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Transition Town Westcliff talk for the Chalkwell Ward Residents Association

We gave an interactive talk to the Chalkwell Ward Residents Association on Wednesday 11th of June. We introduced the concept of Peak Oil and Climate Change and what is the Transition Town Westcliff approach to it. This resulted in a heated discussion and great feedback as people enjoyed the interaction and activity so different to standard talks. We will continue to work with CWRA and will support the residents of Chalkwell in the upcoming Transition.

Self-teaching peak oil talk

More on the talk

We had a good audience of around 25 people including two councillors and had a very good, short introduction by the chairman Keith Osbourne. Well the introduction was a bit longer:) as my surname can be tongue breaking at times and I consider to change it to Kamil Transition over time. Sorry for that Mr Osbourne:)

We asked the people to talk in pairs and each person had two minutes to talk how the rising fuel prices are affecting them and how would the definite end of cheap oil change their lives.

This helped to focus people and me and Stephen mingled with th crowd and discussed heating, food, fuel prices… People had a good awareness of the current situation as they easily see the higher prices of their favorite food items going up and they spend more money at the petrol station.

The question how would the definite end of cheap oil change their lives cause people to ponder for a moment longer as I don’t think many consider the current high prices might stay high and probably grow. The people didn’t have a simple, ready made answer and we didn’t have it either…


From the beginning we made it clear that we are not experts and the Transition Town Westcliff is an group searching for answers in the community, from the community so we can collectively put them into action.

To engage people in this kind of discussion which we need to progress in Transition we used the self – teaching peak oil talk. We gave out slides with a picture on one side and short explanation on the other one and asked people to share with each other the piece of information they’ve got and feel free to add whatever they know.

People were talking and sharing and we also got into the crowd to listen, talk and learn. We had some heated discussions and we exchanged seats between the participants to further energize the discussion.


In the end we went through the slides to make sure everyone gets the big picture and we had some time for questions.

It wasn’t easy I must admit:) standing in front of people trying to get everyone to talk about issues which I don’t feel I fully comprehend, with my stress exacerbated by the famous ‘post petrolium stress disorder’ which had its own peak around the time I had to hand in my course work last month.

While answering questions was difficult what I found helpful was having a mind set where you take every doubt, every concern and idea as an added value to the discussion which makes it deeper and shows complexities and contradictions of the forthcoming changes in our lifestyles and communities.

We went over the time which shows that people have the need to talk about the current situation, that they are concerned and would like to know how to approach the future.

Here the concept of Transition comes in as it informs our creativity while we are trying new ideas to get a more resilient and local economy and hopefully if well implemented will guard us from making new and old mistakes.

Big thanks to the Chalkwell Ward Residents Association for their invitation, active participation and the offer of future cooperation. And thank you Stephen for your back up and some good photos:)

One Response

  1. […] Transition Town Westcliff talk for the Chalkwell Ward Residents Association […]

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