Rob Hopkins, founder of the international Transition Town movement, was welcomed to Letchworth last Wednesday by the local Transition Town group. Rob has been invited by David’s bookshop to launch his new book ‘’From What Is To What If”.
Rob explained that what Transition Towns offered to the climate conversation is hope. His current book is premised on the idea that innovation alone will not allow us to tackle climate change, what we will need is imagination. If we can imagine, and ‘draw’ how the world will look without fossil fuels, showing that it will be a more vibrant, social place than we have now, he believes people will start to support and embrace the change needed to move to a low carbon world.
Rob’s concern is that since the 1990s the education system has moved from one that encouraged imagination to one which is more focused on testing and goals. His talk, and his book, are full of examples of schools where imagination is nurtured, and places where people with imagination have already started to move to a vibrant future without fossil fuels. One such example is Liège in Belgium, where residents raised €5m and formed 21 cooperatives, including two farms, two vineyards, a brewery, and three shops in the centre of the city, with a pedal-powered business connecting it all together. Now 70% of all the food for the town’s schools comes from a local organic market garden. Just imagine what our local towns would be like if we followed Liège’s example.