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Transitioning to a Resilient Portland, Sept. 25-26

St. Francis Church Dining Hall
1182 SE Pine St
Portland, Oregon 97214, US (map)



The Transition Initiative in Portland invites you to meet with us to begin planning and organizing an effort to build community resilience in the face of climate change, rising energy costs and economic decline.  Building on work started by many organizations, we will put into action energy descent planning around a variety of aspects; neighborhood organizing; coalition building with partner groups; and a holistic vision of how we can cope with major changes in our lives.  In the process we will create stronger communities and more satisfying lives based on sharing and cooperation. 

You’re welcome to come whether you are already committed or just curious about the possibilities.   If you’re working with a neighborhood or a group with a related mission, we invite you to come and explore how different groups and communities can network and link together in a shared effort to build a lower-carbon future.  Also, we urge you to circulate this notice to your group and anyone else you think should be there. 

Heres the program: 

  • Keynote speaker Friday evening, September 25, 7:30 pm.  Karen Lanphear s a co-founder of the Sandpoint Transition Initiative in Idaho.  She believes that within each community there lies an enormous pool of power that can be unleashed when people start working together on a common vision, and that education and building strong community coalitions can change the world.  Her presentation will include what is unique about the Transition model, Sandpoint’s experience in developing it, and their main challenges and how they came up with solutions.  Karen’s talk will be followed by a social in the church dining hall downstairs.  $10 donation, no one turned away.
  • How Can We Build a Resilient Portland?  An Open Space Day, Saturday, September 26, 9:00-5:00.  Bring your ideas, passions and enthusiasm and participate in designing the movement – suggesting what is needed and discussing how to make it happen.  This powerful process will enable us to walk out at the end of the day with a road map for creating our future.  Coffee, tea and snacks will be available.  Lunch will be brown bag or at nearby cafes.  No charge for the day but donations appreciated.  

What we choose to focus on is up to you.  The Open Space format enables the people who come to create the agenda.  Anyone can suggest a topic to discuss on Saturday based on the theme of creating resilience.  If people choose to show up and discuss that topic, and to create an action team, it will become a part of the overall project. Some examples of projects that have emerged in other Transition Towns are  

  • Food
  • Transportation
  • Housing
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Arts and Music
  • ReSkilling - (re)learning the low tech skills of our forebears
  • Neighborhood organizing and support
  • Outreach and publicity
  • Heart and soul - learning and helping others to cope with the psychological, spiritual and social sides of change
  • Local currency
  • Working with local government
  • Administrative tasks such as Training and Finances 

Later Saturday you will have a chance to sign on for any projects you have energy for and begin work toward crafting and implementing Energy Descent Action Plans.  There will also be an opportunity to connect with others from your neighborhood.  

We are very excited about moving toward a more cooperative and joyful future.  The knowledge of what to do already exists; it’s just scattered throughout the community.  This is the beginning of our tapping and integrating that knowledge, making it available to everyone, and putting it to work in a plan for resilient communities.

So please pass this on to anyone you think should be there.  There’s a lot needing to be done to create a resilient future in our region for ourselves and our children.  Please join us and help shape that future. 

And thanks to our cosponsors: 

  • Bright Neighbor
  • Center for Earth Leadership
  • City Repair
  • Common Good Finance
  • Portland Permaculture Guild
  • Portland Peak Oil
  • ReCode Oregon
  • St. Francis of Assisi Church
  • Transition Sunnyside
  • TLC Farm
  • Washington County Peak Oil