social-ecological transformation transition towns values

Values-based change agent

Pella Thiel

When you appeal to the rational economic man, you strengthen those values, prime those values, and the intrinsic ones become weaker. If I tell you that installing these solar panels will be cheaper, then you become less interested in unity with nature, social justice – a beautiful world. And what we know is that a beautiful world, thinking and action for a sustainable future rests on those intrinsic values.

Pella Thiel an ecologist and change agent who chairs the board of the Transition Network Sweden, Omställningsnätverket, and is also working with values for transition within the Common Cause network. She is also facilitating End Ecocide Sweden.

Pella works to create meeting places that build the trust in the possibility of the big changes necessary for a sustainable, just and meaningful world.

Talking points

Addressing ecocide is a prerequisite – we can’t have thriving local communities if we don’t put an end to the destruction being done as an everyday thing.

Our current system…we think it’s OK to destroy living systems

What makes a success is when people devote time to themselves – how they are, how they work, how they interact with each other. If you can create a healthy group where people actually want to be there becasue it is fun and people support each other, that is a success factor.

Be welcoming of lots of different actors, a space holder for change to happen.

Being positive without closing eyes to severity of the situation we are in.

Transition, most horrible things and most beautiful things happen at the same time….when we actually say this has to change. if you are an addict, it is not until you realise I can be alive and I can be dead, and this is the choice I have to make.

Do we have to convince everybody? This is a stress – “we have to reach everybody, we have to be palatable enough for the middle class, everybody needs to be in this change”, which is true to a certain degree, but from what we know about big shifts in complex systems, they don’t happen that way – that suddenly many people do something different, on the contrary, they happen because a small amount of individuals do things from a very different logic. Maybe 5%, maybe even less because we are so interconnected – if a few people can spread a message that many other people resonate with…maybe even fewer than 5% to tip the system.

This path we are on is not going to take us any further, so we get to choose the path we want. So then the question is options for change – mostly the transition message that we can deal with this together.

We can deal with this together, if we do it together it’s not that scary, it can be fun, meaningful and connecting.

We have invested heavily in the current picture, and it will be difficult to leave…but we can make money frmo other things, and that money will be serving us better. Serving the complex we live in much better, much healthier, less stressful and less lonely than we are today.

Ecocide is mass damage and destruction of ecosystems where people and other organisms live. And what we’re working on…international law against ecocide.

The movement is to have Ecocide recognised by the Rome Statute…the most severe crimes – crimes against humanity, genocide, war crimes…they are tried in the international court.

This will have to be a process as we find out together, what do we accept and not accept. Today as a society we do accept mass damage of nature – and we know where that is taking us, we’re well into the 6th mass extinction.

Our collective actions are taking us to a place that doesn’t benefit any of us. We have to change that, and that’s not easy, but if we don’t begin…

Common Cause…the role of values in how we act and think, and how that relates to sustainability. Values provide guiding principles, that tell us what’s desirable, what’s normal and what’s important.

Values change and shift all the time. If we what change, we need to be conscious of values.

Values influence everything we do, but we are usually unaware of them. We don’t usually notice societal values, what values are strengthened in our society – what is perceived as desirable, normal and important in a society

Extrinsic values: if you get a reward for what you do, how people see you, material wealth, status, power…and then there are intrinsic values- they are more related to the context you are in: relationship to nature, friends and family, social justice, equality, and things such as creativity.

For us to be able to act on bigger than self issues, we have to act on intrinsic values – so they have to be the strong ones.

I caution against good and bad values, but its normative in the way that if want to move in the direction that is more collective – and just people, but also taking into account the interests of other beings, even landscapes, then we have to be focussing on the intrinsic values. –

Selfish, rational economic man…that’s really strange thinking, that we could build a society that is good for all based on the interests of individuals that don’t care about that whole society. That’s a sad picture of people being very very small – and we aren’t that small. We’re big, we have big hearts if we can believe in those big hearts.

When you appeal to the rational economic man, you strengthen those values, prime those values, and the intrinsic ones become weaker. If I tell you that installing these solar panels will be cheaper, then you become less interested in unity with nature, social justice – a beautiful world. And what we know is that a beautiful world, thinking and action for a sustainable future rests on those intrinsic values.

Transition needs a whole shift in thinking, and by appealing to your economic gain from that, you will undermine and cause collateral damage to those intrinsic values and weaken your ability to participate in the transition.

We need to go even deeper than an overthrow of capitalism. Using money as a measurement is really shallow.

We measure money, but that’s not the interesting stuff – people are interested in healthy relationships with politicians, neighbours, their children’s teachers, healthy food, beautiful setting – those are the things we should strive for.

The best things in life, money can’t buy. We know that, so why do we keep focussing on money?

How can we strengthen each other by sharing the strengths we have?

In an ecosystem it is many relationships that builds resilience and it is the same in our communities.

We can’t sustain the system we are living in now, and I don’t think that we should, so sustainability is not really very interesting, what is interesting is transition to resilience, perhaps a regenerative sustainability.

We shouldn’t have sustainable business, we should aim to have regenerative business.

If you work with values, and talk about the values you want to strengthen, then you do a lot of good, even if you don’t explain things very much. People don’t act on information, people act on values.

We need to give people a reason to act based on values.

(Success) The awareness of Ecocide law.

(Activist) Yes. I actively do things for something I believe in.

(Motivation) How important these things are to me – the living systems of the earth, the future of my children, it hit my heart how much I care for those things, and it goes a long way

(Challenges) Microscale…on the farm where I live, a healthy community, that trusts and cooperates to provide our food.

(Miracle) That all people started to believe in their own power to create good communities for themselves and for others, that they would believe in their own roles as change agents.

(Advice) Believe in your own power to create the change that you want to see in the world. And take some time to reflect on what is important to you, then manifest that in some way – draw it, write it down, tell someone else.

This interview was recorded in early September 2015.

agriculture community community garden food tourism transition towns

Strengthening community

Anisha Lee

My miracle would be a very big thing, but would require a lot of small things.

Anisha Lee is involved in community development in Oamaru. We talk about her experiences in farming, geology, botany, tourism, environmental farm plans and community gardens. we talk about all of these things, along with plans to bring Ooooby to Oamaru.

Talking points

From a personal responsibility level there seems to be a change in the dairy industry – this is beneficial for everybody if we take responsibility for the decisions you take.

The environment will win in the end if you destroy the thing that is feeding your business – the soil – but it will take casualties on the way through.

No one wants to do bad. But they only know how to do good in the context of what they know is good. People do listen to their managers, but it’s an apprenticeship system without regulation – they think they’re doing good, but they’ve been taught by people who didn’t know either. All genuine people who believe they are doing the right thing.

The best way to bring about change is to get farmers who are doing a great job to run groups – to build a sense of community people who know and are doing a good job of environmental management.

International visitors hear “clean and green” don’t realise that it is provided by an irrigator – it’s not naturally green around here. They realise we have a genuine problem, that we’re not as environmentally friendly as we look on a postcard. It is definitely going to damage tourism is we don’t stop saying something we’re not.

They see environmental mayhem with a small reserve on the edge and are appalled at we call a clean green country.

If we take care with what we do to meet our animalistic desires and requirements, then the other stuff might come a bit easier

Making sure we’re not polluting and are supporting an environment that will keep producing food and preventing poverty and assisting in communities being healthy, more rounded people as well as looking after the facilities around us that provide us with food.

Seeing beginning of the tipping point.

But we’ve been removed as society from understanding what is really important to us.

People are starting to realise that what we eat – where it comes from is really important. It is easier to drive to the supermarket, but in the long run that is not better for everyone.

Helping people have more connections within the community.

(Success?) Graduating. Being involved in the fantastic and enriching Summer School

(Activist?) If it means someone who screams and yells outside and doesn’t do much else, then not really. If it means someone who takes action, then yes.

(Motivation?) I like helping people, being around people, seeing people happy. I see a lot of non-happiness in the world, and I try my best to change that.

(Challenges?) OOOOBY, Education material for the cape re-vegetation project.

(Miracle?) My miracle would be a very big thing, but would require a lot of small things. Happy people, that don’t have to deal with poverty and an unhappy environment around them. Coming up with a solution that means we’re not reliant on petroleum for everything. And getting back to our roots without having to lose too much of that comfort that we’ve managed to acquire.

The smallest thing that anyone could do that would make the biggest impact is to go and talk to your neighbours. Get to know the person who lives next door and be pleasant to them. We’ve all got to live together, whether we like it or not.

(Advice?) Be nice to everybody. Have some compassion, everybody has their struggles. They might tell you what they need and you might be able to help if you’re just prepared to listen.

This series of conversations in Oamaru was prompted by discussions with Phoebe Eden-Mann following her OU Geography field trip to explore Oamaru as a transition town.

We are very grateful to the helpful folks from 45 South Television for the use of their studio.

community transition towns

Transition Oamaru

Gail May-Sherman

I would like to do the sorts of projects that 30 years down the line, if the world has gone to hell, people will say “thank god we did this”, and if 30 years down the line nothing has gone to hell and everything is fine then people will say “oh my god, I’m so glad we did this”.

Gail May-Sherman is chair of the Natural Heritage Society – the group behind Transition Oamaru and Waitaki District.

Talking points

There’s a group of people here who shared our ideals and really wanted to make a difference.

We need to interact with people – we need to be unified in times to come.

We are preparing out community for changes

Trying to get people to understand that lifestyles need to change and it needs to change pretty rapidly

Realisation that just organic farming wasn’t enough – we need skills

We don’t expect everyone to stand up and be warriors

Whether these changes happen or not, I’m want to able to say I’m so glad we did this.

Our criteria for a course in the Summer School is that it has to help our community either by keeping certain skills in the community, or by helping people reach out and become more connected to each other.

Music brings people together

in the Summer School, we’re not trying to convince anybody of anything, we’re trying to offer things to make sure our community has these skills. Whether these bad things happen in the community or not, it will still make our community a better place.

I would like to do something positive, regardless of what the future holds.

I grew up in Colorado – changes in the climate are much more obvious there than in New Zealand. When I was a little girl, if you planted a garden before the 1st of June, there was a really high probability that you would lose everything to the last frost at the end of May. By the time I left, if I hadn’t planted by garden by the end of April, I wouldn’t get a harvest. Because not only had the frosts left by the middle of April, but by the middle of June temperatures would be 37-40 degrees C, and they would stay that way for three months, with effectively no rain – and watering restrictions because of droughts, extreme droughts. Gardening became an entirely different thing. I have two children. I saw these changes happening to where I grew up. I used to read the newspaper…I saw what was happening with politics and finances, and I saw people around me becoming desperate, living amongst relatively affluent home owners, but still people were struggling, yet the prices of everything were increasing, and there was this tremendous pressure to keep buying. And then we learned about Peak Oil, and the US without cheap oil will be a disaster. So I slowly but surely felt like a person chained to the rail-road tracks and saw the train coming. I felt like myself, and my family, and everyone I loved was in terrible peril, because I couldn’t see any way of making where we lived a place that could survive the kinds of changes that seem to be coming on us. So when we decided to leave, I promised myself that wherever we went I didn’t ever find myself in that position – that I felt totally helpless.

The US is a place that’s on a track and I don’t see it going off – it’s going where it’s going, and I don’t think you can change it – I’d be delighted for someone to prove me wrong. But here you can make a difference.

Anywhere you go, you find the same mix – people who see what is happening and who are afraid and want to do something about it, and people who either don’t see it at all or see it and are afraid and therefore want to pretend it doesn’t exist. I wouldn’t want to speak for anyone, but I do believe that that there are a large number of people who simply choose not to believe it because believing it is too hard, too scary.

We can complain, or we can see opportunities. It behoves us to make the best of the opportunity, because that’s the way it is. Turn challenges into community vision and do something really valuable.

I would like to see Oamaru become a city where community members are connected, and know each other and take care of each another. Where we can supply our own basic needs – our food, shelter and clothing. Where our energy requirements can come from non-polluting – or at least, less polluting – more long term sources.

There are all these challenges about reducing our fossil fuel consumption, while not forcing people to go live in caves – a phrase I hear a lot “you guys just want us to go live in caves” – but that’s exactly what we don’t want. So we would like to see Oamaru use a lot of solar and wind power.

A town like Oamaru has very few energy needs that cannot be met through alternative energy sources if we put our minds to it.

The biggest factor is getting people to remember how to take care of each other – to me that’s the biggest goal, to get rid of that social isolation that is such a part of modern life.

Being old isn’t such a tragedy if you are surrounded by a community that cares for you. being young having children isn’t so difficult if you are surrounded by a community that cares for you.

Pick one project, Get people together even if only half a dozen, and get that project working and visible and strong, and you will get more people interested and eventually you will be able to spread your fingers into other pies. The school connected us to a wide variety of people with a wide variety of skills that have now taken off with other projects – so it helps if your project connects a whole lot of community members to begin with.

(Success?) Summer School, community garden propagation, food forest project. In the last few months we’ve taken on at least five new projects.

(Activist?) Kind of. When I think of activist I think of people who go with signs and protesting – and I do that from time to time. I guess I’m an activist but I do it more with an idea of cooperation. When I think of activist I think of people who are trying to make conflict with a particular source that aggravates them – I am not a very conflict oriented individual….I am activist that works through cooperation rather than conflict.

(Motivation?) the future I see my children having. I watched the Soylent Green dystopian vision when my son was about six months old. In the movie one of the characters is an old man who remembers life back when energy was plentiful and food was plentiful and there was flowers and trees, and it suddenly occurred to me that my son was that old man – he was the generation that was was very likely to be the last ones that would remember that kind of world. Unless we change something dramatically, by the time my son is an old man things could be very much worse. And now my daughter is about to have her first baby. Not only would I like my old age to be relatively pleasant, I would like their old ages to be relatively pleasant too. That’s probably the biggest thing that motivates me.

(Challenges?) Getting our community to recognise a need for a change in the way the economy works. We need to start realising that the emphasis on stuff has to go away. We need to learn to live without growing – you have to learn to live with what you have. The last 150 years of growth brought to us by the fossil fuel industry has been fabulous, but we can’t do that any more. We need to change our priorities so that rather than having more and more and getting bigger and bigger, we can live comfortably with where we are.

(Miracle?) Change in attitude. Having people recognise that we can’t keep exploiting things – we have to live in balance. If I could make the fossil fuels go away in a single whoosh then I would, but only if I could be sure it wouldn’t make everyone’s lives hell. That’s the problem with magic wands – you never know what the consequences are going to be. So I don’t want to say there’s one little thing, but if I could just make people see that we can still live wonderful happy lives, they don’t have to be tarred and horrible and miserable…without constantly getting more stuff. If I could get everyone to see that could be not just as nice but could quite easily be preferable as a lifestyle, that would be the wand that I would wave.

(Advice?) If you think that these issues are a problem then you need to start acting on that, it is time for everyone to act. You don’t have to start whole movements, but you need to start making changes, and you need to start supporting other people in making those changes.

This series of conversations in Oamaru was prompted by discussions with Phoebe Eden-Mann following her OU Geography field trip to explore Oamaru as a transition town.

We are very grateful to the helpful folks from 45 South Television for the use of their studio.

transition towns waste

Relationships of waste and people.

Marian Shore

What we’re really doing is resource recovery of people, we just happen to be using the waste stream.

Marion Shore is the energy behind the Waitaki Resource Recovery Park in Oamaru. She is also involved in many community initiatives, including restorative justice and Transition Oamaru and Waitaki District.

Talking points

Oamaru is known historically as the organic capital of NZ

We’ve achieved a critical mass of like-minded individuals

When I got here, there was no recycling, and I thought “that’s a good thing for me to do”

A workshop I went to by mistake…organics in waste streams…he said the most hazardous material in the waste stream is organic matter – that didn’t make sense to me. I know now that the organics breaks down – but that’s the problem…a chemical soup leachate problem.

I thought “that’s really simple, we’ll just change the system”.

The most profound thing for me was the potential to create significant social benefit using the waste stream.

Mentoring at risk youth, long term unemployed, PACT…creating a social hub.

We’re able to create the social benefit for no additional cost to the community.

What we’re really doing is resource recovery of people, we just happen to be using the waste stream.

Not having kerbside recovery is actually a good solution, it means that wasters pay, recyclers get benefits. Rather than subsidising people who don’t recycle, the wasters pay and the recyclers get the benefit from either buying responsibly or disposing responsibly.

We’re like a filter, significantly extending the life of the landfill by diverting materials

There’s been some serious challenges to our existence over the years, but the community responded – marches to support the park. There was a year that they were changing the waste plan, and we weren’t a part of that, but there were 2000 submissions in favour of us.
The primary goal is reuse of recycling, anything in the bins is just stuff we haven’t currently found a recovery pathway for.

It’s good to look in the bin. At one stage the majority of what was in the bin was big furniture. So we found a market for foam. So then we dismantled to wood, wire and foam – we could sell all of that.

All the time we’re looking at local markets. Because our material is hand sorted we have a much higher quality, and so a broader range of markets are open to us.

What is really frustrating is new packaging. You’d think that packaging would have come with a system to manage the other end – but there isn’t.

If it’s mixed it’s rubbish, if it’s separated it’s resource.

While there’s a lot more awareness, there are other things that are not helpful.

We divert about 86% of what comes on site from landfill (but this isn’t the community figure as there is also kerbside rubbish collection).

Ideally we’d have systems that would do us out of business – I’d love to be redundant. But we’re treading water.

There’s no vetting of packaging, especially in cheap imported goods.

Waste crosses boundaries, everyone has it, and intrinsically people want to do the right thing.

We really push respect

We have a high staff turn-over and I’m really proud of that…we pick people up from the bottom…

We’ve created an environment… as we lose social agencies…we’re able to replace that in a way, in the real world.

Everyone is just volunteers, treated the same. We’ve been instrumental in turning around persistent offenders – there’s a different way to treat people, a different way to behave and it’s OK.

Restorative justice – an amazing powerful process – often profoundly beneficial.

You never know where the trigger is going to to be – what is going to turn the light on.

If we can resolve things locally, it’s about relationships

Innovative solutions that don’t necessarily cost – that brings the social aspect in.

Most often the offender is also a victim.

As a society we need to retrain in how we address conflict.

(Success?) Stories of staff

(Activist?) Introvert activist

(Motivation?) We’re all part of the one – we’re all interconnected.

(Challenge?) Less and less support from central government for social issues.

(Miracle?) That we’ve come up with social solutions locally.

(Advice?) You’re not to small to make a difference.

This series of conversations in Oamaru was prompted by discussions with Phoebe Eden-Mann following her OU Geography field trip to explore Oamaru as a transition town.

We are very grateful to the helpful folks from 45 South Television for the use of their studio.

education transition towns

Resilience, education and community building

Phil K

Doing things differently is an effective narrative.

Phil K runs the Sustainable Skills Summer School as part of Oamaru’s Transition Town movement.

Talking points

Meet people where they are and give them one step forward.

One thing that they could do immediately. Not a hundred things about possibilities – one thing

Live minimally in a way that doesn’t molest the earth – in a way that I think is sustainable and responsible – I think that comes from who I am.

I live minimally because I really like it, there’s things that I love and find satisfying, I’m not about to lecture other people to live like this because it’s going to save the planet, or something they should do, I would say find similar things that mean something to you that you can do and feel are worthwhile and satisfying – then yes, find a way to do it.

Even a small way, I’m not saying that people have to radically change their lifestyle – there’s things that people can do fufil those feeling good criteria, that you can put into your lifestyle.

There’s a really good chance that things are going to turn to custard, and we’ll want people to grow vegetables and share food, and use less, less fuel – don’t know whether that would happen by necessity. I’m not sure if that will be forced upon people.

Logically, we are over consuming, and we can’t keep over consuming for ever.

I thought I was crazy, why isn’t wearing a suit working. I think society has got to change, but that is personal. Do I think society has got to change? Yes, because I think that is the way that is is going, but it’s not like I’m wagging a finger saying “you’ve got to change because you’ve got the wrong way and I’ve got the right way”.

Narrative is incredibly important – you end up living the story you tell yourself.

Doing things differently is an effective narrative.

Commodification of attention

The ethos of the summer school is that individuals and communities will have to be more self reliant. And we get there though community sharing.

Just teach one small thing you know really well.

Summer School offers people seriously going through the door a step in the right direction.

Looking for people to see a wider view from that small thing. A transformative journey.

The way that people change is incremental, so the best we can do is incremental. Whether that is enough, I don’t know.

A resilient community has lots of networks.

The best thing we can do is make non-trivial connections.

People in Oamaru make things happen – they put on events and then they go to them.

We talk about self reliance, resilience, community building – those are all things people can latch onto withou thinking it’s a foreign language or against my politics.

Resilience and community building is a language that connects.

Green, not Green Party – more like earth.

Not ruining things is not the prerogative of any one political party.

(Success?) The way that I live becoming increasingly sustainable.

(Activist?) No. I do this personally as something that satisfies me. I don’t want to push people. I’m happy to live this way.

(Motivation?) Without hippy speak: Love. This is an astonishingly beautiful world. Caring provides the motivation. The cure will come from loving something.

(Challenges?) Physically getting older. Creating reducing systems.

(Miracle?) Cassandra’s dilemma – could tell the truth but no one believes you. My magic wand would have people believe climate change and sustainability message.

(Advice?) Act on things you care about. Stuart Kauffman – work with adjacent possible, what is beside you, possible and feels right. Do one of them, then look for another.

This series of conversations in Oamaru was prompted by discussions with Phoebe Eden-Mann following her OU Geography field trip to explore Oamaru as a transition town.

We are very grateful to the helpful folks from 45 South Television for the use of their studio.

transition towns

Leading change comes from the heart

Christopher Le Breton talks from the heart. He believes that sustainability requires the integration of the environment, social justice and spiritual fulfilment. Trickle down hasn’t worked and more and more people are not in touch with their hearts but crave goods.

Le Breton says that we should slow down – on a worldwide cycle ride to raise awareness of global environmental issues, Le Breton took his own advice and slowed down – instead of playing cycle tourist, he stayed in communities both running workshops and learning about social justice. He asks “if you were given one minute to talk speak to world leaders, what would you say?”. He is inspired by goodwill, open hearts and people doing incredible things. This he describes as “love”. This is how to create a sustainable future, he says, recognising coming together as love.

So, how come such an intelligent species has gotten ourselves in such a mess? And how come this love and new way doesn’t find a voice in the halls of global summits? The disconnect, says Le Breton, is that we live our lives as if separate from each other and the environment. We need a different language, one that accepts the unconditional love of people committed to making a difference:

harmony will result if we can marry the wisdom of the heart with the brilliance of the human brain

For Le Breton this belief all comes from a passion for a holistic land and people crafted in Africa, developed in an education in geography, given experience working for the European Commission and UK politics, and honed in hundreds of workshops around the world. In Dunedin, Le Breton is working volunteering for the Blueskin Resilient Communities Trust. He is running a workshop in Waitati on the 13th October 9am-6pm.

Shane’s number of the week: 3.5 Million is the size of the Artic ice at the end of the northern summer. This is less than half the average of the previous four years.

Sam’s joined-up-thinking: Is there a path between “behavioural wedges” and the failure of “spillover” (more>>>).

education transition towns

Dr Maureen Howard



Originally from Northern Ireland, Maureen Howard has lived in Dunedin for the last 17 years. She has a BSc Hons in Psychology from University of Ulster and a PhD in Psychology from the University of Otago. She has been employed in a variety of work including research, teaching, consulting, administration and environmental campaign work. Since 2006 she has been contracted by the Dunedin City Council to run courses, workshops and talks in sustainable living and to provide support for sustainable living skill-sharing within Dunedin’s communities.

Maureen tells us that education for sustainability is important to many councils in NZ who also run courses through the Sustainable Living Programme. The Dunedin City Council also has a Safe and Sustainable Travel Coordinator, a Sustainability Advisor and staff engaged in waste minimisation. They support Enviroschools and encourage activities like water conservation, composting, cloth nappies, cycling and walking routes, and insulation retrofitting through their website, leaflets and workshops. The courses Maureen runs, along with workshops and talks on sustainable living help to bring this and other sustainability information together for interested people in the community. She tells us about role of communities in working towards a better future, one with more diversity, more resilience and greater productivity.

In her spare time Maureen is an active member of Transition Valley 473 and Sustainable Dunedin City Society.

Shane’s number of the week:  1,200 square kilometers is the size of the oil slick in China’s Bohai Sea. If oil companies can’t clean up this mess in one of the world’s most powerful countries, what hope is there of getting it right in New Zealand given our much smaller economy, tiny military and much more technically challenging drilling conditions?

Sam’s joined-up-thinking: Ray Anderson, who died this week, changed the nature of business (more>>>)

food permaculture planning transition towns

James Samuel

James Samuel

In the show that started out being about frogs and metamorphosed into a show about transition, James Samuel talks about Transition Towns in New Zealand. James says that he aims to spend no more than 20% of his time talking about what needs to change, and instead focuses on demonstrating a more vibrant future. This is an inspiring story.

Shane’s number of the week: 2788 is the number of species that are endangered in New Zealand.

Sam’s joined up thinking: How can we work together to think about what our places might look like in years to come? And how might we get there? Sam talks with Dr Olaf Schroth who mixes community involvement, modelling and visualisations of future scenarios. The full interview is on

(Our advertised guest Dr Phil Bishop was unable to join us. He has been rescheduled for August. Our apologies – but we know you’ll enjoy James Samuel instead).