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Postcards to Paris : Send your views to #COP21

Thu, 05/11/2015 - 17:07

Do you want to send your views to the Global Climate Conference in Paris, COP21?  At COP21, world leaders will try and agree on how to stop dangerous global warming caused by human activity. They are trying to get agreement to reduce carbon emissions to limit the global temperature increase to 2 degrees Celsius.

As part of “Sustainable St Albans Week”, Transition St Albans (TSA) are personally delivering 2000 Postcards to Paris with messages from local people to the UK delegation at the Global Climate Change conference. They would love other UK Transition Towns to join in too.

St Albans District schoolchildren are writing 1,000 cards and local residents are completing another 1000. The cards are going to be taken to Paris by a volunteer and handed to the UK delegation, led by Amber Rudd MP. 

Would you like your Transition Town to join in with Postcards to Paris?

Transition St Albans have room to take a few cards from other Transition Towns around the country, so we can show that these issues affect communities around the UK. It’s a chance to show we care.  If you want to join in, you need to complete your postcards (maximum 10 per Transition initiative) and get them to St Albans before November 21st.  (If you want to join in on a bigger scale, that would be great too, but you will need to transport the cards a different way. TSA only have room for a few in their suitcase!)

Step 1: Find 5-10 people from your Transition Town to write a message on a postcard.
Ask your steering group, or most active volunteers, whether they want to take part. All they will need to do is write a postcard and get it back to you. Get any postcards you have around the house, or print out some of Transition St Albans special Postcards to Paris from their website

Step 2: Get your volunteers to write their messages.
On the back of the postcard, write a message to the UK representative at the Global Climate Conference. You might want to start: ‘I care about the climate because…’ or ‘Please act NOW to stop climate change because…’

Step 3: Address the card, and add your name & address.
TSA will take all the cards to Paris, so just address it to ‘Amber Rudd MP, Paris Climate Change Summit, Paris’. Put your name and address at the bottom.

Step 4: Get the cards back to Transition St Albans by Nov 21st

Send the cards from your Transition Town to Transition St Albans c/o 80 Beaumont Avenue, St Albans, AL1 4TP.

For more information on Sustainable St Albans Week, click here

Derbyshire transition towns join together to launch divestment campaign

Mon, 02/11/2015 - 14:45

Seven Derbyshire Transition Town groups have joined together with other organisations to launch a Divest Derbyshire campaign. to get Derbyshire Pension Fund to dis-invest from fossil fuels. A month before the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris, the groups are calling for Derbyshire County Council to freeze any new investments and dis-invest from existing investments in fossil fuels within 5 years. The pension fund has £290 million invested in fossil fuel companies.

The group has today launched an online petition which will be circulated across Derbyshire and hopefully reach as many employee members of the pension fund as possible. The link is here.  With world leaders meeting next month to discuss how to avert global catastrophe, the group want Derbyshire to show its commitment to protecting the planet through this small but impactful action.

The group also argue there are sound financial arguments to divest from fossil fuels. Fossil fuels create risks for investors if they become stranded assets (worthless fuel stocks that regulation will prevent from being burned). There is already evidence of investments in fossil fuels resulting in reductions in the value of pension funds.

November 2015 - Transition Network Newsletter

Wed, 28/10/2015 - 15:41

This month we are delighted to unveil our brilliant new publication, '21 Stories of Transition'; we have a Digest of our Fairness theme; how a community responded when overwhelmed with refugees; the potential opportunity of prisons; plus practical projects, training and events.

21 Stories for COP21

There are now 4 weeks until the start of COP21, the UN's climate negotiations in Paris. Several members of the Transition Network team will be going, as will Transitioners from around the world. Monday saw the launch of a new book, '21 Stories of Transition', in an English edition as well as a French one. Transition Network put out an invitation for groups to send in stories, and from those chose the 21 that make up the book. Its creator, Rob Hopkins, explains in this two minute video why it's such an important publication. You can check out tasters of the 21 Stories (one being added every week day between now and COP) or order your printed copy here, and we've discounts for Transition groups who want to buy in bulk.  The book was also formally 'launched', although not in a way that most books are.  Here's the video of the book's launch: 

Today Rob, in an article called 'Why COP21 matters, and why I'm going', talks more about the new book, about change, and about what Transition has to offer to the COP21 process.  

If you are going to Paris, a timetable of Transition-related events will be published soon at  If you are staying home, we will also be suggesting some things you could still do.  One of those is 'Postcards to Paris', being co-ordinated by Transition St. Albans as part of their very impressive Sustainable St Albans Week.  They'd love you to get some postcards signed, and they will take them to Paris for you.  Here's more information about that:

Transitioners' Digest for our Fairness theme

Our theme for September/October has been 'Fairness' which we have been looking at from a variety of angles. In our 'Transitioners' Digest' we give you a quick overview of what we've covered and what you might have missed.

Our next theme is 'the Transition Story', which promises to be a fascinating and challenging couple of months.  It opened with a piece called The Transition Story: Time to stop talking about climate change?, which we'd love your comments on.


Requiem for the Industrial Growth Society

One of the most innovative and well received elements of the International Transition Conference 2015 was the Requiem for the Global Industrial Growth System. Attended by over 80 people it gave a rare opportunity to reflect on our relationship to this vast system, to imagine witnessing its dying, and symbolically make the transition to a new and different way of living. The 2015 Transition Network International Conference was amazing.  We've talked about it in previous Newsletters, but now we can share a beautiful short film that captures the spirit of those 3 days in Devon.  


Syria on Your Doorstep: a Community Response to Refugees in Hungary
A guest post from Tracey Wheatley, co-ordinator of the Transition Hungary Hub has some insights about how can a community react when 1000s of people are literally dumped at the end of their street by people traffikers.

Other Names, Other Colours: Transition, Latino Style
An article by Tracy L Barnett for Magis Magazine on the challenge of translating the Transition Movement to the Latin American context.

Prisons as "One Massive Creative Design Opportunity"
An interview with Nicole Vosper about permaculture and prisons and why she feels that the prison system needs a rethink.


Support Offer theme: Practical Projects
As we explore Practical Projects, and how to bring them into being, we hear from Northaw Transition about their community orchard project, and how it came to be:


We are holding a series of trainings in the new year in Llandrindod, Wales including Transition Thrive, Real World Economics, and Permaculture for Transition (which is also happening in London in December).

If there hasn’t been a Transition Launch course near you or at a time you could attend, why not do the course OnLine? Not only will you be taken through the beginning steps to setting up and running a Transition group by one of the founders, but you will also get to experience learning online (an increasingly useful skill to have). This starts on January 12th 09.00 GMT and runs for 8 weeks. Details of all trainings and how to book:


Inner Transition Coordinator - freelance opportunity

Transition is seeking someone who can combine inner depth with passion for the aims of Transition - a natural networker, communicator, and enabler who wants to support the continuing evolution of inner Transition as part of the movement. Building on existing networks and resources, this role will support the continued integration of  understandings and activities from personal, group and societal development worlds into the healthy practice of Transition. 


A conversation around environmental sustainability in the arts.
Leeds. 11 November

Community Energy
Regen SW is running a series of events for community energy groups alongside Western Power Distribution (WPD).These events will help community groups navigate grid issues, understand more about local supply and smart grid options and explore how they can work with WPD to secure a grid connection. Watch their video:

Nottingham. 30 November
Birmingham. January 2016
Bath. February 2016



Follow Transition Network on Twitter!/transitiontowns 

Be a Friend on Facebook 

Film Reviews  

Transition Youtube Channel 

Resources — Editor's Picks 

Find previous editions of the newsletter here 

Subscribe to Transition newsletter: 

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

Editor: Mike Grenville


“What the Transition movement does incredibly well is small-scale experiments which are practical, which resonate with local people, which look as if they’re doable, and that can engage people at a practical and meaningful level. It connects up the big issues and the local issues and shows you that change can happen at a local level”.
Julian Dobson, author of ‘How to Save Town Centres’, quoted in '21 Stories of Transition'. 


October 2015 - Transition Network Newsletter

Thu, 08/10/2015 - 14:40

We take stock of the conference in this newsletter, begin our Support theme on Practical Projects and our main theme of Fairness covers money, energy and food. In Thinking Aloud we consider responses to refugees, community energy and opportunities at railway stations plus REconomy offers a killer app.


The 2015 Transition Network International Conference was amazing. Read our full write up, with photos and videos:


Our new Support Offer theme: Practical Projects
Mike Thomas introduces 'Practical Projects', and gives some advice, drawn from learnings across the Transition movement, for those planning to start new projects.


How Does the Exeter Pound Build Fairness?
As we explore our theme of fairness, we asked Martyn Goss, one of the Exeter Pound currency's Directors, to share this thoughts as to how the scheme will make Exeter a fairer city:

Fairness and Equality
Emeritus Professor of Social Epidemiology at the University of Nottingham, Richard Wilkinson is the co-author, (with Kate Pickett,) of the seminal book 'The Spirit Level'. Much of his work has focused on health inequalities and the effects of income inequality on population health.

Energy and Fairness
Juliet Davenport is the founder and CEO of Good Energy, who are the main sponsors of the 2015 Transition Network International Conference.

Food, Fairness and Permaculture Design
Renowned through his website for his online videos and courses, Geoff Lawton is perhaps best known for his greening the desert work.
At the recent International Permaculture Conference his keynote looked at scaling up, strategies for taking permaculture to the mainstream which he has very kindly allowed us to publish in full.


What Might a Transition Response to the Refugee Crisis Look Like?
It's a question many people are asking, and it's one that was discussed at the Transition Network conference a couple of weeks ago. While there is no definitive answer, and the response will look different in each place, here is a story from Brussels of an amazing story of a spontaneous refugee camp that many of Transitioners were central in initiating.

Opinion: Community Energy is Too Good an Opportunity to Miss.
With the UK Government proposing cuts to Feed In Tarriffs that would make many community energy schemes unviable, Rob Hopkins argues that community energy represents an opportunity too good to miss.

Starbucks - or Stations as Pollinators?
A weary traveller reflects



The LEF – REconomy’s ‘Killer App’?
Jay Tompt reflects on the spread of the Local Entrepreneur Forum, and asks if it is REconomy's "killer app".



Hannover: City of Possibilities.
Lay out the map of Hannover and the first thing that strikes you is the amount of green space in the city. About 25% of the city is green space, it includes a forest, and it is home to 20,000 'Kleingärten' (small gardens), which are larger than allotments, and managed by associations. ...

A Remarkable day in Ungersheim, a Village in Transition
What might it look like if Transition were initiated by a Mayor who really gets it? Rob Hopkins travelled to Ungersheim in eastern France to find out.

'Small is Powerful': Transition in Action in Hungary.
Tracey Wheatley, Communities in Transition programme coordinator and Transition pioneer in Hungary, reports on two recent Transition events there.



Follow Transition Network on Twitter!/transitiontowns 

Be a Friend on Facebook 

Film Reviews  

Transition Youtube Channel 

Resources — Editor's Picks 

Find previous editions of the newsletter here 

Subscribe to Transition newsletter: 

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

Editor: Mike Grenville


Book now for the 2015 Transition Camp!

Wed, 16/09/2015 - 09:03

The annual Transition Camp in the heart of Sussex. A time to breathe and be together. We invite you to join us for our 7th Autumn camp:
Friday 2nd – Sunday 4th October 2015.  A time to gather together and create a family friendly event.  To celebrate, share our skills, visions, our hopes, fears, tell tales, sing songs, discuss plans, ideas, dreams, to relax, share food, have fun, reconnect and just be with and support each other. Marvel at dark starry skies, sit round open fires.  The programme is now online here.

Guest speaker – Lucy Neal.  Lucy’s new book: Playing for time, making art as if the world mattered has been a huge success. Inspired and supported by the Transition network with over 50 collaborators there is so much richness to share.

On Saturday Howard Johns from Southern Solar, who will be launching his new book at the Transition network next weekend – The Energy Revolution.

Also from the Transition collaborators we’ll be welcoming Steph Bradley back with her Storyweaving magic.

Other workshops include bushcraft for adults and kids, nature connection,  bike maintenance, foraging, herbal medicine,  somatic movement, permaculture, open space, seed bombs, storytelling and a great deal more plus whatever skills you bring to share.  There is a full program for kids as well, under 6yrs will need to be accompanied by an adult.

Music by Dirk CampbellGeoff Robb and Jan Allain.

Delicious vegetarian/vegan food is provided as part of the ticket costs brought to you by the gorgeously fun ladies;  Fran Pickeringand Gina Kawecka.

You will also be asked to sign up to a volunteer role as part of your ticket purchase. Jobs include washing up, candle lighting, food chopping, site maintenance etc.  By everyone contributing in this way we are able to keep the ticket prices very low and it brings a real sense of community to the camp.

Inspired by the Transition towns network and hosted by Mike Grenville from Transition Forest Row and Alice Bettany from Workshops at Wowo.  All taking place on the beautiful Wowo farm campsite in the heart of Sussex.  Book here.  

'Small is Powerful': Transition in action in Hungary.

Mon, 14/09/2015 - 06:52

Tracey Wheatley, Communities in Transition programme coordinator and Transition pioneer in Hungary, reports on two recent Transition events there (original here): 

"After 8 months of ever more hectic organisation, the summer gatherings - the Transition in Action Youth Exchange and the KÖRfeszt - all came together as we hoped. Now its time to collect the memories and anticipate the momentums that the two events will inspire. Pictures help, and here is a selection concentrating on how the Small Communities in Transition programme participants contributed to the 4 days of the summer university and KÖRfeszt shared with the Erasmus builders, and the Hungarian Community Developers Association.

Transition in Action

The 30 Erasmus funded Transition in Action youth exchange participants made a massive contribution to the local infrastructure in the village of Kunbábony,designing and building a wheelchair accessible double compost toilet over 2 weeks, in the grounds of the Civil College. Community development and organising trainings are held here all year round, so the presence of this wood-chip scented outside lavatory provides a permanent example of how to deal with human waste in water-free, low-energy way, converting it to nutrients as part of a  closed ecological cycle. 

Besides the compost toilet, a beautifully crafted, cob-built community rocket stove was created as part of the Rocket Kitchen, with capacity for a cauldron catering for 100 people as well as a side burner for a 60 litre pot: this will allow the social cooperative working in the Civil College to offer low-carbon, almost emission-free food at their regular community events. The building materials were 60% sourced locally, in most cases begged or borrowed, upcycled or harvested. 4 key building materials are available right on the spot - clay, coppiced mullberry, sand and straw - giving the potential for other sustainable building now these traditional materials have been 'remembered'.  

Another key aspect of the camp was the food: this came partly from the direct locality. While locally produced food is widely available in Hungary in rural areas it is largely invisible, but "knocking on doors" around the village soon showed that free-range eggs, veg and dairy products were available, with smallholders happy to sell their surplus. This complemented the fresh organic veg harvested from the Civil College garden every day. This 1 hectare garden is based on Gertrude Frank's 'self-healing gardening" method, using mulches, rotation and companion planting, growing rare heritage varieties.

This garden was 'mentored' by the Small Communities in Transition Programme, and the cooperative is already planning how to take the ideas and experience further next year. Food cooked during the exchange was deliberately meat-free, which provoked both friction and useful debates, personal preferences and perceived nutritional needs coming up against the question of ethical eating and climate-friendly diets. We know that what we eat is political, but we could see during the camp how 'the need for meat' seems almost intimate to some people, the lack of it creating disquiet, sometimes hostility. On the other hand, sometimes confrontation creates change, and the participant who guiltily asked on the first day if it was ok for him to eat the liver paté he had brought just declared himself vegetarian on the groups Facebook. 

What did the participants take home? Without doubt, an amazing experience and a network of contacts from Macedonia to Turkey, Romania, Slovenia, Italy and Hungary. This was a multi-cultural group, with Mexican, French, Polish and Scottish people working as part of the Hungarian coordination team. The hands-on nature of the work was new to many, and the intensity of the two weeks was a challenge for the group. This went beyond saws and chisels, drills and spades. Issues crucial to running a community, such as how we share the monotone or repetitive work, fair input of time and effort, and the tension between the efficiency of expertise and the right of everyone to participate and learn became a test for this temporary community, one which it solved sensitively by using consensus, rethinking working practices and being flexible. 

The participants were well-selected; many had an amazing capacity for observation, constructive reflection and cooperative communication, bringing the best out of the group. Others were keen to take responsibility, helping to solve issues as they developed. Some felt the two weeks was something like an eco-Big Brother, a trial of personal resilience. The 'right to party' and the 'right to sleep' have probably been at loggerheads since we first shared the first cave...and during these two weeks the basic  frictions of living together in a common space often brought mundane 'housekeeping' issues to the front.

The Transition in Action exchange aimed to pass on key transition ideas in a non-verbal way: being aware of your local resources and using them sustainably was one key idea to get across. This went beyond our evident use and access to useful natural materials to relationship with the local community network that made the actual event possible: the local cooperative solves everything through its mutually beneficial relationships in the community. This made access to materials easier, transport, repairs, sharing surplus, as well as dealing with leftover food or waste: this all went back to the cooperative workers homes to feed the goats, hence with the exception of packaging, most waste became a resource, closing the loop. Creating low-carbon infrastructure with which to meet our daily needs was the key aim of the collaborative work creating the kitchen and the loos. This involved relearning skills such as cobbing, weaving, coppicing, carving, growing and harvesting food, communual cooking and stoking a fire. Underlying all this was a determination to make things work, meet the deadlines, as well as have a good time. No-one needed to remind these people to celebrate their achievements!

There will be many more small reflections on what this first experience of practical transition means, can mean. At time of writing there has been not yet time to collect everyones thoughts, but to make this experience complete, we will find time for thoughtful evaluation, and share these insights.

Here you can read Small is Powerful II: KÖRfeszt

Photo album: Hajnal Fekete

September 2015 - Transition Network Newsletter

Thu, 03/09/2015 - 14:19

This month has the latest buzz about the conference, and also the start of our theme for next month which is Fairness. REConomy encourage us to get out networking, a new project directory and a book review, training news and news of some other events. 


As you will know by now, our International Conference is just weeks away now. We’re in the final stages of planning for this momentous event and looking forward to seeing lots of you again, as well as making new friends. There are only about 60 places left for the Conference and a handful of residential spaces at Seale-Hayne. If you haven’t already, now is the moment to buy your ticket for this special occasion.

Why the 2015 Transition Network Conference is guaranteed to buzz
TN Core Team member, Sophy Banks, on our collective excitement about the huge numbers of Transitioners from across the world that will be joining us in a few weeks for the Conference, and what this will mean for us here in the UK

Reflections On Conferences Past
We do fantastic conferences. But don't just take it from us...

Introducing the Requiem for the Global Industrial Growth System
Sophy Banks will be leading a ceremony at the Conference to mark the death of the Industrial Growth System, remembering its origins and looking ahead to the future. Sophy tells us a little more here

Global Webcast
We’re very excited by how this is shaping up. We are putting a call out now to Transitioners across the globe, including in the UK, to take part remotely in this unique event. Please click the link to find out how to sign-up.

Why Good Energy are sponsoring the Transition Network conference

Detailed info on the conference and to book - It's going to be AMAZING!


Our new theme: 'Fairness'

Sophy Banks kicks off our new theme of Fairness by asking what is Fairness, could we agree on a definition, and is it something that’s learnt or instinctive?



Events… You’ll get what you need

Running a Transition Enterprise can mean you spend a lot of this time alone at your desk. Networking events can be a fantastic resource for people running enterprises. When you think you are too busy for an event – stop, think – “perhaps I am too busy not to go”.

Introducing The Grassroots Directory!

A new format source book that will list some of the most innovative, practical and exciting community-led projects in the UK.

Transition in Australia: an open letter to Transitioners

Clare Power just finished her PhD looking at Transition in Australia, and wanted to share her key findings through the following letter to Transitioners. She has also kindly made her full research available.


Rob Hopkins spent his summer immersed in Luigi Russi's rather good 'Everything Gardens and other stories: growing Transition Culture', and reviews it for us.



There are some great trainings this autumn you won’t want to miss. Launch online is being offered in English and Spanish:

We are offering another Train the Trainers in Zagreb, Croatia:

And a series of trainings in Powys, Wales, UK over the autumn 2015, and winter of 2016:


Transition Network International Conference
18-20 September - Devon

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

Transition Camp
2-4 October - Sussex

No wealth but life: Is sharing resources the key to peace?
Stop consuming, start participating! With Rob Hopkins
November 18 and other dates - St Ethelburga's Centre for Reconciliation and Peace, London
A 5 part series of practical, fun and participatory events exploring alternative economic models that are rooted in environmental and social justice - and their impact on peace building and systemic change. Topics include: participatory economics, social enterprise, re-inventing organisations, alternative finance and co-operative & commons movements.

More events


Follow Transition Network on Twitter!/transitiontowns 

Be a Friend on Facebook 

Film Reviews  

Transition Youtube Channel 

Resources — Editor's Picks 

Find previous editions of the newsletter here 

Subscribe to Transition newsletter: 

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

Editor: Mike Grenville