The first Transition initiative was founded in Totnes, Devon in 2005. Since that time the idea has spread rapidly around the UK, and increasingly, the world. There are now more than 300 official initiatives, and many more in the early stages of formation. The Transition Network is a body which supports networking and learning between these groups, and Transition Leicester is a member. The introductory info below is taken from the Transition Network’s website.
What is a Transition Initiative?
A Transition Initiative is a community working together to look Peak Oil and Climate Change squarely in the eye and address this BIG question:
for all those aspects of life that this community needs in order to sustain itself and thrive, how do we significantly increase resilience (to mitigate the effects of Peak Oil) and drastically reduce carbon emissions (to mitigate the effects of Climate Change)?
The resulting co-ordinated range of projects across all these areas of life leads to a collectively designed energy descent pathway.
The community also recognises two crucial points:
- that we used immense amounts of creativity, ingenuity and adaptability on the way up the energy upslope, and that there’s no reason for us not to do the same on the downslope
- if we collectively plan and act early enough there’s every likelihood that we can create a way of living that’s significantly more connected, more vibrant and more in touch with our environment than our way of life today.
Transition initiatives recognise that to create a more sustainable and nourishing way of life involves both an inner and an outer transition. So as well as looking at physical changes like a sustainable food system and renewable energy, we also focus on developing a sustainable culture, with values and customs that fit well with sustainable ways of living.
We don’t think that we have all the answers, and are very much committed to simply doing what we can and seeing if it will work, as our Cheerful Disclaimer stresses.
To get started, Transition initiatives usually try to roughly follow a process known as the 12 Steps, which is a suggested list of actions and approaches for Transition projects to try to work through during its first few years.
How can I find out more?
The best place to start is by reading Rob Hopkins’ book “The Transition Handbook”. You can buy it online here, through Transition Leicester at our stalls and events (at the bargain price of £10), or in Leicester at the Ecohouse shop (at Groundwork’s Ecohouse on Hinckley Road).
The next place to look is the Transition Initiatives Primer, which can be read online (just follow the link). This is a detailed introduction to the Transition process, aimed at people active in Transition groups.
We also recommend visiting Rob Hopkins’ website, Transition Culture, which looks at many Transition-related issues.
Or, for a face-to-face discussion on what Transition is about, come along to one of our Transition Leicester Cafe events, and pick our brains!