Previous month:
October 2011
Next month:
December 2011

Training day with DTAS in Stirling

Screen Shot 2011-11-24 at 17.11.27
A day away training with lots of community activists in Stirling is a great way to spend Saturday. There should be lots of good craic and ideas bouncing about the place as all get stuck into the challenges of delivering community benefits via social media. Far from being the sage on the stage, I am anticipating hearing a lot of stories and experiences. I have put together a slide set in PDF format that covers the main parts of my workshop. It is downloadable here.

Delegate Power

Right at the end of the "Doing it well" workshop, I jumped in and grabbed four delegates; Alison, Peter, Ewan and Julia. I put them on the spot as I quizzed them about their thoughts about the workshop. They were quick to point a variety of different lessons, each relevant to their own situation.

Pretty impressive when you consider, I was unannouced and standing between them and lunch!

Listen to the Delegates Session Feedback

Local Finance options and bakeries

Screen Shot 2011-11-03 at 14.37.39
Philip Revell of Sustaining Dunbar was part of the team that delivered the Local Finance options including Community Shares workshop at the CES Training Day. In particular, he was able to talk through the experience at Dunbar which involved community working capital and a bakery. Some very interesting parallels and a good introduction to what is required, if you are thinking about 'community shares'.

Listen to Philip Revell Sustaining Dunbar

The experience of Udny

Brian McDougall from Udny ran a training workshop on the subject of "Governance" at the CES Training Day. Brian is a subject matter expert with both commercial and practical project experience. Over coffee, Brian laid out some excellent guidelines and clever strategies for dealing with money related issues. He also had some sound advice about community engagement.; backed by real world examples. If you didn't make his session, then this short interview gives you the highlights.

Listen to Brian MacDougall Udny


PEDAL and capacity building

Screen Shot 2011-11-03 at 13.33.14
Eva Schonveld from PEDAL was a panel member at the CES Conference 2011 in a wide ranging Q&A session. Afterwards, I spoke to her about the PEDAL project and it's not about two wheeled transport. Whereas it seems a lot of the CES Conference attendees were energy focused, Eva had a slightly different route into community energy. She sees links between the transition model, food, energy and even capacity building. She was able to explain these links and share her experience.

Listen to Eva Schonveld PEDAL

Energy Demand Reduction and hard to heat

Screen Shot 2011-11-03 at 10.09.03
One of the breakout sessions at the CES Conference 2011 was " Energy Demand Reduction". I was fortunate enough to catch up with David Newman from Sustainable Uist. David is an architect and had some insights into the real challenges rural communities face. His expertise in understanding the constraints of construction and the composition of housing stock made for a fascinating wide ranging conversation. He was also able to explain in detail why some houses are hard to insulate and heat.


Listen to David Newman Sustainable Uist


The Applecross Community

It was good to meet up with Alison MacLeod from the Applecross community. Like so many people at the Community Energy Conference, Alison is an enthusiastic advocate of community action and very realistic about the challenges that face everyone. In this short interview, she talks through the hydro project and some of the other projects Applecross are involved in. She is pretty blunt about the challenges rural communities face and the options open to them.


Alison MacLeod - Listen here.


Nordic Horizons...the latest meeting

From Nordoc Horizons Oct 2011

The meeting in the Scottish Parliament was a great success and Mary Hilson spoke to a packed Committee Room 1. A huge range of issues were raised in a lively discussion where the concept of a 'Nordic Model' or 'Nordic Models' was given a good airing. 

Lesley Riddoch spoke to Mary after the event and recorded Mary's impressions of the debate.


Listen to the Mary Hilson Interview