Intentional conversations at the Bondi Farmers Markets

March 13, 2017

Words by Kit

Saturday morning rythyms in Bondi

Picture the laid back Saturday vibe at Bondi Farmers Market on a sunny autumn morning: stall holders busily setting up shop and laying out their wares – rugs, fruit and veg, bread, corn-fritter breakfasts, fresh-squeezed lemonade, the chai stall, the coffee cart, organic meats, pickles, environmentally friendly baby wipes, re-usable cups…

Locals stroll in for a car-free, quiet shopping expedition, for their weekly organic veggies; grab a coffee and sit on the grass with friends and children.

Some visitors are from further afield…and the range of groups and individuals is always fascinating to a keen people-watcher. The children can venture among the crowd with a little freedom, enjoying a drink and finding their way – alone – to the family spot on the lawn surrounded by trees.

Transition Bondi takes its place there every month – the second Saturday – with the Bike Workshop and the info stall. Hugh, Lance and often Andrew can be found bent over a bike on the rack, tweaking a break-cable or testing the wheel alignment, but more importantly encouraging the owner to make the repairs themselves.

Let’s talk about it

The info stall – mostly me, Kit – offers the face of TB to the world that’s passing by. Sometimes we have honey for sale or seeds harvested from our local verge gardens. We display fliers about our events, and encourage people to sign up to our contact list.

Recently I’ve taken to holding up a sign that gets waved around with an invitation to engage: “Let’s talk about it…..” it reads.

With an interest in communication, I will often take the lead and let float into the ear of a passer-by…”What excites you at the moment? “ or “What bugs you these days? “ And welcomes the response with expansive listening, to see where the conversation will go.

At a recent workshop with The Wilderness Society (TWS), we were encouraged to develop the skills for ‘intentional conversations’, to draw people out about their values and concerns. These are meaty exchanges (10 minutes is long enough) that get to the heart of what motivates people to think and act for the environment (possibly more satisfying than an ordinary Saturday morning chat!). And by finding common ground, people can be more easily drawn in to action that has already been prepared for. The key to Intentional Conversations is listening, making space for the speaker to hear their own thinking, and to feel a connection with the other party.

This way of thinking surely belongs to the domain of Inner Transition: bringing change on the ‘inside’ through processes of reflection, communication and working with the feelings that come up around Environmental concerns. For me this has to be central to our world-changing work, and I invite others to join me on this path.

And do come to join us at our monthly Farmers Market stall even for part of the morning. A beefed up team will make even more impact!

Kit

If you’d like to join us at the Transition Bondi table, send us a note at info@transitionbondi.org.

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