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Join the Transition Bloc at the Time to Act March for Climate Change

Wed, 25/02/2015 - 23:16

The Time To Act March For Climate Change is nearly upon us, taking place on March 7th. Crystal Palace Transition Town have been asked to head up The "Transition Bloc" at the rally. This will serve as a rallying point for any other Transition initiatives and to welcome other Transitioners that turn up. As they put it, "the more people the merrier".

You can find out more about the march itself here, and make contact with the Transition bloc here and find out how to find them on the day.  For non-Facebook users, here's the website link for the march.  Let us know how it went!

Premier League rugby's 'Exeter Chiefs' commit to handling the Exeter Pound

Mon, 23/02/2015 - 16:26

Fascinating story from the Exeter Pound website:  

The Exeter Chiefs have given their backing to a new local currency due to launch in the city this September.  One of the largest independent businesses in Exeter, the Premiership rugby club has committed to become part of Exeter Pound.

Not only will an image from Sandy Park feature on a special £E15 note issued to mark the Rugby World Cup arriving in the city, but the Chiefs have also pledged accept the Exeter Pounds and will look to spend them with their suppliers.

The currency will be launched in September before the tournament comes to the city in a bid to encourage people to support local independent businesses.  Chief executive Tony Rowe said: “I am very happy for Exeter Chiefs to work in partnership with Exeter Pound.

“We are an independent local business and, although one of the largest in Exeter, share their commitment to Exeter and keeping as much business as local as possible.

“I look forward to seeing an image from Sandy Park on one side of the £E15 RWC2015 note.”

Those behind the project have welcomed the support of the Chiefs at this early stage of development. Early commitments from people offering services from their own homes with a turnover of only a few hundred pounds a year are now joined by a business that last year turned over £12 million.

Daniel Hillier, local business owner and director of Exeter Pound, said: “The whole of the Exeter business community will take note of Exeter Chiefs’ support for the local currency.

“We welcome interest from all local independent businesses in the city, from large to very small and everything in between.”

Exeter Pound has invited local independent businesses to join them and other partners in a stakeholder meeting at Exeter City Council’s offices from 5.30pm to 7.30pm on Monday, February 23.

Gill Westcott, chair of the board of directors, said: “We want to hear from our stakeholders about how the scheme can be designed to best meet their needs, so as much money as possible circulates in the independent Exeter business community.”

The design competition for £E1, £E5, £E10 and £E20 notes closes in three weeks. People who live, work or study in Exeter are still invited to send in designs to be incorporated into the notes.

Pieces of art are welcomed from young and old, amateur and professional artists, designers, photographers and in any other art form that can submitted as a two dimensional image. Eight images are needed.

The competition judges, who all live or work in Exeter, are city council leader Councillor Pete Edwards, Dame Suzi Leather, most recently chair of Plymouth Fairness Commission, Dr Sarah Bennett, associate professor in fine art at Plymouth University, Si Paull, from local design company Sound in Theory, and Jon-Paul Hedge, editor of the Express & Echo.

For further comment please contact Ian Martin 07980 301058

February 2015 - Transition Network Newsletter

Thu, 05/02/2015 - 17:45

We hear how Belgians 'Changent le Monde' and the forthcoming musical gets funded. We have a number of fascinating articles on our two themes so far this year of The Power to Convene and How We Got Started. Some final articles from Transition Free Press. The Transition Agony Aunt solves your Peak Oil dilemma, online social media tips from REconomy and setting up a Reuse and Repair Centre plus Transition Roadshow in Bristol and a book review.


Transition Network 2015 International Conference
18-20 September
Venue: South Devon
Plus trainings and events in the 2 days leading up to and following the main event.
Details to follow shortly.

The Fierce Urgency of Now: 3 days in Belgium
"Something very powerful feels to me like it is starting to move" says Rob Hopkins. "I see it in the victory of Syriza in Greece on a platform of localisation, resilience building and sustainability as an antidote to austerity. I see it in the explosion of craft breweries, farmers markets, community energy companies and so on, in Scotland's moratorium on gas fracking. I also saw it in the two days I just spent in Belgium supporting the great work of the regional Transition hub “Wallonia-Brussels” there. The trip was also to support the Belgian release of the French language version of The Power of Just Doing Stuff (“Ils Changent le Monde”)."

Transition Free Press goes out of print
Sadly the innovative grassroots newspaper Transition Free Press will not be published this year. Announcing the news, Charlotte Du Cann writes that "We were hoping to relaunch this Spring with a bright new expanded edition but have been unable to raise sufficient funds to pay for our core costs."

Transition Town : The Musical
"We've met our target of 10k with your help" writes project manager Chloe Uden. "Over the remaining few days to 14 February when the Kickstarter closes we'll be working hard to encourage further backers to support the project to allow us to produce better quality products, and pay for materials to put on the production." There are lots of tempting Rewards on offer. For example there must surely be more groups willing to take the plunge and back the project by taking a license to use the script!


THEME: The Power to Convene

Atmos Totnes and the Power to Convene
One of the most ambitious examples of The Power to Convene to come through a Transition initiative is Atmos Totnes in Devon. It has brought together the site's owner Dairy Crest, a mainstream developer and a community, to plan the future of the former manufacturing site. Atmos Totnes have just put out this video, which tells the story so far, and offers a powerful taste of how The Power to Convene can feel when it goes well.

How Transition Town Tooting Convene Through Celebration and Imagination
From the Carnival down Tooting High Road in 2010 that looked to involve not just the community of Tooting, but the communities of Tooting, to current projects that are mid-process, and have begun with the idea of holding a space open to conversation, without articulating a specific outcome.

Pamela Boyce Simms on convening faith groups
Convener of the Mid-Atlantic Transition Hub, which brings together and supports Transition groups from southern Connecticut to Virginia in the US, Pamela Boyce Simms is also a very active Transition trainer and is also involved in interfaith work. She wrote recently that “we often hesitate to override inertia and consistently and compassionately reach out to those who don't look like us, sound like us, think like us, and who rarely attend Transition events”.

What does the Power to Convene look like in Stroud?
One of the first Transition groups to form and have an impressive portfolio of projects they've achieved.

What Makes a Good Mediator?
Part of the Power to Convene is the ability to bring groups and people together to work in new ways. The story of the South Devon Cycle Link campaign and in particular the role of James Furse has many useful insights for this. "You have to share enough of yourself to bring people into their trust - it’s a combination of tact, diplomacy and determination" he tells Rob Hopkins.

Transition Buxton Take on Former Council Plant Nursery

How 'The Power to Convene' can transform Transition
Rob Hopkins suggests that the Power to Convene should be the key role of what Transition groups do and how they function


THEME: How We Got Started

Transition Black Isle
"The general feeling was that Cromarty was too small to sustain the energy needed, and all the active people were feeling burnt out (yes, I know, before we even started!)."

Transition Stratford
Stratford-upon-Avon is not just about Shakespeare and tourists - among the local residents are those concerned for the future of the town as much as for its past.

Mapping the Transition Movement in Aotearoa New Zealand


Some final articles from Transition Free Press:

Real Media conference celebrates independent journalism
On 28 February the Real Media Gathering will take place in Manchester, with speakers, discussions, workshops and networking on independent journalism and the alternative to a mainstream media which many feel is selling us short.

Accelerating transition, city by city
Amy Hall reports on a European research project hopes to find out what makes Transition Initiatives thrive and, in turn, support the change towards sustainable low-carbon societies

ENERGY: exploring biogas for communities
Suffolk-based group Transition Lavenham is considering launching its own energy project: making biogas from food waste, reports Transition Free Press energy editor Gareth Simkins

POLITICS: Citizens lobby for the climate
Hugh Chapman explains why he is behind another campaign calling for carbon pricing as a way to mobilize the transition to clean energy.



The Journey of Setting up a Reuse and Repair Centre
Sophie Unwin, Director of Remade in Edinburgh, shares her experience of setting up a Reuse and Repair Centre. From what inspired her in the beginning to what is working to this day. A story we can all learn from, and celebrate.

Making Events #Social
Events and social media sit hand in hand as means of enabling communities to revision their economic future and to share what they learn. This blogs offers some of the tips discussions from recent online skill shares on this topic.


The Transition Agony Aunt

On How to Talk About Peak Oil
Given that we are now seeing oil at below $50 a barrel, how is my Transition group meant to talk about 'peak oil'?

On Reviving Failed Initiatives
What's the best way to start a Transition group after a previous one has folded? And should you even think of doing so if you haven't been able to track down at least eight people who were involved in the folded group?


Transition Roadshow comes to Bristol
14 March
The Transition@Trinity event is about creating connections for sustainability; between places, groups, projects, and themes. It is about finding the help you need, and making the whole greater than the sum of the parts. This will be a packed day of workshops and talks find out more here:

Our Support Framework - give it a go and let us know what you think



"The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels". Really?
Just as there was no “moral case for slavery” in 1860 there is no “moral case for fossil fuels”. But given the alarming rise, in the US and elsewhere, of the climate sceptic/pro fossil fuel lobby it feels important to look a bit closer at the arguments presented here.

The theme on the Transition Network website for March and April will be 'Transition & Arts'


More events

Follow Transition Network on Twitter!/transitiontowns 

Be a Friend on Facebook 

Film Reviews  

Transition Youtube Channel 

Resources — Editor's Picks 

Find previous editions of the newsletter here 

Read this newsletter online

Subscribe to Transition newsletter: 

This newsletter is published on the first Friday of each month. 
Next newsletter is 6 March 2015

Fancy some funding to run a Green Open Homes event?

Thu, 05/02/2015 - 12:23

Many Transition initiatives have run successful Green Open Homes events over the last few years, and for many it is a key point of their annual calendar.  The Centre for Sustainable Energy in Bristol has just announced a new round of funding for Green Open Homes events.  You can apply now for grants up to £2,500. Find out more here, or read on. 

The Green Open Homes network had a hugely successful first year, facilitating hundreds of homes to open to the public and inspiring some 10,000+ visitors that crossed the energy efficient thresholds. Run in conjunction with Bristol Green Doors, the network supports low carbon open homes events across the country by providing free advice and resources to organising groups. 

For those hoping to run new or repeat events, we’ve got some great news – grants of between £500 and £2,500 are available for events happening before the end of May 2015. Applications will be assessed and winners selected on a first-come-first-served basis until the funding pot has run out. The total grant pot is £48,000.

CSE Project Manager, James Watt said:

“It was great to be able to support so many events across the Green Open Homes network in 2014 and we hope that this round of funding will build on the success of 2014, inspiring visitors to make improvements in their own homes.”

Grant application forms are available to download from the Green Open Homes website. The site also allows any group running an event to create their own page on the site where they can list all the details visitors will need and use the mapping facility to record the homes taking part. This is handy for groups who don’t want the hassle and expense of creating their own website.

To understand more about the open homes set-up and for information on how to go about running an event in your community, this short video is well worth a watch.

Transition Buxton take on former council plant nursery

Wed, 14/01/2015 - 15:19

Here is some inspiring news from Transition Buxton about their recent signing of a lease to take over a former Council plant nursery:

Background & History 

The Serpentine Community Farm (aka ‘The Serpentine Project’) is a partnership initiative being run by the Food Group arm of Transition Buxton C.I.C., in association with a number of local organisations including Buxton & Leek College, the University of Derby and High Peak Borough Council. We are also enthusiastically supported by Buxton Civic Association and Buxton Town Team. It is expected that, in the next few months, a new 'Serpentine Community Farm C.I.C.' will be established to include members of the project group of Transition Buxton C.I.C. and of these associated organisations. 

Our proposal focuses on an area of land running alongside the Serpentine watercourse to the west of the Pavilion Gardens in Buxton (subsequently referred to as ‘The Serpentine Project’). Previously the area had been used for the cultivation and supply of plants for the Pavilion Gardens. In recent years the area has fallen into disrepair and the owners (High Peak Borough Council) have been looking at ways to utilise the existing space.

HPBC are interested in having partnerships with community organisations to transform run-down buildings into assets for the good of the community. Transition Buxton presented the Regeneration Committee with plans for transforming the area into a community education location and was given the opportunity to develop a business plan for the project. 

The HPBC have now issued Transition Buxton with a licence for volunteers to work on the site, covered by Transition Buxton insurance. A proposal has been prepared by HPBC officers to issue a 25-year lease on the whole site to Transition Buxton. We are hopeful that this will be considered, alongside our detailed business plan, by the appropriate Borough Council department and the cabinet in the first quarter of 2015. 

Work to date 

We were given a licence to start work within the ground-based area of the site, the buildings being still allocated as out-of-bounds, in July 2014. Since that point, we have had 10 Volunteer Days, primarily on monthly Sundays, but with Wednesdays  also included during the winter to try and include the local Public Service Students. We have had a total of 146 volunteers, contributing 462 volunteer-hours to the project. 

From the start we cleared the overgrown scrub that had taken over the site, and the debris left behind by the former occupants. We have cleared many thousands of plant pots (estimated 2000kg), with many more still in the buildings. These were uplifted by a shortwalk to be recycled into other products. We had received some funding for the purchase of tools for Volunteer Days, but mostly we have relied upon time and using whatever we can find on the site. In addition to this, we have been given a special Judges’ Award by the visiting judges of East Midlands in Bloom for the potential the site holds for the community and horticulture. 

We have reached the position where we will be able to construct a working Polytunnel by February of this year, and the start the process of growing. We hope to move all the produce out to raised beds by late spring / early summer. Other current projects include inoculation of the tree trunks we have felled in order to grow mushrooms and building a composting toilet (no facilities currently on site). 

Key aspects of project

  • To restore the area to a functioning market garden, producing fruit, herbs and vegetables;
  • To develop as a horticultural training/teaching centre for all ages and backgrounds, through the collaboration of a number of local organisations;
  • To involve the community in local food production with the aim of reducing dependency on imported food;
  • To employ conventional horticultural techniques and investigate potential new crops informed by permaculture principles in the development of the site, in order to become self-sustaining by 2019. 

We envisage the project developing in three key phases: 

Phase I (early 2014 – late 2015)

- Clear site of debris and make safe

- Renovate the greenhouse and construct polytunnels and raised beds

- Begin planting of produce


Phase I continues with preparation of the site for the spring 2015 growing season:

- Building of raised beds

- Rebuilding Polytunnel 1 using the framework already on site

- Building of a composting toilet facility

- Creation of a small pond to encourage pest predation

- Restoration of the greenhouse, by replacing broken glass and applying a safety film of plastic to the glass

- Building 'dead hedges' for site security & wildlife value, using on-site brash

- Laying paths

- Production of salads and other seasonal annual crops from early in 2015 to supply local restaurants and college kitchens

- Finalising the business plan


Phase II (2015 – 2016)

- Planting the larger trees and shrubs and perennial plants that will make up the forest garden

- Erect Polytunnel 2

- Establishing a teaching programme in association with local schools and the University of Derby / Buxton & Leek College 

- Start of courses / educational aspect


Phase III (2017 – 2019)

- Renovating buildings

- Continued development of the site infrastructure (i.e. green roof canopy), and teaching range & content 


The majority of the main restoration and planting of the site in the early stages will rely heavily on volunteer help, as well as students gaining valuable outdoor experience. We are currently in the process of forming a separate C.I.C. from the main Transition Buxton organisation in order to run the Serpentine Project. This will operate with 6 to 10 directors, all of whom would be volunteers selected for their relevant experience. Most of the individuals required are already involved and possess a broad range of valuable experience between them, and there will be space reserved on the Board for representatives from the University of Derby, Buxton & Leek College, HPBC as well as Transition Buxton members. Some of the roles outlined for the directors include Chair/Spokesperson, Public Relations Coordinator, Treasurer, Administrator, Fundraiser, with other roles to be developed in time. In the long term, we look to employ one grower / Centre Manager in charge of operations and day-to-day running of the centre. 

Plants / Crops

We need to take into account the somewhat unique climate of Buxton and its altitude to determine what will be productive but we can draw on the experience of local allotment holders to tell us what works. However, with a renovated greenhouse, 2 polytunnels, raised beds and a forest garden, we expect to produce a selection of salad leaves and annual vegetables through the growing season, alongside a range of other high-value and unusual crops from perennials, such as bamboo tips, wasabi, hosta greens, barberry and Sichuan pepper, as well as shiitake mushrooms grown on wood from the forest garden. 

Local supplier sources 

We have currently made use of local surveyors and glaziers to estimate the costs of potential refurbishment of the greenhouse and buildings. We have progressed so far by relying on volunteer labour and sourcing whatever materials are required from the site itself. This includes felling trees for use of timber and mushroom production, plastic pots for plant growth, old window frames for cold frames etc. We have operated so far with virtually no budget or funds.


It is envisaged that in time and with the increased use of the facilities by outside agencies, such as the University, that we will be required to employ a part-time manager alongside University staff/volunteers. In time, we hope to plant a larger amount and variety of food to supply local businesses and restaurants as well as the University catering courses. There is scope for a wide variety of courses at the site, primarily horticultural, but with the potential for food-related courses, such as introductions to preserving / drying / bottling of the crops. 

Photographs and video of the site can be found here.

'Transition Town: The Musical' launches Kickstarter appeal

Thu, 08/01/2015 - 07:28

'Transition Town: The Musical': Plans revealed for a new community crowdfunded musical

An opportunity for people to crowdfund a new community musical, which will explore questions and issues presented by oil dependency, sustainable energy and climate change, has been launched and is already attracting a lot of support. 'Transition Town: The Musical' is being produced by Regen SW, a not for profit organisation working to revolutionise the way we generate, supply and use energy.

The project is the brainchild of Matt Harvey, writer and host of Channel 4’s Wondermentalist, the award-winning composer Tomas Hewitt Jones and Chloe Uden, arts and energy programme manager at Regen SW.

The team, creators of this year’s hit Christmas show Rumpelstiltskin, are aiming to crowdfund £10,000 by early February 2015 to commence the estimated 18 month project.

Chloe explained “We want to bring as many people into this project as possible, so crowdfunding was an obvious choice. Over the past 10 years of working in the sustainable energy sector, I’ve seen how the arts can provide a space to deal with the emotional and human side of the story.”

Rob Hopkins, founder and figurehead of the Transition Towns movement and supporter of the new venture, explained “when Matt first mentioned the idea of Transition Town: The Musical, I couldn't help laughing. There was something silly about it, but at the same time something rather wonderful.”

Rob continued “doing Transition has many of the elements of great musicals: drama, moments of high tension, highs of great choral unity, moments when it all locks in beautifully and it feels more exhilarating than anything else, and the fact that it needs a whole cast, not just one or two heroes. This is something designed to be performed by communities, and I really hope it becomes the 'Billy Elliot' for community activists, the 'We Will Rock You' for community energy, and the 'West Side Story' of rooftop gardeners. The world needs this musical. Please support it!". 

You can find out more and support the Kickstarter appeal here

January 2015 - Transition Network Newsletter

Wed, 07/01/2015 - 12:00

To start the new year we offer lots of inspiring news and new features. Our themes will now span two months and starts with getting started. We introduce our very own Agony Aunt, offer you a new year rubbish diet, find out what life is like without Amazon and announce plans for Transition Town -The Musical! Plus news of Transition Roadshow coming up in Cornwall, training on offer, events and book reviews.


Transitioners' Digest (December 2014)
The theme for December was 'Less is More',

How We Got Started
During January and February we'll be exploring the first element of our Support Offer, 'How to Start Transition'. We start with Richard Barnett of New Forest Transition who tells the story of their beginnings in 2007

The Transition Agony Aunt
A new regular feature, The Transition Agony Aunt, will answers a reader's question. The first one is about struggling to form working groups:
Have you got a question for her? Email 

How 'The Power to Convene' can transform Transition
Should the Power to Convene be the key role of what Transition groups do and how they function?

Transition Town: The Musical!
This is the working title for a sparkling new musical to be written by poet Matt Harvey and composer Thomas Hewitt Jones. The plan is to weave a witty, warm-hearted tale of dreamers and do-ers addressing the practical, emotional and philosophical questions thrown up by climate change and oil dependency. The premiere of the final show is planned for July 2016 and then a license will be available for other groups to perform the show. “We want to bring as many people into this project as possible, so crowdfunding was an obvious choice" said Chloe Uden who conceived the project. "Over the past 10 years of working in the sustainable energy sector, I’ve seen how the arts can provide a space to deal with the emotional and human side of the story.” Find out more and support their appeal on Kickstarter:

Results from the Transition Culture survey
The responses from the short survey as well as some reflections on what we might do about them.



How the BBC might hold the election to account, carbon-wise
How about putting short term economic responsibility, alongside longer term climate responsibility?

Responding to the Prison Industrial Complex with permaculture and resilience
Teacher, writer, speaker and designer, Pandora Thomas is a board member of Transition US, a founder of the Black Permaculture Network, a co-founder of Earthseed Consulting, and co-creator of the Pathways to Resilience programme. Read or listen to her inspiring interview:

The Rubbish Diet
Sometimes we make New Year’s resolutions that we don’t keep. The key, psychologists tell us, is to make the resolution simple, with stepped rewards along the way until the goal is reached. Bin Doctor Katy Anderson writes about the Diet and how you can Learn to Love Your Bin as a New Year’s Resolution.

If I Ruled The World
Asked by a local newspaper to muse on what he would do if he ruled the world, Rob Hopkins began by saying “that’s impossible” would be outlawed around the cabinet table.

My year without Amazon
Having decided a year ago that Amazon was so at odds with Rob Hopkins' values that he withdrew his support for good, he shares his reflections on how a year free of Amazon has been. (Spoiler Alert: it's been great).


Starting a Transition Enterprise
The first post in a series about the process of starting a Transition Enterprise. This blog by Mark Simmonds attempts to define a Transition Enterprise and look at the very early stages in the start-up “journey”.

Talking Social Economy in a World of Extremes
Frances Northrop of Transition Town Totnes on her visit to Sweden for the Annual National Transition Conference.

The Community Enterprise Checker and funding opportunities through Power to Change
With £150m as potentially available, and some go-early investment opportunities, we are encouraging Transition Enterprises to get involved with Power to Change.



• 24-25 January. London. The world's first Permaculture for Transition course
• Launch online begins again January 13th at the new time of 09.00- 10.30 UK time. This will enable people in Asia and Australia and New Zealand to take part more easily.



The Transition Roadshow comes to Penwith
6-7 Feb. Penzance, West Cornwall
There are lots of positive things going on in Penwith and this event will take things further with a focus on RE-thinking the economic future of the area.

Devon Convergence - Forum for New Local Economies
February 7. Exeter
Gathering the changemakers in Devon to meet, become acquainted, perhaps start collaborative relationships, and definitely learn about what's happening around the region to create thriving local economies.

Using Social Media for Events
21 January 8pm - online
Bringing together Transition Initiatives in the UK interested in exploring how social media can help their activities expand and flourish.

More events


One Minute Review: Behind the Green Door by Rotor
An eclectic book, rich in objects that will challenge (or reaffirm!) what sustainability means for you in relation to how the world around us is built.

Don't Even Think About It by George Marshall
Unlike most books about climate change, which try to convince people using science, Don't Even Think About It examines why the science doesn't convince people. Drawing on research across many disciplines and presenting it entertainingly, he argues that these insights are critical to mobilizing public opinion on climate change. While Marshall’s book may or may not fix widespread ignorance about climate change, it does an invaluable service by showing us why we ignore this greatest of all threats facing our species.


Desert Island Discs, Totnes-style
The subject of a rather unusual version of Desert Island Discs in Totnes was Rob Hopkins. The Winter Concert, organised by two local choirs and others, invites a local person to choose eight tracks which are then performed interspersed with stories from that person's life. Well worth a listen:


"For me, the most sustainable thing a person can do is continue to live! To stay alive and thrive and create and support systems that help affirm their own life. "
Pandora Thomas

More events

Follow Transition Network on Twitter!/transitiontowns 

Be a Friend on Facebook 

Film Reviews  

Transition Youtube Channel 

Resources — Editor's Picks 

Find previous editions of the newsletter here 

Read this newsletter online

Subscribe to Transition newsletter: 

This newsletter is published on the first Friday of each month. 
Next newsletter is 6 February 2015

Transition Network's Annual Report 2014

Fri, 19/12/2014 - 17:43

We are delighted to share Transition Network's Trustees Report and Financial Statement for 2014.  It captures beautifully the bredth and depth of what we have been up to.  Some key achievements covered by this report, and our work in the rest of 2014, include: 

All this work is helping meet the urgent need to encourage and support people and communities to take effective action to build the transition to a low-carbon, socially-just, healthier and happier future, which is more enriching and more gentle on the earth than the way most of us live today.  We hope you find it a useful and inspiring insight into what we do all day, and look forward to sharing 2015's even more inspirational Report with you. 



PreviewAttachmentSize Transition Network Annual Report and Accounts March 2014.pdf1.3 MB

December 2014 - Transition Network Newsletter

Thu, 04/12/2014 - 14:54

While our theme in November was catching up, December's theme is 'Less is More'. In the newsletter we find out about the new Support Framework, we want to hear your starting out stories and your thoughts on Transition Culture. We offer several reflections on stuff and what happens when we don't have so much of it. Plus news from initiatives including the Round up; Training courses coming up and Book reviews. And since it's that time of year - we have our plan for a Christmas advert! 


JOB: Conference Project Manager
We are recruiting for a project manager for our Transition Conference autumn 2015. If have the skills and interest to work with TN on a project/ freelance basis, then please email
Details and application form will follow shortly.

Our New Support Framework
"Give it a go and let us know what you think" says Michael Thomas, Transition Network's Support Co-ordinator. "For the past 9 months we have been creating a new support framework which draws on the various resources that Transition Network has produced over recent years, experience gained from Transition Training and feedback from across the movement. We wanted to bring key information together, put a bit of structure around it and make it easier for people to find and use the learning that we’ve gathered from the fantastic ongoing social experiment that is Transition."

Are we doing Transition Culture right?
It's now 17 months since Transition Culture moved to its home at We have introduced a number of changes, in particular the monthly themes, the monthly Transitioner's Digest and the bigger editorial 'think piece' at the start of each month. As we reach the end of 2014, we'd like to hear how you are finding it, what you like, what you think could be changed, any suggestions and feedback. We have created a very quick survey that should only take you a minute or two, and your feedback will be very valuable in shaping what we do during 2015. Please let us know what you think by Sunday the 14th of December

Wanted: your stories of starting your Transition initiative.
Over January and February, the Transition Network website will be looking in more depth at the first step in starting a Transition initiative, namely Developing an Initiating Group. Site editor Rob Hopkins has the following request:
"We'd love to hear your stories about how your Transition group came together and what happened as you drew together the group to get it all going. Who started it? How did you organise yourselves? What happened? This is your opportunity to capture and share those early days." Please get in touch at



Unveiling the 2014 Transition Christmas TV Advert
Rob Hopkins puts on Transition glasses and has a look at the various Christmas adverts being put out by the UK stores. He then has a go at suggesting what a Transition Christmas ad might look like.

Looking Back Over 100 Years:
It is all too easy to imagine that prior to present-day consumption levels life was bereft of pleasure, fun, anything rewarding. As a way of challenging that Rob Hopkins shares a conversation he had with 99 year old Douglas Matthews.

Fukushima - the aftermath of a disaster
Debbie Warrener reports from her trip to Fukushima. She finds that there is so much about Fukushima that is hard to take in. "Fukushima strikes me as a gigantic mirror for the craziness of the times we live in – and how there are no easy answers and we have to find answers ourselves and together – at a citizen level. One by one. Making difficult decisions along the way."

How to think and live for yourself
One of the tasks that loom large as we strive to build more resilient, sustainable communities with a new paradign writes Sherry Ackerman, is reassigning value to the subjective and intrinsic experiences in life. We can begin to do this on our own, thus setting precedents for employers, teachers, government and others. We can do things that bring us pleasure — instead of just money or “stuff” — as a part of our regular routines.



The October/November 2014 Round-up of What’s Happening out in the World of Transition
Around the UK from Bath, Bristol, Cardiff, Crystal Palace, Harborough, Haverfordwest, Marlow, St Albans, Stirling, Stroud, Tooting, Totnes, Wivenhoe.
In Germany from Bielefeld, Essen, Wiesbaden, Witzenhausen and Würzburg. Budapest in Hungary, Réseau in Belgium, Bologna in Italy and South Carolina in the USA. Plus Montreal, Perth, and Winnipeg in Canada.

Transition Cobham Crowdfunder campaign
Cobham Community Garden's fence project aim to raise £2500 by 22nd December using Crowdfunding

Helping shape the planning process
Ian Jackson from Transition Belper tells an ongoing tale of engagment with the planning process.



  • The world's first Permaculture for Transition course takes place in the new year.
  • Launch online begins again January 13th, 2015 at the new time of 09.00- 10.30 UK time. This will enable people in Asia and Australia and New Zealand to take part more easily. 
  • There is a talk training in French, and a few places are still left for the Inner Transition training in London this weekend.


Project Evaluation Tools
Over the last year 'Monitoring and Evaluation for Sustainable Communities' has developed a set of evaluation tools. They are easy to use, tailored to your needs, abilities, and time, and offer ways to evaluate your projects or your Transition initiative.



Naomi Klein's 'This Changes Everything'
It is a powerful, deeply felt, painstakingly-researched book which takes the reader on an incredible journey and makes a radical yet common-sense case. So why is it that by the end Rob Hopkins felt underwhelmed?

One Minute Reviews is a new feature, where we review books or films in a way that will take you less than a minute to read. Here is the first one:

One Minute Review: Incredible!
Incredible!: Plant Veg, Grow a Revolution is the story of Incredible Edible Todmorden (IET), the food-growing project in Yorkshire which has inspired people around the world to look at their urban spaces in a very different way.



Resistance is essential, but it’s not enough. As we fight the injustice around us, we also have to imagine — and create — the world we want. We have to build real alternatives in the here and now — alternatives that are not only living proof that things can be done differently, but that actively challenge, and eventually supplant, the power of the status quo”. Naomi Klein


More events

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This newsletter is published on the first Friday of each month. 
Next newsletter is 9th January 2015



Transition Network scoop a 2014 PEA Award!

Mon, 01/12/2014 - 23:13

Transition Network's Rob Hopkins was the proud winner of a People Environment and Achievement (PEA) Award at the awards event on London's South Bank last week.  He was one of three winners in the Campaigner of the Year category, alongside: 

Cat Fletcher – I Love Freegle – Resource Goddess
Ajay Gupta – National Environmental Science Academy

The PEA Awards describe themselves thus:

"The PEA (People Environment & Achievement) Awards, now in it’s fourth year, reflects a desire to recognise inspirational people who are making a difference to the green agenda and acknowledge their crucial contributions".

Awards were given out in 17 categories and featured some of the leading innovators and creative people and organisations in the world of sustainability.  The panel of judges was chaired by Dr David Viner, climate change lead at Mott Macdonald. It also included Jo Wood, television personality and lifestyle guru; Rebecca Hill, International Marketing Director at National Geographic Magazine; Oliver Heath, TV presenter and eco-architect guru; Martin Wright, Director of Forum for the Future; Katie Hill, Editor of PQ Magazine and, plus Jarvis Smith, founder of the PEA and PEA Business Awards.

The evening was compered by Oliver Heath, and this year's theme was "Unity".  Rob said:

"It was a huge honour to recieve this award on behalf of everyone around the world doing Transition.  It is phenomenal every day to hear stories of what people are doing in very different cultures, settings and communities around the world, as they roll up their sleeves and start building the future we so urgently need to see. They are showing that a movement built on humour, creativity and on bringing people together can lead to real change.  This award is for every one of them".  

Scottish Transition groups join call for fracking moratorium

Mon, 17/11/2014 - 14:03

Three Scottish Transition groups, Black Isle, Stirling and Linlithgow joined with 23 other organisations to call for a moratorium on unconventional gas extraction in Scotland.  The letter, published in the The Herald Scotland, runs as follows: 

"We, an alliance of groups from Scottish communities directly or indirectly at risk from the unconventional gas extraction industry, call on the Scottish Government to follow the example of other countries by implementing a moratorium on all forms of unconventional gas development in Scotland. 

We are supported by ­increasing numbers of groups concerned about unconventional gas developments, by trades unions representing workers at risk of the health and safety impacts, and by organisations, scientists and public-health researchers opposed to the negative environmental, health and economic impacts. The Scottish Government can demonstrate its commitment by taking the responsible decision on the Falkirk public inquiry, to refuse permission to Dart Energy for commercial coalbed methane extraction.

A responsible decision is one truly in line with the ­precautionary, community-led approach to unconventional gas assessment set out in the new Scottish Planning Policy, and which sends a clear message to Westminster that their ­gung-ho, undemocratic approach on this issue is unacceptable in Scotland. We therefore call on the Scottish Government to refuse the Dart application, and to implement a moratorium on all further unconventional gas development, at least until such time as a full and open public-health impact and life cycle environmental impact assessment has been conducted, with effective community consultation.

Concerned Communities of Falkirk; Canonbie and District Residents' Association; Halt Unconventional Gas Extraction, Cumbernauld; Friends of the Earth Stirling; Clacks Against Unconventional Gas; Friends of the Earth Falkirk; No Fracking North Berwick; Highlands and Islands Against Fracking; Portobello Group Against Fracking; Dunbar Anti-Fracking Team; Unison Scotland; Friends Of The Earth Scotland; Don't Frack the Briggs (Bishopriggs); East Lothian Against Fracking, Pencaitland; Transition Stirling; Women's Environmental Network Scotland; Scottish Hazards Campaign; Prof Andrew Watterson and Professor Rory O'Neill, Stirling University; Markinch Environmental Action Group; Transition Town Linlithgow; Transition Black Isle; Eco Drama, Iona Community; Mull and Iona Family Group; Hands Off Our Scotland; A Greener Melrose

The October/November 2014 Round-up of What’s Happening out in the World of Transition

Fri, 14/11/2014 - 07:56

Bath & West Community Energy just closed their third public share offer.  It raised a remarkable amount of money, £1.6 million, to build the Wilmington Farm Solar Array.  Coming on the heels of the recent West Solent Solar Co-operative (which included many members of Transition New Forest) share issue raising £2 million, it's very impressive to see the scale of these Transition community energy initiatives.  On November 10th they tweeted:

We are thrilled to announce that is now fully subscribed having reached £1.6M target. Welcome to our new investors!

They also recently installed a solar array on the roof of the local Council offices. Here's a photo:


So why did people invest in BWCE's share issue? Let's ask a few of them.  Here's Jane:

... and Angus ...

... and Shay ...


Totnes, which according to the Plymouth Herald is now "twinned with Area 51 after end of agreement with Narnia", is set to host its Transition Film Festival this weekend, with an incredible line-up of great films and workshops.  Totnes also celebrated a national first with its announcement of the signing of an agreement which enables the town's Atmos Totnes project to finally proceed.  

The announcement was made at a public event in September, and now a very innovative public consultation process is underway (see promotional card above).  Here is a podcast of three people discussing their experience of visiting the Hub:

As you will see, it's that time of year when many Transition initiatives' thoughts turn to apples.  Transition Stratford tweeted:

Over three quarters of a tonne fruit picked, join us tomorrow at Anne Hathaway's 10-12 for our next picking session.

Transition Town Tooting held their Foodival event, another great success.  You can read their full report here

Also held a Restart party, and here is a great selection of photos from the event.  Transition Marlow are in the running for local radio station Marlow FM's 'Hidden Gems' awards.  Here is a great introductory video to the work of Transition Cardiff:

Let's talk local currencies for a bit.  The Bristol Pound just held its second birthday.  They tweeted: 

We did it! Bristol's local currency is TWO yrs old & is growing every day! £619,000 Bristol £s issued,705 £B traders & most buses accept it

They celebrated with a party - here's the poster:

You'll see it mentions a £B Cash Point.  If your idea of that is the kind of cash point we are all used to, think again.  Indeed, here is a photo of the £B Cash Point.  That's him in the middle, with the blue pointy hat.  

The Bristol Pound have also produced a great new video about why the Bristol Pound matters:

You can use local currencies for all kinds of things.  The Brixton Pound recently tweeted: 

Whoop whoop, now accepting Drop in pole dance classes for B£ users 2-4-1 £9!! O.E 31.12.14 

The Totnes Pound has now gone electronic.  Also, the new signs in the town's car parks tells visitors about the Totnes Pound and where they can get them!

It's not just these places where local currencies are underway.  There is so much interest in them, that November saw the launch of the Guild of Independent Currencies in Bristol.  Attended by 70 people representing schemes across the UK and beyond, it was an inspirational event.  You can read about it, and hear the podcasts of all the talks, here.  

Jay Tompt, one of those behind the REconomy work in Totnes, recently gave this talk outlining what REconomy is and how it works in the town:


Transition Town Brixton are planning a Local Entrepreneurs' Forum for next year, and have already started promoting the idea.  Transition is underway in Northhampton - someone recently tweeted:

First Northampton Transition Town meeting will be held Wednesday 8th October @ The Barn, Taylor Avenue Northampton at 7pm 

Transition Loughborough held their Autumn Fayre, which was reported in their local paper.  It quoted Steve King from the group as saying:

"We want to make the most of what Loughborough’s got.  It’s not just about paying for things, it’s about swapping with other local producers. Hopefully, it will catch on". 

Here is a selection of Transition initiatives' newsletters: Transition Marlborough, Transition Cambridge, Transition St Albans, Transition KW, Transition Town Totnes.  Transition Reading are cracking on with their Draughtbusting, and have produced a great Q&A for other groups thinking about it.  New Forest Transition are holding an exhibition called 'Live and Unleashed' to celebrate their work over the last few years (see right).  

Transition St. Albans are forging ahead with their Transition Streets, with new groups still forming across the town.  If you're in St Albans and you'd like to start one, see here.  Transition Worcester have just finished their extensive programme of apple pressing.  Here they are in action:

Transition Stirling held an upcycling event on how to make new things from old bike chains. Transition Haverfordwest appeared in their local paper under the headline Town heads towards sustainable future. It celebrated the group becoming an 'official' Transition initiative.  It said:  

“In the early days we concentrated on raising awareness through screenings of films and hosting talks,” said Guy Norman, a founder member of the group. “These days we are much more focused on the power of ‘just doing stuff’.”

The ‘stuff’ the group has done includes working with talented local chefs to run a monthly local food supper club, organising a successful series of Green Fayres, and – under the Orchard Mawr project - planting hundreds of fruit and nut trees on public land in and around Haverfordwest.

Transition Ealing tweeted:

Keep your diaries open for the Ealing Transition Community Fayre, Oct 11th, 1:30-5, St Mary's Church. Another great event!

Crystal Palace Transition Town's 'Palace Pint' initiative appeared in the Guardian.

"Palace Pint is a community project to encourage local people to grow their own hops to be harvested into a seasonal, unique and local beer. They plant on St Patrick’s Day, exchange tips and advice on the group’s Facebook page throughout the year, and tonight they collect the yield at Beer Rebellion. Later on, the crop will be cycled over to Penge-based micro brewery Late Knights, who will perform whatever sorcery turns a heap of flowers into beer".

Here's a picture of the Palace Pint crew:

CPTT's food market continues to go from strength to strength.  Here's a great blog about it.  The town of Belper just won the GB High Street competition. Transition Belper have been very active in the process, as they tweeted when announcing the news, "Spot the Transition projects".

According to the Hertfordshire Mercury, Buntingford recently held an event, organised by the charity Peace Child, to explore the idea of Buntingford becoming a Transition initiative.  People were asked for their thoughts as to how the town could look in 2050.  Asked why Peace Child had organised the event, David Woollcombe, founder of Peace Child, said: 

“When Madela Baddock – who hosted this meeting with us – said let’s do this, we agreed that sustainability comes home to roost in our own time.  There is an opportunity for a small town like Buntingford to model green, sustainable development and work for effective planning laws much more easily than a big town like Stevenage or Hertford.  That’s why we feel we could become a wonderful Transition town.”

Transition Chesterfield have been bringing a theatrical angle to their work.  They tweeted:

Final Rehearsal of the Transition Drama production - Insulation. All welcome to join, support etc. Thursday 27th, Calow Church 19:30

If anybody saw 'Insulation: the Play', we'd love to hear from you.  Southend in Transition held their annual Apple Day.  Transition Wivenhoe appeared on a programme on BBC called Glorious Gardens from Above.  It introduces viewers to various of their projects, in particular their various community gardens including one at the town's station. The programme description said: 

"Horticulturist Christine Walkden explores gardens and countryside from a hot-air balloon. Christine continues her exploration of Britain's gardens in Essex".

Readers in the UK can watch the programme for another 3 weeks (starts 31:00). The amazing work of OVESCO in Lewes and their excellent peer-to-peer work with 10 local Transition groups was celebrated in this article from their local paper:

Transition Town Worthing are busy too.  They tweeted:

"exciting things going on in #worthing! Funding for #communityenergy scheme, a #snug #retrofitting initiative,  and soon also #community #growingspaces all set up by @TTWorthing members; weekend @mcsuk beach clean time!"

Transition Stroud produced a Stroud in Transition Action Menu which has been delivered to every house in the town.  You can download the pdf of the Menu at the bottom of this Round Up.  Here is a selection:


Transition Stroud also held their AGM.  Click here to see the invitation. Here is a film about the evening:

One of their projects, the Woodfuel Project, was recently captured in this video by Philip Booth:

Sustainable Harborough held their annual Apple Day in the town square. Transition Peterborough held their annual fundraising ceilidh.  Tickets went very fast. Transition Galway screened 'A Farm of the Future'.  Transition Honiton held their Winter Warmer Fair.  

Transition Cambridge held a Restart Party, which made it onto local TV.  Below is a photo from it.  They also launched a home energy survey

In April, Transition Kentish Town, Transition Tufnell Park and Transition Dartmouth Park held a meeting to explore how they might work together to kick off some kind of community energy initiative.  Now going full steam ahead under the banner of Power Up North London, they are taking some very real steps towards making it a reality.  Nice logo. 

Transition Linlithgow were one of the groups who came to the gathering of Scottish Transition initiatives.  Here is a poster they prepared about their work so far: 

A group from Hong Kong and China recently came on a Transition tour of the South West of England and produced this record of their trip to capture their learnings about local food systems, community energy, local money and the Transition model in general:

The annual gathering of representatives of national Transition Hubs took place in Copenhagen.  You can read a write up of it here, and here is a video about the second half of the event, which took place in a car park in Copenhagen!

Sweden held their first annual Transition conference.  We are still waiting for a write-up of it, but here is a photo of people arriving on the start of the first morning:

Also in Sweden, Transition Trainers Naresh and Sophy were there recently teaching various Transition Trainings.  Here is Naresh leading a session about Max Neef's work on human needs:

Now here's a fascinating video.  Transition Bielefeld recently held a community sauerkraut-making workshop, which appeared on television!  Over to our on-the-spot reporter, who will tell us all about it:

Repair Cafes appear to be all the rage in German Transition initiatives right now.  Transition Bielefeld's Repair Cafe events recently won a prize! I think.  I think that's what's happening in this video:

Transition Essen also held a Repair Cafe, which appeared on its local TV station:

The first Repair Café in Transition Würzburg was organised on a Sunday evening in October. 20 repairers, nearly 150 visitors and the result: 138 object e.g. electric gadgets, bicycles, trousers and also jewelery, all repaired. There are currently 150  Repair Cafés in Germany, but the number is still raising.  Click here to see a clip from local TV about the Würzburg Cafe. 


Transition Town Wiesbaden im Wandel appeared on their local radio station: 

Transition Witzenhausen have launched a Food cooperative initiative in November after long time planning and testing phase. The aim is to offer local and organic food to local people. They are further looking for consumers, organisers and farmer as well.  Here is their poster:

To Hungary now, with thanks to Noemi.  Transition Wekerle in Budapest organised a 'Green Saturday' in November. There was an exhibition about recycled games and clothes made by children, a presentation about Wekerle's Garden Share project, but participants could also make themselves eco-washing liquid (see photo below).

Transition Wekerle and Transition Kecskemét organised an event where several local food projects were presented, and participants could discuss different local food strategies such as local markets, food-coops, community supported agriculture, gardening, Garden Share and so on. In Autumn people in Wekerle were very active. 8 garage/fleamarkets and clothing swaps were organised, where a lot of used things found new owners and a new life. More than 150 people took part in these events.

The washable nappy club is still running, they recently organised their 4th meeting since they have launched this summer.  He are some of their nappies ... (clean ones...):

In Belgium, some members of Réseau Transition recently sent a video fifth birthday greeting to Grez Doiceau en Transition (GeT):

Rob Hopkins recently visited Bologna in Italy, a trip he wrote up here, but here is a short video by Italia Che Cambia which captures the trip:

To the US now, and a member of Transition Wilmington, Delaware was vox popped at the recent huge Peoples' Climate March in New York.  Transition Streets is starting to take off in the US, supported by Transition US.  They have adapted Transition Streets from the UK to the US context.  They recently held a great online webinar to introduce people to it:

Here's a short video in which Christine, a mother of two shares why she's enjoyed being part of the pilot Transition Streets project in Clemson, South Carolina.


Totnes aren't the only place holding a Transition Film Festival!  Transition Pioneer Valley just held their third - more about it here.  Transition Keene have been reflecting on the sharing economy.  Transition Town Media are hosting a Map Jam.  A what?  This video explains: 

From Canada, Transition Winnipeg tweeted:

Thanks to all who came to help us ignite 's great transition this afternoon! So many great ideas were put forward!

Transition Perth ran an event, supported by their local government, called 'Let's Talk Resilience'.  This is part of what they wrote about it on their website:

Imagine everyone being secure, even if oil becomes too expensive to use excessively or if economic uncertainty affects us on a larger scale. Imagine everyone being healthy, even if the cost of food continues to increase or changes in our climate become more pronounced. Imagine everyone being happy, even in light of current downsizing trends or some forms of employment becoming more scarce. Potentially we could create local sources for energy, food security, transportation, and meaningful employment. We could choose to respond constructively to many of these changes and challenges, and celebrate together how our community adapted!  Each of us hold parts of the knowledge, skills, vision, and enthusiasm to secure the future of our community. Together, Let's Talk Resilience on September 26th at the Perth Legion!

The Montreal Gazette ran a great piece about Transition called Montreal's Transition members seek positive change.  Transition Trainer May East wrote a great piece for the Guardian about Transition in Brasilandia in Sao Paolo, Brazil.  

Jay Tompt, mentioned earlier, has been on a tour around Europe running workshops and giving talks about REconomy.  With Inez Aponte they also presented the first Real World Economics workshop in Germany based on the work of Manfred Max-Neef.  One of the props Jay took with him was a bottle of 'Atmos Ale' brewed by the Transition-inspired New Lion Brewery in Totnes. Like those tales of stolen garden gnomes then being photographed in different parts of the world, he has so far sent photos of it in Bonn ...

and in Maastricht ...

Where next? 

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