Visioning in Transition

Where do we want to go in the future?  So often we are steeped in the story of competition, growth, fear, industrial development, that we don't take the time to create other opportunities, to the detriment of our health, our families and our environment. The creative process of imagining a different future allows us to connect to a new cultural story.  Visioning engages our imagination and touches new possibilities.

'Don't think you're on the right road just because it's a well-beaten path.'- Anonymous

Visioning allows us to explore possibilities with protracted consideration and come up with some tangible opportunities of how to get there. How can we address some of the dysfunctionalities of our society in our vision for the future? What if the future could be better than today?

Visioning can take many shapes and forms, whether it is with a local community group, for yourself, or with larger regional groups.  You might want to choose a time scale, maybe 3 years or 10 years and draw out what you want to see.  What would it feel like?  What will you be doing?  Who will be involved?  What kinds of projects would be happening? Then make that vision beautiful and display it, and refer back to it so that you can keep on track!

ASYV in 2016, after three years away, I couldn't believe how much the trees had grown!

Here are a couple examples of a future visions from the Transition Network:

"Urban Agriculture
In a Transition world, food will be grown closer to home, organically, in intensive systems that enhance biodiversity, and we'll all have the skills to do it.  It will change the way our towns and cities look and feel."
 "Community Energy
Energy generation, where possible, will be in community ownership.  This brings many benefits to local economies, creates jobs and recentralises power (in both meanings of the term). "

The top floor of the public library in Kigali- a vision of co-working, business incubator, artist space.

 The creation of your future vision might also involve going through sector by sector like what would our future built environment look like? education? transportation?  Or you could just choose one area that you are very passionate about and want  to work towards.  For more tips on visioning check out the Transition Network resources.

kLab- hack space, open IT lab for entrepreneurs in Kigali

 Why shouldn't a community control and decide what is happening in their community?   If you think about it, often times it is big business that comes in and decides development priorities instead of the people who actually live there.  Why is this?  Why is development done to a community instead of by a community? Instead of NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard), why shouldn't communities be actively cultivating SWIMBY (Something Wonderful In My Back Yard)? 

One example of this is the Atmos Project in Totnes.  This is a project that is being developed by the Totnes Community Development Society, as a key piece of infrastructure and local economic opportunity.  The defunct dairy factory lay in waste beside the Totnes train station for several years before the community came together to vision how the infrastructure and space could be used to develop wonderful economic opportunities.  The project is continuing forward as 'The Heart of the New Economy' for Totnes.

So here's the crux of the matter. We have no idea what a sustainable society looks like in 2017.  Our society and world is rapidly changing.  Every day we have new technology, new politics, changes in biological productivity, changes in climate... we have innumerable challenges and opportunities. That being said, the only way to create a sustainable future is to start a vision and then take the first steps towards this.  Sometimes, our steps might not work, but we need to start creating models of living with others, on the one planet we call home. We start by creating a future vision of a beautiful world, and then make it happen.

"Humans are capable of a unique trick, creating realities by first imagining them, by experiencing them in their minds... As soon as we sense the possibility of a more desirable world, we begin behaving differently, as thought that world is starting to come into existence, as though, in our mind's eye, we are already there. The dream becomes an invisible force which pulls us forward." Brian Eno


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