Transition Town Training in Concord, NH

By Jonathan Gregory, Co-Organizer of the Concord Transition Town Training

The first of its kind in New Hampshire, a professional training for the internationally acclaimed Transition Town model was hosted in Concord, NH by the Concord Energy and Environment Committee and the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests, funded in part through a grant from the Community Catalyst Fund of Clean Air-Cool Planet that gave Local Energy Committee members scholarships to participate. Members of CEEC had been mulling over how to most effectively go about initiating a Transition Town in Concord and came to the conclusion that hosting this Training could not only provide the spark they were looking for, but could hopefully do the same for other communities. Representation was statewide with groups coming from the Seacoast, the Souhegan Valley, Merrimack Valley, and the Pemi-Baker Valley.

The Transition model, an interactive, co-creative, community engagement platform, that seeks to improve the resilience of communities through shared responsibility activities, was seen as a desirable initiative that CEEC (and any other Local Energy Committee for that matter) could utilize to strengthen their relationship with local businesses and residents by taking direct action on key community issues. Transition Keene is the only existing organization of this kind in New Hampshire, but many will soon develop their own version following this inspiring and empowering workshop.

Two official Transition Town representatives presented the training over the course of two-days, stuffing participants with all sorts of critical data and organizing skills. Peak Oil and Climate Change were among the top environmental issues discussed, but it was the intrinsic features of behavioral change and collaborative techniques that set the stage for this ground breaking weekend training. Attendees left the training not only with a profound motive to engage their fellow community members on new intriguing levels, but also a deep connection with new friends. Sam Evans-Brown, of Word of Mouth was among those new friends as he reported about the event. This in fact is the Transition model at its core; creating community around common good solutions for the benefit of all.

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