Strategic issues and other framing questions
- How to consider ICLEI initiatives? - How to not limit this survey at ECOLISE partners but also allow a greater focus on them? - Will Colibris integrate ECOLISE or not?
Some initial thoughts
When I was editing the contents page, I was thinking this page should make sense both from logic of the commons repository page, as well as a report table of contents, so i started writing as if the report is already writen - using present tense - following the idea that I got from Tom that this is first a knowledge commons repository and second a report (to be extracted from the repository). Most of the links derive from the table sections (the table we shared yesterday) e.g. number of CLI etc....Also I've named it 'knowledge commons based report', rather than status report, but feel free to change, it's just that I thought the title of the report should somehow reflect what we aim to do - which in my view is really innovative: so we are co-creating a knowledge commons, that will hopefully continue to evolve and grow, as other people come in and continue building on it, and while we do that we have these periodic reports - so now we are doing the first one - where we provide the most updated picture of CLI in Europe, or maybe eventually it will grow to include a worldwide review. So that is my vision so far, and i got it from Tom and Gil, so I think it's your vision too. This makes me think that 'status report' does not fully grasp what we are doing, that is why I've named it knowledge commons based report - but maybe that is not the best name either...anyway something to discuss.
- Following our discussion on Skype this morning I've removed the knowledge commons from the title and put in more in the background. --Tom Henfrey (talk) 16:42, 3 October 2017 (CEST)
Although I will be gathering contents for the many pages, i will not start those pages unless we agree on the name for the links...so there is not a confusion and we have a lot of pages/names/links for the same think. I've got that much now. I only advanced with the page on Community-Led Initiatives because Tom suggested yesterday - to have a page that defines this (the page still needs a lot of work, but I just started it...).
- I've started some of these - careful thought at this point will hopefully minimise the number of changes, but when they happen we'll just have to pu tit up with it! --Tom Henfrey (talk) 16:42, 3 October 2017 (CEST)
Also US or UK English is fine by me, I tend to write US, but i can manage UK too.
- I'm thinking that this will be very hard to manage consistently across the site, particularly when we have a larger user community. So maybe we just let people use whatever comes most naturally, then we edit for consistency in the Status Report itself, after finalising the text structurally.--Tom Henfrey (talk) 16:42, 3 October 2017 (CEST)
User:Ines16:22, 27 September, 2017
Structure and Scope of Contents Page (and others)
When I started editing the text, it occurred to me that this would read better more as a list of contents and description of the report, with most of the information in other pages. For example, the existing background text under the first chapter can go into a page of its own (that also gives background for the wiki), and link to others. I might give this a try... --(talk) 16:13, 3 October 2017 (CEST)User: Tom Henfrey
- I've started this, I think it works fine for the Introduction and Chapter 2 (and Chapter is easy to envisage as a series of country pages); Chapters 3 and 4 probably need more work --Tom Henfrey (talk) 17:12, 3 October 2017 (CEST)
Chapter 2: Networks' Analyses
Chapter Leader: Gil Penha-Lopes
Community-led initiatives in Europe by sectoral domain: although most CLIs deal with crosscutting issues, some locate their action predominantly within one or more specific domains. This overview addresses the following key domains (although examples of CLI working within other domains may be given): Food, Energy, Transport, Waste, Water, Economy, Forestry and Biodiversity, Civic Engagement.
I am waiting for some information from TN, PA-UK and GEN. (Gil Penha-Lopes, April 30th, 2018)
"The most frequent primary overarching themes addressed by the transition initiatives were food (96 cases), energy (45 cases) and education (28) (multiple choice question). In 15 cases the transition initiatives first addressed more than one theme simultaneously" (Feola and Nunes 2013:241)
Geographical locations of community-led initiatives in Europe: Factors affecting distribution of CLIs - e.g. mapping, cultural, socio-economic, infrastructural. 'Institutionalisation' of community where it is absent? Obsolescence as measure of success?
I am waiting for some information from TN, PA-UK and GEN. (Gil Penha-Lopes, April 30th, 2018)
Estimated numbers of community-led initiatives in Europe;
Numbers of beneficiaries of community-led initiatives in Europe, including: number of jobs created and volunteers involved.
(5 to 10 pages)
Chapter 4: Success, Replication, Scaling-Up and Indicators
Chapter leader: Gil Penha-Lopes
Drawing on major conclusions from the EU and country-level overviews in Chapters 1 and 2, in order to address Objective 3, Chapter 3 focuses on:
- Evaluation and monitoring of community-led initiatives, considering, as key measures of success:
- The capacity of these initiatives to emerge;
TN "The majority of transition initiatives was considered very or fairly successful. The percentage of successful transition initiatives was higher among active than non-active transition initiatives" (Feola and Nunes 2013:239) "Transition initiatives tended to define success in terms of four classes of factors, which we labelled human, external, organisation and resources." (Feola and Nunes 2013:239) "The most highly mentioned characteristics (more than 80 times) of a successful transition initiative were the critical mass of active volunteers or members (human), which mirrors the community involvement in the grassroots initiative, and the ability to produce practical effects and achieve concrete goals in the community (organisation), i.e. not to limit the activities to informational or awareness-raising campaigns, but rather to produce change in, for example, technologies and practices. A highly cited (69 times) human factor was also the capacity to sustain motivation, enthusiasm and to promote a positive, ambitious approach." (Feola and Nunes 2013:239) "characteristics that was frequently mentioned (26 to 39 times) was related to the principles that guide participation in a successful transition initiative, which were considered to revolve around positivity, fun, conviviality and sense of community." (Feola and Nunes 2013:240) "Among the organisation factors, two areas can be distinguished: outreach and internal group management." (Feola and Nunes 2013:240) "Among the external factors, partnership with different local actors (with other informal organisations or the local authorities) was also frequently considered to contribute to the success of a transition initiative." (Feola and Nunes 2013:240) "Overall, it is apparent that the transition initiatives' subjective understanding of success tended to be based on internal rather than external factors." (Feola and Nunes 2013:240) "In about half the cases the transition initiatives were founded on the basis of a pre-existing group (e.g. other grassroots organisation) and the group of founders was on average about 10 people, although a significant variation was observed in this respect." (Feola and Nunes 2013:241) "The majority of transition initiatives (64%) were constituted in a legal form and were officially recognised by the Transition Network (57%). On average, it took transition initiatives 10 months to become official." (Feola and Nunes 2013:241) "In 29% of cases no steering group member of the transition initiative had ever attended a transition training course and in 18% of cases no member had attended permaculture training or had permaculture knowledge. Overall, on average about three steering group members had transition training from the Transition Network and two had permaculture training or knowledge, but high variation within groups was observed. The ratio of steering group members with transition or permaculture training to the total of steering group members was 0.45 and 0.36 (i.e. less than one in two and about one in three) respectively." (Feola and Nunes 2013:241)
- The capacity of these initiatives to persist;
"Place-based and practical projects are vulnerable to a problem of scalar mismatch, when narrow technical solutions are offered as remedies for problems such as poverty or environmental degradation that are driven by structural rather than technical issues (Smith et al. 2014)." (Ferguson and Lovell 2015:2)
"Cluster 1. Cluster 1 groups transition initiatives that tended to be very or fairly successful, and to be located in villages, rural areas or towns. In comparison with transition initiatives in other clusters, these transition initiatives were mostly initiated by a larger group of founders." (Feola and Nunes 2013:247) "They tended to have a steering group with members trained in Transition and/or permaculture," (Feola and Nunes 2013:247) "organised in, for example, thematic or project-based subgroups" (Feola and Nunes 2013:248) "The steering group tended to be larger and to invest a higher number of hours than transition initiatives in other clusters" (Feola and Nunes 2013:248) "transition initiatives in this cluster tended to get at least part of their funds from external sources and were very well connected to other actors in the local context, which were generally perceived as favourable towards the transition initiatives." (Feola and Nunes 2013:248)
Conflicts TN "Conflicts were, in general, minor and resolved. 49 transition initiatives had had no significant conflict. Reasons for conflicts were i) strategy, direction and priorities of the transition initiative (55 transition initiatives), ii) decision-making, responsibilities or internal management (including time management and leadership) (36 transition initiatives), iii) issues in a specific project (e.g. how to develop an activity) (25 transition initiatives), iv) personalities (9 transition initiatives), and v) communication with other actors (how to do it and what message to communicate) (7 transition initiatives). The vastly predominant strategy for conflict resolution was based on discussion, mediation and consensus-building, which either followed a formal or a more spontaneous protocol, but in several cases (10 transition initiatives) one or more persons left the group after the conflict (not shown in table)." (Feola and Nunes 2013:243)
Financial capacity TN "about 60% of the transition initiatives had developed forms of fundraising that included one or more of the following: grant applications, lotteries, public or private sponsorship, fundraising events, or the sale of self-produced goods. The most frequent sources of external funding were local authorities (49 transition initiatives), donations and sponsorships (e.g. from foundations, banks or other private organisations) (46 transition initiatives), and fundraising through events and sale of self-produced products (35 transition initiatives)." (Feola and Nunes 2013:243) "Transition initiatives that did not have access to external funds usually funded their activities through the members' own voluntary monetary contribution." (Feola and Nunes 2013:243)
Partnership TN "The majority of transition initiatives had established forms of cooperation or partnership with local authorities, local media, local business, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and other grassroots or activist groups, and other transition initiatives." (Feola and Nunes 2013:244) "We tested for correlation among the variables associated with the factor context, i.e. cooperation with other actors and favourable context. As expected, significant correlations were observed (Pearson correlation between 0.300 and 0.650): transition initiatives who cooperate with other actors tend to consider these actors positively, or vice versa" (Feola and Nunes 2013:247)
Diversity TN "we observed that diversity correlates significantly with success for city/urban transition initiatives but not for other types of transition initiatives, suggesting that the location (i.e. city/urban versus rural/town) influences directly the degree to which a transition initiative represents diversity in its community which, in turn, influences transition initiative success" (Feola and Nunes 2013:247)
General success (TN) "it is generally agreed that the success of grassroots innovations can be identified (i) through their social links to members of local communities, building capacity and empowering social actors (e.g. Middlemiss and Parrish, 2010), as well as (ii) through their external impact or contribution to improved environmental performance (Barthelmie et al., 2008), or different trajectories of systemic socio-technical innovation (e.g. Geels and Schot, 2007)." (Feola and Nunes 2013:251) "transition initiative members tend to focus on internal, and overlook external factors of transition initiative success, which may be related to a lack of awareness of their environment, of skills to engage with it, or the need to focus on the most controllable factors in early stages of development." (Feola and Nunes 2013:254) "our research suggests that transition initiatives remain largely determined by situated processes despite their interdependence with a global action network like the Transition Movement. In other words local and global 'place attachments' encourage pro-environmental behaviour, but local contextual factors largely determine the success and failure of associated community initiatives" (Feola and Nunes 2013:255) "whilst the Transition Network seems capable of generalising organisational principles of good practice from 'unique' local experiences that may have global application, our results suggest that local place attachments among urban transition initiatives are weak and not compensated by their interdependent links to global action networks." (Feola and Nunes 2013:255)
- If or how initiatives scale up or replicate, including: referring to the number of spinoffs/follow initiatives;
TN "The graphic shows that the number of transition initiatives in the four countries has steadily increased over the past eight years, but the rate of increase has slowed down in all countries, although more markedly in Great Britain" (Feola and Him 2016:2114) "The maps clearly show that in all four countries the diffusion of the Transition Network has been spatially uneven and has penetrated little in most of France, Germany and Italy, where the Network has a shorter history, with most units featuring one transition initiative." (Feola and Him 2016:2114) "This graphic suggests that transition initiatives may be more likely to emerge in some geographical areas than in others, identifies such hotand cold-spots and calls for better comprehending where grassroots innovations emerge. This will help to uncover possible common characteristics of transitions in place and support the emergence and diffusion of alternatives to the unsustainable economies of neoliberal capitalism." (Feola and Him 2016:2114)
- New audiences captured, new spaces created;
TN The post-political critique correctly identifies that Transition in practice still tends to be found in well-off locations, comprising well-resourced individuals assiduously disavowing conflict or disagreement, with consensus seen as a great virtue. Their spread from Totnes has been geographically uneven. This emphasises and repeats already existing patterns of privilege, or ‘hot spots’ (Feola and Him, 2016: 2114) of ‘alternative milleus’ (Longhurst, 2013) rather than challenge or reconfigure these, as has been claimed for the diversity of the movement (Grossmann and Creamer, 2016). However, this analysis can overlook the wide variety of activities (above, and table) Transition engage in. This range of activities then attracts a wide array of participants. (Aiken 2017:308528)
- Environmental indicators (e.g. reduced carbon emissions); and
- Contributions to environment and social justice.
barriers to success: "literature has highlighted several factors that hinder the diffusion of grassroots innovations. For example, it has been noted that grassroots innovations, like many volunteer organisations, often struggle with securing and sustaining participation over time (Seyfang and Smith, 2007; Hoffman and High-Pippert, 2010; Middlemiss and Parrish, 2010; Smith, 2011; Wells, 2011). Grassroots innovations often rely on volunteers, which limit their ability to promote innovation in the community (Kirwan et al., 2013; Ornetzelder and Rohracher, 2013), and often rely on low levels of financial resources (Middlemiss and Parrish, 2010), which have been shown to be key to supporting learning processes (Seyfang and Longhurst, 2013). Ideological disputes, e.g. between political and apolitical strands, also have been identified to create internal conflict and to act as a barrier to the successful development of grassroots innovations (Smith, 2011), while the management of expectations has been argued to be one of the most difficult aspects for the internal group governance of grassroots innovations (Seyfang and Longhurst, 2013). Finally, grassroots innovations do not always mirror the diversity (e.g. ethnic) of local communities, consequently struggling to establish strong links with the wider community of place (Seyfang and Smith, 2007; Smith, 2011; Wells, 2011). On the other hand, networking with other local or global actors, including other grassroots innovations, can significantly support the process of niche building (Seyfang and Longhurst, 2013)." (Feola and Nunes 2013:235)
- Characterize how CLIs are performing in terms of:
- carbon reduction (avoided emissions, due to the presence of these initiatives)
- effects on social capital
- effects on social inclusion
TN "Overall, less than half of the transition initiatives represent the diversity in their community fairly or very well. The transition initiative members predominantly belong to the age range 30-65 years old," (Feola and Nunes 2013:241) "On a related note, our results also confirm that the level of diversity representation and inclusivity is lowest among urban transition initiatives." (Feola and Nunes 2013:253)
Permaculture Results showed the participation of women at or above parity (53%), while participation by race showed a white supermajority (96%). Multivariate regression demonstrated that race, gender, and socioeconomic status are shaping participation in distinct ways and that each interact with structural factors. The effects of gender on social roles varied with ecosystem vitality, with women scoring higher than men in countries with high levels of ecosystem vitality, and the reverse where ecosystem vitality was low. The observed effect of race on practice varied with national inequality, such that the scores of respondents of color were equivalent to white respondents in countries with the least inequality, but descended as inequality increased, while whites were unaffected. (Ferguson and Lovell 2015:1)
- innovation (including technological, economic and financial innovation).
- Community-led initiatives and the Sustainable Development Goals.
GEN 2017 survey report Gaia Education and SDG
- Explicitly refering back to the core scientific and societal issues explained in the introduction and demonstrates how the overview of CLIs in Europe provides key insights into pathways for sustainability.
(max 6 pages)