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Following feedback received at various author talks and presentations, Steven and Nilmini decided that they needed to create environments for discussion and engagement. We believe that in order to support those who wish to take action it is necessary to provide an opportunity for in depth discussion to allow the development of tools relevant to the specific circumstances of the audience.

All our workshops aim to facilitate social change by re-imagining community relationships and urban environments. The various offerings can be tailored to the needs of community or other groups, local government, private business or land developers. 

Workshops and presentations are offered on the themes below will be tailored to the needs of each audience. To determine whether our work will be useful for your purposes, feel free to download some general information about us and our ideas: 

The PolisPlan Story and About the Presenters

Press releases for our publications

Transition Charter is our vision for a better world sourced from Rethinking the City by Steven Liaros

The Choice is a graphic that uses the ‘red pill or blue pill’ choice between truth and delusion as described in the 1999 film The Matrix. Today, our choice is between deluding ourselves that endless economic growth will solve all our needs and problems; or alternatively we could try to re-imagine the future. 

Visions of a Sustainable Future is a schematic illustration of a global network of local communities, showing the elements contributing to the design of each local community such as local food and energy production, and water cycle management. Local communities can then be connected, primarily through online platforms of the sharing economy, open source information and crowd sourcing of skills. Connections are also forged through freedom of movement.



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A Mobile Lifestyle: Why some of us must live in a campervan

Is being anchored to home, a job and a routine the only way to live? Indeed, we have constructed our cities to encourage stability, permanence, safety and certainty. How do we accommodate risk, change, discovery and travel? Are these only possible if we escape 'reality'? What is reality?

We will discuss how living in a campervan not only reduces your costs and ecological footprint but also enables the building of social capital through the sharing of skills and ideas.

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Fate or Destiny: Making conscious choices

Fate or Destiny is a presentation based on Nil's photobook, a collection of photos and stories that aim to inspire people to make conscious choices in life rather than to merely follow the well-trodden trail. The words ‘fate’ and ‘destiny’ are often used interchangeably but Nilmini believes them to have opposing meanings. To choose fate is to let your life unfold according to the norms of society, while to choose destiny, is to make a conscious choice at every stage of your life.

Through a unique collection of photographs she explains that the pursuit of destiny is all about finding the thing that makes your heart sing. The topics discussed range from Power, Consumption, Disconnection, Conformity, Tension and Inequality to Sustainability, Collaboration, Freedom, Curiosity, Passion and Courage. These topics will shed light on the distinction between Fate and Destiny. 

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From a Linear to a Circular Economy: Building sustainable cities & societies

How do cities work? Explore the relationship between economy, environment and society; and how this relationship has influenced the way we plan and build cities. What is the public domain and how does it relate to the private domain? Why do we strive for growth and productivity? How can technology make cities as a whole more efficient and what does an efficient city look like? How does the concept of the Circular Economy contribute to the creation of an energy efficient city?

The aim of this presentation is to illustrate how our linear, infinite growth, economic model can be transformed into one that aligns with the cycles of nature to create resilient cities and communities.

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Rethinking the City: The broad sweep of history

This presentation and discussion session is based on the ideas in Rethinking the City and describes how the collapse of empires in about 1200BCE brought an end to the Bronze Age but also forced people to re-imagine how their cities and societies should work. With the introduction of coins in 600BCE the various ideas merged—in the Achaemenid Persian Empire—to form the first modern society founded on a coin-based market economy, religious tolerance, taxation and the centralized provision of public infrastructure and services.

The advent of the Internet in our own time is causing a similarly dramatic paradigm shift—this time towards decentralisation and re-localisation.

The aim of this session is to illustrate that the arc of history does indeed—as Martin Luther King Jr said—bend towards justice.

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The Ecosystem business model: Google, Apple, Tesla and the future of business and work

The traditional business model was focused on a product or, through horizontal integration—a range of complementary products. Larger businesses might be vertically integrated—providing a range of products within a linear supply chain.

In the ecosystem business model the focus is on the need of the consumer. Google and Apple provide an ecosystem of products and services, hardware and software, to satisfy the communication needs of the end user. Tesla, instead of just building an electric car, has also built a network of power charging stations and battery systems—and so provides an ecosystem of energy services.

Not only are business structures changing but these companies also provide a very different work environment for their employees. Major corporations are now choosing to not locate in town centres, preferring to have their principal public presence online and to locate on campuses that provide a broad range of services for their employees. 

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Transition Towns: Empowering local communities

A Transition initiative is a grassroot community initiative that seeks to build resilience in response to peak oil, climate destruction and economic instability by creating local groups that focus on local needs. These include food, water, energy, housing as well as management of the local economy using online exchange trading schemes, the sharing economy and local currencies.

This workshop will offer a brief overview of the Transition Town concept but will focus on business cases to illustrate why—apart from the obvious social and environmental advantages—it is also financially beneficial to implement local food, water and energy systems such as Community Renewable Energy or Community Supported Agriculture.

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