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Future Proof Kilkenny

We had great feedback from our Transition Town Update evening with many people saying that it was the most enjoyable event so far!

Central to the evening was the “Big Hand” exercise that explored how we might “power down” under the different themes of Energy, Waste, Food, Housing, Transport and so on.

It was a bit like a World Cafe event but on a smaller scale that worked well given the limited amount of time. Below the fold is a short summary of the exercise for other transition groups to copy or adapt.

  • Pre-prepare several big paper hands and write one theme in the centre of each hand.
  • Lay out the room with coffee tables, chairs, candles, flowers and snacks making it as comfortable as possible – like a restaurant!
  • Give a short presentation beforehand on the Transition Town movement or show a short film or clip to set the scene.
  • One paper hand is placed on each table and everybody is asked to get up, mingle and sit at the table with the theme they feel most drawn to.
  • Ask each table to appoint a scribe.
  • Given the table theme and keeping the focus on community, the group is asked to brainstorm under the following headings:
  1. Vulnerabilities – these are written down on the little finger
  2. Strengths – these are written down on the thumb (thumbs up)
  3. Passions – these are written down on the ring finger
  4. Next Steps – these are written down on the index finger (pointing the way)
  5. The middle finger can be used for any other ideas or suggestions that come up.

The exercise should take about 5-10min per finger depending on how much time you have so a regular announcement to move onto the next finger is a good idea. At the end each scribe presents their table’s hand summarising the key points and the hand is pinned up onto the comment wall.

The idea was not to try and solve everything in one evening but rather to explore how to tackle different issues, network together and start seeding sub groups.

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