Schumacher North Annual Gathering 2016

Saturday 8 October 2016, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm at the Quaker Meeting house, Carlton Hill,Woodhouse Lane, Leeds LS2 9DX.

Click here to book on Eventbrite

Join us once again for Schumacher North’s annual get-together, sharing ideas, inspiration and home-grown/made/spun organic food as we plan another year of activities aimed at building awareness and a vision of ‘The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know Is Possible’.

There will be sessions on Ecological Spirituality, E.F.Schumacher’s relevance today, Permaculture as a holistic approach to sustainability, and (we hope) a short film and talk about direct action against extreme fossil fuels at Drax.

Schumacher North is going through changes and this will be a great opportunity to help shape its future as an ongoing community helping to build a new world amid the impending ruins of the old!

Equity and Ecology- Building a Fair and Sustainable Local Economy

This public afternoon workshop was organised by Schumacher North in collaboration with Third Sector Leeds, the statutory representative body for the Leeds Third Sector, and took place on 25 September 2015 at St. George’s Centre, Gt. George St., Leeds.  Judith Blake (Leader of Leeds City Council) had agreed to speak at the event, but was called away on urgent international business.  The Council was represented by Richard Lewis (Exec. Member for Regeneration, Transport and Planning) and Alex Sobel, now lead spokesperson on climate change for the Council and also the director of Social Enterprise Yorks. & Humber.

Other speakers included Prof. Paul Chatterton, leader of the M.A. programme in Social Activism at Leeds University and founding member of LILAC sustainable co-housing project, Mags Shevlin, director of LATCH (Leeds Action To Create Homes), Nigel Foster, director of the Leeds Ahead partnership and former president of Leeds Chamber of Commerce, Mary Brennan of Leeds Poverty Challenge, Naomi Harriet-Brown of Hyde Park Source and Chris Smyth of Leeds Credit Union.

60 people attended, representing a wide range of public, private and Third Sector organisations, as well as concerned individuals.  Workshop session were held on the following topics:

  • Combating Fuel Poverty with energy efficiency improvements to properties
  • How to make affordable, sustainable Community led housing work in Leeds and the surrounding region
  • How can Leeds reduce vehicle emissions through infrastructure and changes in transport use?
  • Carbon Conversations – a tool for facilitating behaviour change in communities and organisations
  • Community Energy
  • Empowering communities towards local food sovereignty

Each workshop group came up with a set of recommendations for action and was asked to select one key recommendation; these were rated by attendants who responded to a feedback survey, and have been presented to the leader of the Council.  The 6 key recommendations were as follows:

  • Follow Bristol Green Capital partnership model for delivering sustainability through partnership with Third and Private Sector.
  • Council to buy under-used land at current market value, put infrastructure in place and sell it on for use for sustainable community projects.
  • Leeds Living Streets – Reclaim the Public Realm
  • City-wide Carbon Conversations programme including public and private sector employees – and management?!
  • A demonstration housing retrofit project combining insulation, biomass-powered district heating, PV generation + digital Smart energy monitoring.
  • A designated funded post in the City to lead on food sovereignty issues.

Schumacher North and Zero Carbon Yorkshire will be carrying forward some of these recommendations in collaboration with the City Council and other partners.

One Planet York Launch Event

The One Planet York launch event occurred on the 15th June 2016 at the Ron Cooke Hub at the University of York.  One Planet York aims to get the city working towards a ‘one planet’ future as current consumption in the UK is using the resources of 3 planets.

Hosted and facilitated by a partnership between Schumacher North, City of York Council, and the York Environment Forum, the launch was an information and networking event for organisations and businesses in York.  York’s first Green Party Mayor, Dave Taylor, attended, and keynote speaker Gary Topp emphasised the importance of collaborative partnerships  between organisations including but not dominated by the council, and shared words of encouragement and inspiration from his own experiences working in Bristol, the UK’s first European Green Capital.

One Planet York uses 10 principles to encompass sustainability;

  • Zero Carbon
  • Zero Waste
  • Sustainable Transport
  • Sustainable Materials
  • Sustainable Water
  • Land Use and Wildlife
  • Culture and Heritage
  • Equity and Local Economy
  • Health and Happiness

A total of 25 ‘Early Pledger’ organisations – companies, community groups and public sector bodies who are showing leadership in the ten ‘One Planet Living’ principles – also attended the launch event including; First York, York Community Energy, Edible York, Yorkshire Water, Get Cycling and St Nicks Environment Centre.  The event encouraged individuals and organisations to ‘pledge’ to One Planet York, to be part of a city working together with the opportunity to network, share and learn from others.

Some areas are already benefiting from collaboration, with Nestles’ Zero Waste factories, electric buses from First encouraging a more sustainable transport system, renewable energy generation and an increase in the application of the national living wage from companies such as the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, linking into the principle of ‘Equity and Local Economy’.  Taken together these actions are helping put York onto a more sustainable and resilient footing.

‘For the Love of Yorkshire’ Climate Festival

for_the_love_of_logo_2

ALL EYES will be on Paris in December as world leaders attempt to formulate a global agreement on climate change.  We want to send them a message loud and clear from Yorkshire – and we need your help to do it!

Our festival, ‘For the Love of Yorkshire, launches on 10 November 2015 in Leeds and York and runs until 13 December. Linking with The Climate Coalition’s UK campaign, ‘For the Love of’, our aim is to start a county-wide conversation about climate change and how we can drive solutions here at home, as well as internationally. After all, we know how great Yorkshire folk are at getting things done – so let’s lead the way!

Exciting events are happening.  We’ve already got news of cycle rides, talks, special services, debates, film showings, rallies, plays and workshops. But there is scope for much more.  Which is where you come in …

  • Share this with your contacts to get the message out across Yorkshire
  • Tell us if your group or organisation already has other events planned
  • Organise new events on a climate theme (the more creative, the better)
  • Volunteer to help us with your time, talents, ideas, knowledge and networks
  • Join our Facebook group Zero Carbon Yorkshire
  • Attend some of the many events taking place across the region.
  • Join our Yorkshire Climate Choir and participate in our Yorkshire Climate Concert in York on the afternoon of Saturday 28th November, time tbc but likely to be 2.30pm Join the Facebook Group and email your details to our Choir Coordinator, Caroline Lewis, caroline.lewisatzen.co.uk

For the Love of Yorkshire is being coordinated by representatives working at the University of Leeds, Schumacher North, the Oasis School of Human Relations, Friends of the Earth and Leeds Tidal.  For enquiries or to provide events listings contact David Midgley david@schumacher-north.co.uk or telephone 0113 350 8070.  Media enquiries: Kate Lock: Klockworks@btinternet.com or telephone 07792 633984

Zero Carbon Yorkshire Launch

First steps to a post-carbon Yorkshire!

Zero Carbon Yorkshire launched with a bang on 27 February 2016 at Leeds Civic Hall.  80 campaigners, academics, local government representatives and officers, businesspeople and other concerned individuals came together for a high-energy day of Open Space conversations covering all aspects of tackling Climate Change, including Community Energy, Low Energy and PassivHaus buildings, flood risk management, divestment for fossil fuels, opposition to fracking and much more – over 30 conversations generated a raft of exciting ideas and action proposals that we will be following up in the months to come.

There will be a full report of the outcomes of the event soon on the Zero Carbon Yorkshire website, www.zerocarbonyorkshire.org.  In the meantime, if you want to be kept in touch and get involved, you can affiliate to Zero Carbon Yorkshire here.  You will receive regular email updates on its activities

Zero Carbon Yorkshire is an initiative of Schumacher North, together with partners including Friends of the Earth, Oasis School of Human Relations and others.  Its aim is to make sure Yorkshire is among the first UK regions to formulate and deliver a viable Zero Carbon strategy.  We want to work with activist groups, local authorities, businesses, public sector bodies, universities and individuals in every Yorkshire city, town and district to design local Zero Carbon Plans, and combine these into a regional strategy that will command huge public support – then demand that the UK government gets out of our way and lets us get on with it!

Please join us, tell all your friends, visit the Zero Carbon Yorkshire website, join the Facebook group – and come to the Inaugural General Meeting on Tuesday 3rd May

 

Spiritual Activism – Book Launch with Alastair McIntosh and Matt Carmichael

7 p.m., Monday September 28, Carlton Hill Quaker Meeting House, Woodhouse Lane, Leeds

7 p.m., Tuesday September 29, Broadacre House, Market Street, Newcastle upon Tyne

Alastair McIntosh and Matt Carmichael will discuss their new book, ‘Spiritual Activism: Leadership as service’, published by Green Books, 24th September 2015

“Revolution changes everything except the human heart” Victor Hugo on the French Revolution

For activists, spiritual philosophy is rising up the agenda because it offers distinct, tried and tested approaches to deep questions: Where did it all go wrong? What does it mean to be human? What is the place of leadership? What is the nature of power?

Human ecologist, Quaker and leading Scottish land campaigner Alastair McIntosh has teamed up with Schumacher North’s own Matt Carmichael in this groundbreaking new work setting out the principles of Spiritual Activism. A chance to be challenged, inspired and empowered.

Schumacher North Hub Meeting

At the Schumacher North Annual Gathering last Saturday, the final session was devoted to exploring new directions for the group over the coming months.  A number of exciting ideas emerged, including the creation of a new forum in Bradford to promote sustainable food growing, plans for a Yorkshire Energy Futures Conference later this year, a group to explore how to more effectively create change, and a project to llok at how we can make more effective use of significant economic and social data.

A follow-up meeting to take forward these ideas and plan other activities will take place on Monday 18th May, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. at Ebor Court, Skinner Street, Leeds LS1 4ND.  Please join us if you are able to help with planning these activities.

The regular Hub meetings (about every 6 weeks) will now replace the former Schumacher North Hub Group; the new meetings are open to everyone, but in cases of disagreement, voting rights will be limited to Schumacher North members.

An online membership form will be available shortly on this website; in the meantime if you wish to become a member please email or write to the Programme Director, David Midgley, on david@schumacher-north.co.uk, giving your name and phone number and stating whether you wish to be an Ordinary Member at £10 per year or a Supporting Member at £30 per year.  You can pay online either through the ‘Donate’ section of the website or by bank transfer using the following bank details:

Account Name: Schumacher North

Account Number: 20137788

Sort Code: 16-58-10

Windmill Evening – “Green Surge”

Thursday, April 16, 2015 at7.00 p.m.

1 Gledhow Park Road, Leeds, LS7 4JX

Chapel Allerton ward Green Candidate Mags Shevlin tells us why she decided to take this step and what the Green Party stands for. We all get to discuss the issues surrounding whether to vote Green in local and national elections in May.

 The Windmill evening is an informal get-together where we can toss ideas around, watch a film or short presentation of any kind, share some food and generally get to know one another and explore ways to build a better future for ourselves and the planet.

Vision 2050 Collaborative Conversations

‘Collaborative Conversations’ is an exciting new programme of events, organised by Schumacher North in collaboration with broad range of partner organisations and funded by the National Lottery, aimed at building a broad-based movement committed to an achievable strategy towards a zero-carbon economy in our region.  The programme will consist of a series of six public consultation events that will bring together different stakeholder groups to explore how we can ‘up the ante’ on tackling climate change and agree on a credible, economically viable and achievable route to a genuinely clean, green and fair local and regional economy.

Organisational partners and target audiences are drawn from both public, private and Third (voluntary) sectors, and the events aim to draw out both differences and convergences between the different interest groups, to find a way forward that can command a broad enough base of support to really move beyond ‘Business as Usual’ scenarios and make our region a pioneer in the race to beat climate change.

Partner organisations we are already working with on the various events and on the overall project include: Oasis School of Human Relations, Friends of the Earth, Third Sector Leeds, Involve Yorkshire and Humber, York Environment Forum and Community Energy England; we are also in discussions with Siemens, Northern Powergrid, and other potential partners.

Events held and planned include:

Held 25th September 2015 at the St. George’s Centre, Leeds. 60 people attended, including a variety of speakers from the Council, and other projects. 6 topics were discussed in the workshop by attendants who also came up with 6 recommendations.

  • Zero Carbon Yorkshire
    Zero Carbon Yorkshire launched on 27 February 2016 at Leeds Civic Hall.  80 campaigners, academics, local government representatives and officers, businesspeople and other concerned individuals came together for a high-energy day of Open Space conversations covering all aspects of tackling Climate Change.

Held at the Ron Cooke Hub, The University of York on 15t June 2016, showcasing both commercial and community-based examples of the ‘Ten Principles of One Planet Living’ developed by Bioregional Ltd. and WWF. 25 ‘Early Pledger’ organisations attended the information and networking event, along with the Mayor of York Dave Taylor, and keynote speaker Gary Topp. (more info at www.oneplanetliving.com/)

  • Community Energy workshop

In collaboration with Calderdale and Bradford Councils – planned for May 2016, details available shortly.

  • Strategies for a Sustainable World

A residential intensive for environmental and social activists – in partnership with Oasis School of Human Relations.

If you would like to know more about the project, or to be involved in planning and organising the events, please contact the Programme Director, David Midgley, on 0113 350 8070, email david@schumacher-north.co.uk

Schumacher North Annual Gathering 2015

The 2015 Schumacher North Annual Gathering took place on Saturday 25th April at Carlton Hill Quaker Meeting House, Leeds, and was attended by 21 SN supporters from around the region.

David Midgley reported on Schumacher North’s activities since the last Gathering in April 2014, including the campaign to get the Leeds City Region Local Economic Partnership to take on board a Third Industrial Revolution strategy to move to a zero-carbon economy, joint events with Oasis School of Human Relations featuring ecological poet Drew Dellinger and Ecocide campaigner Polly Higgins, and film and discussion meetings hosted by Schumacher North North-East group.

David Cundall introduced a free-for-all discussion bringing together the themes of One Planet Living, Third Industrial Revolution and E.F. Schumacher’s philosophy of ‘spiritual economics’ and human-scale (or Appropriate Scale) economy.

A fast-paced ‘Pecha Kucha’ style round of 5 speakers covered different aspects of One Planet Living – Health and Happiness, Sustainable Transport, Local and Sustainable Food, Zero Carbon, and Culture and Community, followed by an Open Space forum on these themes.  (For more information on ‘One Planet Living’ as a strategic approach to making sustainability happen, see http://www.bioregional.com/oneplanetliving/)

Following a shared lunch, David Midgley reported on progress with the ‘Vision 2050 Collaborative Conversations’ project, a Lottery funded programme of events now being planned by Schumacher North and a range of partner organisations.  A wide-ranging discussion led to new ideas for the programme – there was particular enthusiasm for setting up a new forum on sustainable food in Bradford, and for a possible Yorkshire Energy Futures conference to take place in late 2015.  Click here for more info on the project.

Other events and activities for Schumacher North were explored in a final Open Space session, including a group to explore how we can more effectively create change by building stronger co-operative relationships with one another and with other groups, how we can access and use significant data more effectively, and further planning for the Yorkshire Energy Futures event and the Bradford food initiative.

A follow-up meeting to take forward these ideas and plan other activities will take place on Monday 18th May, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. at Ebor Court, Skinner Street, Leeds LS1 4ND.  Please join us if you are able to help with planning these activities.

Membership of Schumacher North was reintroduced at the Gathering, with 7 new members joining (4 of those present were already life members!)  An online membership form will be included on this website shortly – in the meantime if you wish to become a member please email or write to the Programme Director, David Midgley, on david@schumacher-north.co.uk, giving your name and phone number and stating whether you wish to be an Ordinary Member at £10 per year or a Supporting Member at £30 per year.  You can pay online either through the ‘Donate’ section of the website or by bank transfer using the following bank details:

Account Name: Schumacher North

Account Number: 20137788

Sort Code: 16-58-10

Please join and support Schumacher North’s ongoing activities if you can!