Transition Whatcom

EDAP Planning Group, March 1, 2011 Meeting Minutes

Energy Descent Action Plan Team

Planning Group Meeting, Monday March 1, 2011

Synopsis Minutes


Attending:  Travis Linds, Gretchen Woody, Linda Fels, Cipriano Mauricio (Cip), Tris Shirley, Lia Ayley, Frances Ayley, Irene Hinkle, Adam Ward


Discussion on reaction to article on process in creating an EDAP (

Irene: This article was concerned with determining very big issues and I want to not get lost in speculation and discussion of the scope of this document and instead roll up our sleeves and get to work, letting the direction emerge as we discover where it leads us. I’m ready to dig in and take action now.

Linda: Plan needs to include Public Process, it needs to be bigger than just a report in order to be part of the culture, stories are important so we need the technical part, but also including human stories and reports on what people are doing.

Travis:  Elders included, publicity is important for visibility, use the .org site to report and update and promote and use Google Documents to share docs amongst ourselves.

Lia:  like that other EDAPs first talked with elders who remembered how it used to be and then included stories of what is happening now.

Tris: The Transition population is .5 % of the population of Whatcom County, therefore the plan 1) needs to inspire people (include emotional content) 2) demonstrate that we know what we’re talking about, 3) include references for action and practical information to embrace change by the rest of the population that isn’t involved yet. Needs to be on the web and visible since it is all volunteer, so just writing a plan is kind of pointless since if nobody agrees to do it, it isn’t gonna get done. Use open net resources, such as Wikipedia.  We need the least amount of structure on this in the beginning for it to grow and be flexible and evolve. There is a Wikispace organization and we can use the Wikipedia structure for free.  We tried that for the Great Unleashing, and it didn’t work very well, but I’d be willing to try it again.

Cip:  Have a marketing and graphic designer background, so I would have the skill set to produce the online presence for the group.  We need basic marketing: 1) Who is your target market (age, education level, socioeconomic level, political leanings, immigrants, first nation, minorities?), and 2) Establish the “Call to Action” i.e. What change do you want in your audience, what do you want them to come away with?, 3) Formulate your message to reach your target market and get them to take action.  Need a mix in order to reach a broad target audience.

Tris:  I suggest it is not necessary to start this project with decisions about target audience now, instead we can post online all the resources we have and target to audiences later as the need arises. Let’s not worry about defining the audience now and just put resources together now and have the structure emerge. We could have videos of people telling their stories, put up charts, info, etc. This is a matter of emphasis and when we need to define the target audience.

Cip: Don’t want to alienate any sub-demographics in the population.

Linda:  Want internet site to be all things to everyone.

Irene:  What about other media than web-based info?

Linda: include artists, have print media with brochure, but the gathering of the data needs to be web-based. 

Lia: This is question for later on when we have something to present.

Tris: Transition Café and other things are good outreach that doesn’t involve web interaction.

Linda:  Suggests all of us go to meetings of other groups in our circles and speaking about TW

Adam:  New editor of Whatcom Watch:  12 articles/year, loves it when citizens volunteer long-term commitment to write articles.  Is the EDAPT a toolkit, for bottom-up change for whomever wants to make use of it?

Frances:  We will start getting more people who are alarmed contacting us as things progress and to whom the TW ideas are new. Therefore, we need to present that there are others who have been thinking/living this for a while.

Adam:  The Nation magazine recorded 12 people for 20 minutes only in video format and we could use that format to celebrate our wisdom/stories. Go to to find those videos.  Another related structure is Common Security Clubs  How to get together 12-25 people to create a club for common security

Linda:  I started a Common Security Club at the Unitarian Church last year.  There is a Facilitator Guide online and it is easy to start a group.

Adam: It overlaps very well since it makes it very explicit that individuals are the source of rapid societal change.  TW isn’t quite as explicit about it being change being individual-based. 

Linda:  Small group process is vital, so the Common Security Club model is great.

Adam:  We could start the videography interviews with the Common Security Club and the TW people who have been doing their own personal and group EDAPs.

Lia: In summary, we have some consensus that we don’t want to impose too much structure on this in the beginning, but instead to let it organically emerge.  We are all volunteers, so it is really important that we feel energized and excited about what we’re doing, so we’ll keep doing it.

Adam: What can we do to make this fun, based on what the group members who have experience doing plans like this found worked?

Tris:  A volunteer group like this has a natural life of about 18 months because of everybody needing to earn a living, but that may be old-school thinking.  I like the model of people revolving into active roles and then replace themselves.  I would try this first and then if it isn’t working, then Plan B.

Lia: Whatever energizes us, we are excited about, we want to do it. We could raise money and hire someone.

Linda:  For a lot of the work, we’re going to have to leverage more people than in this group.  We need to hold the circle and be very conscious to include others and invite participation.  The Whatcom Food Network is creating a list of people working on food security, we can mine their information and we do have different audiences, so knowing how the lists are different is important.

Irene:  We need to start with an Inventory of what TW work is already underway to understand how we can not be redundant to other groups.

Linda: Some of us are starting to do this work in the TW Food Security group. We want to cross-pollinate with other groups and see what they are doing with this.

Lia:  Who feels drawn to working on which piece?  Do we want to produce an EDAP document or as a growing/dynamic web presence that is evolving and changing and is something we can use?

Food Group:  Linda

Arts Group:  Adam

Website Group: Cip

Resilience Mapping/Inventory Group: Irene

Structure/Wikipedia Group: Tris

Economics Group: Frances, Lia


Tris:  I favor the later.  The nice thing about the future is sooner or later you get there, and then you know what happens.  We need something that is getting refreshed constantly as the future emerges.  A printed document is kinda the last thing we need anytime soon.

Travis:  We have 80 work groups and we could get them to report; they need focus and this can help provide that focus.

Adam:  There is a pace of awareness and key turning points.  I discovered (see the window that says “conversations”)
where two women look for positive stories, 28 minutes long, responses to living at peak anything.  I needed to not read one more thing, so this really kept me engaged, and energized, but not overwhelmed with needing to read text.  Maybe we could tell our different TW groups that we will want to videotape them in 3 months about what they’ve done and that may provide them with vital focus.
is a place for stories in the middle “medialab” where they have the heavyweight people to hyperlink with related but more rigorous/global/big budget productions and information.
We can use this model.  We can allow people to keep learning and not get stuck in overwhelmedness.

Linda:  Get the artist community involved to help transcend the helplessness and info-overwhelmedness.  We have a lot in this community including the TW Arts group.

Tris:  How much structure do we provide?  To keep too tangential stuff out of the site or document so there isn’t stuff that isn’t relevant.

Adam:  There are some traps:  the name of what we’re doing is not great for small communities (EDAP).  The idea of having negative goals:  What are we not going to do, in order to open up the space for new positives?  We are passionate about questioning core assumptions. We can change the name, the form that the plan takes.

Lia:  Adam, can you please lead us in a discussion on what we don’t want it to be next time?

Adam:  Yes. I want to acknowledge this group and the value of the individuals here tonight.  (Affirmations for each person…) There is a cartoon book “Help! Our Iceberg is melting!” that helps with humor.

Cip and Monica offer to host at their house also.

Tris:  As soon as we’ve decided what we aren’t going to do, we can start acting to get input from others.

Adam:  You had to be there, he had caffeine! : )

Lia:  The whole idea of questioning assumptions energizes and intrigues me.  Keith Quitlow (spelling?), architectural teacher, had people design "schools" and then go design "a creative learning environment for kids" and they were very different results.

Tris: I will be willing to investigate the Wiki-tool to find out about how it is used and how video can be included.


Next meeting: March 14th, same time and place for the “NON-EDAPT” meeting.







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