Transition Culture

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Sinopsis

Podcast by Transition Culture

Episodios

  • A taste of Episode 1 of From What If to What Next

    A taste of Episode 1 of 'From What If to What Next'

    11/05/2020 Duración: 04min

    Here is a taster of Episode One of 'From What If to What Next', my new podcast series. You can unlock this full episode, as well the exclusive 'Ministry of Imagination' podcast, and other exclusives, by subscribing at www.patreon.com/fromwhatiftowhatnext. This first episode speaks to Sam Lee and Mya-Rose Craig, and is deeply lovely.

  • Rob Hopkins at Schumacher Centenary event at Bristol Colston Hall 2011.

    Rob Hopkins at Schumacher Centenary event at Bristol Colston Hall 2011.

    12/11/2019 Duración: 54min

    In 2011 I gave a talk at Bristol Colston Hall, which as someone who had grown up in Bristol, was hallowed ground. The talk opens with a Captain Beefheart anecdote I am rather fond of.

  • From What Is to What If: Book launch, 20 October 2019.

    'From What Is to What If': Book launch, 20 October 2019.

    22/10/2019 Duración: 05min

    On Sunday 20th October, at Battersea Arts Centre, following an incredible day of 'Pop Up Tomorrow', I launched 'From What Is to What If'. Here is the audio of the evening, which also features appearances by improv expert Jeremy Finch and Ruth Sapsed of Cambridge Curiosity and Imagination. I hope it gives you an inspiring taste of the evening.

  • Talking play and imagination with Peter Gray

    Talking play and imagination with Peter Gray

    08/10/2019 Duración: 46min

    One of the very best books I read while researching 'From What Is to What If' was 'Free to Learn' by Peter Gray. Peter is an evolutionary psychologist who taught for 30 years at Boston College as a Professor. He is now retired from teaching but still does research on children’s learning and children’s development.  'Free to Learn' became the most-underlined book out of all the books I read, rich in insight and wisdom and research about why play matters, and what happens when we starve our children of it.

  • John Crowley: Imagination actually alters the world

    John Crowley: "Imagination actually alters the world"

    04/09/2019 Duración: 54min

    One of the perks of running this website and of writing 'From What Is to What If' has been the opportunity to speak to some of the people who have had the biggest impact on my own imagination. Today's interviewee, John Crowley, is one of those people. I first read his novel 'Little, Big' sometime in the mid-1980s, and it blew me away. About a year later, I met the woman who was later to become my wife and it turned out that, prior to our meeting, she had not only read the same book, but the actual same copy I had read! It was such a thrill when he responded favourably to my request for an interview. He opened our conversation with some reflections on the imagination and times in which we live...

  • Ben Goldfarb on how beavers can boost the collective imagination

    Ben Goldfarb on how beavers can boost the collective imagination

    10/07/2019 Duración: 40min

    One of the finest books I’ve read recently was ‘Eager: The Surprising, Secret Life of Beavers and Why They Matter’ by Ben Goldfarb. Ben is an American environmental journalist who has taken great interest in this remarkable creature and its ability to, as he put it when we spoke, “help tackle many of our ecological problems if we just get out of the way and let the rodent do the work”.  I was fascinated to hear his thoughts as to how living in a world full of beavers might impact the human imagination, and how living in a world without them impoverishes it. I started by asking him if he might sum up the narrative of the book for anyone who hasn’t yet had the pleasure of reading it.

  • The frogs singing outside my bedroom window in La Farlède

    The frogs singing outside my bedroom window in La Farlède

    14/04/2019 Duración: 49s

    The frogs singing outside my bedroom window in La Farlède by Rob Hopkins

  • Lucy Neal: imagination is the most important thing in the whole wide world

    Lucy Neal: "imagination is the most important thing in the whole wide world

    18/03/2019 Duración: 51min

    When I started writing what is now called 'From What Is to What If', the first person I spoke to was Lucy Neal. And now, as the process enters its final editing stage, the last person I'm interviewing for it is Lucy  Neal. Lucy is one of the most imaginative people I know, and is hugely skilful at bringing that imagination out into the world. She is the author of the seminal book 'Playing For Time: making art as if the world matters'.

  • Michele dAlena on Bologna, the city with a Civic Imagination Office.

    Michele d'Alena on Bologna, the city with a 'Civic Imagination Office'.

    04/03/2019 Duración: 25min

    What follows is my conversation with Michele D’Alena, Director of the Civic Imagination Office. It is a multi-professional team working to build a creative bridge between the citizens of Bologna and the administration. Michele has worked for the municipality for the past 6 years, and for the past two years within the Fondazione per l'Innovazione Urbana, in charge of the Civic Imagination Office. In Bologna, a new approach to engagement and civic action is emerging, rooted in the imagination. One driver for this shift is the realisation we are living in what Michele calls “a distrust era”, where people don’t trust public administrations, NGOs, or private businesses.  The Civic Imagination Office’s approach is towards what Michele calls ‘proximity’ working. As he puts it, “we need people to stay on the ground, to stay with the people”. And the story that Bologna has to share with the world is, I think, vitally important.

  • Dave Strudwick on how a School of Creative Arts can foster the imagination

    Dave Strudwick on how a 'School of Creative Arts' can foster the imagination

    21/02/2019 Duración: 36min

    We recently spoke to Andrew Brewerton, Principal at Plymouth College of Art, about the fascinating tale of how Plymouth School of Creative Arts came to be. PSCA is a remarkable new school which puts the cultivation of the imagination at its heart, even down to how its striking new building was conceived and designed. Before Christmas I visited the school and sat down to chat with then-Head Teacher Dave Strudwick to find out more about the place, how it came into existence, how it works, and what the thinking  is that underpins it.

  • Shana McDavis-Conway on storytelling, imagination and activism

    Shana McDavis-Conway on storytelling, imagination and activism

    13/02/2019 Duración: 32min

    Storytelling is a powerful political tool.  Becoming better storytellers has been shown to make a huge difference to the impact and efficacy of activist groups and campaigns. The Centre for Story-Based Strategy ("where imagination builds power") are pioneers in this field. They work with groups giving them the tools to make the most of the power of imagination, building their capacity to intervene in narratives and in social change work. They particularly work with groups in frontline communities that are at the intersection of poverty, pollution and racism, with a focus on climate, economic and social justice.  Their work is incredible, so it was a huge honour to be able to talk to Shana McDavis-Conway, Co-Director of the Centre. I started by asking her why she thinks that story and the cultivation of strong narratives are so vital to bringing about change?

  • Clodagh Harris on how Citizens Assemblies rekindle the imagination

    Clodagh Harris on how Citizens' Assemblies rekindle the imagination

    11/02/2019 Duración: 32min

    There’s a lot of talk about Citizen’s Assemblies these days. Some people say, as the UK flounders to try and find a way through the wreckage of Brexit, that it should have done Citizens’ Assemblies in advance of any vote. Some say they should happen now, to decide the next steps forward. Citizens Assemblies are a powerful tool for hearing the thoughts of a population without the filter of political interference, lack of understanding, and the polarity that has been driven by social media and surveillance capitalism. But what are they, and how might Citizens Assemblies be a vital tool for creating the spaces that allow imagination back into our public life?

  • We decided to create a school: talking imagination with Andrew Brewerton.

    "We decided to create a school": talking imagination with Andrew Brewerton.

    04/02/2019 Duración: 55min

    This post is the first of two that will be exploring the story of Plymouth School of Creative Arts, a remarkable new school in the south west of England. It is a fascinating example of a school designed around the nurturing of imagination, right in the heart of one of the UK's most deprived cities. In this post, I speak to Andrew Brewerton, Principal at Plymouth College of Art, one of the key people behind the creation of the school, where he also chairs the Board of Governors. In the next post we'll hear from Dave Strudwick, the school's Head Teacher. As you'll see, Andrew Brewerton is a leading thinker in terms of how education can build, or crush, the imagination, and I started our conversation in his office at the College of Art by asking him to tell me how the school came about, and what was the gap, the hole, it was trying to fill:

  • Helen Marriage on The Sultans Elephant and large acts of public imagination

    Helen Marriage on The Sultan's Elephant and large acts of public imagination

    25/01/2019 Duración: 16min

    I would like to think that when I reach the end of my life that I will have very few regrets. I know that I will have one though, which is that I was not in London on Thursday May 4th 2006, and for the days that followed. For those 4 days, a huge puppet elephant and an 8 metre-tall girl, walked around the city, entrancing and charming the million or so people who came to see them. It was a magical event that moved people deeply, and which brought the city together in an amazing way, just 9 months after the 7/7 bombings. It brought the imagination into the heart of one of Europe's largest cities, and is one of the best examples of that that I've been able to find. One of the people central to it happening was Helen Marriage of creative company 'Artichoke'.  She very kindly agreed to speak to me, so I started by asking her, for anyone who didn't see 'The Sultan's Elephant', as the project was known, to tell us a bit more about it.

  • Cllr Matthew Brown on the Preston Model and the economics of the imagination.

    Cllr Matthew Brown on the Preston Model and the economics of the imagination.

    23/01/2019 Duración: 33min

    The scholar Richard Sennett once wrote, “modern capitalism works by colonizing people’s imagination of what is possible”. If it is the case that our current economic model thrives by creating the conditions that suppress rather than unleash the imagination, and if we recognise that now, more than any other time, we need a mass re-nourishing of the collective imagination, then where might we spot examples of 'the economics of the imagination'? Eight years ago, the economy of Preston was crocked. Then its Council decided to take a new approach. Today I'm speaking to Cllr Matthew Brown, the recently-elected leader of Preston City Council. What Preston have achieved should be a model for everywhere else. "Let’s have a bit of imagination about how to get out of this mess" he tells me. I last interviewed him in June 2015, so I started by asking him, when we spoke just before Christmas, what has changed since then?

  • Tasha Bassingthwaighte on imagination, meditation and wifi-free retreats.

    Tasha Bassingthwaighte on imagination, meditation and wifi-free retreats.

    21/01/2019 Duración: 33min

    Earlier in this series of interviews, I spoke to Dr Larry Rosen who told me, "I would say that our imagination is probably on the decline, exactly in the opposite trend of our time spent on our smart phone". If, as I've been recently musing, our imaginations need time and space, and much of that time and space is currently being sucked up by smartphones, social media and  our online lives, then what happens when people stop, turn these devices off, and deliberately make time to reflect? To explore the answers to this questio, I headed out to The Barn Retreat on the Sharpham Estate, close to where I live, to talk to Tasha Bassingthwaighte who is The Barn's Manager.  I arrived just as participants in one of their week-long retreats were heading indoors for some fine-smelling soup. Tasha and I sat in The Barn's library, and I started by asking her to explain what happens at The Barn.

  • Alexandra Rowland on hopepunk, grimdark, story and imagination

    Alexandra Rowland on hopepunk, grimdark, story and imagination

    14/01/2019 Duración: 35min

    “It’s about how the first step to slaying a dragon is for one person to say, probably drunk in a bar somewhere, “I bet it can be done, though”.  These are the words of fantasy author Alexandra Rowland, whose novel ‘A Conspiracy of Truths’ was published late last year. The quote captures the essence of an idea, a genre, which she coined, called ‘hopepunk’. Fantasy and sci-fi is a world rich in different genres, but as soon as I read how she described what the term meant to her, I realised she had important things to contribute to our ongoing discussion about imagination, in particular to the question of how our storytelling can help to bring to life in the here and now the kind of future we want to create.  Are you ‘hopepunk’? You’re about to find out. I started our fascinating conversation by asking her to tell me what hopepunk means, and how the term came about...

  • Jackie Andrade and Jon May on imagination, lemons and Functional Imagery Training

    Jackie Andrade and Jon May on imagination, lemons and Functional Imagery Training

    18/12/2018 Duración: 47min

    Welcome to our last blog of 2018.  I'd like to thank you for joining me on this journey over the year and for your support and enthusiasm. Jackie Andrade is a Professor of Psychology at the University of Plymouth whose work focuses on imagination and how we can imagine different futures for ourselves and use that to help change our behaviour. Jon May is also a Professor in the School of Psychology at the University of Plymouth and his work also focuses on imagination and how it affects decision making, motivation and creativity. Over the last 20 years they have developed an approach called Functional Imagery Training which has many insights to offer to our exploration of imagination and its ability to change the real world around us.  I took the train to Plymouth and we sat in Jackie's office and had a fascinating conversation that, as Jackie later put it after reviewing the transcript, is "almost a whole manifesto for behaviour change".  I started by asking them to get us an outline of Functional Imagery Tra

  • Karen MacLean on Den Grøenne Friskole, where imagination flourishes

    Karen MacLean on Den Grøenne Friskole, where imagination flourishes

    07/12/2018 Duración: 22min

    In their book ‘Imagination First’, Eric Liu & Scott Noppe-Brandon wrote “it is pretty clear what makes young humans allergic to imagination: school”.  In my search for schools or approaches to education that truly place the imagination at their heart, and which avoid this kind of allergy, I was fascinated to hear about Den Grøenne Friskole (‘The Green Free School’) in Copenhagen. They are a school that values imagination, Transition and sustainability above everything else, and have developed something very powerful.  To find out more I spoke to Danish American Karen MacLean, one of the people who started the school.  She had originally trained to be a university teacher, but never actually taught, ending up initially working as a translator, but then more recently as one of the people running the school.

  • Ruth Sapsed on Cambridge Curiosity and Imagination

    Ruth Sapsed on Cambridge Curiosity and Imagination

    05/12/2018 Duración: 38min

    Ruth Sapsed is the Director of an arts and well-being charity called Cambridge Curiosity and Imagination.  She set it up 15 years ago with the artist Idit Nathan.  It grew out of a group who started meeting because they were concerned about the creative opportunities that education was offering their kids, the group creating a coming together of artists, educators, academics and parents.  Their conversations led them to start cultivating a relationship with the Faculty of Education at the University of Cambridge. Over time, Cambridge Curiosity and Imagination was formed, and 10 years ago it became a charity.  I first heard about them from Robert Macfarlane when I interviewed him recently, and on further investigation fell in love with their approach and their work.  It was therefore a great privilege to be able to talk to Ruth, and I started by asking her to give us a sense of what CCI does...

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