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A place where people earn money helping others recharge

At the Transition Town Hubs gathering in Santorso, Italy we were given a task to do on our own: How can we recharge together? I lay down in the green grass in the park, put my tape recorder on and did an imagestream.

Imagestreaming; You just describe and dictate what you see.  

The idea of imagestreaming is you give yourself an assignment to visit a place that has already solved the problem. You just describe and dictate what you see. The first thing you do is frame the assignment.  I normally start the tape recorder to do that so I capture everything. Here is the tapescript. Edited for clarity.

The assignment is to take me to a place which has a culture of personal recharging and a culture of recharging together. The place I want to visit is an industrial capitalist and consumer society.The first thing I see is a lift in front of me with RECHARGÉ  written on it.

I get into the lift, notice it is covered with kids’ pictures. I press the button, I ascend and the doors open onto a  bridge over to an old town, like a French town. The sun is shining, a market is going on selling all kinds of stuff.

Rechargé is a planned event that takes place on market days.

I ask around about how people recharge. It has to do with the market. Rechargé is a planned event that takes place on market days. Beyond the market it looks like a fete or party is going on. I see a sign “RECHARGÉ ” and times for various activities.

People are sitting in a circle on the grass in the park- I sit next to them. Inside the circle people are moving together, unscripted, like some kind of movement choir, like a game. Anyone can join at any point  – anyone can give up at any point.

I watch the choir move. It’s very funny. You have to forget yourself to get into it. It requires people stepping aside, falling over, doing silly stuff. Like an amoeba, people stick out here and there. People seem to know the rules.

I go and “borrow the eyes” of one of the participants’ so I can, in my imagestream, see what they are seeing and feel what they are feeling.They move fast; you have to concentrate and be really aware… you cannot think, you need to be right there. All in a fun spirit. All in silence. People are sitting watching. You need to be in the front row if you want to join in, I realise. So it seems there there are quite strict rules.

On market day, there are “new games” offered throughout the day, including this movement choir. These are subsidized by local businesses. It is good for business. These new games are non-competitive and run by paid facilitators belonging to the RECHARGÉ commons. (More on that later)

You recharge by taking yourself out of a situation and put yourself where you have to relax and get out of your head.

This one, the movement choir, is for adults, kids can watch but there is other stuff for kids.

The day is a designated PLAY DAY that means the kids lead the play, telling their parents what should happen.  It seems to be a great way to hang out with your kids, being in the play space with them and other adults, parents, with all kinds of activities going on.

I sense there is a facilitator here,

“Explain it to me,”I ask him.

“You recharge by taking yourself out of a situation and put yourself where you have to relax and get out of your head. Doing games that you have to relax to do. With the kids outside in the fresh air, lots to do, lots of other kids and the pressure is off you can relax in a safe space with the children knowing they are happy and you are together with them.”

Then there is the healing garden.  That is another kind of space available during Rechargé and even at other times.

I get it. There is a part of the town given over to Rechargé on market days although some things are permanent. It’s a place you know you can always go to. The healing garden offers smoothies, made from what is grown there,  you can shoot yourself full of vitamins: I take one, sipping at it as I go looking around more.

This part of the town has created a name for itself as the the Rechargé quarter. With the green and the garden it offers space, a culture of revitalization, new games without stress – a place to be with your children and friends. And always a place you can go back to for more.

Rechargé is a brand run as a commons

It is highly lucrative too…  they have built up their reputation and attract many people at the same time so it can be done effectively. All the facilitators, massage therapists, personal trainers etc earn good money.

From a business perspective, Rechargé is treated as a commons.  All the local actors own the concept. Like a brand. Combinations are important; the more diverse the things that they offer the stickier the place is that keeps people coming back. That the place is easy to get to is important. It is like a day trip place for outings, especially weekends. It serves the county. And the more people who come, the more people come back. The place has a brand which for each commons member means it si much more effective to share resources like marketing, PR, offices, etc.

A cooperative owns the brand and works with marketing, you  as a Rechargé supplier buy their services.

The facilitator team are good at what they do and they have practices in the town. There are special theme days as well, a bit like a fairground!

In the winter they have less. Maybe they will develop it, like with winter break services. There are plenty of long walking footpath routes already so rechargé even acts as a starting point and can sell bed and breakfast nights on the top of it.

My Analysis:

I am surprised in a good way about the business model. Often, play and games are not good jobs. Combine it with market day and you get a win-win. Parents can shop and kids can play and facilitators can earn.

The shared brand is kind of new to me but I am sure it could work.


About imagestreaming

About how to learn imagestreaming


You might like the idea of a Center of Wellbeing…. from an earlier imagestream.




What happens when you envision a sustainable city?

Cross-section of the sustainable city concept

A long time ago – maybe around 2003 – I gave myself the task of envisioning what a sustainable place might look like. Instead of using conventional invention techniques I chose to use Imagestreaming. Imagestreaming is an instant-answer method that was invented by educationalist Wim Wenger based on his studies of past geniuses. Read More…

5 P WORKSHOPS: exploring potential for local economy, markets and enterprises

Recruiting to local enterprises


Economic progress has been uneven to say the least. People and the environment are still experiencing stresses even in countries with higher living standards. Could re-focussing the local economy be part of the answer? A regenerative local economy includes all citizens, recirculates money to ensure thriving local businesses and it works to ensure a sustainable use of resources.

But there is a lot to learn. You could organise presentations and lectures from experts. Another way to explore the potential of revitalizing the local economy is to simply simulate the experience to see how far a group of people can come. Read More…

New guides to the circular economy available

Understanding the circular economy needs you to have a grounding in physics, biology, economics supply chain and several other disciplines.

To help you apply circular economy thinking in your work we have developed a series of guides, presentations, videos and workshops that gives you the essentials without having to study these disciplines.

For example:


First presented at the Caux Foundation conference on Trust and Integrity in the Global Economy (TIGE), a 40-minute overview of the absolute essentials explains:

  • Two main cycles – and the absolutely essential crossover points that should always be monitored.
  • Three  elements of the circular economy, their cycles, their essential differences and why understanding them will help you grasp circularity.
  • Four spheres, their interaction points essential to pinpoint in all supply chain and economic activity.

Read more here.



We are not running out of energy; capitalism is.

Stephen Hinton 2016, photo Maj-Lis Koivisto

Most of the energy used in the world economy comes from non-renewable sources. Analysts fear that the expanding extraction of energy will not keep up with the expanding economy and …well… the the economy will deflate like a balloon and everyone will be worse off. Worst for the poor who have very little already. Or they fear that the climate will collapse because we are pouring too much carbon dioxide into it just to stay alive. Either way, the economy is so dependent on energy, they say, that we will go into a period of recessions and undermine peace is many ways. Not strictly true in my opinion  that there is too little energy: there is enough energy to keep everyone fed and housed within planetary boundaries. It’s just that there is not enough to keep capitalism going. And it is the failings of capitalism that we need to address if we are to make this peace project real, not energy supplies. Read More…

OPINION: Accounting needs to adapt to the circular economy

Photo: Maj-Lis Koivisto

We often hear about how hard it is to change the course of large ships, and as an analogy our current economic system seems to be hard to turn away from its course of counter-sustainability. However, large tankers DO make it into port. I would like to offer the idea that our economy can change course too. As with large ships, we need to understand and master the controls. Very few talk about accounting and sustainability. That is a shame, as several built-in features (and some easy to build in) could offer a way to turn the economy around. It’s not rocket science and it would be a big leap forward!
Read More…

Citizen Science being tried in Swedish Municipality

As part of the EU project Ground Truth, to set up citizen observatories, the municipality where the eco-village I am engaged in is the site for  a campaign to explore how citizen involvement can improve understanding and decision making around the water cycle.

Citizen science is on the increase. Using their own observations and mobile devices, citizens can provide a new data stream of local information about their environment, complementing existing systems and data sources.

 Ground Truth 2.0 is a 3-year EC funded project that is setting up and validating six citizen observatories in real conditions, in four European and two African demonstration cases. The project is demonstrating that such observatories are technologically feasible, can be implemented sustainably and that they have many societal and economic benefits. The ultimate objective is the global market uptake of the concept and the enabling technologies.


Ground truth

The Swedish Municipal Water Blitz

Planetary health: the new science

Read the latest from The Lancet Planetary Health journal:
Planetary Health: a new discipline

A beneficial climate change hypothesis

Reblogged from Dr Curry’s Climate etc. Excellent analysis of climate change and our own change from hunter gathering to agriculture.

Climate Etc.

by Rud Istvan

A novel hypothesis on the role of CO2 in the technological transition from hunter/gatherers to sedentary agriculture.

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