From ROB HOPKINS
Finally! It’s here! After what feels like years of hard graft (but was really only 9 months or so) the REconomy Project website is now live. What a relief, I can tell you. What started out as one of those conversations in the team that go “hmmm I think we need to build a totally new website of our own, so it does exactly what we want – I can knock up a wordpress template based site in a few days” has turned into something rather more labour intensive. This is a bit like the thinking that went “we need a 5 minute video for the homepage, that will probably take a couple of hours” and then consumed over 27 hours of time! It’s been quite a learning curve for us. But we’re delighted with the result, and we hope you like it too.
The website provides the latest tools and resources that can help you build a local economy where you live. We have tried to organise them all in a logical way so you can find what you need. Trying to figure out the navigation of the website has taken more time than anything else, and led to the most heated arguments.
Here’s a linked picture of one of the webpages just to give you flavour of one of the many great posts.
We realise that each of us has a different approach to viewing and moving through websites, and to try and be all things to all people is impossible. We hope the options we have provided work for you – please let us know if not. This is only the first version of the website, it’s functional but there are still a number of things we are working on so you will see changes to design, content, navigation etc. over the next few months. We will then do a wider public launch of the website at the TN conference, more on this later.
We’re pleased with what we have collected together at this stage, but there are certainly gaps and omissions. This is the first of many requests for you to send us better resources if you have them, and we will share them with everyone via the website. This work is just getting started in most places, and we look forward to seeing how this wealth of knowledge and learning grows over time.
For example, if you are involved with a great example of a Transition enterprise, please share a case study with us, so others can be inspired by what you are doing. If you have found a successful way to talk to your local councils and get them involved with your economic work, let us know. If you have a vision for your local economy, we’d love to see it. If you are engaging your local businesses with Transition, share your secret! If you have new thinking about how alternative means of exchange can work in our communities…. and so on.
The website is only part of the REconomy Project offering – it’s where you come to find the resources you need. If you want to connect with others, ask questions, share your ideas, there’s also our facebook page and twitter feed. There’s already a lot of daily activity going on there – come and ‘like’ us and please tell your friends.
As well as this online stuff, we are planning a number of regional and national gatherings, where those of us interested in local economies and new enterprises can meet in person and share what we know. The first REconomy Project gathering is on Friday 14th September in London (the Transition Conference starts later that day at the same venue). All are welcome – more info soon. We are also developing some online training to help you build the skills you might need to do this work.
So it feels like the experience of building the website (and this project overall) has reflected in many ways the uncertain, and continually unfolding progress of Transition. At times it’s exciting and engaging, and often it’s rather tedious and requires hours and hours on the (bloody) laptop. What starts as one idea rapidly expands into something richer, more integrated and that in turn seeds other new ideas and projects. It’s work that stretches and fulfils, challenges and rewards, frustrates and transforms. Any paid work is vastly supplemented by unpaid work, and regardless, all work is done for the love of it.
I’d like to thank all of the team who have contributed to this work so far, including the ten TIs – it has been a pleasure to work with you. In particular, to Shane Hughes, for efforts way above and beyond the call of duty on the website, thank you.
We all believe that healthy, sustainable, vibrant local economies, that aim to grow the happiness and wellbeing of everyone in the local community, are essential to the overall success of Transition. We hope that www.reconomyproject.org will give you some help and support, if this is something that excites you too…