How can we “step things up” locally, finding more creative ways to work together for a sustainable and resilient future? To explore how, the Transition Palo Alto steering committee invited community leaders from around the South Bay to Re-Imagining the Future, a day-long conference on March 15 at the Adobe House in Mountain View.
More that 45 local community leaders came to meet each other, share their interests and passions and explore how we can do more together. Following introductions, groups took turns looking ahead to what a resilient and sustainable community might look like 20 years from now and “backcasting” to think about how we might get there. In a Mission Impossible exercise, small groups of leaders brainstormed about how to tackle “impossible” tasks, including:
- How could we convert 5000 South Bay lawns to drought-tolerant landscapes in one month?
- How could we provide low-cost housing to 50 urban farming workers in the South Bay with no government or foundation funding?
- How could we get solar panels on 50% of South Bay buildings owned by businesses in one year?
- How could we set up a disaster communication system that doesn’t rely on phone or Internet?
- How could we set up a transit system that allows commuters to go from Redwood City to Santa Clara without their own cars in the same commute time it would take if they used their own cars?
Finally, people with common interests (including transportation, water, banking and the economy, housing, local community action, health and well-being, youth leadership, and more) made connections for possible follow-on activity.
Click here to see the wonderful photos that Rick Row took.
And here are the flip charts from the Mission Impossible exercise: