Posted by: energyblogwalter | June 21, 2006

How they did it in Willits

Willits is the county in California often cited as the showcase in what can be done from a community level with the pending issue of Peak Oil, how to prepare and change a way of life to match the challenges ahead.

Ireland's Powerdown Community : Nice webiste. Outlines the Willits process for creating a community action committee for Peak Oil and Localization issues with business and politician involvement too.
Zone5 : Permaculture Blog in Ireland
Willits Economic Localization Project : Bascially all inspired out of the Willits project which was inspired by the screenings of the documentary End of Suburbia.

If you haven' already, please see this excellent doc and discuss the possibilities. In Toronto I got mine from Sam the Record Man on Yonge Street šŸ˜‰ 


  1. As quoted from Sustainable Ireland Powerdown Community links to Willit conference in May :

    """Engaging the Community
    Brian gave valuable insights into how the process developed in Willits with such success.
    Here are a few of the steps they took, which may be of use to groups here:

    Organise a showing of the film "The End of Suburbia". (Other films could also be used possibly, for example the new film on Cuba called "The Power of Community", available from .

    – Facilitate a discussion afterwards in small groups of 3-4 people to consider: What stood out for you in the film? And What are the implications of this for you and your community?
    -Ask who would like to become involved in the process and pass round a contact sheet.
    – Ask everyone present to recruit as many people as possible to the next meeting, especially community and business leaders they may know who they think should see the film.
    – Follow this up with regular meetings and film screenings. The repetition and ongoing recruitment process is crucial at this stage.
    – Form a steering group and sub-commities to look at different areas of eg. food, energy, housing, transport and education.
    – Create resource and skills inventories for the locality;
    – Write a Mission Statement outlining your vision for a sustainable, healthy community.
    – Ask community groups, local businesses and officials to sign up in support of this statement.

    Brian made frequent reference to Malcome Gladwell's book "The Tipping Point" and explored theories of how change actually can happen in society, how new ideas such as those being promoted by Powerdown Community actually become adopted. Overall, an inspiring event that provides us with a valuable model of what could be achieved in a short space of time. […] a full report and photos at """

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