Debate and questions first session
Panelist Niels Johan Juhl-Nielsen, Omstilling Danmark, which is part of the Transition Towns Movement told that there are three Transition Towns in Denmark today, and that some very interesting initiatives in terms of sustainability are happening at Nørrebro. So far without an umbrella to join forces, but that may be under way.
Panelist Anne Grethe Holmsgaard, Chairman of Gate21 and former member of the Danish Parliament posed the following question to Vaughan Lindsay and Søren Hermansen: What can we do to revitalize local ownership?
Vaughan Lindsay answered that the experiences at Dartington had shown that the following three parameters worked for maintaining local ownership:
- Local problem solution
- Having an internal market place which they do at Dartington
- To give a project financial support for 2-3 years and then request they become self supportive
For Søren Hermansen a combination of the local approach where you focus on what works and compete is what keeps you on track, and this is a way forward as he sees it.
Søren Winther Lundby, Global Citizen, asked who the black smith is on the global level?
Søren Hermansen answered that on the global level the black smith is not necessarily the tipping point for initiating change. It is more about starting a mind shift. The Danish company Grundfoss is not a company it is a movement that focuses on water, as Lars Kolind said recently. The global black smiths will be the companies that can focus on energy and food instead of on specific present solutions.
Vaughan Lindsay underlined that people try to find the one or two elements that will create the change, and he urged people to stop looking for a global black smith. It takes up too much time and energy. And the world is far too complex for there to be one or two simple solutions.
A man in the audience asked about the role of economic incentives.
Lindsay and Hermansen agreed that the market is good at spreading what works. But it is not good at making the initial risks and experiments. It is also important for progressive business and political initiatives to work hand in hand. So a green tax reform is needed.
“What gets measured gets done. But do we measure what we value? ”, Vaughan asked and continued, “I want my daughter to be happy, but we don’t as a society measure happiness and fulfillment. At the moment we tend to measure economic growth. If we can get government to measure some of the things that are important for our happiness and well-being, we can create a significant change.”
The latest book by Jeremy Rifkin which is called The third industrial revolution was recommended by a woman in the audience. It identifies an upcoming shift to a much more decentralized energy production down to the individual house level. That will create a shift in power because the producer and the user will become the same.