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Updated: 33 min 37 sec ago

Free training to create Food Hubs in disadvantaged areas

Fri, 10/06/2016 - 09:56

One of the major stumbling blocks to building vibrant and resilient local food economies as alternatives to the supermarket system has always been scale.  It is difficult to compete on price when supermarkets are sourcing from enormous mono-culture farms in Africa and Eastern Europe. Now there is hope for a solution to this issue in the shape of the Open Food Network (OFN) which has the potential to revolutionise how food distribution happens.

OFN is open source, internet-based software which is owned and managed as a commonwealth of UK food enterprises.  The software was developed by the Open Food Foundation in Australia by food policy activists and is designed to be very flexible; facilitating food distribution for multiple business models including farmers’ markets, local shops, food hubs, food co-ops and producers selling direct to public

Because so many different types of user can be part of the Network there are multiple cross-selling and distribution opportunities between users.  This results in huge opportunities to reduce food miles and distribution costs and increase sales volumes for all members of the Network.  This in turn brings down the price of food for the shoppers.

OFN is built to maximise transparency in the distribution Network so that shoppers can find out who is growing their food and who is making what margin on the price they are paying for it.   This transparency also reduces the need for costly external certification processes to reassure shoppers of the quality and provenance of their food.

OFN is now rolling out across the UK thanks to funding from the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation and the OFN users who have already piloted the system successfully with three UK food hubs are inviting new users to be part of this revolution. 

This is a brief summary of the ethics of OFN and here is more detail on how it is being rolled out in the UK.

The funding from Esmee Fairbairn is allowing some subsidised support to enterprises interested in using OFN in areas of socio-economic deprivation.  Here are some details of how to apply for this subsidy.  The deadline for application is 30th June.

 You can sign up to regular updates on progress with OFN UK here or contact them direct at or 01453 840037

June 2016 - Transition Network Newsletter

Thu, 02/06/2016 - 12:14

Themes that include energy in an Entrepreneur Forum, an Energy company and local currency open this newsletter. Plus responding to linguistic diversity, collecting oral histories, reimagining sustainable business, reflections on 10 years transitioning, a film review, an events checklist and the Brexit/Bremain debate continues and there is more.

Demain Petition - please sign

The film Demain that has been received with great acclaim across Europe has so far not been able to agree a distribution deal for the UK. To help in negotiations with distributors, we have started a petition on to show them that there is a demand for 'Demain' to be screened in the UK. Please sign the petition:

The Magic of a LEF
A Local Entrepreneur Forum (LEF) could prove to be one really key piece of 'technology' for Transition groups. Here are 7 things a Local Entrepreneur Forum can unlock from the experience in Totnes.

Bristol Energy Cooperative:
"it felt right for us to be ambitious"

Two directors of Bristol Energy Coop chat to Rob Hopkins about what they do and their ambitious share offer which aimed to raise £10.5 million for renewable energy projects in Bristol.

What if: ATMs issued local currencies?
Would local money in an ATM be a fig leaf for a system that has run very low on legitimacy? Or could it offer us the possibility of 'normalising' local currencies?

Planning for People - an update from the Transitionese Translations Project.
Transitionese is the name we’ve given to a project aiming to expand the International Transition movement’s translation capacities and, therefore, to highlight and support its linguistic diversity writes Deborah Rim Moiso.



Crowdfunding for Transition in Belgium.
The Belgium national Transition hub, Réseau Transition, have just launched a crowdfunder to support their work. Here's a beautiful video they made (en francais) as part of it...

Oral histories in Kilburn.
Transition Kensal to Kilburn recently came together with Brent Museum & Archives to do an amazing oral history project and exhibition. Here Carol Low introduces the report they've just published about it all.

On 'renewal': the story of Pocheco.
Pocheco is a remarkable business near Lille in France who are busily reimagining what a sustainable business could look like. We spoke to Emmanuel Druon and Elizabeth Dinsdale about how crisis offers us the opportunity to "change everything".

An evening in Stroud: '10 years and beyond'
Since forming in 2007, Transition Stroud has been extremely active, and as it enters its 10th year, is focusing on how best to move forward and how to put the best foundations possible beneath the work it has already done.


One Year in Transition
This life-changing programme for young adults is now recruiting for its fifth year in the UK, and getting ready to welcome the new cohort of students in September. While we help people gain clarity about the work they want to do in the world, and get very practical around Transition Livelihoods, we also offer a deep inner journey towards courage and wisdom. The total cost for the four week-long residentials and a year of tuition fees is £3000.
1YT Portugal is now live and 1YT Sweden launches this September. Email Isabel Carlisle if you want to apply at:  You can find out more from our new website:

Our reflections on the topic published in March generated much debate. As our next item on the topic before the Referendum coming soon (a debate with Just-IN Kenrick and Al-EX-is Rowell) will miss the newsletter we include it here as place to continue the discussion before the big day on 23rd June.

Activity of the fortnight:
Planning and Putting on Events: a useful checklist and suggestions to help you create good events.

Film Review
This Changes Everything
We take a look at Avi Lewis' recent film interpretation of Naomi Klein's book 'This Changes Everything' and find some key things missing.

"I’m just quite blown over really by the .... number of businesses that now are ... making commitments now to get to zero carbon by a certain date."  
Andy O'Brien, Bristol Energy Coop

A record 63.5 GW of wind power was installed worldwide in 2015, demonstrating the maturity of the sector; and showing how renewables are supplying competitive, reliable and clean energy to fuel economic growth and cut CO2 emissions.

Cities, communities and companies are leading the rapidly expanding “100% renewable” movement, playing a vital role in advancing the global energy transition. Distributed renewable energy is advancing rapidly to close the gap between the energy haves- and have-nots.
REN21 global status report

May 2016 - Transition Network Newsletter

Thu, 05/05/2016 - 16:09

New beginnings and a 'Springtime Renewal' theme plus a Digest of the previous theme of 'International' brings Transition news from far and wide. More on the success of Demain, the power of beer and was flying justified? Some 'Good' Bremain thoughts plus several insightful pieces on keeping your Transition Initiative healthy.

Introducing our theme of Springtime Renewal
Rob Hopkins was working in his greenhouse last week, planting out lettuce seedlings with the kind of grounded but slightly heady optimism that starts to course through a gardener's veins at this time of year, and listening to the radio. "Turns out, with the benefit of hindsight, that I grew up through a time of systematic abuse of children, a profoundly corrupt financial system designed to serve elites, with endemic police corruption on a huge scale, and the brutal suppression of dissent by minorities and those seen as 'other'... Into this space where the old systems are crumbling, new models rooted in a different set of ethics rooted in a culture of care, equality, relationships and wellbeing, are taking hold."

Transitioners' Digest (March - April 2016): International
Our theme on the website over the past 2 months was 'International'. We set out to look at Transition in its many international manifestations and how it has spread, and what it has become. Read the Digest of all the related articles here:

Report: Converging For the Common Good in Denmark.
A recent event in Denmark provided an inspirational taste of how Transition and other related movements are coming together to do great things. Rob Hopkins reports, and gets over-excited about wind turbines.

How Transition Palo Alto Brings Sharing and Community to Silicon Valley.
Based in Silicon Valley, Cat Johnson writes about about what makes a successful Transition group, how the group hosts so many events, and how sharing is at the heart of their community.

A Snapshot of Transition in ... Brazil.
Three days of collective construction of the dream and vision of the network we want to have took place in Brasil writes Isabela Maria Gomez de Menezes.

A Snapshot of Transition in ... Japan
Shunro Yoshida, co-founder and representative board of director of Transition Japan reports from the annual Summer Festival in Japan, a Transition gathering to exchange ideas and experience, and congratulate each other.

How 'Demain' is giving Transition a boost in Belgium.
Imagine suddenly your friends and neighbors talking enthusiastically about their new implication in their neighborhood, their plans to start acting locally and the deep changes they are contemplating in their daily lives. François-Olivier Devaux of Transition Hub Wallonie-Bruxelles looks at the considerable impact the 'Demain' film is having in Belgium.

The Panama Papers and the emergence of Transition in Iceland
In this short interview with Tinna Guðmunds, Director of a Center for Visual Art, she gives her perspective on how this small country of 350,000 people and two very large volcanos, were able to force their Prime Minister to resign in such a short time, and her hopes for Transition in Iceland.


We talk 'Demain' with co-director Cyril Dion. "We are going to reach 1,000,000 viewers in France" he tells us.



The Beer That Innoculates Against Philip Green
How might a craft beer, only available for 2 weeks a year, inspire us in thinking of solutions to protect our local economies from the predations of the likes of Philip Green? We offer some reflections...


On Reflection: why the TN team took time out.
The Transition Network team recently took some time out to reflect. Sarah McAdam writes about why they did it and what came out of it, and in the video above the team reflect on how it was for them.

Flying to the US: Was It Worth It?

In October 2013, Peter Lipman and Rob Hopkins travelled to the US, initially to be part of the Environmental Grantmakers' Association annual retreat, but also to visit a number of Transition groups. There are many people who write articles about why they don't fly. There are also many articles by people about why they do. What we haven't yet seen is someone who did fly, writing with hindsight about whether the journey was worthwhile or not. So that's what Rob sets out to do here, a kind of cost-benefit analysis of the trip.

Juliet Davenport of Good Energy on the UK's EU Referendum

How might a Brexit vote affect the push for a renewable energy system in this country?



Being part of the Transition Movement

Being part of Transition is not just about what you do locally in your community - it is also about joining a global movement building a future we all want to live in. Step-by-step guide here:

How to Develop a Healthy Group
To be successful at Transition, you need to be successful at working together collaboratively as a group. A group that works well together is a joy to be involved in, it runs smoothly, gets things done and members feel fulfilled and nourished through their work together. That is not to say that it won't be challenging at times, but a resilient and self-aware group will be able to work through its challenges in a constructive way. Alternatively being involved in a group that is not functioning well can be frustrating, not a lot of fun, exhausting - and often leads to burnout. Whilst it may feel like there is some magic art to working together successfully, actually a lot of it is about breaking free from our tendency to push uncomfortable group dynamics under the carpet and instead put the time and effort into.....

What to do if Donald Trump joins your Transition group.
Read our 6 tips here:


Transition is
"A movement of people and communities coming together to reimagine and rebuild our world".
Rob Hopkins

Possible funding for North West UK Transition groups

Fri, 08/04/2016 - 15:20

Localgiving is the UK’s leading membership and support network for small, local charities and community groups. Launched in 2009, Localgiving has raised and distributed over £13m for over 5,000 charities.

Localgiving has teamed up with the People’s Postcode Lottery to provide environmental groups in the North West of England the chance to develop their online fundraising capabilities. Up to 75 eligible groups will receive a free membership of Localgiving, as well as up to £500 for each group in matched funding for the donations they receive online through Localgiving.

Localgiving differs from other platforms in as they work with registered and unregistered groups alike, and have a local staff member based in the North West to provide advice, guidance, support and training. The full range of benefits available for eligible groups are:

  • 12 months free membership to Localgiving
  • Access to free training and mentoring, to help you to develop your online fundraising and digital marketing skills
  • Support to develop and then deliver an online fundraising campaign
  • £500 ring-fenced match funding, to match donations made to your online fundraising campaigns

Eligible groups must be based or provide services in the North West of England, and be running projects which enable people to benefit wildlife and engage with the natural environment. This can include groups where the environmental benefit may be secondary, for instance a befriending service running a gardening project, or a group supporting adults with learning disabilities by running an allotment project with them.

For further information, and to see if your project might be eligible, please contact Joe Burns on 07872 041989 or


April 2016 - Transition Network Newsletter

Thu, 31/03/2016 - 18:00

We have a new film set in Paris, our theme of 'international begins looking at UK Devolution, Brexit or Bremain and the translations project. The importance of dreaming and imagination, plus trips to Ireland, Paris and Leicester plus healthy conflict, the joy of training and the new REconomy newsletter.

Watch Our New Film: 8 days @ COP21

Travelling to Paris with Rob Hopkins during COP21, the film is the work of filmmaker Emilio Mula, who invested huge amounts of time into making this beautiful film. We would like to use this film to try a new way of being able to resource filmmakers like Emilio to make future wonderful films about Transition. So we would like to invite you to make a donation once you've seen it, to give what you felt the film was worth to you.


Our theme for the next 2 months is 'International'. With the Transition movement now being active in over 50 countries, it feels like a good time to pause and reflect on how that is working, what it looks like, and the many wonderful things, and the challenges, that arise from that.

Brexit OR Bremain?
Rob Hopkins offers some reflections on the UK's forthcoming referendum on whether to stay within, or to leave, the European Union, and invites you to share your thoughts.

The Deficits of the English Devolution Process
You'd think the idea of devolving power closer to the local level would be very akin to what Transition is working to achieve, but as Professor Bob Hudson, public policy specialist at Durham University says in this interview "there are some very worrying questions being raised by all of this".

Dreaming in Tongues - a multi-lingual adventure begins.
A team of three people has taken on the job of supporting transitioners near and far in improving local, national and International capacity for translation. Sara, Pedro and Deborah, the new Transitionese team introduce themselves and the tools they will be using. And ask for support through a survey.


Budget 2016: What we are facing isn't a financial crisis, but a crisis of the imagination.
George Osborne just delivered his budget In the same week that the Mauna Loa Observatory released data showing that the rise in CO2 concentrations in 2015 was the largest year-to-year increase during 56 years of research, up to a level not seen in 15 million years. Yet, in spite of being a signatory to COP21, such thinking barely figures in Osborne's Budget.

On Having a Great Vision, and Not 'Blowing An Uncertain Trumpet'.
A dream is a fantasy, an aspiration that has yet to touch the ground. A vision has power to it. For Rob Hopkins it is "a vision is something you feel."



A Snapshot of Transition in ... Ireland
Theresa O’Donohoe of Transition Ireland & Northern Ireland reports that the time seemed right for a national conversation and people are now waking up to our energy challenges.

Transition Galway's '2030 Vision' report
Transition Galway in Ireland just published 'A Vision for Galway 2030', their Energy Descent Action Plan (EDAP). As well as teh 100 page document, they produced eight short films, one for each topic, outlining the solutions in each chapter. We talk to Bernard McGlinchy, Mary Greene and Caoimhín Ó Maolallaigh about it. "There's no limit to what we could do" they tell us.

An Evening at La Recyclerie
At the invitation of UpCafe, an organisation that runs a series of talks about social innovation and sustainability, Rob Hopkins took a trip to Paris to speak at an amazing demonstration of permaculture/Transition/recycling in the heart of Paris called La Recyclerie.

Transition Leicester introduce 'Footpaths'.
Running for over 5 years, the Footpaths project is a way for people to meet and support each other to reduce their personal carbon footprints through a series of meetings facilitated by members and a useful handbook.


A Healthy Culture of Conflict from the Favellas of Brazil
Originating in Rio de Janeiro, the "Restorative Circles" approach developed by Dominic Barter, rebuilding communities by creating a bottom-up system of justice, is now used in over 30 countries around the world. Sophie Docker reports on her insights from a workshop Dominic ran recently in Frome.


One Year in Transition: becoming an international community of practice
Since 'One Year in Transition' (1YT) has been running in the UK for four years, Isabel Carlisle: Transition Network Education Coordinator reflects on how it has grown now that sister programmes in Portugal and Sweden are launching their own versions.

The joys of international Transition Training
Naresh Giangrande celebrates a wonderful tool for training that has inspired Transitioners around the globe virtually, Launch Online.


How to Get and Keep People Involved in Transition
In many places there are lots of people who are interested in helping out with Transition - and if this is true for you, well done! How to harness their enthusiasm into taking the project forward can be challenging, so this guide shares learning from many groups on this question.

Some of our readers this week may have received the inaugural Newsletter from the REconomy Project. This new initiative from REconomy will be published every two months and will focus on issues relating to REconomy based projects and events around the UK. You can read it here.