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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

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 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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November 2014 - Transition Network Newsletter

Thu, 06/11/2014 - 12:18

 The website theme 'Rethinking Real Estate' asks "is it beyond our creativity to provide our fellow human beings with shelter and sustenance without covering more of the world in concrete?”. In 'Thinking Aloud' we reflect on how much gender is an issue in Transition and some thoughts on the impact of words that we use. In 'On the road' there are reports from Transition events in Scotland, France, Germany and Italy. REconomy considers the resourcing needed to initiate change and Transition Free Press looks at how cultural values are shaped. Plus there are several articles on 'Inner Transition' from Japan, Denmark and Naoimi Klein as well as new training and films.

Transitioners' October Digest: 'Rethinking Real Estate'
Our approach to an economic crisis caused by an unsustainable housing bubble is increasingly to create another housing bubble. What could possibly go wrong? This month we explore what a different approach could look like. It began with an editorial piece that introduced a new term, SWIMBY - as in "Something Wonderful In My Back Yard". Topics covered include housing bubbles, an urban mushroom farm and agriculture, engaging with the the planning/development process, plus what good consultation looks like.




Is Gender an Issue in Transition?
The women of the Transition Network staff and board have been meeting every 2-3 months in Totnes. Fiona Ward & Sarah McAdam share some of the useful things that have emerged so far.

Why "at the end of the day" Just Isn't OK
On reading a lamentable piece of climate activist-bashing in the ‘Mail on Sunday’ it was not the “someone will have to be held accountable for us committing economic suicide” bit, awesomely stupid and sodden with irony though it is, that had Rob Hopkins reaching for the Rant Button.



The St Andrews Transition Roadshow: full report
The first Transition Roadshow proper is a bit unique as it was hosted by a Transition Initiative based in a University.

German National (Un)Konferenz
Surviving an umpa-umpa sing-along session on the train, Ben Brangwyn reports on his trip to the German speaking Transition conference.

'Ils Changent Le Monde': Two Days in Paris
The French edition of The Power of Just Doing Stuff has recently been published and Rob Hopkins went over to help launch the book and give the initiatives there a boost.

Shaking Hands with the Mayor of Bologna
Italy, as everyone reminded Rob Hopkins everywhere he went on a trip to Bologna, "is very complicated".

Transition: Live and Unleashed in the New Forest!
The New Forest, the Live and Unleashed! exhibition runs until Sunday 23rd November in Lyndhurst. Rob Hopkins reports on his visit.


REconomy Project

Putting Jam in the Doughnut: Resourcing the core of a Transition Initiative
We are keen to learn more about how Transition Initiatives are finding funding to pay people to co-ordinate their core work. Can you help and share your experience?

The Fabulous Future of p2p Economics, Commerce & Democracy
Jules Peck on a common "desire to create a new world order….beyond the market, beyond ownership, growth and capitalism."

What we mean by REconomy
What's REconomy about? How are we talking about it today? Here's a pithy summary presented at the recent St. Andrews REconomy workshop, by Sarah McAdam.



Naomi Klein on the role of Inner Transition
Currently promoting her excellent new book This Changes Everything, Naomi Klein recently did a 'Guardian Live' event, chaired by Owen Jones and streamed on the web. You can now watch the event in full below, it's fantastic and well worth watching. In one question, "could you talk a bit more about popular education?", she discusses the Transition movement and the role that Inner Transition plays:

Inner Transition Goes International

When you talk about Inner Transition with people from other places than your own, you hear very different stories and ideas. Sophy Banks shares some of what she heard when a group of Transitioners met in Copenhagen.

Inner Transition workshop
London 6 - 7 December

Deepening into Despair and Hope in Japan
Despite the distances involved to get there Debbie Warrener felt a call particularly strongly after the ‘3.11’ triple disasters of the tsunami, earthquake and ongoing nuclear disaster to offer Joanna Macy inspired workshops throughout Japan - in Japanese.

Inner Transition: Commit to Staying Awake
Getting comfortable with our own inherent goodness is a tremendous challenge for many writes Pamela Boyce Simms. And as we’ve witnessed time and time again, in movement after movement, legislation is utterly impotent at the level of embedded human beliefs and identity formation. There is no legal shortcut. There can be no enduring outer transition without a corresponding inner-transition.



Sustainable Bungay
How key is one activist in a Transition Initiative?

Situating Transition in a broader movement for change
Author of Common Cause Tom Crompton's Talkback on the power of intrinsic values, 'No cause is an island':


London hosts two trainings in December- Inner Transition and Transition Launch, and the all new Permaculture For Transition Course in January. Our next, new format, Launch OnLine begins Tuesday January 13th at the new time of 09:00 GMT.
All details at:



Transition in Action: new economy projects in the southwest of England
This film looks at the market town of Totnes and some of the food and finance projects taking place there. It also compares this to Bristol and some of the projects there that are reaching scale. School Farm, Grocycle, Totnes Pound, REconomy, Bristol Pound, Bristol Energy Co-operative are amongst the projects outlined.

Totnes to hold Transition Film Festival
Some 20 screenings on the weekend of November 14-16 and feature a wide range of ground-breaking initiatives. The programme includes hands-on Workshops with local film-makers, children’s matinees and discussions with directors.

Recommended films recently added to the website directory:
~ Joanna Macy and the Great Turning
~ Who Cares?
~ A Dangerous Game
~ Voices of Transition  

Web Manager, Transition Network
Based near Bristol or Totnes, UK
Closing date for applications: Sun 9th November



Dark Mountain Book Launch
3 December London
Invitation to the launch of Dark Mountain Issue 6 and republished manifesto with contributors, editors and music by Evi Vine


"The structures in place aren’t going to provide the necessary change. The people who tell us that change is impossible are the people who benefit from it staying the same.
Russell Brand


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 5 December 2014


Newsletter Editor: Mike Grenville,
from Transition Forest Row for the Transition Network

Transition Town Totnes to hold Transition Film Festival

Tue, 04/11/2014 - 07:48

On the weekend of November 14-16, Transition Town Totnes will be holding the first Transition Film Festival.  Some 20 screenings will be held, at the town's Civic Hall and across the square at Bogan House. The films, drawn from around the world, feature a wide range of ground-breaking initiatives – around seeds ("Seeds of Justice"), resilience ("Easy Like Water"), urban farming ("Growing Cities"), the global leadership of women ("Arise"), eco-villages ("Grasp the Nettle"), art ("Sick-Amour"), transport ("Bicycle")  and much more. The programme includes hands-on Workshops with local film-makers, children’s matinees and discussions with directors. Tickets from Harlequin Bookshop in High St, Transition Town Totnes office in Fore St, online at, or on the door.

Here is the timetable for the Festival:  

FRIDAY 14th Nov 

6pm Launch: reception, Civic Hall

8pm Forever Flowing 15'   Words from the Edge 50'   Easy Like Water 58'  - with Rob Hopkins, Emilio Mula & Jacqi Hodgson


SATURDAY 15th Nov 

10am workshop – community film-making 

10.30am TED animations for Young People

10.30am The Story of Stuff 10'   Eigg Electric 10'   The Story of Solutions 20'   One Plastic Beach 8'

12pm All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace Parts 1 & 2 120'

12.30pm BRUNCH Civic Hall

2pm Growing Cities 93’

2pm Idle Threat 30'   Coastal Conversations 17'   The Estuary 4'

3.30pm Encounters  Films 20’  An Autumn Diary 30' – with director Philip Davidson

4pm  Prophets & Loss 49’ – with director  Nick Hart-Williams 

5.15pm Aluna 86’

5.30pm All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace - Part 3  60’ - with director Adam Curtis

7pm Civic Hall Cafe Supper

7pm  The Man Who Stopped the Desert 64'

8pm Premiere of Arise 78'

8pm  The Real Dirt on Farmer John 82'

10.15pm  Film Jam with Emilio Mula


SUNDAY 16th Nov 

10am Film-maker workshop - animation

10am  tbc Project Wild Thing 70’   Mathieson Music School 45'

10am Endless Summers 33'   Broke 8'   Give & Take 9'   Juliette of the Herbs 75'

12.30 Film-maker workshop - interviewing

12.30pm BRUNCH Civic Hall

2pm Seeds of Freedom 30’ & Preview of Seeds of Justice 32’ – with director Jess Phillimore

4pm Urban Mosaic Interventions 13'   Grasp the Nettle 89'

6pm Sick-Amour 33'  Pumping 4'– with director Joel Tauber

7pm Civic Hall: Feedback 

7.30 Civic Hall Café Supper

8.15pm  Bicycle 87' 

PROGRAMME and EARLY BIRD tickets now available!

Check out the programme and get your discounted early-bird tickets via thewebsite, available now.  There are over 40 short and feature-length films, workshops with local filmmakers, children's matinees, and discussions with film directors.  Tickets are also available at the TTT office at 43 Fore Street, and the Harlequin bookshop on the High Street, from November 1st

Don't miss the free Festival Launch, with a beer and wine reception onFriday 14th November between 6 and 7pm at Totnes Civic Hall. The box office opens at 5pm.  For full details of the weekend's events, and to book tickets, please visit the Transition Film Festival site. 

A keen team of volunteers is needed to help with the Film Festival. Whether you're a filmbuff looking to get close to the action, a keen baker, or simply wish to lend a hand, there are a variety of supporting roles for volunteers, who will benefit from free tickets, in these areas: - Box Office, Ushers & hosts, Cafe and cakes, Technical support, and Publicity.

Please email Vaughn to get involved or contact the TTT office.

Job - Web Manager

Thu, 09/10/2014 - 14:05
Job – Web Manager, Transition Network
  • 4 days per week
  • Circa £30,127 p.a. pro rata
  • Based near Bristol or Totnes, UK

All over the world people are coming together with shared concerns about shrinking supplies of cheap energy, climate change, inequality and economic instability. They are taking action to build a future with much less reliance on fossil fuels and greatly reduced carbon emissions, creating just, caring and connected communities living within environmental limits.

Transition Network exists to inspire, encourage, connect and support communities as they self-organise around the transition model.

This is a brilliant opportunity for an enterprising web manager to join an inspiring organisation at an interesting point in its development.

Taking up a pivotal role within a small, motivated and creative staff team, and connecting with people around the world, you will help develop and deliver a web service capable of supporting a grassroots movement as it spreads and evolves. 

Having previously stretched this role between web and comms, we have now decided to focus it solely on web management to pick up the pace of developments and make sure that our planned ‘Transition Network Version 3’ service is user-centred, beautiful, effective and ambitious. 

We have some strong pieces in place - a popular existing website, a great technical group, various stakeholder groups, project requirements and UX tracks underway.  However there are a number of key decisions still to be made - framework, hosting, migration plans etc. - making this a great moment to come in and play a leading role in shaping and delivering a very significant project.

We are looking for someone who can elegantly lead multi-disciplined teams through a variety of decisions, bridging the ‘client’ and ‘technical’ divide to help us develop a streamlined, flexible service with the users at its heart.  You will have strong project management skills and an interest in being part of a team which is exploring and modelling new ways of working.

To apply

Please download the attached documents from this page and follow the instructions in the application pack:

  • Job application pack: background, instructions, details, job spec, person spec (PDF)
  • Personal details form (Word doc)
Timescales and deadlines
  • Closing date for applications: Sun 9th November 2014
  • Shortlisting: week commencing 10 November 2014
  • Interviews: Tuesday 18th November in Bristol, UK

And if you don't think this is for you, but know someone who might relish it - this is a great job and you will be doing them a favour - please send them this page!

PreviewAttachmentSize Transition Network Web Manager Application Personal Details.doc45 KB Web Manager Transition Network Application Pack 161014.pdf356.75 KB

Naomi Klein on the role of Inner Transition

Wed, 08/10/2014 - 06:17

Naomi Klein is currently promoting her excellent new book This Changes Everything.  As part of this, she recently did a 'Guardian Live' event, chaired by Owen Jones and streamed on the web.  You can now watch the event in full below, it's fantastic and well worth watching.  In one question, "could you talk a bit more about popular education?", Klein discusses the Transition movement and the role that Inner Transition plays:


"The first Earth Day in 1970 which engaged millions of people in North America was really a series of Teach-Ins more than anything else.  I think it's a really necessary stage for building the kind of movement that we need.  We have a film coming out on these same themes, and part of that has to do with popular education, because obviously film reaches a different constituency, it's more accessible than books in many ways.  Films are also really great at starting conversations, getting people into a room together and starting a conversation.  

It's one of the things that I think the Transition Town movement, which has been really important in this country, and spreading the idea that transition is something to be embraced, that there's hope and joy and possibility in it, it's not all fear.  That's something they do really really well.  They just have film screenings, and there's something really liberating about the way .... we don't do very well, except for weird Lefties like us, of getting in rooms together and just talking.  People need something to help them do it ... it doesn't even need to be a good film, any film!  Just get people together, and then talk afterwards.  

Part of it is that basic science education, just getting over the fear, "you know it's as complicated as it seems, you can do this". It can't just be listening.  It's really important that people talk, and that it be people they relate to doing the talking ... peer-on-peer teaching is really really important.  We're hearing this from a lot of community groups that we're talking about the film with.  "How can this be useful to your movement?"  They say they don't need a lot of it, but they do need some basic climate education to break that fear barrier.  

The other thing that I think the Transition movement does really well is to create spaces for people to talk about the emotional side to this crisis.  Maybe that's not popular education, but I think that's really important.  Social media is a great tool, but I still think there's something weird about the fact that people are alone in their cubicles or in their homes and they're clicking on this video, one minute of these 2 cats and dogs making unlikely friendships, and then, you know, 35,000 walruses scampering onto the shore because ice is melting.  How are you supposed to cope with this?  

A lot of what we call apathy is just people not knowing how to deal with the overwhelming emotions.  So you just push it away.  The way in which our movements are now structured, particularly environmental movements, but many movements, is these NGOs - we communicate - it used to be with mailings, now it's Tweets and emails - and it ends up being a lot of fear-based messaging, but then nothing about what to do with that fear. Scare you - click on this.  The idea is you're going to be scared so you'll become an activist.  But that's not actually how humans behave.  You get scared and you want to curl up in a ball right?  So we need spaces to grieve, and to actually talk about how frightening this is.

One of the reasons why in the book I write more personally than I've written before, about this fear not just of reading the scientific reports, but the fear that comes with raising a child in a world that you're told daily is dying.  We need to address that emotional side.  So when we create these spaces, and we must create more of these popular education spaces - I think the climate movement in the UK has been better at this - the Climate Camps do this really well, and the Transition Town movement has this part of it that they call "Inner Transition", which is addressing this reality.  

That it isn't just an outer transition, but also we have to go through our own personal transformation, and that also involves expressing that grief.  It's something that the feminist movement has done well, and a lot of people in the Transition Town movement who are part of this Inner Transition piece of it, come out of the feminist movement, because there's an understanding that if you're going to collapse peoples' world views, you have to stick around to pick up the pieces.  

October 2014 - Transition Network Newsletter

Wed, 01/10/2014 - 20:56

Getting connected in different ways seems to be a thread in the stories in the newsletter this month. Firstly the website theme of "Making Space for Nature" has a range of interviews and articles, then our world round-up plus the Transition hubs get together. Several takes on the Climate March and some groud breaking news from Totnes. Plus news from training, books, film and events.

Transitioners' Digest (September 2014)
We have been exploring the theme of "Making Space for Nature" from a wide range of different angles throughout September. We started with an editorial piece which argued that one of the key things that nature can bring our work doing Transition is a sense of wonder. Something to do with glowworms. An introduction to all the articles and interviews:

The September 2014 Round-up of What’s Happening out in the World of Transition
This month's Roundup covers stories from July and August. Around the UK stories from Brixton, Cambridge, Chepstow, Chichester, Exeter, Harborough, Honiton, Ivybridge, Lancaster, Letchworth, Linlithgow, St Albans, Tooting, Totnes, Wilmslow. Plus there are Transition birthdays in places like Lewes, Crystal Palace, Bristol and Slaithwaite. Across Europe from Liege in Belgium, Hungary, Romania and Berlin, Bielefeld, Leipzig in Germany. In the US, Catskills, Missoula and Guelph in Canada.

Transition Hubs meeting 2014: a 'lot' to share
The international Transition Hubs meeting in Denmark was a fantastic few days, rich with connections, laughter, progress and good food. More will follow over the next few weeks, but for now, here is a short film about it.


Atmos Totnes Creates National Precedent
"I’ve waited seven years to write this article" writes Rob Hopkins. It’s been seven years of highs and lows, of moments of intense frustration and great elation, of patience and determination. "Very slowly,with a loud creaking of rusty hinges, the great iron gates of the factory began to swing open. The crowd became suddenly silent"

Hearing All The Voices to Make the New Story
Writing on the first day of the New Story Summit at Findhorn, Sophy Banks found an amazing, international group of human beings who are acting to create the New Story in their lives assembling.

Making Space for Flowers
“Did you grow all those yourself?”, a young woman asked Mark Watson last week at Transition Town Tooting’s 7th Foodival. “My only reference for that kind of thing are the supermarket shelves,” she said.

Reflections on the Peoples' Climate March, London
This was a celebratory march. This was the resurgence of the climate movement. Back with a passion. Rob Hopkins reports on his experience of the march in London.

Love & other illusions: Framing at the People’s Climate March
Elena Blackmore wonders if by being a fairly apolitical event whether the march in London failed to really cal out our economic and political systems as the culprits.

Long-standing economic resistance went mainstream at People’s Climate March
While the People’s Climate March in New York uplifted a narrative around climate change that was impossible for even the most mainstream of media to ignore, the success will be determined in the weeks and months that follow it writes Kate Aronoff.

REconomy Project

Learning and outputs from the international REconomy hubs group
The national hubs working together on REconomy have each produced a 2-3 year plan, and learned a lot about how to support each other. Brazil, Germany, Mexico, Portugal, and the USA are now joining our group.

“It’s the economy, stupid” or “it’s stupid the economy”?
A young Transitionista’s perspective on the challenges faced by his generation, and what he’s doing about it.



Launch onLine begins again on October 8th, and Inner Transition workshops are happening in Copenhagen and London. Our full programme of trainings are here:


Free Range Child
Raising Children Connected To The Earth & Their Food (film sneak peek)

More film reviews here



This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate
Reviewed by Robert Jensen: Naomi Klein has written a brave book that not only confronts the calamity of climate destabilization but also examines the deep roots of the crisis in the perverse logic of capitalism and the dehumanizing values of the “extractivist” high-energy/high-technology world.



The Transition Network Roadshow
St Andrews, Scotland October 10th-11th
Two days of electrifying workshops, powerful meetings, and good company.

Global #MapJam
This October, the Sharing Cities Network will launch the Second Annual Global #MapJam to bring activists together in cities around the world to connect the dots and map: grassroots sharing projects, cooperatives, community resources, and the commons. Mapping all of the shared resources in your city not only shows that another world is possible--it shows it’s already here! #MapJam’s are easy to organize and a small, dedicated group of people can get together for a few hours to map as many shared resources, cooperatives and sharing services in their city or town as possible.

Powys Transition & Low Carbon Communities network present their first conference
8 November. Centre for Alternative Technology, Machynlleth, Wales.
ZERO CARBON POWYS Rethinking the Future for our Rural Communities
We have everything we need to create a positive future. This will be an exciting day of keynote speakers, workshops, networking opportunities and much more. At the end of the day you will know much more about safe and reliable energy solutions for the future. The keynote speaker will be Zero Carbon Britain project leader PAUL ALLEN who will introduce the latest Zero Carbon Britain report by telling ‘the extraordinary story of human beings and energy’.
Tickets £5 incl. lunch, advanced booking essential, book here:

Live & Unleashed - New Forest 20 October
Rob Hopkins is visiting the New Forest to open a New Forest Transition exhibition and give a talk. The exhibition in Lyndhurst runs from 18 October – 23 November. Titled Live & Unleashed it is a celebration of how local people are working together for a better future by just doing stuff - and feeling all the better for it.



"The awesomeness of nature lies in the stories we tell each other, the aloe vera plant on your windowsill, the smell of your neighbour’s cooking or anywhere else you might choose to find it. "  Hayley Spann 


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This newsletter is published on the first Friday of each month. 
Next newsletter is 7 November 2014


Newsletter Editor: Mike Grenville,
from Transition Forest Row for the Transition Network

Coming Soon! The First Transition Network Roadshow - St. Andrews!

Tue, 30/09/2014 - 22:32

Following our successful pilot in Lancaster, Transition Network is on the road, and the next stop is St Andrews, Scotland, October 10/11th, 2014.  We'd love you to join us.  In collaboration with Transition St Andrews, it will take place with Transition Network's trademark, participatory conference style of workshops, Open Space, great hang outs, and engaging conversations.  To book for the event, or parts of it (see below), click here.

Ever wondered if starting a Transition enterprise is for you? Or 'How can I avoid burn out?' or 'Who around here is as excited about the Power of Just Doing Stuff as me?' If so, this conference is made for you. You will be able to choose from a dizzying variety of workshops and sessions, presentations, talks, and some relaxed time to chat over a coffee or something stronger!  The event comes in 4 distinct parts:

Friday October 10th. 

9.30-12.30: Transition Scotland Gathering – Glass Class, St Andrews Botanic Garden

An informal meeting to discuss how we are doing with Transition in Scotland and what we need to build capacity for the future. If you would like to join us for this event you would be very welcome – please select the appropriate option when booking your ticket for the Friday afternoon and/or Saturday using the booking system linked below. If you wish to attend ONLY the Friday morning session please email to book your place.

13.30-17.30: REconomy Workshop – St Andrews Town Hall (detailed programme here).

Enabling REconomy in a post-referendum Scotland. 

However you voted, this is a time for ambition around how to develop more sustainable and resilient communities in Scotland. In this climate of opportunity and transformation we invite you to come and explore what it is to revision and change local economies in Post-Referendum Scotland.

This event will be about sharing inspiring examples around the themes of local currencies and trading systems, supporting local resilience, social enterprise and forming relationships based on new enterprise and economic principles. There will be how-to sessions on the resourcing and developing REconomy projects and collaborative activities to build connections and turn ideas into practice based on what works. Register using the link below.

19.00-22.00: Evening Transition Social – Byre Theatre

We are delighted to welcome Rob Hopkins, co-founder of the Transition movement, to join us for a talk on the issues facing local communities taking action on oil dependency, climate change, and other sustainability issues. This will be followed by an evening of musical entertainment and celebration led by student group Music is Love.

Saturday October 11th

9.30-17.00: Transition Roadshow Workshop Day – Arts Lecture Theatre

Transition Network and Transition University of St Andrews have arranged a day of workshops and exchanges on positive community action, suitable for established Transition Initiatives, new groups, and others working on or interested in similar environmental and social issues. A complete programme will be released soon, but attendees will be able to choose between workshops on Transition as a concept, supporting healthy Transition Initiatives, REconomy (a briefer workshop than the previous day), Participatory Monitoring, Practical Ideas for Community Food Projects, and a session on the Big Questions surrounding the work and future of local community initiatives in Scotland and Northern England. Lunch and morning and afternoon refreshments will be provided. Register using the link below.

17.00-19.00: Optional Early Dinner at a Local Restaurant – Venue to be confirmed

The Transition  Team would like to invite everyone to join them for dinner at a local restaurant with options to suit a variety of tastes, diets and budgets. We will aim to be finished around 7pm so those travelling to St Andrews can return home if desired. Please register your intent to attend dinner when you register for the Roadshow so we can make a booking. Please note that all attendees will be expected to fund their own meal.

Saturday Evening Event (if desired) – Details to be confirmed

If many visitors choose to stay on the Saturday night we will organise an additional evening event. Please register your interest in evening entertainment on the Saturday when you register for the Roadshow.

Atmos Totnes creates national precedent

Fri, 26/09/2014 - 14:39

The community of Totnes in Devon just reached a historic agreement which represents the next step for Transition, a huge leap forward in ambition, scale and possibility. In 2007, the Dairy Crest site in Totnes closed, and 163 jobs were lost.  This came on top of a number of other major employers also closing, and the then Totnes Mayor Pruw Boswell was quoted as saying “how much more can this town take?”  At that time, the idea of the community taking over and running that site was born, initially as the ‘Sustainable Business Park Group’. 

For 5 years, the group, which was quickly renamed Atmos Totnes, after Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s experimental ‘atmospheric railway’ for which a pumping station was built but never commissioned, lobbied and campaigned.  Once a community campaign to have that pumping station listed succeeded days before Dairy Crest demolished it, the scene was set for Atmos Totnes to get creative.   It came up with designs for the site, rallied the community, developed business plans and built a team to drive the project forward.  Totnes Community Development Society was formed from a coming together of Transition Town Totnes and Totnes Development Trust to provide the vehicle to carry things forward.

When, by the early part of 2012 it felt like this was all having little or no impact on the thinking of Dairy Crest, a community campaign was started, called “Atmos Totnes: the heart of a new economy”.  Its iconic red heart logo began popping up in windows and on lapels around the town.  Jonathan Dimbleby was unveiled as the first Patron at a photo opportunity at the site gates attended by hundreds of people.  This was followed by the unveiling of Tim Smit and Kevin McCloud, and lastly Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, whose visit drew huge crowds again

A meeting with Dairy Crest in the summer of 2012 shifted the ground, and it felt like finally it began to become a matter of “when” rather than “if”. Since then Atmos have been negotiating the final arrangement, and on 18th August signed a contract with Dairy Crest.  Then, on Thursday 25th September, the public announcement was made. 

The community was invited to the site, where they were invited through the site gates for the first time in seven years.  Early that day Atmos had tweeted quotes from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, such as

"Very slowly,with a loud creaking of rusty hinges, the great iron gates of the factory began to swing open.The crowd became suddenly silent"


"The children stopped jumping about. All eyes were fixed upon the gates". 

A statement was read out, a group photo taken and an incredible Atmos cake, produced from the kitchens at Schumacher College, was shared out. 

The deal represents a national first.  You can read it in full here, and some Frequently Asked Questions here.  Here is a section from the statement read out on the site on the 25th that sets out the bones of the agreement:

The agreement sees the site in three parts, as detailed in the map below:

  • Part One will be purchased from Dairy Crest by McCarthy & Stone, and will be built to feature housing for older people. McCarthy & Stone will work with TCDS in their development of this area of the site.
  • Part Two will be purchased from Dairy Crest by the community of Totnes for the sum of One Totnes Pound.  This footprint includes the historic Brunel building.
  • Part Three of the site is more complex, but ultimately will be designed through community consultation.  TCDS have an Option Agreement for this part of the site. Once planning is approved Totnes Community Development Society will most likely exercise their Option Agreement and purchase the site. The final value of the site will be determined by the planning consent and the costs of the remediation and development works.

The 2012 Localism Act gives communities a number of significant new powers, one of which is a Community Right to Build Order (CRtBO).  This allows communities to design the development they wish to see and gives them a new route to planning.  From the beginning of next month, Totnes Community Development Society (TCDS) will be engaging the community in creating a masterplan for the whole site, including McCarthy & Stone’s proposals for a development of specialist housing for older people on this site

In May 2015 TCDS will be submitting a CRtBO for Parts One and Two.  This means that what is built, as well as how it’s built and to what standards, will be determined by this community.  To the best of our knowledge, this has never happened before, anywhere. 

This announcement represents the community taking a first significant step towards taking greater control of its own destiny.  As a national first, it offers the potential to showcase a whole new approach to development, one based on community support, sustainability, a new economic model that builds and nurtures local economies, social justice, creativity, the arts and meeting the needs of this town rather than, as is so often the case, the needs of developers and distant investors.  For a town currently under siege from developers, demonstrating such a model could not be more timely. 

So, all being well, we see the timetable of what happens next like this:

  • October 2014: Community consultation and site masterplanning work begins
  • An important date for your diary is 8th October when there will be a Public Meeting about Atmos at St Johns Church in Bridgetown. This will be an opportunity to further details about the site and the activities for the coming months. It is also a time when we will want to invite questions from the public about this plan.
  • May 2015: Masterplan complete.  The Community Right to Build Order is submitted.
  • Autumn 2015: Community referendum is held.
  • March 2016: Assuming a positive result in the referendum, work begins on site.  

This is a national first, and represents a big step forward for Transition. It's the first Community Right to Build Order run anywhere in the country.  It is the first time a developer has submitted themselves to such a degree of community input.  It is the first attempt to really model what a Transition-inspired development could look like.  

I’ve waited seven years to write this article.  It’s been seven years of highs and lows, of moments of intense frustration and great elation, of patience and determination.  Yet throughout those seven years I never doubted that I would one day get to sit and write it.  At a time when the development machine is increasingly out of control, disconnected from local needs and wishes, and retreating from the idea of truly low carbon housing, it is a precedent that couldn’t be more important.

Transition Hubs meeting 2014: a 'lot' to share

Tue, 16/09/2014 - 06:12

9-12 September 2014 was the international Transition Hubs meeting in Denmark.  The first two days took place at Vig, a retreat centre an hour from Copenhagen.  The second two days were in the city, supposedly at Copenhagen Street Food, but this turned out not to work as a venue, so most of the sessions were held in a nearby car park (or “parking lot”, depending on where you’re from). 

It was a fantastic few days, rich with connections, laughter, progress and good food.  More will follow over the next few weeks, but for now, here is a short film I made about it.  Thanks to everyone in Transition Denmark and Transition Network who made it happen. 

The September 2014 Round-up of What’s Happening out in the World of Transition

Thu, 11/09/2014 - 21:34

This month's Roundup covers stories from July and August, so we've quite a bit to get through!  In July, Transition City Lancaster and Transition Network came together recently to hold the first trial Roadshow.  It was the pilot for another four that will run over the next seven months.  

The Lancaster event, hosted at the University of Cumbria, was a great success, and was written up here. Here is a great video about the occasion: 

It's been a time of Transition celebrations, with a few Transition birthdays going on.  Transition Town Lewes held their Seven Year Itch, a celebration of all that they have achieved during their seven years as a group.  Rob Hopkins documented the event here, and a great selection of photos taken by Mike Grenville can be found here. Here is a great chart showing everything they have achieved over the last 7 years:

Crystal Palace Transition Town were also celebrating, this time their third birthday.  Here's a great short video they made that captures what they've been up to.  They also wrote a great article about their AGM, and how they have turned their AGM into a celebration event:

In our last Round Up we discussed the forthcoming opening of the 'Sensible Garden', a new community garden created by Crystal Palace Transition Town and others.  Well, the event was held, the great Captain Sensible himself, after who the garden was named, turned up, and a wonderful day was had.  Here's a film about it: 

Another birthday is The Bristol Pound, who are celebrating their second birthday.  They tweeted:

 is 2 years old on Fri 19th Sept & everyone's invited to a party! Celebrate an evening of music, market at St. Nicholas Market.

They recently produced a very beautiful Bristol Pound Tourist Map of the city.  They wrote: 

"Clever tourists sniff out local-hangouts. Everyone knows that if you want the best of the best, you head to the locally-owned businesses that serve their local community.  We're proud to announce that we're giving Bristol's visitors a head start this summer as we've created a Bristol Pound Tourist Map! It's a glossy, colourful map of Bristol Pound businesses based in the Old City and Harbourside area".

You can either pick one up in Bristol, if you're passing, or download it here.

Transition Bristol have also been reflecting on their 7 years of work so far, in this fascinating piece.  Our last birthday reference is the Green Valley Grocer, 

In Slaithwaite, the Green Valley Grocer celebrated its fifth birthday!  Congratulations all. 

Transition Chichester held a stall at the TASTE Festival. Here they are:

Transition Harborough have taken over running their local Seedy Sunday.  Bath & West Community Energy are flying .. they recently tweeted:

AGM votes for 7% return to investors for 3rd year running. Money that can be circulated in the - great stuff

Transition Town Tooting's recently held their Garden Day. Here's a photo from the day:

They also are holding a ReStart Party, a space in which people can get electrical items repaired, facilitated by the rather wonderful Restart Project.  This weekend sees their annual Foodival event. Loads of great things are planned for the event.  We'll tell you all about it next month, but for now, here's the poster:

Transition Exeter ran a stall at the Exeter Green Fair. Here they are: 

"Reduce, re-use, recycle" was the main message of this month’s Sustainable Saturday in Transition Town Honiton. The Transition Town Honiton event in the Mackarness Hall featured community recycling scheme Waste Not Want Not, a clothes swap, and special guest Cathy Karniewicz, Mrs Recycle (see right), was also in attendance. Cathy was showing visitors how to make windmills out of items that would have otherwise been thrown away. East Devon District Council’s Street Scene were also on hand to give people information on recycling.

May saw the Totnes Local Entrepreneurs' Forum, a resounding success, described in a previous Round Up, but here is a great new video made of the event: 

Transition Town Brixton are also planning to run a Local Entrepreneurs Forum, and are looking for entrepreneurs who would like to take part. Transition Linlithgow, in the soon-to-be-independent Scotland, recently tweeted:

"Low Port beds never looked so good. Thank to the hard work of Transition Linlithgow's keen Food & Gardening folks." 

Here's a photo of the Low Port community garden team hard at work: 

PL21, the Transition group in Ivybridge, Devon, have been creating a new community food garden around the Ivybridge Youth Centre.  Here's a clipping from their local paper:

The Macclesfield Express reported that "Families take part in annual ride", reporting on how "twenty-five cyclists aged three to 93 turned out for the ride organised by Transition Wilmslow and CycleWilmslow".  One of those taking part was 93 year old Philip Briggs.  The paper quoted Rob Sawyer, who led the ride for CycleWilmslow: “It was fantastic that Philip joined us - I had no idea of his age until someone told me. Philip tells me that he gets out for exercise six times a week - he’s an example to us all".


Transition Cambridge held an event focusing on Thermal Comfort in Older Homes.  Here is the handout they produced for the course.   They also ran a stall at a fair in Cambridge.  Here's a photo them hard at work, veg in hand (see right):

Transition St Albans held a Home Grown Food Skill Share. The Brixton Pound just launched their new app!  All looks very exciting, and a real step forward.  

Transition Letchworth tweeted: 

TT 's Growers' Market in town this Sat morning - bring your surplus to swop & trade - see you there!

Transition Chepstow invited people along to help out at its community food growing plot at Hanley Landshare.  The Bucks Free Press reported on the return of Transition Town Marlow's community market.  It writes "As well as meat, vegetables, bread and cakes suppliers, there are a host of stalls from craftspeople and artists.  TTM aims to run a plastic bag-free market, so organisers urge customers to bring their own".

Over the last couple of weeks, the Degrowth conference in Leipzig has brought together thinkers and Degrowth activists.  One of the panels featured Transition Network trustee Tony Greenham, who had been asked to bring one image that captured what Transition is.  What did he bring?  Go to 24:10 on the video below to find out: 


Rob Hopkins was recently in Liege in Belgium, visiting Transition projects there, a trip he wrote up here.  Here is a rather cool short video about the big public event that took place on his final evening there:

There have also been the usual slew of Transition newsletters.  Here is a random selection: Transition Kentish Town, Transition KW, Linlithgow, Transition Tavistock, Transition Redhill.  Transition Town Wilmslow have been shortlisted for community funding from the Skipton Building Society ‘Grassroots Giving Campaign and need your vote.  Please click here and help them out. 

In Germany, Transition Town Grafing recently held a Repair Cafe, Creative Cafe and other things. Here's a video about them:

Rob Hopkins was recently in Germany for talks to promote the German version of The Power of Just Doing Stuff, which was recently published there.  He wrote up the trip here.   He first spoke at the Heinrich Boll Foundation in Berlin:

Then he went to Bielefeld.  While there, he asked people what, for them, is Transition:

... and also why they do it ...

Here is the talk he gave there:

To Hungary now. In August Transition Wekerle in Budapest was the scene of a very unusual event: maybe the ever first "washable nappy picnic".  It was organised by local mums, like a demonstration against the environmental impact of disposable nappies. 50 mothers and more children came together to change their experiences about washable nappies and eco child care. As a next step, in September the organisers set up a washable nappy club in Wekerle, they will met every second week.

At the end of the summer was organised the first public event of the landshare project in Transition Wekerle. The landshare project was set up in spring this year. During the test period 3 garden owners and about 6 gardener familly have joint to the project. Regarding the popularity of the project, hopefully in the following months the number of shared gardens and gardeners will raise up. 

In the US, Transition Town Missoula recently gave a talk called Thinking beyond climate change


Transition US have been crowdfunding to develop a US version of Transition Streets.  Here's their video: 

Transition Catskills have been in touch recently.  They wrote:

After a long time talking and figuring ourselves out, we finally “went public” this summer— hosting two community screenings of “In Transition 1.0” and a “Farm to Picnic Potluck” event where people could come out and start brainstorming ideas for the community onto a timeline.  All were well attended and there was lots of lively (and sometimes heated!) discussion, and we have built out an email list of about 85 people.  You can watch a couple of videos from the Potluck via the links in the forwarded email below that we sent out to our list.  

We are presently filming a further series of outreach videos to broaden our appeal (the raw material looks great so far!), and we are planning out events for the fall, including at least two public mini-orchard plantings.  We have made good connections with local libraries about instituting a tool sharing library there, our community commercial kitchen is finally about to emerge from all the bureaucratic hoops we had to jump through, and we are working to support the planning around the Fleischmanns biomass heating project (Charles, SUNY-ESF had a lot to do with this!).  We are also going through the ideas generated at our potluck and seeing which of those we can get up and running". 

The group is also proposing a Catskills Dollar.  Here's what they propose it might look like:

Also, here is the video they made about their "Pavilion Potluck":

... and another called "Forage in your Yard":

Transition Guelph in Canada had an innovative idea for a fundraiser ... a canoe race!  Here's the poster:

They later wrote up how it went here. Finally, representatives of Transition Romania participated in the Hay fest where they talked about the Transition movement and permaculture. Hay festival is one of the most famous international green and cultural festival in Romania, organised in a beautiful countryside.  Hay festival (Fin fest) is organised every year as a demonstration against the  opening of a gold mine on a UNESCO world heritage place.

That's it for now.  See you next month, and do send us in any stories you'd like us to include. 

September 2014 - Transition Network Newsletter

Thu, 04/09/2014 - 18:52

Do you remember that our theme was about not doing stuff? That is pretty much what happened in August! However we still have some news to share that includes the latest Transition Free Press, news from REconomy, Permaculture, thoughts on supermarkets, book reviews and new training.

Transition Free Press

We’re out! New Autumn issue is published
In this sixth issue you can find our signature mix of the practical, political and the philosophical. In line with a renewed push towards climate action this autumn, we’re focusing on fossil fuel divestment and climate activism. We are also showing how the humble acts of fermenting cabbage and saving seeds are also radical acts of liberation, why in the face of increased corporate control we are out digging fields, brewing beer, helping our neighbour, telling our own story, doing art in whatever place we find ourselves.

On paper and on-line, our new action-packed edition number 6 can be now found in shops, cafes and at Transition events across the UK. If you can’t put your hands on a copy or have not had one through the door, you can also find it here:

REconomy Project

Community Supported Enterprise
What can a community do to incubate and support the kinds of local enterprises that best serve the interests of that community? Transition Towns Totnes & Brixton are exploring this question…

REconomy in Europe
The national hubs exploring REconomy have created a great summary of over 20 Transition-oriented enterprises emerging in Belgium, Croatia, Italy, Latvia and the Netherlands


Addressing Drought by Thinking Like a Forest
Writing in The Guardian, Rob Hopkins argues that the best way to tackle drought is by learning from how forests manage water.

Can Supermarkets Ever Be Sustainable?
Walmart’s new boss is on a mission. In this Guardian article, Rob Hopkins asks whether his drive for renewable energy and waste reduction will transform the supermarket model?

Permaculture and Transition
Having spent two years travelling the Americas, Phil Moore and his girlfriend Lauren are currently touring the UK visiting projects, places and people working toward sustainable, sane and human futures.


We have a new training piloting next month, Permaculture for Transition. You will learn how to apply permaculture principles to transition projects, enterprises, and your life! Launch OnLine is having it fourth outing beginning October 8th. Our next train the trainers is happening in November in Sweden. Details of up and training here:


The Second Life of Sally Mottram
Rob Hopkins reviews the first novel in which Transition plays a key role, published by one of the UK's largest publishers. Written by David Nobbs, one of Britain's best known comedy writers, he finds that it captures the power of one person deciding it's time to do something and how infectious that can be.

The Collapse of Western Civilization
Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway are science historians, and they are hopping mad at folks who deny that humans are the primary cause of climate change. Their outrage inspired them to write a 112-page science fiction rant that reviewer Richard Reese describes as a gusher of intoxicating hope and optimism.


Local Food Enthusiasts
You are invited to participate in a survey on Local Food Initiatives. Its purpose is to better understand the challenges, issues, barriers and opportunities in transitioning communities towards sustainable food systems. The results will be included in a research paper being submitted to The Open University. The survey is online until 5th October.


UK Permaculture Convergence
12-14 September. London
A diverse range of workshops, practical sessions, a visit to a very well established local permaculture LAND centre, project case studies, Diploma presentations, networking, exhibitions, woodland walks, games, adventure activities and lots, lots more!

Celebrating Green Open Homes - September
An opportunity to ask a neighbour about an energy saving improvment that they’ve made, and see if it might work for you.

5th German Transition (Un-)Conference
3-5 October Zierenberg near Kassel
About 100-150 Transitioners and other activists from all over Germany, Austria and Switzerland - plus Ben Brangwyn from the Transition Network - will gather for 3 joyful days of sharing, learning, listening and celebrating. Films, Talks, Workshops, Transition Theater, book presentations plus many associated organisations will also put their knowledge and wisdom on display. The 3 main themes will be 'REconomy/local Economy/alternative Economy', '(skillfull) Groupwork' and 'Strengthening our Transition Netzwerk D/A/CH'. All sessions will be held in German except the international sessions with Ben.

Real World Economics Workshop - Well & Good Project
4-5 October. Bridport, Devon
This workshop training includes practical tools to engage your community, thought provoking presentations, group discussions and fun interactive exercises that will equip you to be an effective change-maker in your community.

Transition Network Roadshows:
St Andrews, Scotland 10-11 October
Penwith, Cornwall 6-7 February 2015
Bristol mid March 2015
Berkhamsted mid April 2015


September's theme on the website is 'Making Space for Nature'. The theme opens at dusk in a field near Plymouth, where something unusual in a hedgerow leads us into an exploration about why Transition initiatives need to make space for nature in their work.


"Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts". Rachel Carson

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Film Reviews 

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Resources — Editor's Picks

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This newsletter is published on the first Friday of each month. 
Next newsletter is 3 October 2014

Newsletter Editor: Mike Grenville,
from Transition Forest Row for the Transition Network


Celebrating Green Open Homes

Mon, 01/09/2014 - 11:57

It's that time of year when Open Eco Homes events happen up and down the country.  Totnes are doing it, as are Bridport, West Bridgford, Lewes, Stroud and others.  A Green Open Homes event is an opportunity to ask a neighbour about an energy saving improvment that they’ve made, and see if it might work for you.  On an event day, householders who have made low carbon improvements to their homes open them up to share their experiences with neighbours and others.

They are an excellent way for people to find out about the reality of getting solar panels, insulation, triple glazing, or new heating options without talking to a salesman.   Visitors can ask the residents whether the installation was a hassle, and how much they’re really saving on their energy bills as a result. These events are an effective way of inspiring people to take action to make their homes more energy efficient. Events come in all shapes and sizes, take place over one day or several weekends, and might feature as few as six or as many as 40 homes.

In 2013, the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) awarded funding to the Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE), working in partnership with Bristol Green Doors (a national leader in running local low carbon open homes events) to set up a national Green Open Homes network to stimulate more activity and provide support for low carbon open homes events across the country.  Transition Network was one of the organisations delighted to be able to offer advisory support.  

The aim was to help new open homes events and networks get off the ground all around the country, to increase people’s feeling that making energy saving improvements is ‘normal in my neighbourhood’. For groups who already ran small open homes events, our goal was to help them flourish, to make the events bigger, easier to deliver, and have more impact.

A searchable directory of Eco Homes events was set up, a collection of 18 guidance notes for would-be event organisers, over £180,000 was distributed in grants, a national roadshow took place, and a newsletter produced. 49 organisations were supported, some of which were Transition groups. At the end of the project, here's a sense of its impact:

  • Number of organisations we supported: 49
  • Events established or revived: 27
  • Number of homes taking part in events: 607
  • Total number of visitors to events: 10,106
  • Visits to the website (‘sessions’): 20,210
  • Website pageviews: 92,980

Here's a video about Sustainable Frome's event:

Here is a short report about the project. If you are thinking about running an Open Eco Homes event in your community in 2015, have a look at the support that's available, and perhaps go along to one of this year's events for some inspiration.  Transition Network would like to offer its congratulations to the Centre for Sustainable Energy in Bristol for running the programme so well, and was delighted to have been able to play a role in making it happen.