STN Training — Notes from March 29-30

Notes from STN training with Tina Clarke, March 29 – 30, 2014.

These notes were taken from the poster papers that we developed over the course of the weekend.


  • Environment is everything: place; resources, people, plants, wildlife
  • Everything we do impacts some aspect of the environment
  • If we treat everything as part of our team. Sticking with each other. Decisions become clear, come naturally when we care and love. Care about every part of our team.
  • Without the environment, what will happen to us? Without a reliable climate.
  • I’m concerned about the climate crisis. Urgently. We need to act NOW.
  • Bees
  • National security
  • Actions
  • Make the environment safe for the future.


  • Historic local economics
  • Sense of Dislocation and Alienation can be eased when we know the people who make and sell thing we use.
  • Increases sense of connection of place
  • We need to ensure physical needs are met.


  • An underlying need/theme in our lives are economic and environment.
  • We can produce more locally: distributed energy, more energy, and self reliant. Let’s support our energy community. They’re helping individuals and groups.
  • We can save $ by increasing our efficiency.
  • We can make smart investments for the future. Stability in cost.

Equity and Fairness

  • I’m proud of people who find themselves out of a job, disabled, senior .
  • Equity and fairness is essential to community functioning.
  • Equity and fairness drives innovation and cooperation.


  • Three discussions. (=three meetings)
    1. Introduction
    2. Discussion becomes proposal
    3. Decision /Action
  • Objections
    1. Stand- aside
    2. Blocking-paramount objection.
  • Pay attention to non-verbal communication.
  • Remember that real solutions are not always immediately obvious.
  • Patience.

How to set up a “HUB” group/network
Projects vs. initiative in community vs. hub
Projects – consensus decision-making — how to collaborate
Heart Relationships how to connect, underlying Inner Transition
Lifting everyone up
Personal growth; interpersonal
Trust; trust in group

Open Space Technology

Regional Projects
Where are the Gaps? Where are the Vulnerabilities?

Connecting/networking – support/foster/enhance
Alternative Energy & energy efficiency
Hillsborough Alternative energy Resource Initiative
Monadnock energy resource initiative

Dave McConville/Nicole Colvin Griffin – permaculturists
Urban homestead
Kitchen garden
Container gardens
NESEA solar/energy efficient home tour – first weekend in October
Transition neighborhoods (Barbara needs gardening help)
Habitat for Humanity – Re-store (place to recycle building materials)
Transition US — Home and Garden Challenge –Nationwide for month of May

Antrim/Bennington — Manchester
Area 23 827 Page St. Manchester Reskilling workshops, Shire — Manchester co-op
Regional energy networking – how to bring it together?
Raising awareness of parenting – Parents Connection

Under-served retirees – cultivating community assistance
? Enhance community connections, relationships

Incubator for skills training
? Craftspeople
? Buildings – restoration
? Reskilling
Master Apprenticeship Program

Milford Mallards
Neighborhood — revisioning solar – shared PV system
SHARE weekly dinner site at old Knights of Columbus (solar system?)
UU church – lots of community building opportunities
Amy Conley – Arts and the Natural Environment

Wilton Wingnuts & Temple & Hollis
Allison Jimenez (High Mowing) – connect adolescents, connect adolescents to the community (mutual help, positive action, being a positive influence)
Barbara Thorngren – Youth Council/Hub
Whitney Carpenter – Straw bale garden
Bread oven, rocket stoves
Food Co-op – Culinary Incubator (Barre VT)

Ways to Create Social Change – Insights and Limitations
Hands on (Do!)
Lead by doing (set examples)
Easiest to get others involved
Practical – got something done, got other’s attention and perhaps appreciation
Less frustrating
Effective when people can see the results.
Sometimes little or no focus, confusing as to what intent/point is
Very local – may not translate to larger change
Could be impermanent – no change in attitude or lifestyle

Ideas, Beliefs, Values, Spirituality, Worldview, Language
Ideas motivate behavior
Cassirer’s view: philosophers lead culture – all great ideas end up in the Readers Digest
You can kill ideas and motivation by talking too much
People are very attached to their ideas to the point of dogmatism
sometimes experience “confirmation bias” where they fail to recognize their ideas failures or evidence to the contrary.

Politics Elections
Democratic Citizenship
System is already set up!
Power and recognition are built in
Respect and resources are also built in
Socially accepted
Better than an authoritarian police state

Susceptible to the influence of money
Dirty tricks are also tempting to those in power.
Power corrupts!

Carrot Mobs
Buying local
Make your own
Land Trusts

Targeted Investment/Consumption will cause shifts in business direction, priorities, and actions.

Outcomes can be unpredictable (unexpected consequences).
Can be out voted by wealthier groups
Doesn’t work for all areas.

Non-violent Social Change/Civil Disobedience
Direct, less hurdles, easy to orchestrate (really?)
Significant, media worthy – does that create a spectacle
Statement of significance/beliefs
At a certain scale, it can be very, very impressive
Have to be disciplined/trained
Controversial tactic can result in negative associations
Not for everyone

Violence/Property Destruction

Inner Transition

How to help people with their wounds:
Offer them a simple/complex task, depending on the situation
Validate them by paying attention.
• Listen
• Re-iterate what you’ve heard them say
• Appreciate them
Inner attitude – fake it till you make it
Honor people, acknowledge them.
Noticing People
Inquiring – asking them questions, saying thank you, appreciating and thanking them
Invite introductions – include 1 positive life experience
Teach active listening without judgment
Invite group to create Agreements
(Pre) educate group about hidden wounds that can present themselves unexpectedly
Ice-breaker activities
Facilitator can share a level playing field
Small (and large) group exercises
Start with check-in – opportunities to be recognized, give people a chance to say what they came to say, perhaps.
Feature a “theme” – a small thing where individuals can make a difference
Film/speaker/group conversation
“how someone made a difference in your life”
What is your point of access/connection to the issue?

Outer agenda can include a goal – choreboard
Tasks posted & individuals make notes of interests/needs
“outer powerlessness” is addressed this way.

Lack of money (sense of shame)
1) Emphasize others gifts
2) Everyone has a gift – skills, talents
3) Groups have interests in every individual contributing to the whole
Lack of time
1) Allow flexible schedule.
2) Welcome what can be offered.
3) Tools to empower ( open space)
Lack of ideas – fear of not being able to contribute.
2) Holding space
3) Good listening

Hope for generations
Survival of the planet
It’s powerful

What should be taught
Family influence

Article written by Michael Conley

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