June 2010

Day two of the Transition conference: crowd-shaping the future!

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It’s nine o’clock in the morning at the Transition Conference and time for Pattern Language. This is what I came here for. The new Transition Handbook will be based around pattern language, and as a member of the steering group in Sweden I feel it is imperative I get a handle on it.

Although I must admit it got off to a strange start. Sitting in a circle, we were all asked to express our feelings about how it feels to be a man/woman and how in my case, being a man can contribute positively to Transition. I get overwhelmed by my experience of living in Sweden where you get the feeling from many a woman that your manly attitudes, ways of thinking, predilection to follow your hormones rather than feelings and inability to put the toilet lid down are the root cause of all of Sweden’s troubles today and that if we would just get out of the way and let women show us how to do it all would be well.
I open my mouth to blurt out my inferiority complex and realise I have come to the wrong meeting. I am in the one about gender issues. I mumble something apologetic and start to leave, being followed by a couple of others. So I am relieved at least I am not the only one.Read More »Day two of the Transition conference: crowd-shaping the future!

The Units of Trust scheme investing in local, sustainable enterprises

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Units of trust are simple investment devices based on preferential debentures. Put simply, you invest money in a company you purchase from regularly. You do not get back money primarily from the company, but you get what money can buy – goods, services, or use of physical assets. When you wish, you can get the original investment back.

Of course, any company can issue an investment instrument like this, but we believe a local scheme has several advantages.

1) Education: the effort needed to explain to the public and to entrepreneurs is shared amongst those companies participating

2) Recognition. Local consumers will recognise the scheme and a shared scheme carries more credibility

3) Comparison. If units are valued similarly across the board, investors will be able to compare and contrast offerings from local companies.Read More »The Units of Trust scheme investing in local, sustainable enterprises