Good Health: Beyond Resilience


Dirk Campbell July 2015

I have just been reading one of those rare books whose central concept seems so important and so universally applicable that one wonders why no-one thought of it before. It is a very simple observation and, like gravity and evolution, very obvious in retrospect; one realises that it has actually been around for ever but not previously identified.

The observation in question is that all living systems possess a capacity, for which there is no word in the English language, for self-strengthening in response to stress or impact. This capacity goes beyond resilience, which is merely the ability of a system to retain its integrity. The book is by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, author of Black Swan (nothing to do with the ballet movie but a book about the profound effects of the unexpected) and because there is no term for its central concept he has been forced to coin one: 'antifragility'. (The title of the book is 'Antifragile'.) It's not a good word, because it references its opposite; it's like calling strong 'anti-weak', or weak 'anti-strong'. But until someone comes up with a better word it will have to do. Read more...

Developing Lewes Debate

Tuesday 15 September, Lewes Town Hall, 7.30pm, FREE


David Dimbleby chairs a Question Time-style debate: "Developing Lewes: Building the homes we need while keeping the town we love".

As planning policy demands that hundreds more homes are built across Lewes town and district, this debate will ask how should we approach development so it gives us affordable places to live and work - and protects what makes our town special?

Hosted by Lewes Phoenix Rising, confirmed panellists include Jeremy Leggett of Action in Rural Sussex, Debbie Twitchen of Tenants of Lewes District, Keith Taylor, MEP for the South East, Prof. Raphie Kaplinsky of University of Sussex and  Paul Zara  of architects Conran & Partners.

You can email your questions for the debate (please give your full name) to

Health in Transition

Next meeting of the TTL Local Health Group (LHS) will be in September - date tbc. We are also planning a workshop at Wowo Transition Camp in October. More information: Sue Fleming or Catherine Rees

The Transition Town Lewes Health group had a brilliant inaugural meeting on May 30th and several creative possibilities are sprouting shoots. The foundational idea is the Local Health Service (LHS) as an umbrella for a collaboration that could augment our beautiful but flagging NHS.


The meeting agreed that we should continue to meet as a TTL Local Health Initiative group.

Anyone interested in joining in the discussion and receiving more news and information should contact or and request to join the google group email forum.

Prof David Peters started the meeting by saying that the health of each person depends on relationships and on community, yet the main treatment in the NHS is still the biomedical model, which has grown Big Pharma to $1 trillion p.a. industry. Read more...

Lewes 2030 is a project to encourage local planning and action towards 2030

Lewes 2030 is a project to encourage local planning and action towards 2030.

The Zero Carbon Britain 2030 report explains how we can achieve zero carbon emissions by 2030, and still have a good modern lifestyle. Tackling climate change will create jobs and improve health. The Lewes area has changed over the last ten years – who would have thought we would have so much solar energy by now? More change is in store, and Lewes Town now has an innovative first draft of the its Neighbourhood Plan which is also looking towards 2030.

  Lewes 2030 is starting this September with a festival to celebrate the progress the area has made in the past few years in producing its own clean energy.

The Lewes  2030 Festival will showcase viable future plans and preparations and will feature young people’s ideas for their future lives, plus software to age your face by 15 years, to find out what the person who will be living in 2030 will look like! Read more - including events in September

L&OVe August Update

  It's telling time for Lewes Neighbourhood Plan – let everyone know that the October/November is Lewes4all time – getting as many people's voices heard as we can is part of the ecosystem approach!
L&OVe learning from Brighton’s urban wildflowers – where best to bloom in Lewes? .....
In the Ruf (Rural urban fringe) for Lewes – How do we see the ‘edge’ of Lewes? What are the opportunities .... 

All wired up in Lewes

A house-owner in Lewes has become one of the first in this area to use state-of-the-art lithium battery technology to store energy from solar PV panels.  Jill Goulder, owner of an Eco House featured annually in the Lewes Eco Open Houses weekend, has installed a lithium battery storage system linked to her solar PV panels.  These recharge during sunlight hours and provide power in the evenings – very useful for households who use most of their electricity outside sunlight hours. The system switches seamlessly between battery and mains supply as needed; a good system will cover a household’s normal needs, though of course major appliances such as washing-machines and vacuum cleaners drain the batteries rapidly and will need mains top-up.  More...


Jill with her solar panel and lithium storage battery installations.       

© O Sauer 2015

Worth a click...

An inspirational new website that compares high-impact culture with what we’d like to see instead. Navigate your way around the site by clicking on images. Take a look...

What is Transition?

  When with TTL, Rob Hopkins asked people "What is Transition?". Here's what they told him...

Transition Town Lewes (TTL)  is a network of Lewes people. We’re working on local solutions in response to the global problems of climate change, economic change and the end of cheap energy and other resources.

Please get in touch if you would like to meet some of the people involved in project work for TTL.

And don't forget to subscribe to the TTL monthly newsletter to keep up to date with our news and events.

Transition is about the creation of resilient communities. It's not about campaigning but designing. It's about putting in place systems that will help us to deal with the big changes that are on the way. Those changes will be in three main areas: energy, the economy and the environment. Read more and get linked in to the bigger picture!

Tell everyone you know about Transition Town Lewes
Together we can achieve so much more. We’re fuelled by local ingenuity and a passion for positive change in challenging times. This is our town, our future, so get in touch to share your ideas and be involved.

Take a look at our events, read some news and hopefully, get inspired by what you find here.



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