Transition Seen From Inside - Zalán Weisz

Zalán Weisz was "pioneer" at Mindspace for a month. His impression can read below:

"When in March I learnt about the possibility of participating in Pioneers into Practice program I did not know much about transition neither how a non-profit organization operates. I come from the for-profit era, managing my own small company, being the “boss”, driving my big car, etc. But all of a sudden everything has changed as I started my placement at Mindspace, especially my attitude and my way of thinking. First surprise: here is a non-profit company that was founded by a few private people (not government, not city council, not big companies). They have actually invested some money into some concepts, into spreading their concepts and not into something to make money from. Then the company has no employees: everybody works as volunteers, both founders and coworkers (though sometimes they are asked to do some work for some payment). All in all about 10 people contribute to the company’s work however there is no strict hierarchical structure in the company. No office: the company simply operates in a café’s relaxed environment. When we see organizations on TV tackling the climate change and dealing with other environmental issues we usually encounter some aggressive actions such as people chaining themselves to gates and fences, blocking ways or trains and so on. Not these guys: they believe in environmental education, finding the way to everyday people, especially children, believing that the change they are making now will lead to bigger changes in the future, let it be shorter or longer term. And their idea does work.

I can tell because I have changed. First I got out of my car and bought a BKV-pass and not only for the period of the placement, but I still use the public transportation. Moreover when I had to go somewhere in the city which was hard to access by public transportation I rented a bike. My office is about 15-20 minute walk from my apartment but every day I drove this distance. Now I only use my
car when I really need it and BKV cannot be a solution.

Mindspace’s major project is “Danube Flow – Danube Calling” which is a program to remind us, Budapesters of the value of the Danube and our ability to reclaim it. Well, let me tell you they are doing a great job. I myself was born in this city, have always lived next to the river, even as a child I used to swim in it but as an adult I hardly ever thought of the river itself. Where it comes from and where it flows, can it be accessed and how it should be protected. Now when I see the river I am also looking at it, its banks, bridges or just the water. The guys at Mindspace organize different events to make young children have similar experiences. My favorite one was Chidren’s Day’s program on Margaret Island on May 26 children learnt things about the Danube by doing without realizing that they were actually learning something. They were fishing polistyrol fishes (what fishes live in the Danube), they arranged paper bridges over a long stretch of uncut blue garbage bags, they tried to sink LEGO buildings in a small pool, and assembled three and a half meter long surgeon puzzle. And the climex of the vent for me was when my hardly 4-year-old son said: “Dad, I don’t want to do this anymore, I want to get to the DANUBE.” Thank you, guys.

Well the placement is over, the changes have been made, the transition has been achieved and I do hope I will have the opportunity to work with these guys in the future. Because it is worth it."