Monday, January 29, 2007

Planet Positive: Smart Ideas Shared

I have just returned from London where apart from meeting up with some good friends, I attended the inaugural meeting of Planet Positive.

The event was basically an opportunity to network with a lot of interesting people, but I would argue that some definite concrete actions will come of this; the event was also both salutary and inspiring.

Bellow i will add a few notes on my thoughts/involvement with the people and organisations. Any of the people there could do the same and highlight an entirely different set of connections and ideas from the meetings.

Alex Lees Climate Camp

Last year the largest coal fired power station in the UK (Drax) was targeted by the Camp for Climate Action. Roughly 500 people attend, this year the first meeting had around 100 participants and with the interest from last years media attention a doubling of numbers for the camp would--i think--be conservative. To get involved in the organising meetings or to find out more go here; join the mailing list and find upcoming dates.

Anarchist Teapot Anarchist Teapot
Andrew Leech 4ecotips
Ann Link Shared Energy
Brian Davis Creative Dream
Briony Greenhill Anti Apathy
Calvin Jones Climate Change Action Blog & CCC
Carla Wellings Flip Side Vision

  • Very nice/stark climate change calendar--an interesting way to get the message accross.

Chantal Cooke Passion for the Planet
  • Health and Environment radio station run by a very sharp business woman with definite ambition--a great place for getting green news across to those in the southwest. I suggested Marion Birch from MedAct as an interviewee, as MedAct are doing really good work with a strong focus on the Health/Environment interface.
Chris Church London 21
Christopher Le Breton Million Dollar Green Page

  • A veteran of the UNFCCC process and current environmental management advisor, Chris is also a part of the Green Lib-Dems. With some ambitious green business ideas and experience in international relations an alternative perspective was provided to the generally uk centric deep green environmental mood.
Dave Hampton The Carbon Coach

  • Dave had his 1m diameter purple balloon representing the volume of co2 that we each emmit per hour...this is an important part of his philosophy of making carbon visible (in this case literally but also financially, environmentally etc.,)
David Wasdell Meridian Programme
Deepak Rughani Alternatives
Diana Korchien Flip Side Vision
Duncan Law CCC
Ed Gillespie Futerra

  • One of the UK's only green marketing agencies and producer of the governments original climate change communications strategy. Futerra have two short reports about climate change, both of which are amazingly simple and deserve to be at hand when any campaign is being conceived or any materials produced. I`m hoping that they may also be able to help a soon to be launched campaign called 'The Climate Justice Project (tCJP)' to effectively communicate it's message.
Eliot Lyne Sea Change
Fatemeh Eskandarypur The Save The Planet Club
Hamish Wills Sustainable Redland
Helen Gilbert St Ethelburga's & One Earth Seminars
Isobel McConnan COIN Facilitators
Jean Leston CEL Operation Noah & WEN

  • Jean is new to WEN and seems keen to move on climate change as an important issue within WEN, lobbying of government is going to be a new experience but hopefully some of the planet positive workshops added some positive suggestions to this undertaking.
Jim Cogan Good Earth Trust

  • Involved with a simple yet brilliant plan for reducing deforestation in Africa at the same time as reducing fuel costs and saving time. Generally bricks have to be fired, this takes a large amount of wood to produce charcoal that is then used to heat the bricks for an extended time. This is all made redundant when you know that if you remove the topsoil from the ground throughout much of southern Africa you have ready access to subsoil that can be mixed with a small quantity of cement and then compressed to form Stabilised Soil Blocks, that can then be used for creating buildings, water storage tanks, septic tanks etc., the latest version are ISSB's --they also interlock.
Jim Roland Levy CCC & Biofuelwatch
  • Jim setup a session on biofuels and 'pugwash' (much to the confusion of our American participants). The overview of biofuels and there currently unsustainable development was a valuable contribution to the days general exchange of ideas and more specifically may lead to some contact between carbonsense and biofuelswatch.

Jo Abbess workface & BLACKOUT LONDON
  • Jo was at the centre of this whole thing. Thanks Jo! The other organisers of the event where Dave, Nathalie, Duncan and Jonathan.

Jonathan Bootland Sustainable Development Foundation
Jonathan Elliott TalkAction
Jonathan Essex CCC & Green Party
Laurie Michaelis QGA
Karen Deignan EcoCentric
Mali Abili Contaminant Media
Mark Williamson What You Can Do
Matt Sellwood COIN
Mike Jones Quantum Consultancy
Naresh G. Giangrande Transition Town Totnes
Nathalie Koerfer Prophets of Hope & CCC

  • Energetic and organised, prophets of hope and CCC have benefited remarkably from Nathalie's involvement and her numerous creative connections may well be of benefit to tCJP.
Niel Bowerman Oxford University Students Union
Peter Robinson Derby Campaign against Climate Change
  • Interesting campaigner with a strong drive to engage with his local council...lessons from his approach fro CCC in Aberdeen i feel.
Phil England Climate Radio
Poppy Lyle London Rising Tide
  • Radical anarchist Poppy Lyle* seemed somewhat at sea: The unwillingness of other members to help in the organising of an explosive attack on BA was one issue, another was her appearance...the tinfoil hat apparently protecting her from the Met Police and it's evil mind reading equipment was slightly to conspicuous.
Rebecca Passmore TalkAction
Robin Gwyntopher Cartoon Kate
Roy Tindle Faith Sustains
Sam Gordon Good Earth Trust
  • Blackout London gets its first paid member of staff to start a sustained campaign in order to build on the modest success of this years first event.
Theresa McManus PA21 TGWS
Tim Baster Campaign against Climate Change
Tom Rivett-Carnac Carbonsense
  • Working at carbonsense, very much apart of the growing CSR movement, its always a question of where change is best effected but the dynamism of the business sector and the growing awareness of both the financial gains to be made through efficiency and positive branding make this an interesting area of work. Currently working on biofuels for some large corporates, I made clear my reservations on the viability of this energy source as did Jim Roland, I think that biofuelswatch will be having futher correspondence.

Vrinda Manglik Oxford University Students C&C Campaign

  • New recruit to the cause of contraction and convergence, sharp Californian studying at Oxford and coordinating a soon to be launched campaign that is going into 60 universities nationwide "The Climate Justice Project: A Student-led Campaign for Contraction & Convergence". Of all the projects that i heard spoken about at the meeting, this seemed like the most interesting and potentially significant. I am keen to leverage the contacts made at Planet Positive to help this campaign affect British NGO's. There is mixed support for C&C amongst uk environmental organisations but widespread support amongst there members so with a bit of catalysis there may be potential for change.

The overall day plan was as follows:

10.00 am Doors open
  • Registration
  • Make your mark on the Activist Dot Chart to show your areas of
  • concern for the day

10.30 am Informal networking

11.00 am Formal Offering
  • Speed networking exercise "Carbon Dating"
  • 2 Dimensional Space Positioning exercise "Where would you put yourself ?"
  • Presentation of COIN Climate Action Group model
  • Rapid-fire Feedback from various Climate Action Groups : "Get
  • Local. Get Active."
  • Matchmaking : An active way of discovering what people want to do
  • group work on

12.15 am Power Pitch
  • Working Groups sell ideas for the afternoon sessions. People signup. 2 minutes per speaker.

1.00 pm Lunch
  • "Wonderwall" (add your ideas to the wall charts on a range of topics)
  • Hot Topic Zone (the stuff that was parked from the earlier sessions)

2.00 pm - 3.15 pm Breakout Groups

3.45 pm - 5 pm Breakout Groups

5.00 pm - 5.30 pm Next Steps
  • Where do we go from here ? Taking it forward.
*Note Poppy is in fact not dangerous (under normal circumstances), not insane or predisposed to violent revolution: the paragraph above was for entirely fatuous.

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