A summer of resiliency work in St. Paul

By Ethan Engberg

 

Transition Town—All St. Anthony Park (TT-ASAP) is celebrating a summer of climate resiliency work with the Transition US National Gathering just past and an upcoming weekend of clean energy and sustainability at the Minnesota Energy Fair in September.

 

Transition movement gathered in St. Paul

More than 200 Transition Town movement leaders from across the county convened in late July in St. Paul for a long weekend of idea and vision sharing.

The Transition US National Gathering included two days of intensive training on key issues. People learned new skills to rebuild local economies and foodsheds, increase existing Transition initiatives and enforce the “inner transition”—the psychological and spiritual work involved in the movement.

The main gathering began Friday, July 28, with a keynote address by Richard Heinberg, senior fellow of the Post Carbon Institute, an Oregon think tank. Other keynotes by international Transition movement founder Rob Hopkins and Standing Rock elder and water protector Phyllis Young took place Saturday, July 29.

The gathering featured a powerful lineup of more than 40 workshops focused on growing resilient people and households, building strong groups and effective partnerships, conducting successful projects and campaigns, and building an unstoppable movement.

Michael Russelle, member of TT-ASAP, said the organizers attempted to make the gathering carbon neutral, “at least with regard to travel to and from the meeting,” he said. “We encouraged participants to work with their family and friends back home to reduce their own greenhouse gas emissions to offset the effect of traveling, and provided an easy-to-use set of examples on the TransitionGathering.org website.”

An interactive video link was used to connect participants in two workshops, one with Transition leaders in Japan, Brazil, Denmark, Spain, France, Austria, Croatia and Mexico, and the other with Shaun Chamberlin in the UK, Russelle said. Like Hopkins, founder of the Transition Town movement, Chamberlin does not travel by airplane due to its large impact on climate change. In both these workshops, video-conferencing allowed for great interaction with the audience.

The national gathering deepened relationships, broadened participants’ knowledge of practical solutions to tough issues like peak oil and climate change, and increased strategies to bring a shared vision of healthy, sustainable and just communities to life.

 

Energy Fair at Harriet Island

More than ever, people across the country are seeking ways to transition away from damaging the earth, the climate and each other. If you are interested in becoming educated and empowered to try new things, start projects and learn from one another, join TT-ASAP at Harriet Island Park, Saturday, Sept. 9, and Sunday, Sept. 10, for the nation’s longest-running sustainability-and-renewable energy festival.

Now in its 28th year, the Energy Fair will offer interactive workshops and exhibitors, keynote speakers, live music, local food and more.

Similar to its predecessor event, the Living Green Expo, the Energy Fair’s workshops and exhibitors are at the heart of its mission: public education about renewable energy and sustainability. More than 100 workshops—80 of which will be free—will be offered on clean energy, energy efficiency and sustainable living topics. Exhibitor booths on renewable energy and sustainability feature artisans, solar installers, sustainable product vendors and nonprofit organizations are all free and open to the public.

Whether you’re new to the idea of sustainable living or well on your way, the Energy Fair will offer fun for the whole family with live music, social events, hands-on workshops for kids and other fun activities, including the Clean Transportation Show that focuses on all-electric and hybrid vehicles.

You’ll find a half-dozen local food truck options, with an emphasis on local, organic ingredients. Other refreshments and solar-brewed beer will be available throughout the weekend.

Thanks to Metro Transit, free rides to and from the Energy Fair will be available both days, including an all-electric shuttle bus from Union Depot to Harriet Island. (Limited parking will be available for a fee.)

Hosted by Midwest Renewable Energy Association, the Energy Fair is coming to the Twin Cities for the first time, adding to its annual June event in Custer, Wis. TT-ASAP is a promoting partner and exhibitor, and Transition Twin Cities will offer a Saturday workshop, “Transition Towns: Empowering Community.”

For more information about workshops, exhibitors and more, visit www.theenergyfair.org

 

Ethan Engberg is a student at Macalester College and an intern with Transition Town—All St. Anthony Park.

 

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