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August 2016 - Transition Network Newsletter

Thu, 04/08/2016 - 14:08
Video link: 

Summer time and it's time to take it easy. But before you go we consider our relationship to problems, whether we can trust Shell to bring a low-carbon economy, and adding records to the Museum of Fossil Fuels. Exeter celebrates with a £4.50 note, and selling more local food in supermarkets plus we want to hear your stories about migration. What impact does having some paid positions have on your group and a novel way to explain Open Space events.

Tony Blair, Godzilla, and the Banquet of Consequences.
The challenges and threats that we face don't just appear spontaneously, like the aliens pitching up in 'Independence Day'. Rob Hopkins reflects on the Chilcot Inquiry, our relationship to problems and why, for solutions, we should look closer to home.

What I submitted to the Museum of Fossil Fuels
Is Rob Hopkins's eclectic music record collection a form of Carbon Capture and Storage that actually works?

Exeter Pound launch a £4.50 note. But why?
A new £4.50 Exeter Pound note has been issued to mark an important 450th anniversary in Exeter.

The EU wants to block Romania's 51% local food shift. Who cares?
The Romanian parliament unanimously passed a bill which states that every large supermarket in the country must ensure that 51% of the fruit, vegetables, meat, eggs, honey, dairy products and baked goods they stock are "locally sourced". It's an eye-catching and paradigm-shifting piece of legislation. But is it legal, and, actually, does that matter anyway?

Shell's 'Powering Progress Together' event.
Trust was a theme at Shell’s ‘Powering Progress Together, collaborating for a Low Carbon UK’ conference Naresh Giangrande reports. Notably the lack of trust: in politicians, the political process, and business experts so nakedly exposed by Brexit. Trust, not law, formed the basis of the Paris Agreement so recently concluded. So have we moved into a new trust-based post Paris Agreement world?

Call for Contributions on Migration
Transition network is looking for stories about ‘migration’ and the movement of people around our planet. We’re interested to explore the language used, and how this shapes the narrative, the experience of refugees, and how migration looks and feels outside of the European context. If you have direct experience of any of these issues, and would be interested in contributing a blog, being interviewed or sharing your experiences of migration please get in touch:

Light posting during August...
As is the tradition here at, we're taking it easy over August, reacharging our batteries, and trying to model being an organisation that takes its being as importantly as its doing. So there may be things posted on the website during the month, but not much. We hope you get to do some good things, take some time in nature, spend time with friends and family.


Dynamics of Introducing Paid Staff to Transition Initiatives
Transition US recently hosted a network call to hear from Transition leaders from three different communities about their experiences, both positive and negative, bringing in paid staff to their initiatives.

A new way of introducing Open Space
Rather than the standard way of explaining Open Space, a great exercise was created for the 2015 Transition Network Conference a group of Transition Trainers developed a different way of explaining it, based on how a flight crew gives passengers safety instructions and information about the flight. Maggie Seeley from Transition Alberquerque in New Mexico has kindly allowed us to post the script they used to do it.

Have you been wanting to do Launch online but you English is not up to it? Launch online is now in English, Spanish, and for the first time in French. The English version starts September 13, 09.00, Spanish version October 4th 19.00, and in French October 20th 19.00. All links for more information and to register in the link below 

Exeter Pound launch a £4.50 note. But why?

Wed, 27/07/2016 - 13:38

The Exeter Pound is launching a new £E4.50 note on the Quay on Saturday 30th July from 12 noon to mark the 450th anniversary of the Exeter Ship Canal.  The new note will arrive at the Quay by boat having travelled along the ship canal from the Double Locks carried by a Tudor merchant in the costume of 1566 when the ship canal first opened. The merchant will in fact be Martyn Goss, a Director of the Exeter Pound. The new note will be presented to the Lord Mayor of Exeter in the Custom House.

The Exeter Quay and Canal Trust is a partner in the project to introduce the £E4.50 note, which will be in circulation until the end of 2016. The Chair of the Exeter Pound Board Gill Westcott said:

‘The 450th anniversary of the Exeter Canal is a milestone in the city's rich history, and we are delighted to mark it with this unique new note.
Exeter is very proud of its heritage, and that pride is manifested in the growing use of its own local currency, which is helping to build a stronger local economy and a better connected community.’

Exeter Ship Canal, Britain's oldest pound-lock canal, is a key part of the city's heritage.  Opened in 1566, it was used to transport goods in and out of the city and helped make Exeter one of the most prosperous places in the country. Today it remains an active waterway, mainly for leisure purposes and is a beautiful part of Exeter's landscape.

The note’s two images reflect the history and present day use of the Quay. ‘Exeter Canal below Exeter Cathedral’ by Arthur Henry Enoch is part of the collection of the Royal Albert Memorial Museum (RAMM) and features in their current Quay exhibition. ‘The Quay Cellars’ by local artist Matthew Rogers reflects the commercial and leisure uses of the ship canal today.

A number of independent businesses on the Quay trade using the Exeter Pound. There are now 155 businesses that are part of the scheme.

For further information and images of the notes please contact:

Ian Martin


Transition in Action II Youth Exchange in August in Hungary

Thu, 07/07/2016 - 14:45

The Youth Exchange “Transition in Action II” under the Erasmus+ Programme will take place from 15th August (arrival day) till 28th August (departure day) 2016 in Hungary, Kunszállás a village situated 100 kms to the South of Budapest in a beautiful rural setting. 

Why Transition?

Local communities around the world are searching for new ways of being in the 21st Century; experimenting with new ways of cooperation, sharing wealth more fairly, creating meaningful livelihoods, appreciating the natural world and respecting the limits it imposes on us. These communities are looking for ways to thrive rather than simply survive; climate chaos, economic crisis, resource depletion, precarious employment and unending conflict is not our inevitable inheritance.

The Transition Network is a global network bringing together over 1000 such local communities that are actively re-creating themselves in the belief that the future depends on us. These inspiring community based initiatives are growing around Hungary as well, since the difficult circumstances (high unemployment, social misery, dependence on costly public services) open people's mind and encourage them to search for alternative solutions for a more healthy, peaceful and secure way of life. Community gardens, local currencies, farmers' markets, urban bee-keeping, repair and up-cycle workshops are all offering new forms of collaboration for all kinds of people and their wider communities.

What is Transition in Action II?

The Transition in Action II Youth Exchange is a "reality gathering", bringing together 40 young people in a 'rural lab' setting to support them in creating together their own transition community from the resources around them. From Bosnia and Herczegovina, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia, they will gather for 13 days to get to know each other and to explore 'transition' concepts: how nature, communities and our lifestyle are connected and how, by using resources wisely, we can lead sustainable, rewarding lives. Through games, debates, excursions, creative workshops, and practical hands-on work, the participants will experience what it means to share ideas and cooperate, and to collaborate to bring alive their own "settlement" with the resources around them.
They will be aided by 4 support workers experienced in community organising, facilitating, food growing and natural building crafts.

The project is divided into three main parts.

In the first few days we will build our team: core to our work is our ability to bring out the best in ourselves and each other; this will be partly practical, partly games-based exploration of our skills, needs and abilities. Making community work is very much about knowing who we are, what we enrich the community with, and what needs we have. All aspects of the exchange are shared and each participant will have a role in making this community thrive and prosper!

The next phase is the exploratory and mapping work: where are we, what are the surroundings and the local community like, what chances are there to creatively develop necessary local infrastructure? We will organise in 'hives' to explore, gather and report back, building local knowledge.

In the third phase we will take that knowldege further in practical ways, in workshops around the community, learning new skills such as adobe stove building, furniture renovation, grain harvesting, ceramics, bio-dinamic farming. The final list of local workshops will be finalised together. In the meantime we are working with the local community to prepare them as hosts; this means tasting local food and the odd glass of local wine or palinka will be some of the pleasant moments we will share.

It's not just about practical outcomes though:  this creative work will allow us to use and develop organisational and cooperation skills, refine consensus decision-making and facilitation, and explore "heart and soul work" too.

Each participating organisation has been invited to develop its own program within the broader exchange framework, so it is sure permaculture, natural stoves, community gardens will also all come into the picture.

  • Working language of the Youth Exchange: English. Acceptable alternative: Hungarian.

  • Accommodation: in tents (which you will have to bring, - and we will have showers and toilets indoor and outdoor as well.)
  • The food will be sourced  from the local community from mainly local resources and it will be lacto-ovo-vegetarian. We will all participate in preparation and cooking and basic house-keeping.
  • There will be physical work during the camp (building structures, working with adobe, wood, etc) which can be demanding sometimes, but we will learn a lot of useful techniques which can be easily implemented in the participants' home communities.
  • If selected, participants will be asked to purchase their own travel insurance for the period of the 13 days.
  • If you play any instruments, please plan to bring it ;)
  • be a resident in one of the following countries:
    Bosnia and Herczegovina, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia
  • be in the age between 18 and 30 (except the youth leader of each country delegated by the partners, who should be preferably but not necessarily under 30)
  • be interested in the topics related to the youth exchange and ready to prepare activities and workshop materials before coming to Hungary
  • be willing to live simply, sustainably and in a community for 13 days (and hopefully longer)
  • fill in this application form until 1st of July.

Accommodation, food and costs of the activities are fully covered by the organizers.  

Travel costs are reimbursed up to the following amounts per person:

  • Portugal: 270 EUR
  • Latvia, Italy: 170 EUR
  • Bosnia and Herczegovina, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia: 80 EUR
  • Hungary: 20 EUR

Don"t buy your tickets without being selected and officially informed about your possibility of participation!

Once you are selected, make sure you choose the cheapest and most sustainable means of transport - this is a key issue of the project! All partners were asked beforehand about willingness to travel in the most sustainable manner - we aim to keep flying to a minimum.

You will have to bring your tent, sleeping bag and mattress and a big straw hat.

You may buy your tickets arriving up to 2 days before the beginning or 2 days after the end as long as it makes economic sense. The Degrowth Conference starts at the beginning of September. More details about that here: NOTE: this falls outside the travel reimbursement dates.

Once selected you will receive a document (info pack) with further details.

The Transition in Action Youth Exchange is organised by the Védegylet (Protect the Future).The Védegylet provides support to the Hungarian Transition Communities Movement and the trainers are part of this movement. The Youth Exchange is financed by the European Union Erasmus+ program.


Email: contact[at]atalakulo[dot]hu
Facebook event:
Application form: (deadline: 1st of July, 2016)

July 2016 - Transition Network Newsletter

Wed, 29/06/2016 - 15:54

Some timely reflections on the opportunity that Brexit could offer us open our newsletter followed by lessons we can learn from how rain on a forest work together. Doing things most of us take for granted as safe can have big consequences in places such as in Nicaragua. #FindRobbie who is missing. A love letter to Iceland offers some advice, and happy birthday Tooting! The importance of having a vision and a look at group health plus a (free) book review that seeks common ground.


This #ProgrExit Starts With Your Longing

If we can participate, and inspire, there's a huge opportunity here. While many people are reeling after a campaign marked by very poor quality debate, some deeply dangerous and divisive framing, Rob Hopkins argues for us to turn the Brexit a 'Progrexit'.

The Forest Economy: woodland as New Economy metaphor
Rob Hopkins turns a walk in the woods into a meditation on the New Economy.


Arrests in Nicaragua
Recently Salvador Tenorio from Transition Mexico and his colleagues from the Mesoamerican Caravan were arrested in Nicaragua while they were having a Efficient Oven Workshop. The suggestion is that the government is punishing ecological projects and people who are opposing the interoceanic Nicargua canal.  We are pleased to report that Salvador and his colleagues have been released, deported from Nicaragua and are now on their way to their home countries.

Help Find Robbie Gibson missing from Crystal Palace #FindRobbie
On 13 June Robbie Gibson, much loved Transitioner from Crystal Palace, south London, left his home to go for a walk and went missing. He was then seen on the Isle of Wight but now could be anywhere. His family are growing increasingly concerned for his safety and wellbeing. Here is a report on Radio 4. Please help keep an eye out for him and check here for the latest updates:

The first Israeli Transition Gathering 
Yoav Egozi of the Transition Israel Hub reports on a celebration of Transition in Israel.

Iceland’s 4 Keys to Real Wealth - a Love Letter
Following his trip to Iceland speaking at an event 'Tool kit for survival at the edge of the world', Naresh Giangrande writes a love letter to the country with some timely advice.

Transition Town Tooting Turn 8!
The wonderful Transition Town Tooting in London just celebrated their 8th birthday. They have a lot to celebrate.

Have you been wanting to do Launch online but you English is not up to it? Launch online is now in English, Spanish, and for the first time in French. The English version starts September 13, 09.00, Spanish version October 4th 19.00, and in French October 20th 19.00. All links for more information and to register in the link below 


Our Initiative Support Coordinator Mike Thomas writes about the importance of creating a vision for your group.

Spring-cleaning our Transition groups
The success and longevity of the social and ecological renewal Movement rests, to a large extent, on the health of our groups. Claire Milne asks how many of us actually give our group the regular spring-clean it needs to de-clutter and make space to be able to function in a way that supports us to become increasingly effective, creative, nourished, innovative, resilient and transformative?


Rising to the Challenge: the Transition Movement and People of Faith
With a foreward by Rob Hopkins, Ruah Swennerfelt has just published a fascinating new addition to the literature on Transition (that you can download for free) that she hopes will introduce people of faith to Transition, and give people in Transition some tools for how to engage and work with communities of faith. As Rob says in the introduction, "It does what Transition does so beautifully, it
seeks common ground."


"Change, to put it simply, sucks. Nobody wants to do it — not real change, not soul change, not the painful molecular change required to truly become who you need to be. Nobody ever does real transformation for fun. Nobody ever does it on a dare. You do it only when your back is so far against the wall that you have no choice anymore".
Pella Thieil

Free training to create Food Hubs in disadvantaged areas

Fri, 10/06/2016 - 09:56

One of the major stumbling blocks to building vibrant and resilient local food economies as alternatives to the supermarket system has always been scale.  It is difficult to compete on price when supermarkets are sourcing from enormous mono-culture farms in Africa and Eastern Europe. Now there is hope for a solution to this issue in the shape of the Open Food Network (OFN) which has the potential to revolutionise how food distribution happens.

OFN is open source, internet-based software which is owned and managed as a commonwealth of UK food enterprises.  The software was developed by the Open Food Foundation in Australia by food policy activists and is designed to be very flexible; facilitating food distribution for multiple business models including farmers’ markets, local shops, food hubs, food co-ops and producers selling direct to public

Because so many different types of user can be part of the Network there are multiple cross-selling and distribution opportunities between users.  This results in huge opportunities to reduce food miles and distribution costs and increase sales volumes for all members of the Network.  This in turn brings down the price of food for the shoppers.

OFN is built to maximise transparency in the distribution Network so that shoppers can find out who is growing their food and who is making what margin on the price they are paying for it.   This transparency also reduces the need for costly external certification processes to reassure shoppers of the quality and provenance of their food.

OFN is now rolling out across the UK thanks to funding from the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation and the OFN users who have already piloted the system successfully with three UK food hubs are inviting new users to be part of this revolution. 

This is a brief summary of the ethics of OFN and here is more detail on how it is being rolled out in the UK.

The funding from Esmee Fairbairn is allowing some subsidised support to enterprises interested in using OFN in areas of socio-economic deprivation.  Here are some details of how to apply for this subsidy.  The deadline for application is 30th June.

 You can sign up to regular updates on progress with OFN UK here or contact them direct at or 01453 840037

June 2016 - Transition Network Newsletter

Thu, 02/06/2016 - 12:14

Themes that include energy in an Entrepreneur Forum, an Energy company and local currency open this newsletter. Plus responding to linguistic diversity, collecting oral histories, reimagining sustainable business, reflections on 10 years transitioning, a film review, an events checklist and the Brexit/Bremain debate continues and there is more.

Demain Petition - please sign

The film Demain that has been received with great acclaim across Europe has so far not been able to agree a distribution deal for the UK. To help in negotiations with distributors, we have started a petition on to show them that there is a demand for 'Demain' to be screened in the UK. Please sign the petition:

The Magic of a LEF
A Local Entrepreneur Forum (LEF) could prove to be one really key piece of 'technology' for Transition groups. Here are 7 things a Local Entrepreneur Forum can unlock from the experience in Totnes.

Bristol Energy Cooperative:
"it felt right for us to be ambitious"

Two directors of Bristol Energy Coop chat to Rob Hopkins about what they do and their ambitious share offer which aimed to raise £10.5 million for renewable energy projects in Bristol.

What if: ATMs issued local currencies?
Would local money in an ATM be a fig leaf for a system that has run very low on legitimacy? Or could it offer us the possibility of 'normalising' local currencies?

Planning for People - an update from the Transitionese Translations Project.
Transitionese is the name we’ve given to a project aiming to expand the International Transition movement’s translation capacities and, therefore, to highlight and support its linguistic diversity writes Deborah Rim Moiso.



Crowdfunding for Transition in Belgium.
The Belgium national Transition hub, Réseau Transition, have just launched a crowdfunder to support their work. Here's a beautiful video they made (en francais) as part of it...

Oral histories in Kilburn.
Transition Kensal to Kilburn recently came together with Brent Museum & Archives to do an amazing oral history project and exhibition. Here Carol Low introduces the report they've just published about it all.

On 'renewal': the story of Pocheco.
Pocheco is a remarkable business near Lille in France who are busily reimagining what a sustainable business could look like. We spoke to Emmanuel Druon and Elizabeth Dinsdale about how crisis offers us the opportunity to "change everything".

An evening in Stroud: '10 years and beyond'
Since forming in 2007, Transition Stroud has been extremely active, and as it enters its 10th year, is focusing on how best to move forward and how to put the best foundations possible beneath the work it has already done.


One Year in Transition
This life-changing programme for young adults is now recruiting for its fifth year in the UK, and getting ready to welcome the new cohort of students in September. While we help people gain clarity about the work they want to do in the world, and get very practical around Transition Livelihoods, we also offer a deep inner journey towards courage and wisdom. The total cost for the four week-long residentials and a year of tuition fees is £3000.
1YT Portugal is now live and 1YT Sweden launches this September. Email Isabel Carlisle if you want to apply at:  You can find out more from our new website:

Our reflections on the topic published in March generated much debate. As our next item on the topic before the Referendum coming soon (a debate with Just-IN Kenrick and Al-EX-is Rowell) will miss the newsletter we include it here as place to continue the discussion before the big day on 23rd June.

Activity of the fortnight:
Planning and Putting on Events: a useful checklist and suggestions to help you create good events.

Film Review
This Changes Everything
We take a look at Avi Lewis' recent film interpretation of Naomi Klein's book 'This Changes Everything' and find some key things missing.

"I’m just quite blown over really by the .... number of businesses that now are ... making commitments now to get to zero carbon by a certain date."  
Andy O'Brien, Bristol Energy Coop

A record 63.5 GW of wind power was installed worldwide in 2015, demonstrating the maturity of the sector; and showing how renewables are supplying competitive, reliable and clean energy to fuel economic growth and cut CO2 emissions.

Cities, communities and companies are leading the rapidly expanding “100% renewable” movement, playing a vital role in advancing the global energy transition. Distributed renewable energy is advancing rapidly to close the gap between the energy haves- and have-nots.
REN21 global status report

May 2016 - Transition Network Newsletter

Thu, 05/05/2016 - 16:09

New beginnings and a 'Springtime Renewal' theme plus a Digest of the previous theme of 'International' brings Transition news from far and wide. More on the success of Demain, the power of beer and was flying justified? Some 'Good' Bremain thoughts plus several insightful pieces on keeping your Transition Initiative healthy.

Introducing our theme of Springtime Renewal
Rob Hopkins was working in his greenhouse last week, planting out lettuce seedlings with the kind of grounded but slightly heady optimism that starts to course through a gardener's veins at this time of year, and listening to the radio. "Turns out, with the benefit of hindsight, that I grew up through a time of systematic abuse of children, a profoundly corrupt financial system designed to serve elites, with endemic police corruption on a huge scale, and the brutal suppression of dissent by minorities and those seen as 'other'... Into this space where the old systems are crumbling, new models rooted in a different set of ethics rooted in a culture of care, equality, relationships and wellbeing, are taking hold."

Transitioners' Digest (March - April 2016): International
Our theme on the website over the past 2 months was 'International'. We set out to look at Transition in its many international manifestations and how it has spread, and what it has become. Read the Digest of all the related articles here:

Report: Converging For the Common Good in Denmark.
A recent event in Denmark provided an inspirational taste of how Transition and other related movements are coming together to do great things. Rob Hopkins reports, and gets over-excited about wind turbines.

How Transition Palo Alto Brings Sharing and Community to Silicon Valley.
Based in Silicon Valley, Cat Johnson writes about about what makes a successful Transition group, how the group hosts so many events, and how sharing is at the heart of their community.

A Snapshot of Transition in ... Brazil.
Three days of collective construction of the dream and vision of the network we want to have took place in Brasil writes Isabela Maria Gomez de Menezes.

A Snapshot of Transition in ... Japan
Shunro Yoshida, co-founder and representative board of director of Transition Japan reports from the annual Summer Festival in Japan, a Transition gathering to exchange ideas and experience, and congratulate each other.

How 'Demain' is giving Transition a boost in Belgium.
Imagine suddenly your friends and neighbors talking enthusiastically about their new implication in their neighborhood, their plans to start acting locally and the deep changes they are contemplating in their daily lives. François-Olivier Devaux of Transition Hub Wallonie-Bruxelles looks at the considerable impact the 'Demain' film is having in Belgium.

The Panama Papers and the emergence of Transition in Iceland
In this short interview with Tinna Guðmunds, Director of a Center for Visual Art, she gives her perspective on how this small country of 350,000 people and two very large volcanos, were able to force their Prime Minister to resign in such a short time, and her hopes for Transition in Iceland.


We talk 'Demain' with co-director Cyril Dion. "We are going to reach 1,000,000 viewers in France" he tells us.



The Beer That Innoculates Against Philip Green
How might a craft beer, only available for 2 weeks a year, inspire us in thinking of solutions to protect our local economies from the predations of the likes of Philip Green? We offer some reflections...


On Reflection: why the TN team took time out.
The Transition Network team recently took some time out to reflect. Sarah McAdam writes about why they did it and what came out of it, and in the video above the team reflect on how it was for them.

Flying to the US: Was It Worth It?

In October 2013, Peter Lipman and Rob Hopkins travelled to the US, initially to be part of the Environmental Grantmakers' Association annual retreat, but also to visit a number of Transition groups. There are many people who write articles about why they don't fly. There are also many articles by people about why they do. What we haven't yet seen is someone who did fly, writing with hindsight about whether the journey was worthwhile or not. So that's what Rob sets out to do here, a kind of cost-benefit analysis of the trip.

Juliet Davenport of Good Energy on the UK's EU Referendum

How might a Brexit vote affect the push for a renewable energy system in this country?



Being part of the Transition Movement

Being part of Transition is not just about what you do locally in your community - it is also about joining a global movement building a future we all want to live in. Step-by-step guide here:

How to Develop a Healthy Group
To be successful at Transition, you need to be successful at working together collaboratively as a group. A group that works well together is a joy to be involved in, it runs smoothly, gets things done and members feel fulfilled and nourished through their work together. That is not to say that it won't be challenging at times, but a resilient and self-aware group will be able to work through its challenges in a constructive way. Alternatively being involved in a group that is not functioning well can be frustrating, not a lot of fun, exhausting - and often leads to burnout. Whilst it may feel like there is some magic art to working together successfully, actually a lot of it is about breaking free from our tendency to push uncomfortable group dynamics under the carpet and instead put the time and effort into.....

What to do if Donald Trump joins your Transition group.
Read our 6 tips here:


Transition is
"A movement of people and communities coming together to reimagine and rebuild our world".
Rob Hopkins