THE relationships between locals, incomers and land in communities throughout Scotland and beyond will be explored in a groundbreaking conference in Edinburgh next month.

Building vibrant communities deeply rooted in the places they live is crucial in adapting to life beyond oil.  This theme will be at the heart of the two-day event ‘Transitions: Diverse Routes to Belonging’ which will feature author and activist Alastair McIntosh and Rob Hopkins, co-founder of the rapidly growing worldwide Transition movement, among others.

 People who are working in Transition initiatives or interested in building resilience in their communities, will gather for the international Transition conference at Pollock Halls on 20 and 21 November.  Delegates will investigate how the challenges brought by looming energy shortages and climate change can be tackled by encouraging creative, collaborative ways of living.

 The conference is being hosted by Transition Scotland Support with the support of the Transition Network and Transition Edinburgh University.

 “Oil has become the lifeblood of how we feed, entertain and house ourselves – it’s what makes our modern lifestyles possible,” said Rob Hopkins, author of the Transition Handbook.  “We are now entering the end of the age of cheap oil.  That coupled with the climate change agenda means we have to rethink some very basic assumptions about how we live.”

 As well as taking practical steps, such as producing food locally and introducing currencies and trading systems to enable local economies to flourish, the Transition model recognises work to build cohesion in fragmented communities as being central to making them fit to face the future.

 This chimes fundamentally with the thinking which sparked land reform in Scotland in the 1990s.  Alastair McIntosh was at the forefront of this historic movement, most famously in the run up to the landmark community buyout of the island of Eigg 13 years ago.     

 “The rekindling of community is the most important form of transition that we collectively face in the world,” he said.

“That raises the question as to how we get on with each other when we are from so many backgrounds, both native and non-native.

“We must therefore ask whether it is possible to reground ourselves in becoming indigenous no matter where we are from and where we live.”

 The two day international event will be preceeded by the Scottish National Transition Gathering on Friday 19 November.

 For further information and to book a place go to to www.transitionscotland.org


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