I read the paper last night and had exactly the same reaction as Alex. These conclusions provide important learning for all of us working at Transition (or any other group effort). Now I am thinking about how we can make them even more available to everyone on the site.
It's fantastic reading your responses to my research. I'd like to join the conversation to say that I agree with Alex that my conclusions seem like the stuff of common sense, but that it is a common sense that is mostly missing from our daily lives. Very few groups or organizations give people the opportunity to connect with each other in these simple ways, and we are all so hungry for that connection.
Something that I think has been critical to Putney people's embrace of Transition: The core organizing group has focused on building community as being the most important aspect of what we're doing. We've agreed that being open, and welcoming, and supportive to any and all is our top priority, and that we have to embody those ideas, not just talk about them. I think the sense of friendliness and acceptance this has created is somehow contagious. It's changing the way people in Putney relate to one another. It has made coming together to face the challenges of the future a really positive thing because being a part of a fun, active, vibrant group where you feel confident of your place and confident that you will be welcomed is something we all want. It seems that starting with the focus on community, and building from there, has allowed many more community members to engage with and trust in the group than if the focus were on something different.
Initially, I feel worried that focusing first on community will put less emphasis on "addressing the issues".