Transition to a Better Future - Talk Series (January 2021)

Tuesday talk series

This talk series has now finished. Most of the talks were recorded and are now available on youtube - the links to the individual talks are below. A very big thank you to the TC talks team for making these talks possible, and to all the speakers who kindly agreed to give these talks.



Title / Topic


Peter Macfadyen
Flatpack Democracy

The Upside of Down. An optimists view on creating a democracy and why we need to.
In pandemic Britain many people have discovered new ways to help their communities. Why not make working together for the benefit of all the residents permanent? Since 2011 the Flatpack Democracy movement has shown that, by standing as a group of independent local councillors working closely together, people all over the country can and do steer their local councils to thrive and prosper, democratically. Now, more than ever, we have the chance to refocus our local councils on what really matters to us and our neighbours. With many local elections postponed until 2021 we’ve got time to get prepared. Peter Macfadyen's book "Flatpack Democracy" is a practical guide to doing this, based on his experience of creating a council of independent councillors in Frome.

Watch here

Jeremy Purseglove
Bio here

Working with Nature
Jeremy Purseglove is an environmentalist who has spent his life working with civil engineers and agriculturalists to enhance nature rather than damage it. He will be talking about how we as consumers can all help preserve landscapes and habitats by choosing sustainably grown commodities. Examples will include palm oil, cereals, chocolate and cider. His book ‘Working with Nature’ was shortlisted for the Wainwright prize for environmental writing in 2020.

Watch here

Hilary Cox Condron
Hilary's web-site and Resonance Cambridge

A Better Future through Art
What is the role of the artist as we think about a better future?
Cambridge-based artist, activist and creative producer Hilary Cox Condron will be talking about her work, and how the arts can support us, strengthen communities, and inspire creative thought, vision and action. Hilary’s passion for social and environmental justice through the arts has shaped her community practice, and she works with schools, community groups, museums and cultural venues to explore, share and celebrate creativity, culture, stories, heritage and the natural environment. Hilary’s practice nurtures a sense of place and identity, building relationships and vision, provoking imagination, conversation, action and change.
Art, Trees and the Awe on our Doorstep showcases some of the work Hilary been doing during lockdown. In her role as Artist in Residence at Ironworks on Mill Road Hilary has developed FORGE - working with residents to explore how reconnecting to our history, spending time in nature and relearning traditional skills and crafts during lockdown can inspire action and give us hope for the future.

Watch here

A Better Future for Food: What is our vision, and how might we get there?
What is the state of our current food system and why is it not fit for purpose? Do we have a vision of what a good food system should be? If so, how do we get there? Is there a part to play for technological solutions or alternative food options? Should we be changing our diets and our shopping habits and if so how? What role can communities have in transforming a local food system? All these questions will be explored and some possible routes for change suggested in this talk, with time for questions and discussion at the end.
Ann Mitchell is a retired primary school teacher. She was a founder member of Cambridge Sustainable Food and is now one of their directors. Her talk will look at how we might be able to create a fairer, more sustainable and ethical food system to ensure good food for everyone.

Watch here

Nick Anim
Inclusion and Diversity Advisor at Transition Network and Director of Transition Town Brixton

Between place and kinship: whose community?
In many ways, the Covid-19 pandemic has functioned like an x-ray on society, exposing profound challenges to generally unquestioned notions of ‘community’ that often escape scrutiny by being hidden in plain sight. What do we mean by community sustainability and resilience? Who is included in our understanding of community? Who is excluded? Why? Whilst the pandemic has resulted in some unprecedented changes and challenges to social structures, it also presents an opportunity for us all to pause and reflect on how best to address the difficult conundrum of diversity in community-based initiatives. Drawing from his research and activism with the Transition Network, XR, and other social movements, this talk by Nick Anim will explore the importance of community engagement strategies in the transition to a better future.

Watch here

Stephen Tomkins
Cam Valley Forum

Safeguarding our local water resources
Stephen Tomkins's work with Cam Valley Forum to alert us all to the dangers threatening our rivers and streams is well known. His talk will show us why action is needed now to safeguard our water resources. For more, see the Cam Valley Forum website.

Watch here

Meg Clarke and Jacky Sutton-Adam
Transition Cambridge

Preserving food naturally
What did we do before fridges? The process of fermenting foods - to preserve them and make them more digestible and nutritious - is as old as humanity, and gives complex flavours and health benefits. The talk will be about some fermentation basics - why and how - and will cover some vegetables and grains.

Watch here

Rob Hopkins
Transition Network

Why the next 10 years needs to feel like a Revolution of the Imagination?
Rob Hopkins co-founded the Transition movement, inspiring numerous Transition groups to form worldwide. He has written several books, including "From What is to What If", "The Transition Handbook", "The Transition Companion", and "The Power of Just Doing Stuff". Read more about Rob here.

Watch here

Nicola Terry
Transition Cambridge

Pathways to zero energy at home
How do you decide what is the best low carbon energy route for your home and budget, and having decided, how do you get there? We will discuss the options and their pros and cons.
Nicola Terry has been volunteering with the Transition Cambridge Energy Group for more than 10 years and also with Cambridge Carbon Footprint. She works as a consultant with Cambridge Architectural Research and Cambridge Energy, doing research relating to energy use in buildings, mainly for the government and NGOs. She writes a blog: Energy Thoughts and Surprises.

Watch here

Nature recovery
Tony Juniper CBE is a campaigner, writer, sustainability adviser and a well-known British environmentalist. He has worked towards creating a more sustainable society for 35 years in a number of roles. He is currently the chair of Natural England. Amongst many other activities, he has provided ecology and conservation experiences for primary school children, made the case for new recycling laws, and orchestrated international campaigns for action on rainforests and climate change. His books include ‘What has Nature ever done for us?’, ‘ What Nature Does For Britain’, ‘What is really happening to our planet?’ and the ‘Ladybird Expert Guide to Climate Change’, co-authored with HRH the Prince of Wales and polar scientist Dr Emily Shuckburgh OBE (see all his books here).

Our Mission

Transition Cambridge aims to help Cambridge make the transition to ways of life that are more resilient in the face of rising energy prices and a changing climate.

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