With apologies for this exceptional cross-post but I think this is relevant
for just about all of our groups and discussion teams, I would like to see
if I can summarize my best thinking on this topic. Again, our point of
reference on Green Drinks here in Paris is http://greendrinks.ecoplan.org.
Four quick points:
1. > transport?: And yes, quite right Anzir, the idea is very definitely to
stretch way beyond transport interests, and to open up people with a wide
rage of concerns and competences, spanning not only the many sectors, areas
and technologies involved, but also the very wide range of points of view.
To my mind a well working Green Drinks operation needs to be wide open and
highly diverse. (I have taken the section "Maximum Diversity in Minimum
Space" for our site in http://ecoplan.org
hope that this will help make this
2. Some organizational tips: (See below)
3. Keep it open: Among the first people to how up in our first session,
(attended by a grand total of 5 people) were several young guys who wanted
to run parallel GDs, but we eventually settled on making it into a true
cooperative venture, while trying to stick within the basic organizational
structure. This led in GD #2 to more than 50 people showing up.
4. Tie them together: Somehow I think that there must be better ways of
somehow tying all these groups and people together, in some loose but
effective network structure. Not at all sure as to how that might best work,
but it is I believe worth a bit of thought.
Let us know when you have yours up and running.
PS. We talk about Green Drinks primarily in The Commons Idea Factory (top menu at http://ecoplan.org)
and for posting your message:
Re: [LotsLessCars] Green drinks (and The Commons)
On 1 Apr 2007, at 17:05, Gabriel J. Roth wrote:
> Anzir -
> Many thanks for advising me that Green Drinks were not only for the Irish!
> I'll try to get a Green friend to point me to a group in Washington, or to
> How did you get on?
The first Reading Green Drinks is on Tuesday (I'm already getting
Are there other places where contributors to The Commons are involved
in Green Drinks? Obviously, Eric organises the Green Drinks meetings
in Paris, and as well as organising Reading Green Drinks, I also turn
up at Leeds occasionally.
Could we tie in what we're doing to Green Drinks, and bring in some
"green" people who are not from a transport background? Do you think
there any advantage in this?
Anzir Boodoo MRes MILT Aff. IRO
transcience, 72 Staplehurst, BRACKNELL RG12 8DD
"Maximum diversity in minimum space"
Are we "Green"?
Fair question. And if by that you mean are we as your grinning organizers
associated with any political movement that has Green in its name, here in
France or elsewhere, our answer here at The Commons is, not at all. We have
to make this point since it does seem to come up from time to time as we
talk to people about this concept and we certainly wish to avoid any
possible confusion on this score. We shill for no political party or
economic or national interest.
It is not that people associated with Green political parties are not
welcome. To the contrary we very much hope to be seeing and hearing from
many of them. But our interest here is in behavior and results - that of
each of us as individuals as well as the community as a whole - and the
energetic exploration of the issues and ways to move toward more sustainable
lives. If you are at all interested in our views and activities in all this,
you will be able to check out our various works in progress eight here at
The Commons, starting with the main menu just to your left. But that's just
Paris Green Drinks is about meeting people with environmental interests,
questions and ideas, and to this end we are interested in hearing what you
have to say and propose. When it comes to these matters of sustainable
development and social justice, we are reminded of the words of Milan
Kundura when he wrote of his aspirations for Europe in the years ahead:
A European is profoundly conditioned by his relation to his homeland. I
formulated my own ideal of Europe thus: maximum diversity in minimum space.
- Milan Kundura, Die Weltliteratur in The New Yorker., Jan, 2007
That's the ticket.
The spirit of Green Drinks is that anyone can come, and this makes for the
interesting interactions. (When you decide to reach out to bring in new
faces, check out:)
* Environmental and community groups
* Journalists, media people on the lookout for new ideas
* People actually interpreting good ideas into daily reality
* Freelancers and consultants
* Companies and start-ups
* Venture captial and financial groups
* Government departments, and in particualr people working with the City of
* Plenty of women with energy and ideas
* Young Turks as well as Oldies
* Anyone interested in the challenges of sustainable development and social
justice -- and in particular if they have the itch to do something about it
And if you come early, don't hesitate to bring your school age children
along in the first hours. After all they are the future.
Organizational tips from Green Drinks (the originals)
1. Find a convenient, central location that is free. A pub or bar for
example. Booking a private room usually means the organizer has to incur
cost or risk of not enough people turning up to cover the cost of the room.
However, a private space is the best choice in the end.
2. Have a sign or a person assigned to welcoming new people.
3. Start with maybe 10 keen people you already know, and get them to each
invite 5 others the first time. (See above shopping list for dome first
4. Post details in the usual places, like with any local green magazine or
in the lobbies of local environment groups.
5. We spent a long time using a different venue and time each time, and
calling round people. We tried faxes and printed invitations, and they were
a lot of work. The lesson - EMAIL and FIXED RULE.
6. EMAIL invites means that people can forward the invite to friends easily.
This is the core for exponential growth. Obviously, the email has to have
all details on. You can build up a list very quickly and then just send out
a reminder the week before to everyone.
7. FIXED RULE means that old emails are still valid if they get passed
around, and that people can book ahead in their diaries. You have the same
venue and something like the first Tuesday in the month. Fridays and
Thursdays tend to be busy for most people, so Tue or Wed is best.
8. Have fun! This is compulsory ... ;)
There are lots of benefits to green drinks; they are hard to quantify, but
when you have seen people come and make new links and learn and argue and
set up new schemes and get new jobs etc, it is a good feeling.