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July 2015 - Transition Network Newsletter

Thu, 02/07/2015 - 11:42

This month we have the Transitioners' Digest of REconomy theme, a new job offer, Thinking Aloud in Spain and on the Pope, plus update on the September Conference. 

Transition Network Conference
18-20 September

 If you have never experienced a Transition Network conference you are in for a real treat. Be warned that you may never be able to attend another ‘talking heads’ conference ever again!. You will be taken along an experience of Transition embedded in the event, finding your own pathway through an enticing range of workshops, processes, and open conversations. It is all designed to give you opportunities to both learn and contribute, to experience big group processes and small intimate one to one conversations. And the best, most innovative projects and enterprises that have emerged from the worldwide Transition experiment will be showcased over the course of this event. 

The almost full schedule is now available and lots to interest and tempt you to join us. There are an array of optional events like the Friday Transition skills day, youth gathering, and tours that need to be booked separately. 

Saturday is the main day of the programme with a range of workshops over 2 sessions, one in morning, one in afternoon. There's also the live global connections webcast session, an 'Honouring and Mourning' ceremony for the Age of Oil, evening entertainment and some special events not yet announced. There are 25 workshops currently confirmed for Saturday covering everything from the Transition Health Check through to an exploration of How Change Happens. Workshop presenters will be coming from across the world of Transition to present their views, studies and stories. There will also be the usual 'Beginnings' session where we take some time to have fun together, mapping out the wonderful and quirky thing that is Transition and beginning to explore some of the themes of the Conference. The Night will end with dinner, live music, bar selling our special locally-produced Transition Conference Beer and a fabulous Transition Disco.

See the full programme here.



Situation Vacant: Communications Co-ordinator
To grow our impact and ambition, Transition Network are seeking a Communications Co-ordinator. Very flexible home working although you will need to be based within reasonable travelling distance of Totnes where we hold our monthly staff meetings and other events. Your application should arrive by 8 July 2015.


Transitioners' Digest (May-June 2015) REconomy

Review of our REconomy theme over the last two months condensed into a few paragraphs so you can more easily find the bits that interest you.

Reflections on 5 years of REconomy, and a goodbye
Fiona Ward reflects on the growth of REconomy and her new project that will explore further the role of Transition in the health and social care sector.

Launch of Transition Streets in the US

After more than a year in the making (with lots of expert and volunteer support) Carolyne Stayton announcesteh US version of neighborhood carbon/water/waste reduction project, Transition Streets.



Consumer worldview not as entrenched as you think
A worldview is a basic way of interpreting things and events that pervades a culture so thoroughly that it becomes that culture's concept of reality — what is good, what is important, what is sacred, and what is real. It is so invasive that it is invisible.

Peak oiler? Not Catholic? You should still stand with the pope on climate
If you do care about climate change, then what's not to like in the pope's encyclical that came out this week?

Spain in Transition?: Answers from the grassroots facing a collapsing country
This article by Emilio Santiago Muiño, looks at how people are responding to the crisis from the grassroots — the struggle not only for lost rights but also for the construction of self-organized social alternatives.


"What we need is to help open people's hearts and passions and self-belief and then be amazed at what happens next."
Fiona Ward



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

Situation Vacant: Communications Co-ordinator

Tue, 23/06/2015 - 15:21

Since 2007, Transition Network has built a movement of communities in over 50 countries who are working to build resilience, community and enterprise.  We work to support, inspire, nurture, train and network these groups in a diversity of creative ways. 

To grow our impact and ambition, we are seeking a Communications Co-ordinator, who will help us to fulfil our strategic objectives through the effective planning, development, co-ordination and delivery of a communications function.  If you want to work for an organisation that is generating real, bottom-up, people-led change around the world, we'd like to hear from you!

Please download and read this information pack (download below) completely and carefully and - if you would like to be considered for the post - send us:

  • a copy of your cv, including contact information for 2 referees;
  • a covering letter explaining how you meet the person specification on page 8 of the info pack; and,
  • a completed personal details form (download below).

Your application should be emailed to by 8 July 2015.  Shortlisted candidates will be invited to interview in Bristol on 21 July. 

PreviewAttachmentSize Personal details form.docx492.75 KB Comms Co-ordinator - info pack.pdf191.08 KB

Totnes crowdfunders get their oats.

Mon, 08/06/2015 - 13:53

Fields of oats growing in and around the South Hams might not seem like a particularly unusual sight, but up until now the only ones to enjoy the end product were four-legged!  Despite grains such as oats and barley growing very well in the wet and mild South West, they are all destined for animal fodder, as the nearest plant to process them for human consumption is hundreds of miles away. 

A crowdfunding campaign that ran throughout May aimed to address this, raising money to buy equipment so grains can be grown, stored and processed within the area, under the label Grown in Totnes. A Transition Town Totnes project, Grown in Totnes is working with farmers to produce grains and pulses that are truly local, starting with oats. The vision is to expand the range of local food available for human consumption to include staple store-cupboard foods, not just meat, dairy and vegetables. 

Holly Tiffen from Transition Town Totnes said “In Totnes we have many shops selling pulses and grains that come from all over the world, but they rarely originate from the UK let alone Devon.  Grown in Totnes is all about increasing the range of local food available to the Totnes area. Our local farmers mainly produce meat and dairy. We need more variety for a healthy, balanced and climate sensitive diet.” 

Grown in Totnes has teamed up with a local farmer who is growing four acres of oats this year, with the expectation of growing more next year, and bringing in other farms and crops as the project develops into an independent community interest company. Small-scale equipment is needed for processing, such as a de-huller, polisher and grain store. To this end the project team ran a range of oaty events in May, including stalls at Totnes markets on Fridays and Saturdays, an Oat Cuisine four course dinner for 30 people, a tour of the New Lion Brewery and tasters of their crafted mild made with oats, a Magic porridge pot competition and porridge jousting at Dartington Hall’s Community Day (see video below), and a finale at the Bay Horse pub, who hosted an oat themed BBQ with NLB’s oaty mild. 

The project’s target was £25,000. A minimum of £6,000 needed to be raised in order to receive a further £6,000 match funding from the A Team Challenge Fund.  The final day of the campaign saw a flurry of pledges, including an anonymous one of £10,000; together these just tipped the total over £26,000!  “This fantastic response is a very real endorsement for the project by the community and it gives me a huge sense of faith in our ambitious, innovative vision,” Holly enthused. “Thank you, to everyone who contributed, for demonstrating your support for this vision either financially or with your time and enthusiasm.” 


“Our long-term aim is to expand the project to include other grains, legumes and eventually nuts and edible oils; all crops with a high carbon footprint that are not associated with the local food movement.” says Holly.  “Look out for our oats, which will be for sale in local shops this winter.” 

The next stages are to discuss with interested local groups, organisations and individuals their grain and pulse processing needs, as Grown in Totnes would like the equipment they buy to be used widely beyond the project.  The team is also looking for experts to guide and support the development of this exciting enterprise, including engineers, farmers, business advisors and mentors. 

Please get in touch if you would like to involved in any way.  

For more information on the crowdfunding campaign and oaty events click here.  

For other information please contact Holly Tiffen at or 07857 811994

June 2015 - Transition Network Newsletter

Wed, 03/06/2015 - 16:58

We start with news of great workshops at the Conference and how you can be part of the COP21 story. Looking in depth at REconomy including launch of ‘how to guides’. Insights from a range of Initiatives, plus Thinking Aloud, some new videos about Inner Transition and book reviews.  



Workshop confirmations for Conference 2015

We’ve begun stirring the creative cauldron of content for this year’s Transition Network International Conference. As well as a jam-packed programme of day-length workshops on Friday 18th September, the ‘Transition Skills Day’, we’ve now begun piecing together the highlights of the main conference, over the weekend of 19th-20th September at Seale-Hayne, Devon, UK.

Friday’s workshop programme is all about skilling-up for the Transition. The workshops are in depth explorations of some of the key areas of the Transition Movement incorporating subjects such as Community Energy; Arts and Community Engagement; Local Food Initiatives; Personal Resilience and even how to be your own developer!

 The weekend programme offers over 24 workshops, large plenary sessions, Open Space opportunities and much more. We’re working hard on making this the best conference yet and ensuring the content represents the breadth of skills, knowledge and learning that we’ve picked up over the last years of becoming a global movement for positive change.

For full details of the workshop programme to date, please visit our new micro-website at:


 For COP21: 

Please share your Transition stories with the world!
Transition Network is launching a search for 21 Stories for COP21. We plan to create a booklet, in many languages, telling the story of 21 diverse and amazing stories, as well as celebrating many more on our website over the next few months. We need your help. Let us tell your story. We have created a simple form which can be read and completed in any language. Deadline is 20 June 2015. Thanks so much!

New Website Survey

Our website is being redeveloped and we would value your input and help in the process! The current site is now just under 6 years old, and we are aware that it needs a little tweak or two to bring it up todate. We would really appreciate it if you could take 5 minutes and take part in a survey that will aid us to understand a little of what you, the user, thinks we should consider for the next iteration.  How can the next version of help you? We really want to know. Please click here to take part!

REconomy REflections

The 8 Paradigm Shifts at the Heart of REconomy

For the next two months we will be talking REconomy; looking in depth at this aspect of Transition which is about creating new enterprises, new economies, new livelihoods. Something remarkable and vital is happening, and we want you to be blown away by it.

Unleashing the potential for REconomy events everywhere

What do you think makes a REconomy event unique? Are there particular challenges that Transition groups face in putting on a REconomy event? An introduction to the Events Toolkit for Transition Initiatives.

On making a living and resourcing your Transition Initiative

What can the experience of others tell us about setting up a Transition Enterprise or finding the resources to support your Transition Initiative whilst it changes and develops? An introduction to the new ‘experience packed’ Transition Enterprise Handbook and the Transition Core Resourcing guides.

Practical guides for community economic change

A set of free ‘how to guides’ has been launched focusing on running events, starting enterprise and resourcing core activities, these booklets have been designed for use by Transition Initiatives and other groups working on local economy projects and other related activities.




Million Miles project
Transition Black Isle celebrate success of their three year Million Miles project that saved 1.35 million car miles a year.

Community Engagement & the Transition Principles
Tina Clarke, a community organiser and consultant in the US. A good set of principles help you communicate the meaning and purpose of the work. Ultimately, generosity attracts more interest than self-interest. Respect, collaboration and meaningful values are more likely to be successful in building community. Here’s a few tips on how to use the Principles of Transition as a tidy, handy guide as you plan projects and outreach:

What does REconomy look like ... in Portugal?
What does it take for a community to support its inhabitants to find their place and co-create a healthy, resilient local ecology that attracts others to do the same?

What does REconomy look like in ... Linlithgow?
Alan Brown shares his experience of the group as a start-up, and incubator and a new phase looking at longer term REconomy activities and how this feeds into other activities on the ground and regional and global issues.

Exeter Pound update
With their launch set for September 1st Rob Hopkins wanted to find out how's it going.

The day Transition Wilmslow won Rob in a competition



An interview with Julian Dobson: "It's time to raise a glass to the New Economy" 

A follow up to our review of his recent book 'How to Save Town Centres'.


Transitioners' Digest (March-April 2015) Social Change & the Arts

To celebrate the launch of Lucy Neal's awesome book Playing for Time, we dedicated the last 2 months to our theme of Social Change and the Arts. 


We recently published a new series of short films about Inner Transition. 


Afterburn: Society Beyond Fossil Fuels.
"Afterburn by Richard Heinberg offers two things that Transitioners or anyone else who forecasts a more local future needs today: inspiration and advice for the future that’s better than most of what you’ll read elsewhere.

The Art of Natural Building
An expanded second edition from a movement that's not afraid to try stuff out.



Transition Network International Conference
18-20 September - Devon

Transition Camp
2-4 October - Sussex
Early-early bird until the end of June

 More events


"Often people don’t come together unless there’s a crisis, so I think the first bit of advice is "come together when there’s not a crisis".
Julian Dobson

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

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

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Transition Youtube Channel 

Resources — Editor's Picks 

Find previous editions of the newsletter here 

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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.