Bioneers Europe Gathering at Findhorn:
Breakthrough solutions for people and planet
Today is an all seasons day. A crisp wind brings bellows of dark clouds and full fat rain only to blow them away again to allow pale-washed sunlight to dance with the fading autumn colours.
“Praise creation! Praise life! Celebrate life!” A song from Africa to bring us into harmony and to celebrate this last day of the Bioneers conference.
Thanks to fluid technology we link up with Rob Hopkins at his hometown, Totnes, so that he may share his story about the transition town movement he co-created four years ago. “Transition Town is a move towards fresh air, land and water and seeing each other again.” This grass roots, local and cultural change movement has been capturing the hearts, minds and hands of collectives on a global scale. Their handbook has been translated into several languages, they have created a film showcasing some of the stories of the many transition initiatives, they have been approached by county councils for support in building resilience and cutting CO2 emissions, and Transition Support Scotland has received government funding to drive its projects. “What we need are people who look climate change and peak oil square in the face with compassion and do what needs to be done to meet this transition time.”
“We are nurses of a dying system and midwives of an emerging civilisation.” The dynamic May East begins her talk on cultural change activism by sharing the principles and attitudes that inform her work in Gaia Education, with the United Nations and in Transition Training. She has learnt the fine art of creating stimulus to motivate her in her role as a bridge maker and social change activist. “Ask yourself, where am I going to put my eye? What am I going to activate today?” She speaks of the edge as a sacred space where the potential dreaming of converging dimensions happens. She encourages us to maximise our edges and then to place ourselves in the flow. “Each generation has the task of breaking the patterns of our ancestors that no longer serve us.”
Kosha Joubert asks us: “What is the potential of our collective wisdom?” The development of the EU learning partnership she speaks for is an answer to creating learning adventures for change agents. It is designed to gather the support and wisdom of the collective. The curriculum, experienced over a two year course, has evolved out of the cooperation of several NGOs. It combines the best of content with the format of the heroes journey as a means to build community and and create the knowledge needed to effect transition. It is education as a life-changing experience. “Our greatest resource is the good intentions and creativity of citizens and our willingness to make a difference.”
“How do we make business part of the solution?” Naresh Giangrande examines how the business sector can be a valuable partner in transition. He explains that it is vital that we harness the technical and skills base of the business sector. Businesses need help to create the change that allows them to work within resource limits, relocalise their business, and see how business is a service for human welfare. Transition Business provides practical help by offering business tools like an energy resilience assessment and has seen several local currency initiatives develop as a way of creating investment in local economy. “We need to realise that it is not okay to pass on our financial and ecological debts to our children.”
Finally we are offered the opportunity to digest the wealth and nourishment of the conference. We are asked to consider the insights we have been given throughout the conference. I am struck by the courage, genius, compassion, joy and drive demonstrated through the stories the speakers have shared with us. Another person is in awe of the power of the circle to ground and build vision from an honest cooperative space. “We do not need to be perfect to do extraordinary things.” These shared insights spoken out into the room fall like autumn leaves into our uplifted hearts. “I feel enabled to move forward through shared possibility.” “I can trust my dreams, they show me the way.”
Daniel Wahl, initiator of this conference at Findhorn, speaks into the engaged, connected and generous space: “I love connecting people, it is the passion of my life!” Nina Simons, co-founder of the Bioneers movement offers, “I am deeply grateful for who you all are.”
We all take to the floor and dance a spiral, singing a Celtic blessing:
Deep peace of the running wave to you
Deep peace of the flowing air to you
Deep peace of the silent stars to you
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you.