In our present day and time, opportunities abound to find oneself lost in a sea of existential despair and overwhelm. Some are finding respite in the ingenuity, vision, and active hope modeled by a growing “movement ecosystem” of networks.
Bravely working to confront the most challenging issues of our time, this movement is spreading like purpose-driven mycelium, masterfully working to connect and share ideas, information, and infrastructure. As Transition US Executive Director, Don Hall puts it: “We can do a whole lot better than doing less bad”. Indeed, around the world and in our own communities across the country, there is a growing recognition of the power that comes from meaningfully centering and uplifting the creativity and genius of grassroots mobilizations and frontline communities.
A Movement Rooted in Action: The 2021 ReGenerative Communities Summit
Deeply invested in this spirit of transformation and community-led strategy, participants in the 2021 ReGenerative Communities Summit, came together over the course of 16 days to form a “virtual village”, connecting with cultural leaders, change agents, and comrades through programming designed to instigate heartfelt and courageous reflection as well as thoughtful and committed action. Integrating the service of alternative social media platform Mighty Networks, summit goers had the opportunity to interact in the ReGenerative Communities portal, engaging in thoughtful dialogue, network weaving, and community-building.
How do we regenerate our collective imagination? — Rob Hopkins
Opening with prayer and song offered by Michael “Pom” Preston of the Winnemem Wintu people helped to create a transformative and heartfelt space. Pom drew inspiration from his ancestral homelands and the power of Indigenous wisdom and systems of relationality and care. A guiding light throughout the summit experience was our commitment to honoring and reclaiming our ways of living in right relationship with one another and the land. Transition co-founder, Rob Hopkins, offered a powerful invitation to explore the liberatory power of collective imagination and to lean into our powers of persistence.
Plenary sessions featured the voices of author Daniel Christian Wahl, Lyla June Johnston, Emily Kawano, John Lui of Ecosystem Restoration camps and many more.
Amidst the dialogue, the critical themes of examining privilege, working in solidarity with frontline communities, and centering justice in our work became recurrent. The Summit’s “social garden” hours inspired many thoughtful and enriching conversations.
If you do not center questions of justice…your solutions will not get us where we need to be. — Gopal Dayaneni
Workshops covered a wide array of topics ranging from intergenerational/intercultural solidarity to local government collaboration. These spaces provided an opportunity to explore successful projects, share experiences and resources, and provided encouragement needed to form new projects and experiments. Films for the Planet, one of our many amazing summit partners, offered opportunities to screen inspiring films like Gather and One Word Sawalmem.
Our evening of artivists, co-hosted by author Rivera Sun and Artivist Foundation co-founder Elena Salinas O’Toole, was a truly magical event, featuring the musical talents of Lydia Violet and legendary movement songwriter Annie Patterson. Engaging in this heart-centered, captivatingly creative space left many folks feeling “the most connected that [they] had felt since the start of the pandemic.”
We’re working for a living Earth, and that Earth, being alive…can work through us like grace. — Joanna Macy
A final highlight of the summit was the closing Catalyzing Ceremony. Movement elder and guide Joanna Macy was honored with the Transition Ally award, recognizing her decades of heart-healing work in helping to acknowledge the pain (and possibility) of this world that holds us and homes us. The Catalyzing Ceremony also provided Transition US staff with an opportunity to share the groundbreaking ReGeneration Nation campaign that will help to provide the strategic focus for the organization’s work over the next 3 years.
To stay up to date with Transition US follow our work on instagram and sign up for our newsletter at Transitionus.org! Learn more about our ReGeneration Nation campaign here.
As a special gift to those who donate to Transition US, a link to the summit playlist featuring all recorded sessions will be shared throughout the end of year fundraising season. Wider access to summit content will be available in early 2022.