Sunday, February 1, 2009

Meetings and Messaging

This past week has been a whirlwind of meetings and scheduled presentations related to our Financial Permaculture Summit and transition efforts in Lewis County, TN. One day I am in Memphis giving a power point on Financial Permaculture to the Sierra Club and two days later I am in Nashville leading a breakout group on Financial Permaculture for the Cumberland Greens Bioregional Council. I showed our new Summit documentary, courtesy of Byron Palmer, at both events. The crowd in Nashville responded with applause and requests to sign-up for the next Summit. The response that I received in Memphis wasn't as strong - possibly I should ditch the power point.

As for all the meetings - wow! Yes, there are a lot of them - but I've never enjoyed meeting so much as now, because change is happening in a way that I've never witnessed in my 3+ years of working on community development in Hohenwald, Lewis County, TN. The Summit we held in October catalysed local collaboration around a very deliberate message: we are reinventing ourselves as a self sustaining community, as we embrace a new green economy. There is a group of 20+ folks meeting every other week. We have dozens of green events we're organizing, writing articles in the local paper and working on green business development. The best part is that everyone is doing their share of work towards this initiative. It's no longer just a handful of people. Each week something new and amazing happens: The City Mayor is supportive of our hope to become a Transition Town in June of 2009, a City Councilmen has asked for our Permaculture design support in the development of a new sewage treatment system, the President of the Chamber of Commerce asked if she could show our documentary at the next Chamber meeting, and the Historical Society met with us last week to design a Permaculture Demonstration Area behind the local museum. Less than five months a go, the word Permaculture was a foreign word to most in Hohenwald and now I hear people using it with a sense of purpose and hope.