Upcoming Transition Albany Events

Join us for these great upcoming events.
October 25: The End of Suburbia (Film + Discussion)
November 8: A Crude Awakening (Film + Discussion)
November 15: Growing More Food in Albany, a Community Forum
November 29: Microcosmos (Film + Discussion)
December 13: The Age of Stupid (Film + Discussion)

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 15, 1:15 – 4:45 pm
Edith Stone Room, Albany Library
1247 Marin Avenue, Albany

Inviting the Imagination and the Ingenuity of the Community
This community forum will use open space technology to give everyone a voice and generate good ideas and follow up actions.
$10 contributions welcomed.
Please arrive promptly at 1:15 pm to get the most out of this event.

for a future we can live with …
Edith Stone Room, Albany Library, 1247 Marin Avenue, Albany
Sunday afternoons from 1.30 to 4.30 pm. Free.

The screening of each film will be sandwiched by opportunities to meet people
and talk together about our reactions to the film and to the challenges we are facing.

Sunday, October 25
“I have often seen how screenings of End of Suburbia … act, in hindsight, as a catalyst for all sorts of things that follow.” Rob Hopkins, Founder, Transition Movement

Sunday, November 8
A CRUDE AWAKENING, 2007, Switzerland
Clearly presents the argument that we are at or near the peak [of oil production], using fascinating archival footage of America’s love affair with petroleum from the early days of the industry.

Sunday, November 29 (Thanksgiving Weekend)
MICROCOSMOS, 1996, France
The delightful and wordless film of bugs up close and personal in their own environment. Family entertainment at its best.

Sunday December 13
THE AGE OF STUPID, 2009, UK (if we can get it) or 11th HOUR with Leonardo di Caprio
Right in the middle of the make-or-break United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, this most powerful film about the dangers of not doing enough.
Please keep in touch.

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The Work that Reconnects



Joanna Macy is a Buddhist teacher, writer, activist, and scholar who has been developing teaching tools to help us respond to the perils and suffering of our world for three decades.  She is giving a one-day workshop on The Work That Reconnects on February 14th at Common Circle, Berkeley, from 10 to 6pm. This is a very special opportunity to spend time with one of the elders of our age, someone whose life has been dedicated to helping people feel connected to the world they live in, fully in touch with their own emotions, and warmly connected to one other.

A group of 15 of us, mostly from Transition Albany and Transition Richmond (the Richmond Rivets), had a touching day experiencing some of Joanna’s tools on January 24th, courtesy of Pam and Tatyana at Sarana Community Acupuncture Center, 968 San Pablo Avenue, Albany. Anne Symens-Bucher, an accomplished workshop leader in her own right and assistant to Joanna Macy for four years, introduced deep and inclusive exercises designed by Joanna to put us in touch with the power, liberation, and solidarity that come with owning our collective grief.

Joanna’s work has been embraced by the Transition community, which is well aware that, as we let in the information coming our way about climate change and the end of cheap oil, we can be sideswiped by fear, grief, anger, helplessness – the whole gamut of emotions. If we have no place to air these feelings we are likely to stuff them and gradually deaden our response instead of letting our creativity and resilience come up with solutions.

Joanna is leading a day-long workshop in Berkeley on February 14th, 2010 – sign up at http://commoncircle.com/wtrevent. The cost is $95 before Feb 10th, and $145 thereafter. I attended a weekend workshop on The Work that Reconnects in Bolinas with Joanna in December 2009. I was thoroughly impressed with the potency of the simple exercises we did. I’m usually rather skeptical of workshops but I “warmed up” in the room of mostly people I hadn’t met before very quickly.

Every Transition Town has a “heart and soul” element, and we are starting our own group for airing feelings and lending mutual support during challenging times, on Thursday, February 18th at 943 Madison Street, Albany. Come for a potluck at 6:30 pm if you would like, and please RSVP to transitionalbanyca@gmail.com or call 510-528-2261.

“The most remarkable feature of this historical moment on Earth is not that we are on the way to destroying the world – we’ve actually been on the way for quite a while. It is that we are beginning to wake up, as from a millennia-long sleep, to a whole new relationship to our world, to ourselves and each other”. Joanna Macy

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10:10 in Albany

What if all of Albany reduced 10% of its emissions during 2010, through personal action?

The 10:10 project is an international campaign for individuals, businesses, schools, and organizations to publicly commit to taking responsibility for their person contribution to global warming by reducing their greenhouse gas emissions 10% in 2010.

If all of Albany participated, we would get well on our way to the City-wide greenhouse gas reduction goal of 25% by 2020!

Transition Albany is supporting this campaign by spreading the word and encouraging people to do the same. Here are 4 easy steps to participate!

  1. Commit. Sign onto 10:10 online and tell Transition Albany that you’re committing, so that we can add you to the list in Albany.
  2. Count. Measure your baseline greenhouse gas emissions with one of the many online carbon footprint calculators. We recommend the one at coolclimate.berkeley.edu because it is more comprehensive than some others out there. Note: Click “click here to continue” after entering California as your state.
  3. Act. Start reducing! Find a helpful and fun list of tips on the 1010uk.org site. Join the Low Carbon Diet. Read Albany’s Climate Action Plan to get some ideas.
  4. Share. Spread the word about the 10:10 campaign to others in Albany. Volunteer to contact and sign up 20 friends. Or pick a business or block of businesses to sign up. Or go after your school or your child’s school. Let us know through the comments below. The more we talk about it, the more people will be aware of 10:10!

Join the list of those participating in Albany!

(in alphabetical order)

Individuals & Families

Arkin Tilt family, Marge Atkinson, Dorothy Bevard, Gerhard Brostrom, Marge Brostrom, Allen Cain, Christopher Carter, Hortensia Chang, Patty Chin, Jess Cosby, Heather Cunningham, Linda Currie, Len Edmondson, Edward Fields, Andrew Frankle, Evan Frisch, Tree Gelb Stuber, Chester Godfry, Clara-Rae Jenson, Miya Kitahara, Robert Lieber, Dan Lieberman, Ly / Williams family, Allan Maris, Peggy McQuaid, Nierlich/Abbott Family, Claire Norris, Caryl O’Keefe, Brian Parsley, Nick Pilch, Beth Pollard, Suzanne Schrift, Janet Smith-Heimer, Amy Smolens, Catherine Sutton, Carol Swan, Karina Tindol, Ellen Toomey, the Utedskis, Meera Valdez, Wynette Weaver, Buddy Williams, Tony Wolcott, Florence Wahl…


Gathering Tribes


Albany Unified School District

This list is updated every week or two. Please alert us if you see a misspelled name.

Get on the list by filling out this quick form or by commenting on this post!

Read more about each step… (more…)

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Special Showing of The Age of Stupid

The groundbreaking film The Age of Stupid will receive a special showing at the Albany Twin Theatre on Solano Avenue on Sunday, March 7, 2010 at 11:30 a.m.  Transition Albany has organized this one-time-only showing to stimulate both discussion and action to address the challenges of climate destruction and the imminent end of the age of cheap oil.

Writing in Britain’s The Guardian, George Monbiot called The Age of Stupid “a captivating and constantly surprising film: the first successful dramatization of climate change to reach the big screen.” Grounding the film is a fictional character who looks back upon our time with full knowledge of the environmental and social upheavals of the first half of the twenty-first century. This device distinguishes the film from more conventional documentaries and arguably provides a drawing card for the film.

Age Of Stupid ArchivistIn the film, Academy Award-nominated actor Pete Postlethwaite stars as the Archivist, the lone caretaker to the collected knowledge of humanity.  In the year 2055, the Archivist looks back upon video clips of the early years of the climate crisis from within his tower in the now-melted Arctic, his refuge from a world devastated by storms, starved by droughts, and consumed by violence.  As he views the videos, he seeks answers to the question that haunts him: Why did humanity fail to save itself?

Postlethwaite, whom Steven Spielberg named “probably the best actor in the world today,” delivers a strong performance, but it is the lives of real people from our time whom he observes in videos in his archives that make the film so compelling.  Through these videos, director Franny Armstrong follows the struggles and aspirations of several intriguing people in often uncomfortable relationships to oil and global warming.  From Iraqi refugees to a British wind farm developer, from an Indian airline founder to a French mountaineer, we see the emerging possibilities of humanity’s future with all their complications and contradictions.

Amidst resistance to change in countries such as the U.S. and U.K. and growing aspirations elsewhere to “live like Americans,” can we avoid the fate that the film depicts? Or is our time destined to be remembered as the “Age of Stupid” for our failure to heed repeated warnings?

It’s been said that the best way to predict the future is to create it.  Consider this showing an invitation from Transition Albany to begin doing just that.

Age of Stupid: Trailers: Original Theatrical Trailer from Age of Stupid on Vimeo.

This theatrical showing of The Age of Stupid is expected to be the only one of its kind in the San Francisco Bay Area in the coming months.  Tickets will be available for purchase at the box office of the Albany Twin both in advance and on the morning of the 11:30 a.m. showing on Sunday, March 7, 2010.

You can help publicize this special showing of The Age of Stupid when you download the poster shown here in PDF format to print and display at your workplace and other suitable locations.
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Awakening the Dreamer – Changing the Dream

Awakening the Dreamer – Changing the Dream is a masterfully compiled multimedia collection of video excerpts, music, photographs, quotations, animation, live presenters, dyads, group processes and wisdom snippets – from Joanna Macy, Thich Nhat Hahn, John Robbins, Paul Hawken, Wangari Maathai and Vandana Shiva, among others – that, in only four hours, clearly distils the facts and elicits and presents answers to four questions:


Where are we?
How did we get here?

What is possible for the future?

Where do we go from here?

When I first experienced Changing the Dream, I had just watched the climate docudrama, Age of Stupid, and was keenly aware of the precariousness of our position on the edge of collapse, as cheap oil, the fuel behind our consumer society, runs out and its effects on our climate grow more severe. The symposium helped me connect my heart to the issues and see things through a wider lens.

A key concept is that we in the West have been “entranced” by years of marketing to believe that we need something outside ourselves to be satisfied, and that ever-increasing consumption is the answer. Although it is clear that our addiction to manufactured stuff is driving climate change, perhaps we are not so much “stupid” as hypnotized. Stores and manufacturers seduce us with brand images and logos and condition us to feel we cannot live happily without them.

Achuar RafaelThe Awakening the Dreamer Symposium was put together several years ago by the Pachamama Alliance in response to a heartfelt plea from the indigenous Achuar people of Peru/Ecuador, whose shamans had predicted that the world was on the verge of a terrible catastrophe, which only industrialized countries could avert. The version I experienced was a recent improvement that is taking the Bay Area (and beyond) by storm as more and more attendees are inspired to become facilitators and bring the symposium to their own groups and associations.

At the crux of the event is the revelation of one simple assumption under which we have been operating for centuries, the reversal of which will make it inevitable that we reduce our consumption, care more for the earth and each other than for profit, and rebuild our lives in resilient communities. Can you guess what it is?

The Symposium offers a beautiful, compact introduction to the Transition concept, so I am delighted to announce that the Pachamama Alliance and the Transition Network are currently formalizing a partnership. You can experience Awakening the Dreamer – Changing the Dream yourself on June 6th at the Albany Senior Center (see calendar). We are asking $10 – $20 for the event, but no one will be turned away for lack of funds. Please invite friends and be prepared to be moved.

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Transition Videos

Photo Stream (Transition US)