The Melbourne Zeitgeist chapter is ready to re-invigorate. Following a productive meet up recently organised by Craig, we discussed numerous ideas to gain momentum.
Presently, Craig will continue to run the monthly documentary and discussion series, which is a great opportunity to discuss important topics and learn new information. Libby is continually on the lookout for opportunities to run social group meet ups attending interesting speaking and events happening in town, such as Russel Brand or Peter Singer. Sonny is preparing to record podcasts on the national TZM channel. And Brad is planning to run a new meet up group focused on activism.
Creating regular meet ups and discussions are vital for social cohesion within any TZM chapter, but equally important is the need for action based projects as well. The first paragraph of the official TZM mission statement reads:
“TZM works through community based activism and awareness actions, each chapter should organise tasks through both of these mediums.”
Community based activism consists of any physical, action based projects that embody the underlying TZM principles. This is not “patch work” activism that merely aims to alleviate symptoms, like traditional charity or picket holding rally’s, but is more aligned with “transitional projects”. In other words, projects that aim to bridge the gap between our current market system and an RBE.
For instance, Dan from TZM Melbourne has a background in permaculture. We spoke about a potential project offering a free permaculture makeover in community backyards, where we could make a video of the process and teach people how to use their existing space to grow their own fruit and vegetables. And If we converted enough backyards we could get people to donate a portion of their yields and hold a free community market.
Obviously, small projects aren’t going to change the world, but they are a step in the right direction. And more importantly, it gives new/existing members a chance to take action towards sustainability.
Some other ideas we discussed:
Public interactions at green party gatherings
Creating a list of things people can do right now that takes action toward sustainability
Utilise existing member skills in a barter/trade system
Peer to peer sharing/access system
I’d encourage all members to start brainstorming ideas for projects, and look into existing transitional projects such as “Positive Money” or “Transition Towns” (see the two latest podcasts on the TZM official channel). We are looking forward to collaborating with other chapters on potential transitional project ideas. So let’s all stay in touch.