31 March 2015

L8 Living Sustainably reflective practice

Learning, Growing and Energy are the three key strands of the L8LS project. We have set up a Learning Group to reflect on our work (hence reflective practice), to see if we need to do anything differently and to consider what we might usefully pass on to others. We hope that the group will meet a minimum of every two months, but hopefully every month, that way, we can keep tabs on progress, learn from our mistakes, identify new directions and steer our work more effectively.

We held our first meeting on 21st January 2015, where we agreed that we should be learning not just from the projects we have set up, but also from other projects with similar aims, along with people’s personal experiences and research into sustainable practices (such as the Guardian’s exploration of climate change and the visit to L8LS by Paul Allen from the Centre for Alternative Technology).

At our next meeting on 25th March, we considered around forty topics that members of the growing and energy group meetings had jotted down as possible areas we could learn and reflect on. From these ideas we shortlisted the following four key areas to review:
  • how to make sure our projects are sustainable
  • how we can work effectively with other community/energy/recycling projects,
  • how we make sure our growing and energy projects work closely together,
  • how to develop creative partnerships with statutory bodies such as the Adult Learning Service. 
As a result of our discussions, a number of suggestions were made to take back to the growing and energy groups:
  • continuing to engage with local communities to ensure that individual projects don’t become over-reliant on one or two key people,
  • working with already established projects to develop ‘add-on’ growing and/or energy initiatives,
  • setting up ‘task groups’ to combine thinking and action on growing and energy,
  • working with the Adult Learning Service on community involvement and practical learning programmes around growing and energy.
It was also agreed that we needed to look not just at how we operate and communicate our learning to others (eg. through this blog), but also how we can engage those involved in our projects and others in our reflective practice. Watch this space!