Our Resilient Livelihoods theme is focusing on how we can create new community based businesses to help make the local economy more resilient to impacts from climate change, peak oil, resource depletion and economic uncertainty. The aim is that such businesses would provide a fair income for their employees, as well as being resilient themselves.
As one of 10 Transition initiatives in the UK selected to participate in the REconomy (Renewing the Local Economy) project, our Resilient Livelihoods theme is also getting some support from the Transition Network, mainly in the form of advice and sharing best practice.
Our first Resilient Livelihoods meeting generated some issues for our two delegates, Dano and John, to take to the inaugural REconomy project meeting in Totnes. At our second meeting, Dano and John reported back and led some excellent discussions on the kind of businesses that participants could envisage.
We started last week’s meeting with a review of the need for more resilient livelihoods in Ipswich. We then moved onto an exercise which involved randomly selecting businesses from yellow pages and placing them on a matrix of community and job resilience. We placed each business where we thought it is now, and decided the direction we’d expect it to move in future. We felt that most businesses would increase in overall resilience, one wouldn’t change and another would either decline in overall resilience, or transform and grow. This type of analysis should help us decide where to focus our efforts as we develop the resilient livelihoods theme. The matrix we produced is shown below.
Next we did an NLP-style visioning exercise, travelling to a future, resilient Ipswich and noticing what Resilient Livelihoods we saw there. Here are some of the things we discovered:
- More community networks will evolve
- Community based teaching and skill sharing will be widespread
- People will have a greater understanding of the links between different parts of the community and the local economy
- The Waterfront will become a working dock again, supporting agriculture and allied trade – timber, grain etc
- People will be more willing and able to walk to work
- We’ll have more diverse shops providing more locally sourced goods and food, along with imported preserves and other desirable goods
- Ipswich will have more repair services and parts shops and the “throw away era” will be forgotten
- There will be a greater emphasis on practical items such as batteries and repairable items like analogue electronics
Finally we drafted an action timeline for the next 12 months and beyond.
It’s just possible to read the post-it notes if you zoom in and select full size, and a more legible version will be posted here when it’s ready.
If you’re not already involved in this theme, please join in. The more Ipswich people participate, the more resilient our community and local economy will become. You can either comment below or post on the forum. Details of the next meeting will also be posted soon.