Introducing The Grassroots Directory!

GD 400x400 no borderThe Grassroots Directory is a new format source book that will list some of the most innovative, practical and exciting community-led projects in the UK. Sharp-looking and handy, this volume aims to showcase over 200 enterprises, spaces and co-operative ventures which are helping to build a more sustainable and fairer society.

It was inspired by many years documenting community projects, including in Transition Free Press. We – that’s the Directory ed team – felt that the speedy nature of on-line and printed media meant that the stories about them didn’t always reach the places they could have given time. So we decided to produce the Directory as a ‘bumper annual’, so they could have a longer – and hopefully well thumbed – ‘shelf life’!

Each entry to the Directory will contain a main project that places the subject in focus and explains how local grassroots action and involvement matters. It will then profile other projects engaged in the same activity and show how readers and communities can take part.

With its real-life testimonies and hands-on approach, the Directory is looking to to inspire everyone with the tools and knowledge to take part in local and community work for the future. Whether an energy scheme or cycle path, a low carbon group or micro-brewery, what makes all of these projects unique is that they are owned and run by the community for the community.

Mapcover_webEnter the Street Map

To launch the project we have created a Grassroots Diretory Street Map, brilliantly drawn by our illustrator Laura Bernard to show how it works and fits together.

Everything in our Grassroots Directory map is happening now in Britain. You might not find these projects all in one place, but in many and varied locations. We have put all the elements in the map together from citywide projects, neighbourhood initiatives and street groups; from enterprises that are changing the look and feel of villages, market towns and bio-regions all over the country.

The Directory will be ‘joining the dots’ not only to reveal a colourful pattern of projects across the UK, but also to highlight the friendly and cohesive nature of grassroots culture. At its heart is the sharing of good ideas and practical information.

We report on these community projects because we feel there needs to be a narrative that reflects many of the positive and democratic changes taking place across the UK (and elsewhere). Many of these locally-based responses are ways of addressing difficult global issues, from crises within the environment to the economy. They show how change through involvement is possible and how it can include everyone.

Because there is nothing like real experience when it comes to telling a good story.

AtoZ_2000pxA is for Allotments, Z is for Zero Waste

The directory will follow an A-Z format for quick and easy reference, and there will be a full place index at the back too. Looking for a co-operative bakery in Liverpool? No problem! Look under Bakeries at the front, or Liverpool at the back. (Answer: the wonderful Homebaked in Anfield that is also home to a Neighbourhood Land Trust).

There will be several categories or ‘streams’ within the book that group the projects together such as ENERGY or CULTURE. ACTION will give information on how to organise local pressure groups. FOOD will share best practice to start up a community garden or CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). Each of the main projects will also detail some of the joys (and challenges) of working in community or co-operative groups.

Whatever their size or vision, all grassroots projects create a new social infrastructure. Getting involved and connected brings everyone’s skills and knowledge to the fore, whether this is leading a foraging walk, or giving advice at a ‘reskilling’ event, or organising a hydro project in the local river. They create new relationships and public spaces for people to enjoy, as well as bring meaning and a feeling of belonging into everyone’s lives.

We want The Grassroots Directory to be full of possibilities for people looking towards a future that is fairer, more Earth-friendly, and – yes – more fun to!

How to get involved

We’re looking to find the most dynamic and representative projects in grassroots Britain and we would like your help. If you know of any folk making great things happen in your neighbourhood, do get in touch.

Sewingcafe_webSEND US YOUR IDEAS

If you would like to suggest a project write us an email and include:

– the name and location of the project

– a person we can speak with and if possible a phone number or email

If you are involved in the project yourself do add a short description (50 words) along with your contact details.

Please send to us at The Grassroots Directory: info@grassrootsdirectory.org You can also go onto our website to find the details: www.grassrootsdirectory.org

We aim to sell the Directory via our website and through community groups across the UK. Keep a look out for our Street Maps at the UK Transition Network Conference (info desk) and Permaculture Convergence (bookshop)  this month as well as other outlets.

CROWDFUND THE DIRECTORYseedlibrary_web

We plan to publish the first edition of the Directory in 2016. To pay for the book’s design, editing and printing we will be running a crowdfunding campaign later this year.

Crowdfunding is a new approach to publishing where books are produced with their future readers’ backing. You can take part in this exciting co-operative venture by pre-paying for a book and becoming a supporter of the project.

We will be promoting the crowdfunding campaign this autumn. So do follow us on Facebook, or Twitter (@grassrootsmap), or join our mailing list at: info@grassrootsdirectory.org

Thank you everyone!

The Grassroots Directory team

www.grassrootsdirectory.org

mapstrip_1200px

Illustrations by Laura Barnard

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ARCHIVE: Surfers on a mission to protect our waves

5816551808_abdb442b6a_oAs we head towards late summer and (some of us) to the beach, here is a great surfing story from  our archives. Our sports pages always contained a community and environmental twist. This back page story by campaigner Andy Commins from TFP5 discusses how and why Britain’s surfers set out to protect the shores and seas around Cornwall.

Every surfer knows, if you want a good wave, you need a good sandbank.
Knowing where they are can mean the difference between the ride of your life
and a wasted surf session of paddling through disappointing ‘close outs’.Cornwall has had surfing in its blood for over 50 years. Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) is an environmental campaign group formed in 1990 in the heart of that community.

Our strong connection with the seais a key motivator for our continuing Protect Our Waves campaign.  But the waves close to the hearts of surfers and communities along the north Cornish coast are facing a new threat – a potentially devastating proposal to dredge the area, part of a project to recover tin reserves in the sea bed that were washed out by the mining industry.

The company behind the scheme, Marine Minerals have applied to the
Marine Management Organisation for permission to remove and process millions of tonnes of sediment before dumping the waste back on the sea floor. SAS has submitted a nine-page response to the first part of this application, raising significant concerns.

The dredging proposal is focused on the beaches around St Ives Bay, Porthtowan and Perranporth. I’ve surfed on this coast for over 15 years. You’ll find waves here as good as anywhere in the world – surfers come all year round, preferring the cold Celtic Sea to flying to sunny Hawaii or South Africa. These beaches are home to SAS’s HQ, but they’re also designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Sites of Special Scientific Interest.

As well as producing great surfing waves, sandbanks are also integral to the way the coast protects us all. A lot of the phenomenal wave energy generated by this winter’s powerful storm swells was dissipated out at sea by sandbanks acting us natural buffers.

Biodiversity could also be threatened; disrupting the sediment could release heavy metals and other chemicals tipped into the sea by the mining industry. Species potentially at risk from the process include seals, dolphins and crustaceans, all of which play important roles in regulating the marine environment.

Another disturbing issue buried within this worrying proposal is the potential for restrictions on using the sea for recreation. Marine Minerals wants their ship to be able to access sediment from as close in as 200 metres from the shore. This could result in a ban not just on surfing but on all types of recreational water use. We think that taking away this community resource for the benefit of a few company directors is unjust.

protect-our-waves-campaignThese waves have a powerful intrinsic value to many people living in coastal communities. Surfing and using the sea is a great way to stay fit, happy and healthy, as well as being an important part of the UK’s heritage, but these surfing waves also have an astonishing
economic value. SAS’s 2013 economic study identified the value of surfing to the UK as £1.8bn, with Cornwall providing the majority of that revenue.

Our movement will continue to represent water users, coastal communities and the marine environment throughout the application process.

Andy Cummins is campaigns director with environmental campaigners, Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) in Cornwall. Find out more about the Protect Our Waves campaign at http://www.sas.org.uk/campaigns/protect-our-waves

Photos: Surfer by Andy Taylor at amtaylorphotography.com andymtaylor@live.co.uk; SAS ‘graveyard’ poster

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Low Carbon Community Farm in Suffolk appeals for help!

zbhx1hy5bkuhcyjbrciyCommunity Supported Agricultural (CSA) schemes not only provide organic, ethically produced food for local communities, but they also restore depleted soil, bring back biodiversity and help reforge human relationships with the land. Oak Tree Farm, featured in TFP6, keeps hens, pigs and bees as well as grows a wide variety of vegetables in its now flourishing fields. However like most enterprises (and indeed most British farms) it needs financial assistance to keep going. Lucy Drake from Transition Ipswich gives a call out for some funding assistance:

The Oak Tree is a unique Low-Carbon Community Farm on the edge of Ipswich which has grown from small beginnings, and very impoverished soil, in 2010 to a vibrant community producing weekly veg-boxes, eggs and pork for over 70 families, and is now a safe haven for much wildlife. It is a Permaculture Association Land Demonstration Farm and has won numerous awards including the Suffolk Carbon Charter Gold Standard and the Creating the Greenest County ‘Community: Local Food Award. It has also been featured in The Guardian and on ITV. However the unexpected loss of some major promised funding means it may have to close within months.

Butit is fighting back with a crowd-funding initiative which has raised an amazing £10,000 in its first week!  However  unless it can get to its target of £27,000 by the end of September it will have to close. It has lots of supporters but needs more! Closure would be a tragedy, not only for the growers but for the whole idea of small scale, community-led, low-carbon and sproutsandcloverenvironmentally beneficial farming of which it is a shining example. Can you help, even in a little way?

You can visit this buzzy up-beat place on the Farm Facebook page and the website which has these FAQs about the campaign. 

All donations happily received!
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ARCHIVE: Love means letting go of flying

article-0-03113D1B000005DC-151_634x384When we put together the preview edition of Transition Free Press, one of our first Talkback pieces was on the highly contentious, high carbon taboo subject of flying – a sticking point for many people engaged in radical energy descent. As the spectrre of The Third Runway has again loomed into view, here is  Chris Hull, co-founder of Transition Norwich, on why he gave up his addiction to flying and what it brought him in return.

I fell in love with a city, located 3000 miles from home, and I became addicted. Each time I left my other place, I longed to go back. I felt an immediate sense of aliveness and vibrancy on arriving, and each time I returned home to Norwich I felt empty again. Something was missing.

Over a period of years, this resonance with my other home was so strong that I began to wonder whether I really belonged there. The thought of upping sticks passed through me more than once, but tugging against it were all my family and friend and campaigning connections in Norwich. After a process of examining what it was that attracted me, I began to realise what was going on.

Not long after this in 2005 I was unexpectedly elected as a Green Party County Councillor, and with it a whole set of new responsibilities and transparency of values kicked in. By this time the awareness of flying in aeroplanes as a destructive pastime had really taken hold – and so now, I was faced with another dilemma. Having let go of the idea of moving home and country, and promised myself I could survive and keep my attachment going by annual visits, I was now faced with the shame of knowing how destructive such visits would be, given the necessity of travel by air.

Here I need to digress a little. Volumes have been written on the ifs and buts of flying, some of it sound, and some of it highly misleading. The essence of air travel is speed and distance – that’s the whole point of it. Anything travelling at high speed and over a long distance will use extremely large amounts of energy.

Try pushing a car. Then try pushing a jumbo jet. Then imagine this jet being propelled at 500 m.p.h. for hundreds or thousands of miles. Actually in my case, travelling to my special place involves, per person, about 3.5 tons of emitted CO2. So getting on this aeroplane and traveling for about 6 hours each way, I, personally would be responsible for emitting the same amount of CO2 as my house now emits in 7 years. To make matters even worse (for my conscience), there is something called the ‘forcing factor’ when emissions are made at high altitude – which roughly translated means that carbon emitted at altitude, has 2.7 times the effect as that same emission would have on the ground. Put another way, this one trip would involve more carbon emissions than an average Tanzanian in their entire lifetime. And when it is widely regarded that a truly sustainable, long term, per person per year emission rating is 1.1 tons, there really was no way I was going to continue my addiction.

So then began the painful process of letting go of my attachment to this place, and of the dear friends I had made there. Actually, I still feel connected with my friends, thanks to the wonders of e-mail and Skype. The whole process has helped me realise just how difficult it is for us as individuals to kick the carbon habit, and how, over time, our lives have become dependant to such a degree on using energy and carbon. It wasn’t exactly like coming off an addiction to ice-cream, more like coming out of a relationship. Sometimes I still feel that pang to impulsively arrange a trip. But then I really do get that image of struggling sub-Saharan people in drought areas, partially brought about by our addiction to carbon and guzzling energy (no co-incidence that all the major NGOs working in those areas campaign vigorously on climate change issues).

Oh yes, and I’ve grown to really appreciate Norwich too!

My special place, by the way, is Boston – that’s Massachussetts, not Lincolnshire.

Image: Greenpeace-owned land in Sipson village next to Heathrow airport

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Platform campaigner detained in Azerbaijan on her way to ‘Oil Games’

By PlatformAs Baku prepares to host the 2015 European Games, those who oppose the country’s leading family, and its oil wealth, are facing a crack down. In this post, Amy Hall explains why British oil and gas company BP is accused of propping up the regime.

Emma Hughes, an activist and journalist working for London based group Platform, has been detained on her way to cover the 2015 European Games which begin later this week in Baku.

Over 6,000 of Europe’s top athletes will gather in Azerbaijan’s capital as the country’s leaders face widespread condemnation over the repression of critical voices.

President Ilham Aliyev and his government have been pulling out all the stops to make sure the international sporting event, which runs from 12-28 June, puts Azerbaijan on the map.

For several years Hughes has been working with Platform to expose a murky world of oil money, inequality, corruption and repression of freedom of speech in Azerbaijan. She co-wrote Platform’s new book, ‘All that Glitters – Sport, BP and Repression in Azerbaijan’. Due to be published on 12 June, it covers oil and gas giant BP’s close relationship with President Aliyev and the European Games, of which it is an official partner.

“I may get deported, but over 100 political prisoners in Azerbaijan face years in jail until the oil-funded regime falls,” said Hughes speaking from Baku airport. “Civil society has been stamped on hard in Baku. Journalists, lawyers, academics, writers and activists have all found themselves behind bars. And yet the Oil Games carry on regardless. The future of this country is imprisoned, yet BP still work hand in hand with this regime.”

By vagabondbloggerAzerbaijan is ranked 160th out of 180 countries in the Reporters Without Borders World Press Freedom Index and the Committee to Protect Journalists rates it as the fifth most censored country in the world.

Hostility grew towards the briefly blossoming pro-democracy movement in 2012, as well as independent and pro-opposition journalists, when the international spotlight was on Azerbaijan again as hosts of the Eurovision Song Contest.

Rasul Jafarov, one of Azerbaijan’s more high profile prisoners has been sentenced to 6.5 years. He was behind the Azeri Sport for Rights coalition which campaigns against corruption and in support of political prisoners.

Sporting ‘gold wash’

BP is the largest foreign investor in Azerbaijan and in September 2014 celebrated its 20 year relationship with the country. It become the operator of the biggest oil field in Azerbaijan in the ‘contract of the century’, an agreement with BP and 10 other international oil companies to open up hydrocarbon resources in the Caspian Sea.

“It’s fossil fuel money that’s paying for the games completely because the Aliyev regime has been created by oil,” said Hughes before she left London.

Ilham Aliyev took over the presidency from his father Heydar in 2003. His father had been in power since 1993.

“BP spotted that he was the person to work with and signed the deal with him,” said Hughes. “Since then they’ve brought him money, political power, influence and by doing that put Azerbaijan’s society on ice, in terms of developing democratically.”

“BP is one of the reasons why the west is very hesitant about any changes in this country,” said Khadija Ismayilova, an investigative journalist, shortly before she was arrested in 2014. “Political influence is part of the bargain. BP is blamed for bringing Aliyev senior to power but it’s not just historic – the UK government is silent about problems with democracy in Azerbaijan. BP’s interests are dictating the agenda.”

Hughes says that BP’s links with the Aliyev family are good for both parties. “They [BP] don’t have to worry about environment pressures, they don’t have to worry about social pressures,” she explained. “They know that if there were to be political change it may not work out in their favour at all because they’re still deeply unpopular with the people of Azerbaijan – they don’t have the legitimacy there.”

Platform have started a petition to call for the release of Emma Hughes and all political prisoners in Azerbaijan. 

On 12 June there will be a protest in London against BP and the Aliyev regime at BP HQ, from 8.30am, moving to the Azerbaijan Embassy at 10am. For more information see the Platform website.

‘All that Glitters – Sport, BP and Repression in Azerbaijan’ is published on 12 June and is the sequel to 2012’s ‘The Oil Road – Journeys from the Caspian Sea to the City of London’ by James Marriott and Minio-Paluello.

Images: Azerbaijan protest against political repression, by Platform. Oil field in Azerbaijan, by vagabondblogger, under  CC License.

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COMMUNITY: Market forces

grain-grocer-girls-300x401In TFP’s community pages we published practiical stories that could inspire others to set up similar projects. Here  Jo Wheatley from Transition Wivenhoe, describes how their food group reignited their local market.  Farmers’ Markets are key places for grassroots initiatives – public interchanges where you can run awareness-raising stalls, sell produce, swap seeds, and sometimes (as in Lewes and Crystal Palace) set them up in your own neighbourhood.

Wivenhoe is a town of 10,000 residents three miles from Colchester. With the University of Essex on our doorstep we are a diverse community with a significant student population and plenty of commuters.

Over the last 15 years greengrocers, bakers and a fishmonger have all disappeared from the town, due in part to the arrival of a large Tesco nearby.  While many residents use out-of-town supermarkets and increasingly shop online, those that use the local Co-op often find prices are higher than elsewhere.

The first monthly farmers’ market was set up in the Congregational Church Hall in 2006 by the environmental charity en-form. Over the years the market experienced its share of ups and more often downs.Then in early 2012 Transition Town Wivenhoe took over the kitchen where only cups of tea and instant coffee had been available and started selling fresh coffee and food from ‘The Transition Cafe’. A BBQ was introduced outside serving fresh home made rolls filled with locally produced meat. Rolls were initially made by Transition volunteers and later bought from a local artisan home baker.

We then introduced free bike checks and by the end of 2012 footfall was steadily up and regular stallholder attendance had improved.  Someone was recently overheard saying as they entered the hall, “You go and grab a seat in the cafe as it gets full up”. Music to our ears! Andrew Wilkinson from en-form comments: “Transition activities have all contributed to a significant increase in shoppers, creating a more vibrant market where people now hang around and socialise. This has increased the viability of the market and I now consider these activities to be integral to the event.”

TTW food group coordinator, Ruth Melville, emphasises the importance of working closely with stallholders, and as well as offering them free drink refills, the cafe buys produce directly from them as much as possible, such as bacon, sausages, cakes, jam, chocolates and juice:

“Stallholders don’t always want change but if you are there, mucking in with them each month, they are more willing to take your ideas seriously.  It was notable recently when I went round canvassing about changing opening times that they were clearly supportive of what we wanted because of the good relationship we have with them.”

The market plays an important part in cultivating a demand for fresh and locally produced food and other services, and so as well as supporting the traders that attend, it helps to support other local initiatives too, such as our regular Dr Bike service. Making a monthly market thrive will always be a challenge as people forget which Saturday it is on  and have to find other sources for weekly supplies of at least the fresh stuff.

The partnership between our initiative and the market organisers will have to continually find new ways to sustain it. However it does feel like we are tapping into something special: it’s clear people value the market far more than just as a shopping opportunity. It really is a community event offering a unique meeting space. In good weather cafe tables are set up outside and people sit out on the grass while children play.

www.transitionwivenhoe.org.uk

Jo Wheatley  is a founder mention of Transition Wivenhoe. TTW current projects include: ‘Borrowable Bike Bits’ lending cargo and kiddie trailers out; a community allotment, Repair Cafe, and bike powered events such as outdoor community films and gigs.  

Image: Grain Grocers at Crystal Palace Market

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Introducing TFP archive posts: Ugo Vallauri and The Restart Project

Ugo VallauriFrom 2011 to 2014 Transition Free Press featured many dynamic and innovative projects initiated by Transition and community-based social enterprises. During the next few months we will be posting some of the highlights from our archive. You can see the whole range in our seven issues online. We start (appropriately) with The Restart Project from TFP5, and an interview with its co-founder Ugo Vallauri with TFP’s editor Charlotte Du Cann.

What’s the best thing that has come out of Transition? High on the list of everyone’s answers must be the sharing and learning of hands-on skills.

One of the most innovative skill-share enterprises to have emerged, The Restart Project, brings ‘the great reskilling’ to a whole new level. Tackling the tricky area of electronic repair, co-founders Ugo Vallauri and Janet Gunter have put the solution to high consumer waste – literally – into the hands of the people. Their London-based Restart Parties began in 2012 as a way for communities to repair their own electrical goods and are now springing up around the UK and in other countries from Tunisia to the US. I asked Ugo what made the project so dynamic:

“There is something truly unique and magical about experiential projects where the concept comes alive as soon as you walk into the room. Restart is about people deciding for themselves how we resist this insane culture of planned obsolescence and start to provide a true alternative. As much as campaigning about waste is important there is something transformative when you take responsibility and become part of the solution.“

Restart parties team up local people with expert volunteers, known as Restarters, and together they work out how to mend their broken kettles, iPads, digital radios and phones. But can everyone do it?

13845714985_a83b523018_z“There are two taboos at play within the small electrical and consumer electronics field. The first is about opening products up because of their design and a fear of handling electrical stuff – a taboo we aim to break by showing a safe way to approach the problem and learn about the key tools to do this work.

“The second taboo is to do with perceiving something as waste rather than as a resource. We are blind to the reality that we throw away so much stuff that could be reused by other individuals in the community. We try to hide it by discarding it into recycling centres and avoid looking at the massive cost and pollution involved in its disposal and transformation into other products.”

Rather than being appalled by the consequences of our ‘recycling’ in places like Ghana (where much of Europe’s electronic waste is burned), Restart approaches the issue from a different angle: “We wanted to come up with something self-empowering with a positive message that was a hopeful, action-oriented answer to these problems. If we don’t challenge the current system here in our own communities we are never going to come up with any practical solution. “At the Parties we always ask: ‘Have you had a situation where something is broken, you don’t know what to do and you put it aside because you are at a loss?’

“Some people might understand the ultimate implications of electronic waste, polluting the outskirts of Accra, but everyone understands the frustrations when something goes wrong in their own household. So by providing a very easy-to-explain solution, you can have an impact on the wider problem, without even realising that the problem exists.

“Both Janet and I had worked in the global South in international development, where there is a much more sustainable approach to technology: an efficient repair economy and appreciation for still-valuable resources. You would never find people there throwing away a functional computer just because it had become a bit slow. “When we came across the work that was happening in the Repair Cafe world, it inspired us to start our own repair pop-up events, as a way to get people interested in what we wanted to discuss.

1798832_472013366236043_1241440713_n-450x600“These events were instantly much more successful than we had originally anticipated. We see repair and maintenance as crucial, but our message also involves a strong critique of how products are made and the economic incentives that companies have around continuing to produce new and more gadgets with incremental upgrades, and promoting them with massive marketing campaigns. Instead we’re trying to recreate a culture and a practice in our communities where we fix not just equipment but also our own relationship with these products.

” For the first 18 months Restart operated entirely as a volunteer collective. At the end of 2013 the project received seed funding, which has allowed the team to launch a new arm of the enterprise – their work with companies. This service brings pop-up repair half-day events or two hour lunch breaks to workplaces and offers one-to-one sessions between employees and Restart repair coaches.

“Here people who might not get a chance to come to our community events can bring their MP3 player or their laptop or their digital radio or their toaster, and have a chance to troubleshoot, take apart and often repair their personal devices.

“If you look at waste as a resource it can jump-start some other conversations in the way your own company does business and we are all up for using these exchanges as opportunities to inspire companies to think differently about the way they operate. For us it’s a great way to be able to reach out to this part of the public that we would not necessarily have a chance to meet.”

The Project hinges completely on finding people who are willing to share their skills. Where do the Restart repairers come from?

“The Restarters are the biggest and the best surprise that we’ve come across. There are a lot of people upset about how consumer society has been shaped so that repair skills are disregarded, or have been disincentivised by a market structure that has pushed many professional repairers out of their jobs (not helped by the cost of spare parts and difficult-to-access repair manuals).

“And so a lot of both professionally and informally trained repairers have come to us. That’s when you realise there are many people in our communities who have plenty of wonderful – and often marginalised – skills.”

14179339301_d93c24d432_zThe Restart team are happy to support community groups and local associations to run their own Parties, but how do you start one up? “We recommend that an initial organiser finds a couple of repairer types to help them with the first event. The skills don’t need to be the ability to take apart a microwave and fix it, which is a fairly complicated thing, but could be the help needed to reinstall the operating system in a computer.

“No one is going to be shocked if some people bring in something that can’t be matched with the relevant skill. You start getting people together and the momentum builds from there.”

Last summer The Restart Project was featured by the BBC and the show went all around the world. How much has that contributed to Restart’s success and furthered its aims? “Well what might appear as successful or a good idea doesn’t necessarily mean that it receives tremendous support in terms of funding, or gets local authorities or waste management companies on board – which is what I would call a success!

“We don’t just aim to create a cute, community-based alternative to the loss of economic opportunities around repair. We want to see this thrive as a self-sustaining set of services, to create new businesses that bring repair closer to the communities we live in and ultimately create an alternative to the massive throwaway, recycle society that we live in.

13846282773_d468adea17_k-640x425“And we also want to create a much wider movement of people globally that demands a different relationship between the manufacturing companies and the products that they unleash on us.

“We’re not trying to advocate a world without technology or without technological innovation – quite the opposite. But we want this to be negotiated in terms that make sense to human beings. So our ultimate goal is to fix our relationship with technology, and that involves companies becoming more open about their practices, creating and sharing the resources to make products more repairable and in the end long-lasting.”

All images from www.therestartproject.org: skillshare at El Fabrika, Tunis; 3 top repairs of 2014, London; Restarter Aoubaker in Tunis.

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