Transition Whatcom

EDAP Planning Group, March 28, 2011 Meeting Minutes

Energy Descent Action Plan Team

Planning Group Meeting, Monday March 28, 2011

Synopsis Minutes

Attending:  Lia (Facilitator), Travis, Monica, Tris, Frances, Linda, Jen, Irene (Minutes)

Lia: wants to answer the questions: 1) Who is our audience, 2) What form should our EDAPT take?

Tris: We need definitions of elements for this document so the task is not so daunting

Linda: See this as a series of concentric circles of influenced or targeted audience groups starting with the core being people who already understand the issues who are invited first to help us write this. This target group is participatory and the audience here is also the group that helps write it.

Tris:  I think we go ahead and put it out there, then the groups of people who are receptive or not will emerge.  The audience needs to include the population of Whatcom County otherwise it won’t work.  Therefore we need to work to include everyone in the county as the target audience.

Monica:  I like the concentric circles approach, because those who are receptive can take in the information, and those who are oppositional will come on board later as the need is perceived by them.

Lia: What are the concentric circle groups of the target audience?

Linda: Center group is TW, second group is people working on related specialized issues such as Food Security, next would be people who are too busy to see the big picture but they get involved in issues as they affect them personally, then people who are totally oblivious to it, and then those who are actually resistant to it.  Government often fits into the second group with Food issues at the government agency level, but policy makers could fall in any category.

Tris:  There is a distinction between those who are unengaged, and those who are resistant.

Linda:  Faith communities are starting to get involved and there is some movement from the outer circles inward.

Lia:  What do we want the EDAPT to be?

Tris:  Or what do we want it to do?

Monica: What is the purpose of it?

Tris: I offer a proposal that it is “an information resource for preparing for a low-energy future and a practical guide for people in Whatcom County.”

Irene:  maybe a “high-energy, beyond fossil fuel future…?”

Lia: “New Energy Paradigm”

Monica: “No Oil Party Plan”

Lia: nice to have a positive title, rather than one that emphasizes what it isn’t.

Tris: In the Transition Movement, specifically the Totness EDAP commentary, this is an issue that is discussed.  We need to have the motivational and inspirational element in there, but also need to have the practical aspect as well. Coming up with a title is almost a marketing decision; we need to decide more what is in the Plan at this stage. We need a title to which we can refer as we are writing it, but otherwise, the title will become clear to us as we create it.

Lia: I’m hearing three different parts: 1) educating about issues, 2) What our vision is, and 3) How to get from here to there.

Irene: Dating the document excludes some of the audience; the doc should be framed to include something that appeals to all audience members such as “Increased Quality of Life Guide”

Linda:  We need to celebrate what is already underway so people can feel like they are a part of it with things they are already doing that would fit under one of the categories.

Lia: …an online document that can evolve

Travis: …sections can be printed

Monica: Could be printed as an original and have updates online.

Travis: …For people who want a physical doc to read.

Linda: Can post the whole thing online and then market in printed brochures that highlight pieces of it to appeal to different groups.

Tris:  Videos online will also help this be dynamic enough, inclusive enough. We need to not think of it as a book.

Monica:  It can be a PDF online so you can safeguard it from unvetted changes.

Tris: Do we really want to be picking and choosing authors? …or if somebody knows something, they can put it in under the Wiki- format.  Thinking of it as an “Information Resource”, we would want that to be open as opposed to a document structure that people can’t modify.

Lia:  Different people have really different writing skills, and if we want this doc to be appealing, we might need to have a standard for submissions.

Tris:  We could sort of do both…have the EDAP as a resource as a static document that we can take pieces of, and we can also have a website version that is open-sourced participatory living document.

Linda: A place for people to rant about whatever their issue is, so they feel represented. Those who contribute valuable pieces could be mined and be asked to contribute or participate more.

Monica: The Master document could distill the other sources and inputs posted in the public forum and include them in the Master doc.

Lia: To Recap: The document can cover five categories 1) Education 2) Vision 3) Step by step 4) Celebration and Recognition 5) How you can get involved.

Tris: Can anybody predict the steps it will take to get to our goals?

Irene: lessons from the WWU Climate Action Plan: 1) no dates 2) present as 5 yr. intervals 3) building resiliency into the document by not building out of it future possibilities 4) rank recommendations using rating of return vs. investment calculation formula, etc.

Lia: Simple steps that can be taken toward resilience don’t have to be in order. Things that individuals can engage in right now (replace lawns with gardens, etc.)

Tris: I.d. a constructive direction and a variety of actions that can contribute toward that direction and that involve different levels of participation by the different groups or levels in the community. The Totness doc had participation from 500 people out of 8000 population.  The people will tell us what they think the steps are. We can i.d. the constructive steps that are submitted.

Monica: The Black Swan book points out that we don’t know the future and something can happen unexpectedly that changes everything. The City of Bellingham plan predicted the future in some ways that left me wondering how they could predict that.  We could put in several different scenarios for the future, or we can leave it open and just cover what builds a resilient community.

Lia: That would help draw in people who don’t agree with the concept of Peak Oil but are concerned about other issues that still fit the need for resilience building.

Tris:  It is important to consider scenarios and alternative scenarios and one is “Business As Usual”. We could do this and add the levels of “And we have energy problems”, “We have severe energy problems”, “We have no energy problems”, etc.

Lia: Creating a resource for the community.

Tris: We don’t need to make this a marketing document, at the same time, we need to recognize that if we are successful, it will be viewed by people from different perspectives, so reasonableness would be a good idea. We don’t know what the future of new energy ideas might have on this, so a tone of modesty is what I’m suggesting would be useful and a factual representation of what we actually know and would be appealing to a broader audience.

Lia: Are we ready to start work?

Tris: A working title?

Irene: Acronym is easy to use.

Tris: A marketing title need serious consideration. I would offer a Transition Guidebook as a working title.

Lia: ACTION Plan = Alive Cultural Transition In Our Neighborhoods

Monica: Rewrite the EDAPT acronym to be something positive or change it to ADAPT – Adaptability and Development Action Plan for Transition…

Irene: Propose to have us take this away and come up with suggestions and then come back and reach consensus about what working title to use.

Tris: Google Docs is a good alternative for doing the development work on the document. Can track changes by person and can have two people editing at the same time remotely and they can see each other’s changes. But that is not the public forum, the Wiki site is more interactive.  A third site such as the site would be the place to post the polished form of the document.

Linda:  Would like to use the Wiki site as the place to do the work and where I can find other people who can contribute.  I like to play around with the structure and then pull people in.

Tris:  There are a variety of security options.  Right now, the site administrator has to authorize authors and there can be any number of administrators that we want.  It would be useful to i.d. the major categories for people to contribute to, come up with champions for each of the categories, and the people working on the categories could be an affinity group like Irene was talking about last time.

Travis: Summarize other EDAP categories and put them out on the site for people to look at.  I am drawn to the area of Alternative Energy for myself.

Monica:  I’m very interested in permaculture and urban gardens. I have an aversion to writing.

Irene: Can I help with writing?

Monica: yes.

Linda:  we need to decide the scope of each chapter/category once we come up with our list.

Lia: It is important that we pick ones that we feel engaged and excited about. There will be other people to emerge later.

Tris: what do people think about reporting some of your findings on the workgroup findings of the ning site? Posting in between meeting times would allow our meetings to be more effective.

Travis: Yeah.

Linda: I will start a discussion on the Food Security group itself and build our own affinity group that way. Heather K. is going to look into the Whatcom Food Group and report back to us.

Irene: Everyone please send me any info/links to work that is going on within the Transition scope here in Whatcom County for the “Where we are” portion of the plan.

Next Meeting is April 18th in three weeks, same time and location.





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