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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





Crystal Palace Food Market pipped at the post for the BBC Food and Farming Awards

Tue, 05/05/2015 - 10:45

Crystal Palace Food Market would like to congratulate Doncaster Market on their win today in the BBC Food and Farming Awards “Best Food Market” tonight.

“We were thrilled to be nominated and that in itself has been a wonderful experience for us, providing a platform to talk about the importance of local markets and sustainable food in Britain today. We are so proud to be part of the final three,” said organisers Karen Jones and Laura Marchant-Short.  “This represents a culmination of years of hard work by not only ourselves and our community of volunteers, food growers, producers and market traders, but also a recognition of both local markets and local communities supporting each other.   Our market was self-funded and set up on volunteer energy, and represents the power of Transition Towns to bring people together and just get things done.  So many long-term friendships have formed during our Saturday market, between the market team, all our many volunteers, our farmers, food producers and artists, in fact everyone in our community. Most of our visitors are regulars, and they are now really getting to understand the provenance and seasonality of the food they are buying and eating,” said Karen.  

“It’s a great honour to be part of the BBC Food Awards and to be in the company of Doncaster andLevenshulme Markets as well as all the other finalists. It’s given us a platform to talk about the principles that we set up and run the market by – supporting sustainable farmers and local food producers, helping to protect traditional farming knowledge and varieties and building community resilience. One of the best things about the market for me is that it contributes to a deeper connection to nature and community”, said Laura.  

The market, located on Haynes Lane, off Westow Street, SE19, happens every Saturday from 10am to 3pm and “We try to ensure that everything is covered without duplicating any stalls so you’ll find a wide range of organic meat , British charcuterie and sustainably caught fish (along with oyster bar), lots of organic fresh fruit and vegraw dairy, our Grain Grocer, bread baked in Brixton and Thornton Heath and locally produced cakesgluten free goodies, deli itemspreservespicklesartisan beers,small vineyard & natural wines as well as a different street food for lunch each week,” explains Karen.

We usually have a free children’s activity, gardening advice or cooking demonstration as well,” adds Laura, “and our friends Antenna Studios run a lovely licensed cafe and recording studios next door which lend the market a great vibe.  Special mention to our other neighbours Haynes Lane market – it’s a treasure trove of collectables in there.”

The market also provides a free platform for the many other Crystal Palace Transition Town projects, including hosting our artist and makers collective stall Handmade Palace, and the Patchwork Farmstall, which sells or swaps gluts grown anywhere in Crystal Palace including on patches of soil or in window boxes as well as from our own Transition Town’s community gardens, everyone else’s back gardens and the many nearby allotments.  Stalls are also provided at no charge to community groups such as schools, scouts, churches and charity fund-raisers.  We host a vibrant busking spot called Buskers’ Paradise along with the studios.  This market was set up as an alternative to the current food system and to change our locals’ weekly shopping habits.  We want to thank the whole of Palace for supporting us week in, week out, even when it’s pouring with rain or blowing a gale.

May 2015 - Transition Network Newsletter

Wed, 29/04/2015 - 16:36

There are three big themes in the newsletter this month. Firstly there is a series of articles exploring Inner Transition and its impact on the movement; our second month of Social change and the arts has interviews with artists from the new book Playing for Time; and we explore some different ways Community Engagement happens. Plus REconomy, Agony Aunt and some reports from around Europe. 


Tickets for the conference have got off to a good start. What is really encouraging is that a good percentage of these have been the 'Gifting Tickets' where one person pays for another to be able to come on a Bursary. What a lovely bunch you all are! The workshop content is coming together - more on that in next month's newsletter.

Stalls at the Conference
Interested in having a stall at the Transition Network Conference this year? We're looking for exhibitors who fit with the Transition ideal and whom Transitioners far and wide may be interested in learning more about. All Transition Groups are entitled to display information at the event in the Common Space and we encourage you to do so. There's limited space but there will be room for some display boards as well as leaflets, posters and so forth. If you are not a Transition Group and wish to either display products, information or promotional materials, stalls are available ranging from £50 - £150.
Contact us:

Hopefully everything you need to know about the conference so that you don't need to ask is already here - Book now!



Stories, a collection of specially-commissioned new films, and tools to support the inner and outer in Transition outlined by Sophy Banks in this introduction.

Inner Transition Sans Frontières!
Sophy Banks reflects on the paradox of how different things are in different countries, cultures and languages, and, yet, how similar.

Transforming Ourselves and Our Local Economies From The Inside Out
Fiona Ward, creator of Reconomy, shares how Inner Transition has impacted her personally, and been an important thread in the development of Reconomy.

Inner Transition in Japan
Hide Enomoto, co-founder of Transition Japan, speaks to Michelle Denton about Inner Transition in the Japanese context and how important the inclusion of inner has been for him.

Six Inner Transition Innovations That Changed My Life
Rob Hopkins reflects on his favourite Inner Transition inventions and the effect they’ve had on him and the movement.


Interviews with some of the 60 artists in the new book Playing for Time:

Art is About Magic, and It's About Change
Artist Anne-Marie Culhane uses drawing, writing and poetry among other mediums as part of a practice that is creating her own interpretations of place to create something which is very responsive to what she finds there.

What Does a Successful Artist Look Like at a Time of Global Change?
Artistic director Fern Smith and playwright Sarah Woods ask "if I really did want to create change in the world, or at least create the conditions for change, how should I best do that?"

Transition is a Participatory Arts Practice
"Working creatively is about trusting your imagination, trusting what’s possible" says Ruth Ben Tovim

Radical Roots: On Community Food Growing
In this extract from 'Playing for Time – Making Art as if the World Mattered' by Lucy Neal, Josiah Meldrum, discusses the impact community growing (and eating) can have on our collective imaginations.

Of Yeast, Seeds, Fire and Dancing
It's been a month since Lucy Neal's Playing for Time was published. Here she shares what it feels like to get a book you've published into your hand for the first time, how it's being received, and what 'Flip the Kipper' is.

Making Art as if the World Mattered
There is a discount code for the book until 30 June 2015 giving you £5 off the RRP: ONPFT2015


Setting the Scene
To open our in depth exploration of Community Engagement, one of the elements of our Support Offer, Transition Network's Transition Initiative Support Coordinator Mike Thomas sets the scene.

Celebrate Nature festival
Lynn van Leerzem shares some experiences from reaching out to new people in the 'Celebrate Nature festival'

Sebastopol Village Building Convergence
Transition Sebastopol member Shepherd Bliss shares the excitement around the Village Building Convergence that underscores the incredible potential of working with local government to build community resilience.

Laughing Allowed! The Slapstick World of Neighbourhood Activism
The idea was to playfully explore what we do and don’t like about getting involved in our local communities, and to use physical comedy as a different way of beginning discussions about some of those issues.

How Knitting Can Help Us Connect
Filipa Pimentel is Portuguese and works with Transition Network as the International Hubs co-ordinator. And she knits. Lots.



Now you see it, now you do
The Devon Convergence event in large part was about networking, supporting and connecting people already working within the fields of local economies in a real variety of ways. The theme of ‘bringing together’ was brought to life visually. Imagine spreading your arms out and literally gathering together the creative energy of the day in one place…



Where did everybody go?



15-17 May, Graz, Austria
Join the first supraregional/national gathering of Transition Initiatives, CSOs and NGOs and many more in Austria.

South-east European Transitioners meet in Zagreb

Berkhamsted: the last Transition Roadshow (for now)
Report from Rob Hopkins on an inspiring day.



"Everybody is inherently creative and everybody is an artist, and actually life is practice and culture and how we live is creative." 
Ruth Ben Tovim


International Permaculture Day 2015: In Support of Soil
Sunday 3 May
A special free online issue of Permaculture Works with leading change makers share their visions on Designing the World We Want.

International Permaculture Convergence
8-9 September London

Transition Network International Conference
18-20 September - Devon

Transition Camp
2-4 October - Sussex 

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. 

1st Austrian Transition Forum: May 15th – 17th 2015, Graz, Austria.

Mon, 27/04/2015 - 12:11

Are you interested in and engaged with activities that aim at reductions in oil consumption and dependency within your life and your community? Then join the 1st supraregional / national gathering of Transition initiatives, CSOs and NGOs and many more to meet up and network with other like-minded people.  

You can present your ideas, projects and initiatives at the fair of possibilities. In workshops you can learn about facilitation of community building process, how to launch a food coop and many more.  We provide the possibility to share knowledge and experience in open space sessions. 

To get informed on the program and registration, check out our website.  You can also find out more at our Facebook page


South-east European Transitioners meet in Zagreb

Wed, 08/04/2015 - 14:59

Justi Carey and Roy Clark report on the First Meeting of the Regional Transition Group of south-east Europe – Zagreb 14-15 March 2015

As representatives of the newest Transition group in Slovenia, Dovje-Mojstrana: Zelena prihodnost (Dovje- Mojstrana: A Green Future) it felt very exciting to be setting off by train to Zagreb, the capital of Croatia, and the home of the Croatian Transition Hub, who organised this event. DMZP has only been in existence since the autumn, so this was our first introduction to what else is going on in the region.

As this was the first meeting of the group, which was funded by the Transition Network, Saturday was almost entirely given over to presentations so that we could learn about what each group was doing. From Hungary two Transition groups (Transition Kecskemét and Transition Wekerle) and the National Hub were represented, each already well established and doing great work.

Representatives from several Slovenian groups presented their community gardens, the National Permaculture Association, the Sustainability Park in Istra, and the Centre for Alternative and Autonomous Production in Maribor. From Croatia more Transition groups (Pula and Velika Gorica) and community gardens were presented – in Croatia Transition has developed from the permaculture movement, and this was emphasised when, at lunchtime, we were treated to a walk around the local city area and shown how to find a wealth of edible plants, even in March!

As well as the presentations from groups that were present, several people were able to link up with us via Skype, from Italy, Brussels and Scotland among others. This gave us the opportunity to see ourselves in an even wider context than the three countries that were represented in person. The presentations left us with the happy feeling of how much fantastic work is being done, from a ‘garden city’ area of central Budapest to the beautiful Croatian island of Krk, from large cities like Ljubljana and Zagreb to villages such as our own Dovje-Mojstrana.

We spent Sunday discussing and cataloguing our assets, both at a personal and a group level, and discovered that between us we have a vast wealth of knowledge and experience that can now be shared for the benefit of everyone. We also discussed the possibility of applying for joint funding  - acknowledging the tension between wanting as much as possible to be done on a money-free basis, and the fact that some projects, including the ability to meet face-to-face on any kind of regular basis, are beyond our means without a source of funds.

It will be interesting to see how the group evolves – so much good work is being done at a local level, but it is also important to see how we are part of a much greater whole. After this meeting, it is much easier to see how we all fit together.  

Transition in Action Summer Camp in Hungary

Tue, 07/04/2015 - 08:56

The Youth Exchange “Transition in Action” under the Erasmus+ Programme will take place from 20st July (arrival day) till 2nd August (departure day) 2015 in Hungary, Kunbábony a village situated 80 km to the South of Budapest in a beautiful rural setting. It looks amazing, and applications need to be in by April 20th, so to find out more information read below, or click here for more information and to book. 

Why Transition?

Local communities around the world are searching for new ways of being in the 21st Century; experimenting with new ways of cooperation, sharing wealth more fairly, creating meaningful livelihoods, appreciating the natural world and respecting the limits it imposes on us. These communities are looking for ways to thrive rather than simply survive; climate chaos, economic crisis, resource depletion, precarious employment and unending conflict is not our inevitable inheritance. The Transition Network is a global network bringing together over 1000 such local communities that are actively re-creating themselves in the belief that the future depends on us.

These inspiring community based initiatives are growing around Hungary as well, since the difficult circumstances (high unemployment, social misery, dependence on costly public services) open people's mind to find alternative solutions for a more healthy, peaceful and secure way of life. Community gardens, farmers' markets, urban bee-keeping, repair and up-cycle workshops are all offering new forms of collaboration for all kinds of people and their wider communities.

What is Transition in Action?

The Transition in Action Youth Exchange is a "reality camp", bringing together 30 young people in a 'rural lab' setting to support them in creating together their own transition community from the resources around them. From Hungary, Slovenia, Macedonia, Turkey, Romania and Italy, they will gather for 13 days to get to know each other and to explore the ideas of 'transition': how nature, communities and sustainable lifestyle are connected and how, by using resources wisely, we can lead sustainable lifestyles.

Through games, debates, excursions, creative workshops, and practical hands-on work, the participants will experience what it means to share ideas and cooperate, and to collaborate to bring alive their own "settlement" with the resources around them. They will be aided by 4 support workers experienced in community organising, facilitating, food growing and natural building crafts. The project is divided into three main parts.

In the first few days we will build our team: core to our work is our ability to being able to bring out the best in ourselves and each other; this will be partly practical, partly games-based exploration of our skills, needs and abilities.

The next phase is the practical work; creating part of the living space for the participants with DIY solar showers, compost-toilets, upgrading materials to make a green house, outdoor community spaces from adobe, Mad-Max like rocket stoves, etc. This creative work will allow us to use and develop organisational and cooperation skills, refine consensus decision-making and facilitation, and explore "heart and soul work" too.

The final 5 days are the most demanding part of the project; the Transition in Action Youth Exchange will merge into the "KÖRFESZT" (Community Organizing Festival). This event will bring another 150 people to Kunbábony, in a celebration of their communities' experience of self-organizing for food and energy localization, local economic renewal and creative self-organising. The Transition in Action participants will share their experience of creating this essential infrastructure with the KÖRFESZT communities, finding ways to bridge the language gap with pictures, theatre, non-verbal communication and sharing space and meals. Some formal presentation methods will also be used to present the Youth Exchange experience to the wider audience.

There will also be time to visit Budapest Communities in Transition: the Grundkert - a vibrant community garden in the heart of Budapest and Cyclonomia, a down-town cycle cooperative, using bike-based technology to develop low-carbon machinery, influenced by the ideas of "de-growth".


  • Working language of the Youth Exchange: English.
  • Accommodation: in tents (and we will have showers and toilets indoor and outdoor as well.)
  • The food will be provided by the local community from local resources and it will be mainly vegetarian. Bread will be made locally, and occasionally by the participants
  • There will be physical work during the camp (building structures, working with adobe, wood, etc) which can be demanding sometimes, but we will learn a lot of useful techniques which can be easily implemented in the participants' home communities.
  • If selected, participants will be asked to purchase their own travel insurance for the period of the 13 days. # If you play any instruments, please plan to bring it ;)


→ in the age between 18 and 25 (few exception for up to 30 possible)

→ be interested in the topics related to the youth exchange and ready to prepare activities and workshop materials before coming to Hungary

→ be willing to live simply, sustainably and in a community for 13 days (and hopefully longer)


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

Travel costs are reimbursed up to the following amounts:

Italy,Turkey and Macedonia: 170 eur

Slovenia, Romania: 80 eur

Hungary: 20 eur


Don"t buy your tickets without being selected and officially informed about your possibility of participation! Once you are selected, make sure you choose the cheapest and most sustainable means of transport - this is a key issue of the project! You may buy your tickets arriving up to 3 days before the beginning or 3 days after the end as long as it makes economic sense. Once selected you will receive a document (info pack) with further details. The Transition in Action Youth Exchange is organised by the Védegylet (Protect the Future) and is financed by the European Union Erazmus+ program. The Youth Exchange is organised in conjunction with the Small Communities in Transition" program, which is financed by the Norwegian Civil Fund.

Book your place here

April 2015 - Transition Network Newsletter

Thu, 02/04/2015 - 14:16

Creative Responses to Climate Change could have you in stitches, reaching for the stars or even going to Berkhampsted for the TN roadshow. Find out what sort of animal some groups are and how quiet people can find their voices. Some ideas on what to do now that everything has changed plus what went into the new book Playing for Time - Making Art as if the World Mattered and other book reviews. There is more too..

Transition Road Show
Berkhamsted 19 April
Tickets are selling fast for the last TN UK roadshow in the current series. Come to lovely Berkhamsted for a day of connection and inspiration, plus a farmers market and a castle! Organised by Transition Initiatives from across Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire. Review the packed programme:

Transition at Trinity: the Bristol Roadshow
Bristol was the first official 'Transition City' and Transition Bristol has been instrumental in many pioneering initiatives in the city, such as the Bristol Pound, the UK's first Peak Oil Report produced by a city council, the Food Resilience Plan to name just three. Rob Hopkins reports on the penultimate Transition Roadshow there that both looked back to the group's beginnings as well as forward to what comes next.

Seeing Transition Take Flight
Rob Hopkins reports on an inspiring a day in Luxembourg.

THEME: Social Change and the Arts

The Creative Response to Climate Change
For over 25 years Heather Ackroyd and Dan Harvey have worked together in mediums including sculpture, photography, architecture, ecology and biology. Rob Hopkins asks them 'What does a creative response to climate change look like, and why do we need one?'

Changing the World One Backstitch at a Time
Sarah Corbett runs the Craftivist Collective, which she describes as “activism through needlework” and “slow, gentle, joyful activism”. She says "These are great tools for slowing down, thinking critically, using it as a way to have conversations with people and ice breakers".

SWIMBY the Musical: an update. "you have to reach for the stars"
The original working title 'Transition Town: The Musical' has been renamed SWIMBY - Something Wonderful in my Back Yard. Matt Harvey (poet/lyricist), Thomas Hewitt Jones (composer) and Chloe Uden (producer) are hard at work actually writing it. So Rob Hopkins met in Matt's shed to find out where they're up to and what happens next.


The Transition Agony Aunt

"Help! Our meetings are boring us to tears"...

How to respond to elections
What is your advice about how Transition groups should respond to elections?

On helping quiet people find their voices.
Any suggestions for how we might coax quiet people to get more engaged?


Transition Health Check: The 'Transition Animal'

We've asked some people who've used the Transition Animal (an exercise that's part of the Transition Health Check) for their thoughts on how it worked for them.

Until recently part of Transition Taunton, Chrissie Godfrey found it a fantastic way of seeing where you are doing things well, shining a light on particular strengths and generally helping a group feel great about itself.

Sally Ludwig of Transition Guelph liked the way its use invited engagement by volunteers with varied styles of learning and communication.

New support is being launched this week for UK communities and organisations to develop local economic plans and strategies.


Announcing Inner Transition week!
Running from 20 - 24th April, the week will launch a series of short films on the ‘inner’ in Transition. If you have stories or questions about Inner Transition – something you’ve included that’s helped you or your group, or something you’ve been wondering, please send them to Sophy Banks and we will include as many of them as possible in the week.
The deadline for inclusion is April 13th.



This Changes Everything. So Now What?
What we need are ideas which are radical enough to cause widespread change, yet practical enough, that folks living in the suburbs could put them into practice. Russell Evans, from Transition Lab proposes a blueprint for how we can all get to work right now with some of the steps needed to creating the change we need.

Home Growing Produces Ten Times the Food of Arable Farms

An Orchard from a Single Tree
At some point in your childhood, Brian Kaller hopes, you ate an apple and hit upon the idea of planting the seeds. If your tree survived long enough to bear fruit, you probably noticed something strange: the seeds from that Golden Delicious apple do not necessarily grow into a Golden Delicious apple tree.

Flat Earth News
Charlotte Du Cann reports from the Real Media gathering to form a new grassroots media network.



Playing for Time - Making Art as if the World Mattered by Lucy Neal
For the last two years Charlotte Du Cann has been working with Lucy Neal to help edit and shape this essential guide to moving ourselves and our communities into a downshifted, more friendly future. Here is some of what went into creating its 400+ pages.

Playing for Time - £5 discount
While not quite as great as buying the book from your local bookshop, Transition folks can get a £5 discount here:

'How to Save Town Centres' by Julian Dobson
A radical agenda for the future of high streets

Happier People, Healthier Planet by Teresa Belton.
The powerful idea of the book was to dive deeper into the causes and meaning behind the lifestyle of these people who answered yes to the questions: Do you live a life of modest material consumption? Are you happy with your lifestyle?

AFTERBURN: Society Beyond Fossil Fuels by Richard Heinberg
Explores the opportunities and challenges of the inevitable and rapidly approaching end of the oil-coal-and-gas era in sixteen essays that address subjects as varied as energy politics, consumerism, localism, the importance of libraries, and oil price volatility.



Transition Network International Conference
18-20 September.
Plus fringe events leading into the weekend.
The main event will also be online with a live webcast. Details will be announced soon.

Permaculture Day 2015
Sunday 3rd May
Celebrating International Year of Soils

The Economics of Happiness
Embercombe 24-26 June
With Helena Norburg Hodge

MA in Economics for Transition - Schumacher College
Creating an economic system fit for the ecological, social, economic and spiritual challenges of the 21st century.
Closing date May 1st for September 2015.

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. 


Our favourite Transition April Fool: the new Brixton £5 note

Wed, 01/04/2015 - 11:56

‘Victory for diversity and equality’: Former prime minister Sir John Major immortalised on Brixton Pound note (from the SW Londoner)

The Brixton Pound, a currency used in the South London area of Brixton, has launched a limited edition note featuing former Conservative Prime Minister Sir John Major.   

The politician, who served as PM and party leader from 1990 -1997, will be the first politician of the modern era to feature on a bank note.

He’s pipping legendary war-time leader Winston Churchill to the post after the Bank of England announced that Sir Winston will feature on the new £5 note when it’s issued in 2016.

IMMORTALISED: Churchill to be honoured on £5 note (© Bank of England)

The note, created by South London design agency This Ain’t Rock’n’Roll, sees Major as the face of the new B£5 note.

B£ co-founder and economist Josh Ryan-Collins praised Major’s monetary policy credentials.

He said: “I think it’s a fantastic choice. John Major rose up from being a lowly bus driver to Prime Minister – that’s a typical Brixton story.

“By signing the Maastricht Treaty, he also ensured that the UK’s monetary system would forever be sensibly constrained by officials in Brussels – a vital step in stabilising the economy.

“He’s a true ‘One Nation Brixton Tory’.”

‘THE CHOSEN ONE': Sir John recognised for Brixton links (© Commonwealth Secretariat)

Brixton Pound engagement manager Tom Shakhli, who oversaw the selection process, hailed it as a victory for diversity and equality.

“It’s no small feat to be a nominee, let alone ‘the chosen one’,” he told SW Londoner.

“The judging panel were presented with a number of strong options, all of whom could have credibly emerged as the winner.

“However once it was pointed out that the Brixton Pound currently does not have any old men with grey hair on its notes, the panel were unanimous that Sir John was the outstanding choice.”

He joins other note-able faces including musician David Bowie, British professional basketball player Luol Deng and a World War II French-British secret agent Violette Szabo, among others.

Some people have welcomed the news.

But Guardian writer Zoe Williams was among many who questioned the selection of Sir John, who is yet to comment on the honour.


To get your mitts on your own Brixton pound currency visit

Funding available for communities developing plans for economic development

Mon, 30/03/2015 - 23:24

New support is being launched this week for companies and organisations based in England to develop local economic plans and strategies.  From 1st April, grants of up to £5,000, practical advice and expertise will be available to 50 groups.  So if you are a Transition initiative in England working on REconomy-type activities this fund could provide vital support.  

This support comes through the Community Economy Development Programme:

Whether that’s working on a strategy to promote local spending, exploring the possibility of developing a rural broadband co-operative, or working with key organisations to promote community-led housing, this programme wants passionate people who are committed to working together on a local economic plan that can deliver real local benefits.

Each of the 50 chosen communities will have access to events and an advisor to guide and provide support. There are also six days of additional focused support that come with the grant around these areas:

  • The entrepreneurial community: helping communities to better understand the key dimensions of community enterprise: business planning, community engagement, governance and finance
  • Financing our future: helping communities to better understand their local economic financing possibilities and potential
  • Strengthening local economic impact: assisting communities in enabling their key businesses or other large organisations to more actively engage with the local economy
  • Business planning and asset transfer: showcasing the range of Community Rights and how they can assist in community economic development including the transfer of land and buildings into community ownership, neighbourhood planning and public service re-design and delivery.

The Community Economic Development programme is backed by the Department for Communities and Local Government. It is being led by Co-operatives UK and delivered in partnership with New Economics FoundationLocalityCommunity Development Foundation and the Community Development Finance Association.

This is the first national ‘community economic development’ programme for a generation… Ed Mayo, Secretary General of Co-Operatives UK

We hope that a number of Transition Initiatives will apply for the fund to support existing or new REconomy work including around economic evaluation and leadership strategy. The fund has a short application window – open until 8thMay 2015. Fingers at the ready on your keyboards for this Wednesday then…

Transition movement returns to its Devon roots

Tue, 17/03/2015 - 08:44

It has been announced that delegates from across the world will be travelling to Devon, the birthplace of the Transition movement, in September 2015.  The inaugural Transition Network International Conference will be held from 18th-20th September with 350 Transition representatives from across the globe expected to be in attendance at the event. The Conference is being held at Seale-Hayne – the ex-agricultural college now operated by the Dame Hannah Rogers Trust - just outside Newton Abbot. 

From its origins in Totnes, this ground-breaking Transition movement has spread virally to more than 1,200 communities in at least 43 countries.  From Brazil to Japan, from Canada to Croatia, people have been inspired to get together with their neighbours and make the place where they live, happier, healthier and more resilient.  Now Transition Network, the UK charity which works to inspire, connect, train and support these groups is organising an innovative, international conference in the county where the movement originated.

Hundreds of Transitioners are expected to attend in person and many more will be able to participate online through a live webcast event. They will share ideas and information, learn new skills and showcase the huge range of projects and activities through which people are reducing energy consumption and waste, taking care of each other and the environment, growing food more sustainably, supporting local enterprises and much, much more. 

Rob Hopkins, one of the co-founders of the Transition movement, says:

“This is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate Transition in all its forms in the place where it was born. Transition Network has had its base in Devon for over seven years and we’re incredibly excited to be welcoming hundreds of guests from across the UK and beyond to a region which is home to a wealth of great Transition groups and projects plus many related social enterprises ranging from permaculture to conservation; renewable energy co-operatives to community housing initiatives.  This is our chance to mark how far the Transition movement has travelled and discuss where we go next!”

The main Transition conference will take place on 19 and 20 September with fringe events happening in the two days leading into the weekend.  The event has been timed to follow the International Permaculture Convergence taking place in Essex earlier in September and it is expected that up to 150 delegates from that event will descend on Devon as part of a tour organised by Transition Town Totnes.  Hundreds of further arrivals are then expected over the weekend as the Transition conference swings into action.

The majority of the visitors will be housed at Seale Hayne, but some will be based in the surrounding area, including being hosted in the homes of local Transition activists.

Transition Network Conference 2015: March update

Fri, 06/03/2015 - 14:50

We are delighted to announce that after a couple of years with no Transition Network conference, it’s back, and it’s going to be a remarkable couple of days. It will take place at the wonderful Seale Hayne, close to Totnes in Devon, where we held the 2010 conference between 18-20 September 2015. This year’s conference will be a celebration of the truly international thing that Transition has become. Either side of it we are currently designing fringe events, trainings, tours and other things so you can make the most of your time. Tickets will go on sale in April.

The Conference is very much coming off the back of the International Permaculture Convergence that is occurring in Essex and which finishes just days before our own event. Around 150 delegates are expected to descend on Devon direct from the IPC as part of a tour organised by Transition Town Totnes which in turn leads into our conference. With so many International guests in the country anyway, and the National Hubs Gathering also planned to occur around this time in the UK, it seems appropriate that this year’s conference will really focus in on the unfolding Global Story of Transition.

For now though, we would love to hear from you a sense of the workshops you’d like to see on offer there and how you may contribute, particularly as part of the Friday Fringe events. We are looking to offer day-longs Transition Skills workshops over this day and welcome offers for this. Please send your ideas to There will be great food, there will be music and dancing, there will be a deep, rich, rejuvenating, reconnecting occasion where you’ll meet Transition folks from all over and have a chance to learn from one another. Keep an eye on the website for details, but for now, pop that date in your diary. We can’t wait!

March 2015 - Transition Network Newsletter

Thu, 05/03/2015 - 13:09

This month we have more on our conference and roadshows. A round up of the last theme 'The Power to Convene' and our new theme Social Change and the Arts. A call out to help us tell the Transition Story, The Transition Health Check to help uyou reflect on how your Transition initiative is doing. In Thinking Aloud we face the puzzle of who gets left with the unburnable carbon. Plus our Agony Aunt, book reviews and events coming up.


Transition Network conference
18-20 September 2015
We are delighted to announce that after a couple of years with no Transition Network conference, it’s back, and it’s going to be a remarkable couple of days. It will take place at the wonderful Seale Hayne, close to Totnes in Devon, where we held the 2010 conference. This year’s conference will be a celebration of the truly international thing that Transition has become. Either side of it we are currently designing fringe events, trainings, tours and other things so you can make the most of your time. Tickets will go on sale in April.

The Conference is very much coming off the back of the International Permaculture Convergence that is occurring in Essex and which finishes just days before our own event. Around 150 delegates are expected to descend on Devon direct from the IPC as part of a tour organised by Transition Town Totnes which in turn leads into our conference. With so many International guests in the country anyway, and the National Hubs Gathering also planned to occur around this time in the UK, it seems appropriate that this year’s conference will really focus in on the unfolding Global Story of Transition.

For now though, we would love to hear from you a sense of the workshops you’d like to see on offer there and how you may contribute, particularly as part of the Friday Fringe events. We are looking to offer day-longs Transition Skills workshops over this day and welcome offers for this. Please send your ideas to There will be great food, there will be music and dancing, there will be a deep, rich, rejuvenating, reconnecting occasion where you’ll meet Transition folks from all over and have a chance to learn from one another. Keep an eye on the website for details, but for now, pop that date in your diary. We can’t wait!

Transition UK Roadshows

  • Bristol 14 March
  • Berkhamsted 19 April

Don’t want to wait until autumn to connect with other Transitioners, share ideas and experiences and go away inspired? Then come along to one of the final two in our series of UK Transition Roadshows. For more about the fabulous things on offer see here:


Transitioners' Digest of 'The Power to Convene' (Jan-Feb 2015)
The theme for January February was ‘The Power to Convene’. You can read the editorial that set out why we felt it to be an important theme here,  and our ‘Transitioners’ Digest’ of the month’s content here.  


March & April Theme: Social Change and the Arts

Our new theme celebrates the publication at the end of March of Lucy Neal’s new book ‘Playing for Time’. The theme opens with an interview with Lucy, and with Rob Hopkins’ framing of the theme, and will feature interviews with many different artists, most of whom appear in Lucy’s book. If you have thoughts on articles or things you’d like to see, do get in touch.

When Transition forgets what it's called
Our month on Social Change and the Arts could be subtitled "Why the Arts need Transition, and why Transition needs the Arts". Over the next 2 months we will be exploring the relationship between Transition (and other approaches to social change) and the arts, speaking to some of the contributors to Lucy Neal's brilliant and remarkable new book 'Playing for Time: making art as if the world mattered' (published early April) and hearing about some inspirational projects and artists.

Lucy Neal on 'Playing for Time'
Lucy's new book "Playing for Time: Making Art as if the World Mattered" is just about to be published in April gathers up stories with over 60 people giving voice to a narrative of change through the artwork they’re making.
In this interview she talks about the inspiration behind the book and the alchemy that arises from an imaginary world.

Help us tell the Transition Story...
Transition Network is collecting examples of when Transition is framed in ways that work, or in ways that don't. And we need your help. If you could spare just a few minutes to share your thoughts we'd be deeply grateful.


Working up and testing an idea for a Transition Enterprise
The second in a series of how-to blogs about the process of starting a Transition Enterprise. Mark Simmonds takes us through developing an idea, testing a business model and producing useful initial materials such as a feasibility study and marketing plan.

Weaving the Community Resilience and New Economy Movements in the US
Marissa Mommaerts of Transition USA and co-author of “Weaving the Community Resilience and New Economy Movement: Voices and Reflections from the Field” brings together background, insight and extracts from this fascinating report which gathers ideas and learning from across the USA.


Who gets left with the unburnable carbon?
A report whose stark call to leave the substantial majority of fossil fuels in the ground by research associate in energy materials modelling at the UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources Christophe McGlade generated a lot of media coverage in recent weeks. In this interview he talks about the disconnect and the inconsistencies between current policy makers’ positions.

Zero Carbon Powys Conference
Mike Thomas was at the Zero Carbon Powys conference and heard about the latest Zero Carbon Britain report, how framing climate change is really important and what a Zero Carbon Powys could look like.

The Transition Agony Aunt
Initiating Groups that can't agree on anything.


Obituary: Transition Free Press (2012-2015)

On this sad occasion, we pause to celebrate a shining beacon of our collective emergent culture.


One Book Minute Review
'Tiny Homes' by Lloyd Kahn.
How different would the world be if instead of expecting young families to try to survive in the private rented sector, they were instead offered the skills and training needed to house themselves?

Introducing the first book about Transition in Spanish
The first new book about Transition not written in English is a landmark moment worth celebrating. Guía del movimiento de transición is the work of Spanish Transition activist and trainer Juan del Rio. We will be speaking to him soon about the book, what it covers and what his hopes are for it, but for now Rob Hopkins shares the Foreword he wrote which looks at why Transition matters, and why this book matters.

Community Engagement: our Support Offer theme for April/May

Alongside our themes, we also take a look in depth at an element of the Support Offer every couple of months.  For ‘Develop an Initiating Group’, we heard stories from initiatives such as Transition Stratford, Transition Black Isle and New Forest Transition how they got started.  Our next one is ‘Community Engagement’, and we’d love to hear from you. Do you have any stories to share with us about innovative and creative ways your initiative sought to engage the local community?  Please get in touch: 


The first Launch onLine in Spanish begins May 5th:

Launch online (English) begins again in May. Details to follow.
See the link below for trainings and events on the UK and abroad.

MA in Economics for Transition - Schumacher College
Economics for Transition is about creating an economic system fit for the ecological, social, economic and spiritual challenges of the 21st century as we make the great transition to low carbon, high well-being and resilient economies. May 1st 2015 is the closing date for applicants wishing to commence the programme in September 2015.  


Join the Transition Bloc at the Time to Act March for Climate Change
Saturday March 7th

Permaculture and Transition in Totnes
16-19 September
Applied permaculture in South Devon, featuring Transition Town Totnes, Agroforestry Research Trust, Landmatters Permaculture Community and lots more! 

Transition UK Roadshows
Bristol 14 March
Berkhamsted 19 April

Transition Health Check

How's your Transition initiative doing? The Transition Health Check is a great tool, a simple activity that offers a powerful tool to reflect on what's working and what's missing. Over the next few weeks on the website we'll hear from groups who've done it, but for now, here's the Health Check itself.


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. 

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

Thu, 26/02/2015 - 00:16

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

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

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

Mon, 23/02/2015 - 17:26

Fascinating story from the Exeter Pound website:  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For further comment please contact Ian Martin 07980 301058