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September 2016 - Transition Network Newsletter

Thu, 01/09/2016 - 10:57

As autumn takes over from summer, we offer a number of Inner Transition coures and reflections, we're looking for new Trustees and earthquake news from Italy.

Could you help Transition Network with its strategic direction? Transition Network is looking for three new Trustees/Directors, including a Co-Chair of the Board of Trustees. You will help Transition Network with strategic development and good governance of the charity. We are keen to include more non-UK Trustees, practicalities permitting. This is a voluntary, unpaid position, and you’d need the capacity to contribute 1-2 days per month to Transition Network business. Closing Date: 29th September 2016 More details here:

Resilience in Action
Our thoughts go out to all those affected by the recent earthquake in central Italy. A team of Transitioners have leapt to respond - you can support them.


In alignment with the seasons and our natural cycles, Transition Network's Inner Transition strand is entering its height of activity for the year with a series of trainings.

From Burnout to Balance: Co-creating cultures of collective and self-care
Inner Transition Coordinator, Claire Milne, shares about Transition Network's new workshop offering support for those feeling the edge of burnout.

Emerging a new Culture: exploring new ingredients.
The promise the Cultural Emergence Leadership Training that Inner Transition Coordinator, Claire Milne recently participated in holds for those of us longing to support our groups, communities, family or organisations to unleash their genius and gifts.

Cultural Emergence Foundation Workshop
30 Sept-2 October, Dartmoor
This course is for anyone who longs to support their group, family, household, community or organisation to unleash its collective genius and gifts.

Inner Transition training
22–23 October, Bristol
This two day workshop explores this inner dimension vital for our transition to the future we really want.

From Burnout to Balance: Co-creating cultures of collective and self-care
28-30 October, Forest of Dean
Application deadline: 4 September
If you have felt or feel on the edge of burnout and want to develop insights and skills to avoid it, join us for a nourishing weekend reflecting on and exploring effective and regenerative activism and personal sustainability through the co-creation of cultures of collective- and self-care.

November / December, southern Germany and Slovenia
Claire is organising a trip to Slovenia and southern Germany in November to deliver Inner Transition trainings and project support sessions with Anaim Imke from southern Germany. Watch this space for more information.

This year we have launched a REconomy UK Newsletter for groups and individuals who are interested in transforming the economic destiny of their local community. The next edition is out in September and will include information on new resources, upcoming events and other great stuff. To start receiving the newsletter please click here.

As is the tradition here at, we took it easy over August, recharging our batteries, and trying to model being an organisation that takes its being as importantly as its doing. In October and November our theme is Migration and opportunity. For myself, over September and October I will be off cycling 3,000km along the Iron Curtain trail, from Stettin on the Baltic to Trieste on the Adriatic. You can follow my progress here:

Editor: Mike Grenville

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