Travels in UK

written by: Mark Swilling on Thursday, 13 September 2012. Posted in Footprints Blog

After the World Urban Forum in Naples we have been in the UK. Besides family stuff (Eve's brother and his family lives here), we interacted with our partners at the Lexi Cinema, talked to folks at University of Essex in Colchester and now on our way to a meeting of the Desert Club at Colcot Manor in the Cotworlds. Sally and Theresa are the force behind the Lexi Cinema and its offshort, Nomad which is an amazing venture to show films in London's parks using a blow up screen. We went to screening of The Graduate in Queens Park - 1300 people attended. We also watched Lawless at the Lexi, a wonderful independent cinema beautifully decked out. Like all Lexi and Nomad screenings there is a 3 minute film about the Lynedoch EcoVillage and the Sustainability Institute to support the statement that all profits are donated to us for our work. Quite amazing to sit there in the middle of London with 2600 eyes watching our story appear - all so alien and familiar at the same time! 

University of Essex was interesting. A new initiative called the Essex Sustainability Institute is being established in the Business School. Seems to flow from the work over the years by Jules Pretty who is a Prof there - yes, the famous sustainable agriculture guy that our students read.  Nice group - not your usual policy wonk stuff, but quite critical perspectives with strong commitments to local initiatives (transition towns, community-support agriculture, etc). I think this could be a very useful long-term link. Not sure what they made of our presentation which spanned our very local Lynedoch work and the big picture transition stuff. Well, that is what we are, not much point hiding that, hey?

On our way to the Cotswolds now - group of entrepreneurs from around the world who invest in sustainable agriculture, including Helmy Abouleish from Sekem in Egypt. They want me to talk about the chapter in the Just Transitions book on soils. I look forward to all this.