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August 2015 - Transition Network Newsletter

Thu, 06/08/2015 - 10:53

In this newsletter we have more on the conference as it takes shape and fills up, projects offering and looking for funding, paid jobs, training opportunities and plans for a UK Transition Hub.



Transition Network International Conference
18-20 September 2015

The Transition Network Conference is now rapidly approaching with only a month and a half to go until it all gets underway. The event is booking out quicker than ever before with well over half the available places now gone, as well as a significant amount of the onsite accommodation. Hurry to get your place so you don’t miss out!

We’re delighted to announce that Good Energy are sponsoring this year’s Conference. This is link-up is a first for Transition Network and we’ll be welcoming Good Energy CEO Juliet Davenport to the Conference to talk about some of the work they’re doing with community energy groups here in the UK.

Are you aware that this year’s Conference has a full kids programme? We are really keen that those with children are able to attend our Conference and participate.

If you’re struggling with the cost of the Conference, we still have a number of bursary places available. These are open to young people, those on low incomes and those travelling from abroad.

Another way that we’re aiming to assist those with less available funds is through working in the Gift Economy. We’re doing our best to coordinate offers of beds, lifts and other useful things with those in need.

There’s now a draft Schedule for the weekend live on the website. Most workshops are confirmed with a few more details to come…

The Skills Day is taking shape. We will be making a final call on which of the 8 available workshops will be taking place at the end of August, based on sales. If you are thinking to attend, but not yet had the chance to confirm, please book now.

Lots more info and to book here:

From July to September we will be highlighting content and key themes for this year’s Transition Network International Conference. This first piece looks at the growth of community energy in the UK


One Year in Transition
Many young adults want to make a difference in society but don’t know how to get started. One Year in Transition (1YT) is an apprenticeship in personal and social change that has emerged from Transition Network to meet this need. Over four meet-ups and eleven months the course acts a bridge between learning and working or between full time employment and self employment. We give young adults the tools and experience to create their own unique livelihood in a world where business as usual no longer makes sense. Open to people aged 20-35 years it is as full or part time as you want it to be, is low cost and you can do it right where you are. You will emerge equipped with the personal and professional skills needed to tackle the social and environmental challenges we face, whilst building community around you and creating paid work. Just as importantly, 1YT is a place where you will meet outstanding people and make new friends. The deadline for applications is the end of August.

A National Hub for Transition in England?
Transition Network now has an expanding and evolving group of National Hubs who help connect and co-ordinate transition activity in their countries. We now want to help Transitioners in England to develop their own National Hub, if this is something that interests you, then read more to find out how to get involved.



Conversations on REconomy: Fiona Ward and Rob Hopkins
Four videos ‘in conversation’ we recently produced about the REconomy Project. Fiona Ward, the originator of REconomy, talked to Rob Hopkins about different aspects of REconomy, and how it came to be.



New funding for community-based food and farming projects
Just Growth is a new funding programme designed to encourage the growth of community based food and farming projects in England, Scotland or Wales. The Deadline for applications is 30 September 2015.

The Ecological Land Co-operative
Shaun Chamberlin writes about the Coop that is reclaiming land from industrialized agriculture and making it available to local, small-scale agroecology and permaculture projects.



REconomy project manager contract offer

We would like to contract an experienced, flexible project manager to coordinate REconomy Project activity in the UK and ensure delivery of a funded project which is about half way through a well-defined 3 year programme. Offering an 18 month contract for the supply of Project Management services with a focus specifically on delivery of the UK REconomy Project. Application deadline is 28th August.

Inner Transition - future opportunity for paid work
Transition Network is currently designing a similar role to the REconomy Project Manager role, with a focus on Inner Transition. We plan to advertise in October when we will provide full details of this interesting opportunity. You can register your interest now and ensure you are alerted to the vacancy by emailing


Train the Trainers
We have communities of trainers in 28 countries delivering our trainings. If you would like to join them, the next Train the Trainers is in Zagreb, Croatia Thursday 29th October until Monday November 2nd, 2015
See here for details and to download an application form:

Launch Online in English and Spanish
Transition Launch Online is packed with imaginative ways to delve into the practice of Transition showing you how to set up, run and grow a Transition Initiative.
Both begin Tuesday October 6th and meets once a week for eight weeks. For more information:



Transition Network International Conference
18-20 September - Devon

SuperHome Open Days
On days though September around the UK
SuperHomes are older homes refurbished by their owners for greater comfort, lower bills and far fewer carbon emissions. This is a chance to see eco renovation at its impressive best as the pioneering owners open their doors. Entry is free. Book now.

Transition Camp
2-4 October - Sussex
Early-bird until the end of August

Bristol New Economy Summit
12-13 October
With experts and practitioners from Bristol, the UK and beyond for two days of learning, participating and connecting. The event is for anyone interested in how we move from where we towards a fair and planetary boundaried economy.

The Psychology of Inspired Collective Climate Change Action
(and what gets in its way)
Saturday 21 November - London


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 

Subscribe to Transition newsletter: 

This newsletter is published on the first Friday of each month. 

Editor: Mike Grenville

Good Energy to sponsor Transition Network International Conference!

Thu, 06/08/2015 - 10:14

We are delighted to announce that Good Energy, one of the UK’s leading renewable energy supply companies are partnering with Transition Network to support this year’s Conference.

Good Energy utilises our abundant wind, rain and sunshine to create clean, green renewable electricity. They are the first, and only, national power company that have actively engaged with community energy groups around the country to secure a more resilient and locally-owned energy supply.

The Transition Movement empowers communities to develop resilience and the building blocks of a sustainable and inclusive culture today. Acting now prepares our communities to be viable economically and socially strong into the future. Our two forward-looking organizations are now teaming up to accelerate the shift to a cleaner, greener, more equitable future.

Rob Hopkins, co-founder of Transition Network said:

“We are excited to announce this partnership with Good Energy - a company with values very much in line with those of Transition Network. As our network continues to grow and new groups form, we would like to build connections with companies offering the best sustainable solutions. We see real opportunities for mutually-beneficial partnerships with organisations that want to help people reduce their ecological impact, something that Good Energy have led the way in.”

Good Energy are keen to find ways to work with the brilliant network of change-makers that is Transition and ensure that the services they are offering within community energy are responsive to the needs of those working at the grassroots level. It is hoped that this partnership will develop a key route to market and business development opportunities for Good Energy, whilst helping local energy groups engaged in Transition strengthen and improve what they can offer. Juliet Davenport, CEO of Good Energy said:

“Transitioners have trail-blazed new ways of living that are local and sustainable. Community energy projects provide a great platform for ordinary people to take action on energy in their local area – developing renewables, promoting energy efficiency and tackling fuel poverty – in a way that’s difficult for governments or old fashioned utility companies to replicate. It’s a movement we’re passionately committed to and we can’t wait to inspire more community energy action at the Transition Conference 2015.”

Working together, Good Energy and the Transition Network want to boost the number of British homes powered by renewable energy but also to help take community energy groups to the next level of ensuring everyone has access to clean, safe, and reliable locally-generated energy. Good Energy’s CEO Juliet Davenport will be joining Rob Hopkins with the Keynote Introduction at the Conference on September 18th, and Good Energy will be present during the Community Energy Session with Ovesco on Friday the 17th, as well as on Sunday afternoon.

Make sure you book now to secure your seats at these events. This year’s conference is being held in picturesque Seale-Hayne in Devon, which will become home for three days to 350 Transitioners focused on enhancing their skills, developing their knowledge and their networks and celebrating the journey so far whilst planning for the next stage of their community projects.




New funding for community-based food and farming projects

Fri, 24/07/2015 - 08:29

Just Growth is a new funding programme designed to encourage the growth of community based food and farming projects.  The aim of the programme is to support social enterprises that are producing food in a environmentally and socially just way – hence Just Growth.  FEA is working in partnership with Community and Co-operative Finance (CCF)and the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation to deliver this project.

We are looking for projects that farm in a way that nurtures and protects the environment, helps people take control of their food and enables more people to eat better food.

A key aim of the programme is to encourage community ownership and we will be looking for organisations that are owned and run by their community or that have strong co-operative principles embedded in their structure.

What sorts of projects are we looking for?

  • A start up community based farming project with a strong plan
  • An existing community farming project that is looking to expand
  • An existing community farming project that wants to develop a new aspect to its business
  • Other food/farming projects that can show that their work is strengthening the community farming sector

The programme will be looking for upto 14 projects to fund and support over an 18 month period to December 2016. The projects must be based in England, Scotland or Wales.

What support will be available?

Upto 8 projects will receive a funding package made up of one third loan financing from CCF and one third grant funding from Esmee Fairbairn. The remaining third of the funding has to be raised by the project itself from its local community either through crowdfunding or community shares. The release of the loan and the grant is contingent on the projects raising the necessary community finance.

Key aspects of the funding package

  • The minimum loan amount is £15k.
  • The minimum grant amount is £15k
  • A minimum of £15k will need to be raised from the community.
  • The grant element of the package is capped at £20k, but the loan and community finance element can exceed £20k.

In addition to the funding package, successful projects will receive upto 3 days of specialist advice to support their work.

The remaining projects will receive 1.5 days of expert support to help them develop their plans to bring them closer to being ready for investment.

To apply please download the  Just_Growth_application_form and return it to Clare Horrell at

Please read the  Just_Growth_notes_for_applicants before completing your application.

If you have any questions about the programme or your application or want to discuss whether your project is suitable for the programme please contact Clare Horrell at


July 2015 - Transition Network Newsletter

Thu, 02/07/2015 - 11:42

This month we have the Transitioners' Digest of REconomy theme, a new job offer, Thinking Aloud in Spain and on the Pope, plus update on the September Conference. 

Transition Network Conference
18-20 September

 If you have never experienced a Transition Network conference you are in for a real treat. Be warned that you may never be able to attend another ‘talking heads’ conference ever again!. You will be taken along an experience of Transition embedded in the event, finding your own pathway through an enticing range of workshops, processes, and open conversations. It is all designed to give you opportunities to both learn and contribute, to experience big group processes and small intimate one to one conversations. And the best, most innovative projects and enterprises that have emerged from the worldwide Transition experiment will be showcased over the course of this event. 

The almost full schedule is now available and lots to interest and tempt you to join us. There are an array of optional events like the Friday Transition skills day, youth gathering, and tours that need to be booked separately. 

Saturday is the main day of the programme with a range of workshops over 2 sessions, one in morning, one in afternoon. There's also the live global connections webcast session, an 'Honouring and Mourning' ceremony for the Age of Oil, evening entertainment and some special events not yet announced. There are 25 workshops currently confirmed for Saturday covering everything from the Transition Health Check through to an exploration of How Change Happens. Workshop presenters will be coming from across the world of Transition to present their views, studies and stories. There will also be the usual 'Beginnings' session where we take some time to have fun together, mapping out the wonderful and quirky thing that is Transition and beginning to explore some of the themes of the Conference. The Night will end with dinner, live music, bar selling our special locally-produced Transition Conference Beer and a fabulous Transition Disco.

See the full programme here.



Situation Vacant: Communications Co-ordinator
To grow our impact and ambition, Transition Network are seeking a Communications Co-ordinator. Very flexible home working although you will need to be based within reasonable travelling distance of Totnes where we hold our monthly staff meetings and other events. Your application should arrive by 8 July 2015.


Transitioners' Digest (May-June 2015) REconomy

Review of our REconomy theme over the last two months condensed into a few paragraphs so you can more easily find the bits that interest you.

Reflections on 5 years of REconomy, and a goodbye
Fiona Ward reflects on the growth of REconomy and her new project that will explore further the role of Transition in the health and social care sector.

Launch of Transition Streets in the US

After more than a year in the making (with lots of expert and volunteer support) Carolyne Stayton announcesteh US version of neighborhood carbon/water/waste reduction project, Transition Streets.



Consumer worldview not as entrenched as you think
A worldview is a basic way of interpreting things and events that pervades a culture so thoroughly that it becomes that culture's concept of reality — what is good, what is important, what is sacred, and what is real. It is so invasive that it is invisible.

Peak oiler? Not Catholic? You should still stand with the pope on climate
If you do care about climate change, then what's not to like in the pope's encyclical that came out this week?

Spain in Transition?: Answers from the grassroots facing a collapsing country
This article by Emilio Santiago Muiño, looks at how people are responding to the crisis from the grassroots — the struggle not only for lost rights but also for the construction of self-organized social alternatives.


"What we need is to help open people's hearts and passions and self-belief and then be amazed at what happens next."
Fiona Ward



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 

Subscribe to Transition newsletter: 

This newsletter is published on the first Friday of each month. 

Editor: Mike Grenville

Situation Vacant: Communications Co-ordinator

Tue, 23/06/2015 - 15:21

Since 2007, Transition Network has built a movement of communities in over 50 countries who are working to build resilience, community and enterprise.  We work to support, inspire, nurture, train and network these groups in a diversity of creative ways. 

To grow our impact and ambition, we are seeking a Communications Co-ordinator, who will help us to fulfil our strategic objectives through the effective planning, development, co-ordination and delivery of a communications function.  If you want to work for an organisation that is generating real, bottom-up, people-led change around the world, we'd like to hear from you!

Please download and read this information pack (download below) completely and carefully and - if you would like to be considered for the post - send us:

  • a copy of your cv, including contact information for 2 referees;
  • a covering letter explaining how you meet the person specification on page 8 of the info pack; and,
  • a completed personal details form (download below).

Your application should be emailed to by 8 July 2015.  Shortlisted candidates will be invited to interview in Bristol on 21 July. 

PreviewAttachmentSize Personal details form.docx492.75 KB Comms Co-ordinator - info pack.pdf191.08 KB

Totnes crowdfunders get their oats.

Mon, 08/06/2015 - 13:53

Fields of oats growing in and around the South Hams might not seem like a particularly unusual sight, but up until now the only ones to enjoy the end product were four-legged!  Despite grains such as oats and barley growing very well in the wet and mild South West, they are all destined for animal fodder, as the nearest plant to process them for human consumption is hundreds of miles away. 

A crowdfunding campaign that ran throughout May aimed to address this, raising money to buy equipment so grains can be grown, stored and processed within the area, under the label Grown in Totnes. A Transition Town Totnes project, Grown in Totnes is working with farmers to produce grains and pulses that are truly local, starting with oats. The vision is to expand the range of local food available for human consumption to include staple store-cupboard foods, not just meat, dairy and vegetables. 

Holly Tiffen from Transition Town Totnes said “In Totnes we have many shops selling pulses and grains that come from all over the world, but they rarely originate from the UK let alone Devon.  Grown in Totnes is all about increasing the range of local food available to the Totnes area. Our local farmers mainly produce meat and dairy. We need more variety for a healthy, balanced and climate sensitive diet.” 

Grown in Totnes has teamed up with a local farmer who is growing four acres of oats this year, with the expectation of growing more next year, and bringing in other farms and crops as the project develops into an independent community interest company. Small-scale equipment is needed for processing, such as a de-huller, polisher and grain store. To this end the project team ran a range of oaty events in May, including stalls at Totnes markets on Fridays and Saturdays, an Oat Cuisine four course dinner for 30 people, a tour of the New Lion Brewery and tasters of their crafted mild made with oats, a Magic porridge pot competition and porridge jousting at Dartington Hall’s Community Day (see video below), and a finale at the Bay Horse pub, who hosted an oat themed BBQ with NLB’s oaty mild. 

The project’s target was £25,000. A minimum of £6,000 needed to be raised in order to receive a further £6,000 match funding from the A Team Challenge Fund.  The final day of the campaign saw a flurry of pledges, including an anonymous one of £10,000; together these just tipped the total over £26,000!  “This fantastic response is a very real endorsement for the project by the community and it gives me a huge sense of faith in our ambitious, innovative vision,” Holly enthused. “Thank you, to everyone who contributed, for demonstrating your support for this vision either financially or with your time and enthusiasm.” 


“Our long-term aim is to expand the project to include other grains, legumes and eventually nuts and edible oils; all crops with a high carbon footprint that are not associated with the local food movement.” says Holly.  “Look out for our oats, which will be for sale in local shops this winter.” 

The next stages are to discuss with interested local groups, organisations and individuals their grain and pulse processing needs, as Grown in Totnes would like the equipment they buy to be used widely beyond the project.  The team is also looking for experts to guide and support the development of this exciting enterprise, including engineers, farmers, business advisors and mentors. 

Please get in touch if you would like to involved in any way.  

For more information on the crowdfunding campaign and oaty events click here.  

For other information please contact Holly Tiffen at or 07857 811994

June 2015 - Transition Network Newsletter

Wed, 03/06/2015 - 16:58

We start with news of great workshops at the Conference and how you can be part of the COP21 story. Looking in depth at REconomy including launch of ‘how to guides’. Insights from a range of Initiatives, plus Thinking Aloud, some new videos about Inner Transition and book reviews.  



Workshop confirmations for Conference 2015

We’ve begun stirring the creative cauldron of content for this year’s Transition Network International Conference. As well as a jam-packed programme of day-length workshops on Friday 18th September, the ‘Transition Skills Day’, we’ve now begun piecing together the highlights of the main conference, over the weekend of 19th-20th September at Seale-Hayne, Devon, UK.

Friday’s workshop programme is all about skilling-up for the Transition. The workshops are in depth explorations of some of the key areas of the Transition Movement incorporating subjects such as Community Energy; Arts and Community Engagement; Local Food Initiatives; Personal Resilience and even how to be your own developer!

 The weekend programme offers over 24 workshops, large plenary sessions, Open Space opportunities and much more. We’re working hard on making this the best conference yet and ensuring the content represents the breadth of skills, knowledge and learning that we’ve picked up over the last years of becoming a global movement for positive change.

For full details of the workshop programme to date, please visit our new micro-website at:


 For COP21: 

Please share your Transition stories with the world!
Transition Network is launching a search for 21 Stories for COP21. We plan to create a booklet, in many languages, telling the story of 21 diverse and amazing stories, as well as celebrating many more on our website over the next few months. We need your help. Let us tell your story. We have created a simple form which can be read and completed in any language. Deadline is 20 June 2015. Thanks so much!

New Website Survey

Our website is being redeveloped and we would value your input and help in the process! The current site is now just under 6 years old, and we are aware that it needs a little tweak or two to bring it up todate. We would really appreciate it if you could take 5 minutes and take part in a survey that will aid us to understand a little of what you, the user, thinks we should consider for the next iteration.  How can the next version of help you? We really want to know. Please click here to take part!

REconomy REflections

The 8 Paradigm Shifts at the Heart of REconomy

For the next two months we will be talking REconomy; looking in depth at this aspect of Transition which is about creating new enterprises, new economies, new livelihoods. Something remarkable and vital is happening, and we want you to be blown away by it.

Unleashing the potential for REconomy events everywhere

What do you think makes a REconomy event unique? Are there particular challenges that Transition groups face in putting on a REconomy event? An introduction to the Events Toolkit for Transition Initiatives.

On making a living and resourcing your Transition Initiative

What can the experience of others tell us about setting up a Transition Enterprise or finding the resources to support your Transition Initiative whilst it changes and develops? An introduction to the new ‘experience packed’ Transition Enterprise Handbook and the Transition Core Resourcing guides.

Practical guides for community economic change

A set of free ‘how to guides’ has been launched focusing on running events, starting enterprise and resourcing core activities, these booklets have been designed for use by Transition Initiatives and other groups working on local economy projects and other related activities.




Million Miles project
Transition Black Isle celebrate success of their three year Million Miles project that saved 1.35 million car miles a year.

Community Engagement & the Transition Principles
Tina Clarke, a community organiser and consultant in the US. A good set of principles help you communicate the meaning and purpose of the work. Ultimately, generosity attracts more interest than self-interest. Respect, collaboration and meaningful values are more likely to be successful in building community. Here’s a few tips on how to use the Principles of Transition as a tidy, handy guide as you plan projects and outreach:

What does REconomy look like ... in Portugal?
What does it take for a community to support its inhabitants to find their place and co-create a healthy, resilient local ecology that attracts others to do the same?

What does REconomy look like in ... Linlithgow?
Alan Brown shares his experience of the group as a start-up, and incubator and a new phase looking at longer term REconomy activities and how this feeds into other activities on the ground and regional and global issues.

Exeter Pound update
With their launch set for September 1st Rob Hopkins wanted to find out how's it going.

The day Transition Wilmslow won Rob in a competition



An interview with Julian Dobson: "It's time to raise a glass to the New Economy" 

A follow up to our review of his recent book 'How to Save Town Centres'.


Transitioners' Digest (March-April 2015) Social Change & the Arts

To celebrate the launch of Lucy Neal's awesome book Playing for Time, we dedicated the last 2 months to our theme of Social Change and the Arts. 


We recently published a new series of short films about Inner Transition. 


Afterburn: Society Beyond Fossil Fuels.
"Afterburn by Richard Heinberg offers two things that Transitioners or anyone else who forecasts a more local future needs today: inspiration and advice for the future that’s better than most of what you’ll read elsewhere.

The Art of Natural Building
An expanded second edition from a movement that's not afraid to try stuff out.



Transition Network International Conference
18-20 September - Devon

Transition Camp
2-4 October - Sussex
Early-early bird until the end of June

 More events


"Often people don’t come together unless there’s a crisis, so I think the first bit of advice is "come together when there’s not a crisis".
Julian Dobson

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 

Subscribe to Transition newsletter: 

This newsletter is published on the first Friday of each month. 

Editor: Mike Grenville

Transition Black Isle celebrate success of their Million Miles project

Fri, 29/05/2015 - 10:54

The results of the initiative, which aimed to cut car use on the Black Isle by a million miles a year, were unveiled at a presentation and barbecue at Glachbeg Croft, near North Kessock.  Figures based on a baseline survey and subsequent monitoring revealed that more than 1.35 million car miles per year were saved during the three years of the project, slashing carbon dioxide emissions by 718 tonnes annually.

Increases in cycling, use of public transport and lift sharing combined to achieve a reduction in car miles of 1.1% per year, exceeding the project target of 1%.

A comprehensive report revealed that a total of 5,369 people attended 471 events organised as part of the Million Miles project.  Cycle skills training was mainly aimed at children and group social rides for all cyclists of all ages and abilities were held in villages throughout the area.  A ‘slow cycle club’ in Cromarty, aimed at improving health and led by a retired GP, proved particularly popular.

The website attracted and over 700 members and more than 8,000 maps showing local walking and cycling routes were distributed to households across the Black Isle.

Project officers Peter Elbourne and Marion McDonald were presented with joke bikes, made from scrap parts during the celebration.

“We are delighted with the results of the Million Miles campaign, which has seen the introduction of a whole raft of mile-saving projects on the Black Isle over the past three years,” said Transition Black Isle director Richard Robinson.

“We are extremely grateful to Marion and Peter for all their hard work, which really paid off.   Community cycle trainers recruited in local villages also did a great job, helping boost cycling right across the Black Isle. Without the commitment and enthusiasm of all the staff and volunteers involved, the project would never have had such a great impact.”

The impact of the project will continue to be felt, with an active travel map and route guides still available, bike racks in villages, bike schemes at Cromarty and Fortrose, volunteer cycle trainers and the continuation of the website. 

Transition Black Isle has been working with other community groups to try to improve the infrastructure for cyclists in the area and it is hoped that cycle paths beside busy roads, such as Avoch to Munlochy, can be developed.

The full final report for the Million Miles project is available here or for a summary of the main outcomes click here.

Original blog post here