outstanding movement leader, project, initiative, organization, or collaboration between groups for their work bridging community resilience and social justice, given to Julia Bystrova of the Transition US Social Justice Working Group; 3) Walking the Talk Award, to an individual or group who has made a significant effort to align their lifestyles with Transition values, given to Peter Kalmus of Transition Pasadena CA; 4) Municipality in Transition Award, to an effective collaboration between a local government and a Transition Initiative, given to Local 20/20 (a Transition Port Townsend WA hub) and Port Townsend, WA (Media PA was a runner-up!); 5) Transition Ally Award, to an individual, project, organization, or movement that has made a significant and lasting contribution to or supported community resilience building efforts in the US, given to David Holmgren, co-founder of the Permaculture movement; and finally 6) the Living Legacy Award, given to an individual or group that has made a significant and lasting contribution to the National Transition movement in the US, given to Carolyne Stayton, Executive Director of the Transition US Hub since its inception 10 years ago, which she accepted along with Pamela and Raven Gray, the co-founders of Transition Movement in the US.
Receiving the Community Impact Award is particularly validating for TTM as we begin our 10th year as a Transition Town.
We started in 2009 with a group of six individuals who were inspired by reading the Transition Handbook by Rob Hopkins. That number bumped up to about 70 by the end of our first monthly event (“What is a Transition Town”), and now stands at over 1,600 people like you who receive our newsletters. Our first Working Group, Food, started in November 2009 and catalyzed the formation of the Media Farmers Market which first opened in May 2010. We continued having monthly educational events on a variety of topics – backyard veggie gardens, home weatherization, local economy, psychology of change, rain barrels and rain gardens, envisioning the future, and many, many more. We started more working groups – Energy, Local Economy, Reskilling, Inner Transition and Heart & Soul. We put on bigger events like Happiness Week, our annual FreeMarket at the end of the Media Garage Sale weekend, our Green Sunday Holiday Craft Fair which features local vendors who make handmade gift items, our Gratitude Potluck Banquet which honors the contributions of all our local non-profits, and our Winter Solstice event that celebrates the changing seasons in a joy-full and spirit-full way. A few of our events brought in well-known speakers like Charles Eisenstein and David Brancaccio (Fixing the Future). We started taking on bigger projects with the start of a TimeBank, a Yardens group (which still has an active Facebook page), a Solarize program, and of course, the Media FreeStore. We partnered with other organizations and with Media Borough government, especially with the EAC (Environmental Advisory Council) on other great projects, most recently helping start a curbside composting pickup program for Media Borough, and organizing the fabulous Media Open Streets festival.
Many of these efforts were a stretch for us at the time. Starting the TimeBank involved becoming a 501c3 and buying insurance for our organization. Starting the FreeStore had us paying a monthly rent and recruiting volunteers to staff the store for 20+ hours each week. Each new big project was a step into the unknown, a calculated risk with a lot of crossing of fingers and holding of breaths. We’ve always managed to pull it off and it’s perfectly clear that our success is due in huge part to your generosity and support as well as the passion and dedication of our great volunteers.
TTM thanks you for all your past support.
We have big plans (of course!) for the coming year, including a local business investing group to support new and existing local entrepreneurs. Your continued support would be greatly appreciated. Donations to TTM are tax-deductible. Please include us in your #Giving Tuesday contributions and your year-end donations. You can donate to us directly through our website. We would especially appreciate recurring donations, either monthly or annually, so that we have a stream of income we can depend on to cover the expenses of everything we do.
Thank you! And please contact us with any questions or comments. We’d love to hear from you.