Transition in the World Conference connects villages around the world

On Sunday the 20th October, the eco-village Gröna Dalen in Ransbysätter, Värmland Country, Sweden, hosted a Transition in the World Conference as part of The Green Planet Festival. Held simultaneously on an Internet video conferencing platform  and at the village centre, villagers were connected to liked-minded projects around the world.

Beamed onto the large screen, villages could see themselves on video camera, their guest speakers and speakers in America, other parts of Sweden as well as hear presenters from Romania talking from the Scottish town of Fores.

Says Lennar Svahn, the man whose idea it was to connect up like minded people from around the globe:

“ there are more and more people around the world who are understanding that we are all in the same boat, and we all share a desire to live sustainably. I challenged Stephen Hinton to connect our little village with the rest of the world via Internet and he did it!”

VIllagers in Ransbysätter sit on the stage. The screen behind shows the speakers from the US, Sweden and Scotland

More and more people are living on less

When you get down talking to people about how they are experiencing transition in their daily lives, you find another world appears than the one you hear about in the news. Most people it seems are living in a world where fossil fuel and money is becoming less and less significant.

Lennart Svahn from Gröna Dalen told us how the village runs entirely in electricity produced in the hydro-electric facility – and that they sell electricity back to the national grid.  The village has a vegetable and eggs pick-up point, where local, ecological produce is available from the local organic market garden which uses a minimum of fossil fuel.

Liz Maclellan from Halfway, a tiny village in the US, tells us how the area is rather poor and people get by helping each other out.

The same for Romania, where although extremely poor by monetary standards, the population is largely agrarian; 30% live on subsistence farming and create a life for themselves by helping each other out.

Schematic set-up

Technology a star of the show

Technician Alexis says; “I can’t believe how well it worked! All we had was a few web cams, laptops a microphone and loudspeakers and using a free conference service managed to bring people together from so many different places in a really simple way”.

The conference ran on electricity from the nearby dam.

The dam, creating enough energy to run the whole village
The dam, creating enough energy to run the whole village

The turbine building

A few passing reflections from participants

  • We should do this more often – it is such fun to connect to people around the world and just chat about how we have it in our daily lives.
  • Connecting like this makes us realise we have so much in common and there are so few differences when it all comes down to it.
  • Technology has made it possible for villages around the world to connect to other villages. We should take the opportunity while it is still possible!
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