Transition Network UK News

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Updated: 10 min 9 sec ago

Funding support for community energy peer mentoring!

Thu, 17/07/2014 - 11:07

Co-operatives UK have just announced some really useful-looking funding to enable mentoring and peer-to-peer support for community energy initiatives.  It can be used either by Transition groups seeking mentoring support for their emergent community energy companies, or for established initiatives who would like to be able to offer that support. We heard recently the impact such an approach is already having in Sussex.  You can read more about it, and how to apply, here.  It's a fast turnaround, the deadline for first round applications is August 8th.  See Frequently Asked Questions here

Below is a taster, its guidance for community groups seeking support: 

What types of groups will be eligible for support?

You will be one of a growing number of community energy groups and enterprises across the UK working to generate energy and to reduce demand through energy efficient products sharing all or most of the following characteristics:

  • Generating renewable energy including electricity and heat generation, including technologies such as solar PV, wind, hydro, or biomass
  • Interested in sharing the benefits and how surplus generated by projects will accrue to the whole community
  • Aiming to build community cohesion, and often have strong social aims, such as working to combat fuel poverty in the local area, providing an income stream for local projects, or engaging residents on energy efficiency issues.
  • Interested in democratic control, one member one vote, and aiming to build member participation
  • Turning to the use of community shares (equity) to raise finance for your scheme

You should be at a stage early enough in your journey and just setting up where you will benefit most from mentoring support. The only criteria is that you are not a well-established group already delivering a range of renewable energy projects.

Why Get Involved?

We can help you to develop and deliver projects in your community through a programme of mentoring support.

  • Peer mentoring – We have a pool of Peer Mentors to deliver the technical support, experience and knowledge to support communities across England to develop their community energy projects. This will come from experienced community practitioners, who can provide support based on first-hand experience
  • Inspiration – We will share information and good news stories about what can be achieved by community groups through case studies and through you the communities that sign up to the project
  • Network – You will be able to share ideas and connect with other community groups across England through our linked in forum
  • Information – We will provide regular information in our Resources and News and Events section to help provide you with up to date information on the variety of support available to you, funding, tools and inspirational ideas

July 2014 - Transition Network Newsletter

Thu, 03/07/2014 - 14:19

This month we can read about our new three year strategy and the possibility of creating a UK hub; the website theme on the relationship between politics and Transition is explored; REconomy has some inspiring reports and our Social Reporters explore the stories we tell ourselves. Plus the monthly world roundup, a new book a video and more to designed to inspire.

 

NEWS OF THE NETWORK

Transition Network Strategy 

We’re delighted to be able to publish the final version of Transition Network’s new three year strategy. It’s been a fascinating process working together as a team, TN staff and trustees, to develop this document in consultation with people in the wider Transition movement. We are now making it publicly available so everyone can see what we plan to focus on over the next three years and why. We’ll be reviewing how we’ve done and whether everything is still relevant each year and, as always, your feedback and ideas will be very welcome.
http://www.transitionnetwork.org/news/2014-07-02/transition-networks-new-strategy

TN’s role as UK National Hub

What we heard: A number of people questioned whether the Transition Network (TN) is playing this role effectively and, indeed, whether it is an appropriate role for TN to undertake. Some people expressed a desire for a stand-alone UK Hub, designed by and accountable to UK Transition Initiatives. A couple of people also talked about the more direct, practical support that a UK National Hub might be able to offer to UK Transition initiatives.

What we will do: We would very much like to explore this idea further with UK Transitioners. We certainly want to share and seek feedback on TN’s plans for UK-focused work and we are keen to support UK Transition Initiatives (TI) to develop stronger connections between each other and with TN. We’re also making an effort to be more explicit about which aspects of TN’s work and resources are internationally-focused and which are UK-specific. We’re not sure at this stage whether there’s a need for the UK National Hub to be a completely separate organisation from TN - there would be advantages and disadvantages to this - but we would love to see much clearer representation from the UK within the National Hubs Group network. We’re also very conscious that Transition Scotland and Transition Ireland already exist and there are strong networks developing in Wales. So we’re not assuming that a UK-wide structure is the right one to go for.

The UK roadshow events that we are planning for the autumn of 2014 and the spring of 2015 will give us an opportunity to take this conversation forward with Transitioners generally, but it would be great to hear before then from any individuals in the UK who are willing and able to put time into discussing the issue (we’ve already had a couple of volunteers). If a small group of people come forward, TN would be delighted to support them to meet and start to develop their own vision of what a National Hub might look like and what it might do. If you’re interested or would like to hear more about this proposal, please contact sarahmcadam@transitionnetwork.org

Announcing the 4 Transition Roadshow hosts!

We are delighted to announce the four initiatives selected to host our four 2014-15 Transition Roadshows. We had 9 applications from Transition initiatives across the UK, and after much deliberation can reveal that the hosts chosen are Transition University St. Andrews, in Fife, Scotland, Transition Penwith in Cornwall, Transition Bristol in Somerset and Transition Town Berkhamsted in Hertfordshire. The exact dates and details have yet to be arranged but will be announced shortly. They offer a great opportunity to try a different approach to our usual annual conference (which looks set to be back for 2015).
http://www.transitionnetwork.org/news/2014-07-02/announcing-4-transition-roadshow-hosts

Last chance to book for the Transition Northwest Conference!

12-13 July Lancaster
Our first Roadshow is booking up fast- there are no lunches, or b&b’s places left, but entry is still available at time of writing.
http://www.transitionnetwork.org/events/2014-07-12/north-west-transition-conference

Powys Networking Day

Powys in Transition has gained funding to setup a regional network of local organisations involved in Transition or Low Carbon Communities. Mike Thomas went along to the launch event.
http://www.transitionnetwork.org/news/2014-06-26/mike-thomas-visits-powys-networking-day

 

NETWORK NEWS 

The Transitioners' Digest (June): "Is Transition political?"

This month our theme has been Transition and Politics. Our editorial concluded that the answer is yes. Deeply. But it isn't explicitly so. It comes in under the radar, and that really matters.
We have interviews from the Mayor of Frome, former MP Alan Simpson, Natalie Bennett, leader of the Green Party, Greg Barker MP, Minister of State at the Department of Energy and Climate Change, and Caroline Flint MP, Labour's Shadow Energy Minister. Plus Sophy Banks thoughts on what politics might look like were it "to orient to what truly makes us happy as humans".
http://www.transitionnetwork.org/blogs/rob-hopkins/2014-06/transitioners-digest-june 

The June 2014 Round-up of What’s Happening out in the World of Transition

Another bumper edition, busting at the seams with news of how Transition is manifesting itself around the world in a dazzling diversity of ways. Stories around the UK from Belper, Cambridge, Chepstow, Chesterfield, Crystal Palace, Reading, St Albans, and Totnes. News from other countries Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Croatia, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Spain, South Africa, and USA.
http://www.transitionnetwork.org/news/2014-06-09/june-2014-round-what-s-happening-out-world-transition

 

REconomy 

REconomy goes global!

Five national hubs have been exploring how they might support REconomy-type activity in each country - let’s begin with hearing about Croatia’s groundbreaking event in Zagreb:
http://www.reconomy.org/reconomy-the-good-economy-in-croatia/ 

Economic enablers, REconomy style 

Transition groups are doing a range of projects that support new and existing local businesses, including creation of infrastructure - here’s some inpsiring examples:
http://www.reconomy.org/economic-enablers/

 

SOCIAL REPORTERS

Our Mainstream Stories 

Jay Tompt calls on us to re-appropriate the word 'mainstream'.
http://www.transitionnetwork.org/stories/jay-tompt/2014-06/our-mainstream-stories

The Ukraine, Sharks and Compost Loos 

Chris Bird asks about the dominant stories we come up against when we try to bring about change, in particular what we should do with our shit!
http://www.transitionnetwork.org/stories/chris-bird/2014-06/ukraine-sharks-and-compost-loos

Everything We Dream of Makes the Impossible Possible 

Steph Bradley travels across Wales hearing and sharing tales of community and healing.
http://www.transitionnetwork.org/stories/steph-bradley/2014-06/everything-we-dream-makes-impossible-possible

 

BOOKS

Educating for Hope in Troubled Times  

A new book has just been published which is a great handbook for school teachers and educators in Transition. Called “Educating for Hope in Troubled Times: Climate change and the transition to a post-carbon future”, it explores the three issues of climate change, peak oil and the limits to growth that teachers and learners need to know about and be more prepared for. There is a tendency in schools to avoid ‘big’ issues and this book helps teachers to identify positive ways of engaging with them, sharing success stories (including a number from Transition groups) and sources of inspiration and hope. There are many suggestions for classrooms activities plus up to date information and case studies. The author Dave Hicks (formerly Professor in the School of Education, Bath Spa University) says “In fast changing times yesterday is no longer an accurate guide to tomorrow, so how we help young people think about their future is of major importance.This book is about developing new ways of being and seeing and the exploration of new horizons.”
£26.99 ~ Available from Institute of Education Press at:
http://ioepress.co.uk/books/social-justice-equality-and-human-rights/education-for-hope/

 

TRAINING 

The next Launch onLine begins October 8th. Transition Launch trainings in London UK, Poppau Germany, and Charlottestown, Canada. Thrive- Hallaberg Sweden, and Train the Trainers Alingsas Sweden. Details: http://www.transitionnetwork.org/events/network-training  

COMING UP

One Day in Transition
Young Transitioners creating their own jobs.
12 July Bristol
An event for young adults looking for ways to create Transition livelihoods. It is a workshop in its own right that also introduces One Year in Transition. Past and present students from One Year in Transition are the hosts. They will also be talking about their own community-based projects, the experience of doing the One Year in Transition course, and offering mini brainstorms on the project ideas that participants would like to discuss with them.
http://www.oneyearintransition.org

Real World Economics
19-20 July Dartington
Kick starting the new economy on your doorstep.
http://www.transitionnetwork.org/events/2014-07-19/real-world-economics

Wellbeing and the New Economy
9 August Rotterdam
Create a vision for a New Economy centred on shared values and ecological renewal.
http://www.transitionnetwork.org/events/2014-08-09/wellbeing-and-new-economy

 

VIDEO: What is Transition? 

We asked members of Transition Town Lewes how they would describe what Transition is. The event going on in the background is their 'Seven Year Itch' event, celebrating all the great things they have achieved during that time. 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0aDmbJFq4OI

NEXT MONTH 

July's theme on the website is 'Transition and Celebration'

QUOTE OF THE MONTH

"We cannot paper over the cracks anymore; we must delve deeply into the very fabric of all it means to be human and begin decision making from the heart."
Steph Bradley

Follow Transition Network on Twitter
http://twitter.com/#!/transitiontowns

Be a Friend on Facebook
http://www.facebook.com/transitionnetwork

Film Reviews
http://www.transitionnetwork.org/films 

Transition Youtube Channel
https://www.youtube.com/transitiontowns

Resources — Editor's Picks
http://www.transitionnetwork.org/resources

Find previous editions of the newsletter here
http://www.transitionnetwork.org/tags/transition-network-newsletter

Read this newsletter online 
http://www.transitionnetwork.org/news/2014-07-03/july-2014-transition-network-newsletter

Subscribe to Transition newsletter:
http://tinyurl.com/transitionregister

This newsletter is published on the first Friday of each month. 
Next newsletter 8 August 2014

Newsletter Editor: Mike Grenville,
from Transition Forest Row for the Transition Network
Contact: mgrenville@gmail.com

Transition Network's new strategy

Wed, 02/07/2014 - 11:05

We're delighted to be able to publish the final version of Transition Network's new three year strategy. It's been a fascinating process working together as a team, TN staff and trustees, to develop this document in consultation with people in the wider Transition movement.

We are now making it publicly available so everyone can see what we plan to focus on over the next three years and why. We'll be reviewing how we've done and whether everything is still relevant each year and, as always, your feedback and ideas will be very welcome.

And here's some feedback about the consultation process - what we heard from people and what we've done in response...Introduction

Thank you to every one of the 736 people in 48 countries who viewed this document in draft and especially to the 71 people who provided comments in writing. We asked a headline question about your satisfaction with the draft survey and got this response...

Overall, I think the draft strategy... Set's a clear, useful direction for Transition Network61%Is broadly helpful, but needs some further work34%Needs to be changed completely5%

It was great to receive written comments on the draft strategy from the National Hubs in Belgium, Brazil, France, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Portugal, Romania and Spain. They responded very positively to the document - mostly they endorsed the planned outputs and activities and started to discuss how we all might take this work forward together. There were also a few useful comments about aspects of the document which came over as UK-centric.

Some general comments from the National Hubs:

This strategy is fantastic, very inspiring for our hub, great job!! I often wanted to write "this part is very important too"...

We very much appreciate this document. In our national feedback round, the response was that this work is very inspiring as an example for our national organisation. It gives us motivation to work on a concrete proposal for the formalisation of our national hub.

I would like to express our satisfaction about the quality of the document and thank you all for the job you are doing.

It makes a lot of sense, and is built as a macro scale of a TI (with National Hubs and projects as working groups).

Here's our analysis of all the written comments received and information about our response...Style/language/length of documentWhat we heard:

Some people found the document too corporate, others said it contained transition jargon and needed to be shorter and sharper. However, many more people responded positively than were critical, saying they found the document clear and helpful.

What we will do:

We're going to accept that we'll never please everyone and are not going to amend the style of the document at this stage or play around too much with the format or length. We're going to take what we've learned from this process, including all your comments, into the work TN is now doing to review how we tell the Transition story.

Supporting people 'doing' TransitionWhat we heard:

People liked the focus on streamlining, clarifying and improving the support TN offers and on nurturing peer-to-peer support (whether between individuals, Initiatives or National Hubs). Some of the National Hubs reminded us that there is very little support or information offered in languages other than English and that the National Hubs themselves don't currently have the capacity or resources to translate much Transition-related material.

What we will do:

It's great (and a little bit overwhelming) to hear about the appetite for improved support and resources. We've just consulted on the next stage in the development of the TN support framework and people seem pleased that we're heading in the right direction. Our aim is to make it much easier to identify which are the key pieces of information that would benefit from being translated into other languages, but we're conscious that this is much better done by people who understand the particular context in which Transition is operating within their country. We have secured some funding to help develop the capacity of National Hubs and, if they see it as a priority, to enable them to pay for translation. We're also seeing National Hubs starting to group around some of the main global languages and co-operating to produce materials that can be used in more than one country - we'll be alert to anything TN can do to support this very positive development.

Social justice/diversityWhat we heard:

There was strong support for the references to social justice throughout the document (although a couple of people felt this was taking us into difficult territory politically). A number of people commented that the Transition movement is still relatively narrow in its appeal and suggested TN should be doing more to ensure that the ideas and benefits of Transition reach all sections of society.

What we will do:

We're currently seeking funding to enable us to identify and share the best UK examples of TIs and other similar groups working inclusively and/or addressing social inequality. We think there is a lot of learning to be exchanged across the National Hubs network on this, since the focus of Transition activity varies considerably around the world. And an important objective behind the work we're doing to update the Transition story is to make sure TN speaks consistently and powerfully about the importance of social justice, transmitting messages that reach and make sense to as wide a range of people as possible.

TN's role as UK National HubWhat we heard:

A number of people questioned whether TN is playing this role effectively and, indeed, whether it is an appropriate role for TN to undertake. Some people expressed a desire for a stand-alone UK Hub, designed by and accountable to UK Transition Initiatives. A couple of people also talked about the more direct, practical support that a UK National Hub might be able to offer to UK Transition initiatives.

What we will do:

We would very much like to explore this idea further with UK Transitioners. We certainly want to share and seek feedback on TN's plans for UK-focused work and we are keen to support UK Transition Initiatives to develop stronger connections between each other and with TN. We're also making an effort to be more explicit about which aspects of TN's work and resources are internationally-focused and which are UK-specific. We're not sure at this stage whether there's a need for the UK National Hub to be a completely separate organisation from TN - there would be advantages and disadvantages to this - but we would love to see much clearer representation from the UK within the National Hubs Group network. We're also very conscious that Transition Scotland and Transition Ireland already exist and there are strong networks developing in Wales. So we're certainly not assuming that a UK-wide structure is the right one to go for.

The UK roadshow events that we are planning for the autumn of 2014 and the spring of 2015 will give us an opportunity to take this conversation forward with Transitioners generally, but it would be great to hear before then from any individuals in the UK who are willing and able to put time into exploring the issue (we've already had a couple of volunteers). If a small group of people come forward, TN would be delighted to support them to meet and start to develop their own vision of what a National Hub might look like and what it might do. If you're interested and/or would like to talk more about this proposal, please contact sarahmcadam@transitionnetwork.org.

Partnering with other organisations and networksWhat we heard:

A number of people commented on the need and potential for TN to work more closely with organisations and networks with similar aims and values - to avoid duplication and together achieve a greater impact. The examples given were many and various, drawn from across the environmental and social justice movements and beyond.

What we will do:

Developing effective partnerships is a priority for TN over the next three years. We know we have a better chance of delivering each of our desired strategic outcomes if we work with other organisations and networks so, rather than constantly repeating our intention to build partnerships, we stated it as a general intention in the section labelled How we will work (see paragraph F headed Collaborating and looking for synergies). The challenge - and we know it's the same for National Hubs and Transition Initiatives - is to work out which potential partnerships to prioritise from amongst all the great organisations and networks that are out there and to find ways to collaborate which are light-touch, don't require us to set up cumbersome structures and which support rather than burden people in the wider Transition movement. We're experimenting with a couple of interesting alliances at the moment - all at a very early stage, but we will share what we learn from these experiments and you should see evidence of us being increasingly connected to others who are working to support change.

Working to influence policyWhat we heard:

A number of people asked whether there was more TN could do to influence politicians and argue for policy changes that would make it easier for Transition to have an impact at a local level.

What we will do:

We're not sure! We are still a very small organisation compared to the many bodies that are set up to lobby policy-makers and we think it's important that our primary focus is on inspiring, encouraging, connecting, supporting and training people to take action locally. We are also trying to work internationally wherever possible, so it wouldn't be possible or appropriate for us to devote lots of time and resources to influencing a single national Government. But we know that relatively minor changes in policy can sometimes open up new possibilities for many individual Transition initiatives and we want to respond positively to the increasing interest we're finding in community level action at both an international and a national level. So we're going to explore this further, in discussion with National Hubs Group and have mentioned this in the strategy.

Keeping open to new ideasWhat we heard:

Don't get set in your ways and ideas, stay open and flexible with the em-phasis on experimentation and responding to feedback, keep your strategy, and indeed the very existence of TN in its current form, under review.

What we will do:

This feels very important to us. As we get slightly bigger as an organisation and as the Transition movement grows in scale and impact, we're trying to find ways to be more structured about what we're doing without losing our nimbleness and creativity. We've designed this strategy to cover a three year period - anything longer feels much too difficult to predict - and we've committed to reviewing how we're delivering against it every year. Feedback from the wider Transition movement will help keep us on our toes. We know we won't be able to do everything you'd like us to do and we'll certainly make mistakes, but please keep letting us know what's working well and what you'd like us to change.

Announcing the 4 Transition Roadshow hosts!

Wed, 02/07/2014 - 00:05

We are delighted to announce the four initiatives selected to host our four 2014-15 Transition Roadshows.  We had 9 applications from Transition initiatives across the UK, and after much deliberation can reveal that the hosts chosen are Transition University St. Andrews, in Fife, Scotland, Transition Penwith in Cornwall, Transition Bristol in Somerset and Transition Town Berkhamsted in Hertfordshire.  The exact dates and details have yet to be arranged but will be announced shortly.  Our gratitude to everyone who applied, and for the time and creativity poured into all the applications.  It was a very tough call.

In the meantime, we’d like to remind you about the first pilot Roadshow, taking place in less than 2 weeks in Lancaster.  It’s going to be fantastic, and there are still places.  It’s going to feature all sorts of stuff: workshops on personal resilience, local currencies, community energy, retrofitting homes, REconomy, local food, 'sustainable dying', support for Transition and communicating climate change.  You'll also be able to find out about all the wonders being created by Transition City Lancaster, hear talks and have an evening of celebration with music by Howard Haigh and The Men of the Hour. You can still book a place, come along!

We are really excited about these Roadshows.  They offer a great opportunity to try a different approach to our usual annual conference (which looks set to be back for 2015 by the way), one with the potential to bring a great burst of energy to both an initiative and its surrounding region.  We hope to see you at one, or more, of them.  

Mike Thomas visits Powys networking day

Thu, 26/06/2014 - 13:26

I was really happy to go to the county network for Powys Transition and Low Carbon Communities Network launch event on 29 March and hear about some great projects and meet some keen Transitioners in Powys. Powys in Transition was successful in gaining funding from the National Lottery through the PAVO's Community Voice programme "One Powys Connecting Voices" to setup a regional network of local organisations involved in Transition or Low Carbon Communities within the Powys region. They have employed an administrator to help manage this process, who works one day a week and will be employed for five years.

As well as this the network has funds to offer member groups free places on Transition Training courses, organise annual county gatherings, provide promotional materials, help with resident opinion surveys and provide opportunities for sharing knowledge experience and resources.

I am really interested in Powys, as they are one of the areas of the UK where they are beginning to develop a regional network of groups. This model could be really beneficial to Transition groups as interconnectedness and peer support could enable groups to support each other. At the event you could see people were already chatting to each other and sharing experiences which is crucial to building strong networks.

The day itself was fascinating.  I got to hear about many great projects. Renew Wales director Rob Procter told us about how they had got over 200 local community projects to begin to think about climate change and act to address it.  They have done this through over 50 Peer Mentors and networks of like-minded groups and organisations. The project is based on bottom up action.

What I found really inspiring was the range of groups they had worked with, such as tenants groups, rugby clubs, faith groups and community councils amongst others. Through working with these groups they had setup Hydro power, community energy projects,  community building improvements, food projects and much more. 

We heard about a car share project in Llanidloes which was doing very well and helping lots of people to get around as well as reducing car use in general. Then we heard about community based renewable energy form Jeremy Thorp of Sharenergy. Finally before lunch we heard about the some great Permaculture work that Steve Jones had been doing in Wales and Liverpool that has engaged disadvantaged communities in food growing and much more.

Just before lunch there was a Powys Network AGM and election of officers and it was great to see people coming forward to sit on the Management Committee, this means that the network will have ownership and accountability to its members.

After a great lunch we had a World Cafe where people came up with their own topics and had meetings on them. I was there to host a space on how Transition Network could help a regional network and Transition Initiatives.  During this session I heard about some great projects happening in Powys. 

I also heard about the challenges that groups were facing such as energy poverty as lots of people not being able to afford energy now and the floods that have been occurring; concerns about the organisation of regional networks in terms of how a regional network register on the TN website; what type of constitution should a regional or county network have and the unique support needs that a regional network has compared to Transition Initiatives.

There were also questions about how can Transition groups monitor and evaluate their work so they know whether they are making a difference, how can groups keep up their momentum and issues of funding and developing shared visions.

Other workshops looked at different questions, such as how to communicate the latest facts on climate change to people in their communities; how food systems can be developed; how can volunteers be supported and how can community owned wind power and electric bikes be promoted. Out of these workshops came loads of great ideas on how to move things forward. This was a great example of the power of coming together to look at issues together, using a collective intelligence to discuss solutions. 

At the end of the event was a Question Time style panel activity where all the speakers from the morning where quizzed on a variety of topics, before everyone headed off back to their hometowns having made some new connections, a greater understanding of the Powys Network and what it can do and hearing about some great projects. 

Transition shaping energy policy in Ireland?

Thu, 12/06/2014 - 10:36

We are experiencing a convergence of events that leave us in no doubt that Transition’s time has arrived in Ireland - at long last!  There seems to be greater acceptance that climate change needs to be addressed. Long overdue you may think, but it was a hard fight. There are still strong pockets of resistance which are feeding on the discontent of home owners fighting the proposed industrial wind farms for energy export.  A few governance changes are also happening. There is local government reform which has been designed for greater public participation, the Aarhus convention came into effect last year and a new national policy on energy is being drafted.

Over the past number of years more and more people have been alerted to energy issues. There was proposed drilling for oil off the coast of Dublin, a massive threat of fracking on both sides of the border and the Shell to Sea battle has been raging for many years. However the issue that has woken the greatest number of people up is the proposed industrial wind farms for the midlands.

2,500 industrial turbines across 5 counties in the Midlands. This has alerted people to the fact that the planned grid upgrade currently being contested goes way beyond our needs and is probably being constructed to accommodate mass wind generation.

Last November a regional Transition hub hosted a national conversation about energy. The People’s Energy Charter, PEC, evolved out of that meeting and has become an alliance of energy related groups from all over the country. The PEC has one agenda - comprehensive public participation in all energy plans, policies and projects. This means that PEC has been working primarily with policy makers trying to evoke a conversation about comprehensive public participation.

Meanwhile the advisory body to the government, National Economic and Social Council, have been trying to figure out how to achieve community acceptance of wind energy. During the course of this dilemma they commissioned research to help with the problem. A member of the TINI core group attended a workshop to discuss the recommendations of the research. The pre workshop papers were a gift! The recommendations are for a national energy transition plan! You can read on that workshop here.

On May 24th we held a national transition meeting to discuss these converging circumstances. There was a unanimous decision that TINI support the work of PEC and seize the opportunity to showcase the transition process. We will have a full report and pictures on that meeting soon.

So what we have now in Ireland is a Transition-led policy group chasing comprehensive public participation in a national energy transition plan as recommended to the National Economic and Social Council. Meanwhile TINI groups are demonstrating what an energy transition plan looks like.

TINI have requested a meeting with NESC so that we may explain the Transition process and how it has worked in Ireland to date. The email is available to see here. Fingers crossed all goes well and we meet them soon :)

By Theresa Carter, Transition Ireland & Northern Ireland Network.

The June 2014 Round-up of What’s Happening out in the World of Transition

Mon, 09/06/2014 - 15:40

Welcome to the June 2014 roundup.  It's another bumper edition, busting at the seams with news of how Transition is manifesting itself around the world in a dazzling diversity of ways.  We start in the UK with the launch of the new Totnes Pound. May 20th saw the release of a full suite of beautiful notes, at an event in the packed Civic Hall.  The t£10 note features Ben Howard, local musician and winner of two Brit Awards in 2012.  Ben came to the launch and is pictured below with the Totnes Pound team.  

Here is a report of the launch from the Western Morning News.  It was also reported at the launch that Totnes would soon be getting an e-currency, supported by the Bristol Pound.  This was reported in a number of local papers.  The funding comes from the Technology Strategy Board, whose CEO, Iain Gray, said:

"This is a particularly exciting initiative, which provides companies with an opportunity to test the feasibility and commercial potential of their technology-focussed ideas for attracting shoppers and retailers to UK high streets."

New Lion Brewery, the new social enterprise brewery set up as part of the wider new economy work in the town, brewed a special bottled beer to celebrate, called 'The Totnes Pound: an IPA that's defiantly positive about Totnes'.  Here's the label: 

Also at the launch were two people from Aubervilliers in France, visiting Totnes to learn more about Transition.  They kept an online diary of their visit which you can find here. TTT's Arts Network held a one day course in using rammed earth and earthship construction.  Here's a short video they made of it: 

 

Crystal Palace Transition Town just celebrated their third birthday.  They had a big AGM event, which looked a little like this: 

... and they produced this great short film setting showing what they've been up to over the last 12 months (Spoiler Alert: lots)...

They've also been busy working on the community garden at St John's.  Here they are: 

The poster for their AGM is, in itself, a brilliant celebration of all the great work the group has been up to over the past 12 months: 

Transition Town Tooting are building up to this year's Foodival, by posting photos of the plants that are being grown in preparation of the event.  Given that it's in September, the plants are still young, like this pepper...

We reported a while ago about how Melbourne Area Transition had set up Whistlewood Community Woodland and used a community share launch to raise the money to buy 10 acres of land.  Well Whistlewood was mentioned in a piece in the Guardian recently about communities acquiring their own assets. Here's a taste:

"We aim to establish a new type of community woodland based on permaculture, which combines food production, forestry and education," says Sarah Spencer from the group, which is a registered co-op and this winter planted its first 1,400 trees.

The Transition movement glowed with pride recently as OVESCO won the Ashden Award for Community Energy (see photo above).  Receiving the award, Chris Rowland of OVESCO said:

"We want to see a POWER generating revolution in the UK. We believe that community owned energy companies are an essential part in making that happen. 

At OVESCO we hope that our success will inspire others to take action in their communities, so that we can build the world anew and community owned renewable energy becomes the new normal.   

We believe this is totally possible.  Thank you".

Here is the short video that the Ashden Awards people made about OVESCO to be shown on the night: 

 

As part of the Chepstow Festival, Transition Chepstow will be running 'An Evening Town Walk with Transition Chepstow' on June 30, 2014 @ 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm.  Anyone interested is invited to meet outside the library.  It's free, and they say "Enjoy an evening stroll around Chepstow and learn more about Transition Chepstow and it’s projects". 

The Southern Daily Echo reported:

A WILLOW arch above the River Test will be one of the landmarks of this year’s Romsey Festival.

Transition Town Romsey TTR is inviting the public to get involved in a unique art project, entitled Amplifying the Test, with sculptor Trudi Lloyd Williams. 

Transition St Albans are trying to get local people signed up for Transition Streets.  If you live locally, you can do so here. Here's an article from the local paper about it:

 Transition Belper just held their Belper Goes Green Festival for the second time.  Here's their advert thingy:

... and a short film about the 2013 Festival...

 

Transition Reading just held their latest AGM, and a Repair Cafe too... 

Transition and Draughtbusting got a mention in an article in the Guardian about energy efficiency

"Draughtbuster” Sarah Nicholl runs workshops along the south coast and says people are often surprised when their new double-glazed window units are revealed to be leaking around the edges. “They may be double-glazed, handmade and beautiful but if they are poorly fitted you can have cold draughts coming in all the way round,” she says. Sarah gives workshops via the fast-growing Transition Town network, a community-based movement encouraging people to be more self-sufficient in areas such as food, energy and transportation.

These Repair Cafes are all the rage it seems.  Transition Cambridge held their first one, and published this map so people could find their way about what was on offer:

Transition Chesterfield have been at it too, issuing the following invitation:

Bring anything broken along to the repair cafe and the team will try and fix it for you. 

A 50 minutes long film was presented on Croatian television about the Transition movement and the Reconomy project (mostly in English with Croatian subtitles).  Unfortunately it doesn't have the ability to embed the film here, but I really recommend, it's great. 

This from Josue in Belgium: "The annual conference of the French speaking initiatives took place in Brussels the 24th May (see pic below). The sunny day began with some games and mapping. Then some information was given about Transition around the world, the regional network and the resilient economy program... A great shared and colorful meal followed. Then we had an open space, a song and a celebration together and with the Portuguese Transition hub by Skype. We also met with other people and associations that were in the area to celebrate skill sharing. A funny day in Transition!

Also, Ath en Transition just began their first crowdfunding project for their Transition Streets program. The idea is to find money to make the program more funny and inclusive: If some families, low budget or others, need some materials for the action they choose, the Transition group want to be able to lend or give them (Ea : bike trailer, water-saving shower, compost tower...). The idea of the project is to lower their bill and their carbon footprint, and having fun. So if you want to help this Transition Streets project to be more inclusive and funny, you can go to this page



In May, we also had our first "Transition Thrive" training in Brussels the 17 & 18 May, facilitated by Naresh Giangrande, with two trainers from Belgium, Josué Dusoulier and Bart Vanden Driessche. Pioneers of Transition in Belgium were there to review the progress on their projects. The diagnostic tool was much appreciated, as well as various theoretical and practical contributions and exchanges between participants. They went back in their initiatives with the support of pairs in neighbouring initiatives, and of course packed with ideas to helptheir initiative to move to their next steps. Here in Belgium, we really want to thank Naresh for his coming and for sharing his experience of transition around the world!"

In Ireland, TINI (Transition Ireland & Northern Ireland Network) have been doing amazing work in helping to shape energy policy in Ireland.  You can read the full story here.  In Canada, Transition KW were at EcoFestWR to promote their Climate Action Toolkit.  Here they are at their stall:

They also just published their latest newsletter.  In France, apparently the word 'Transition' has been chosen as 'Word of the Year' at the 10th La Charité-sur-Loire Festival. 

In the US, Transition Houston are building up to rolling out a US version of Transition Streets. They just held a meeting addressed by Gerald Herd, a member of the NARI Houston Chapter, who discussed building insulation: types, uses, strategies, etc.

In July Rob Hopkins will visit Germany and is going to participate on the presentation of the German language version of the book ’The Power of Just Doing Stuff’. The events are going to be at 2th July 19:00h at Böll-Stiftung Berlin and at 3th July 19:00h in Audimax of University Bielefeld. On the event you can met also Gerd Wessling who contributed to the German edition and who translated the book, and other active members of D/A/CH Transition movement. 

Gerd gave a talk in Hannover, I think in 2010, but the film only just made it onto YouTube.  Here it is:

Part Two here.  Also from Germany, here is Andreas Bauermeister of Transition initiative Weimar im Wandel discussing Transition:

In Spain, a screening of In Transition 2.0 was followed by a short video message from Rob, and a couple of days later we had the following email:

"I'm glad to share with you our yesterday success. We showed your video and at the end we create a new Transition group in Madrid, so we're very happy, thanks a lot!!!!"

Go Madrid Transition... keep us all posted!

Rob also presented virtually to the G21 Swisstainability Conference last week.  Here's a photo someone tweeted of him in action:

From the 3rd of July 2014 (International plastic bag free day), Greyton aims to become South Africa’s first town to phase out single use plastic shopping bags. This is a drive initiated by Greyton Transition Town (GTT) and supported and assisted by Hayley McLellan from Rethink the Bag. This is just one of the many creative waste reduction programmes run in Greyton.  Here is a clip of them on News24 TV talking about it:

 

Peter Langlands, co-founder of Transition Town Guildford in Australia, appeared at the Strictly Hypothetical event in the city, whose theme was PERTH 2050 - Post Climate Change in the World's Most Isolated City.  Here's a clip of his introduction:

 

Here is a story from Brazil thanks to Isabela Maria Gomez de Menezes: "Brazil is living a very unique moment. The World Cup is putting some light about our problems with corruption,  lack of infrastructure  and how do we exercise our citizenship. 

And Transition Granja Viana region is also living an opportunity moment,the revision of the master plan of the municipality. It is a plan made from a scientific diagnosis of the physical, social, economic, political and administrative situation of the city, the city and its region, presenting a set of proposals for the future socioeconomic development and future uses of spatial organization of urban land, the networks infrastructure and key elements of the urban structure of the city and for the city. These proposals are to set short, medium and long term, and approved by municipal law.

After three preparatory meetings for review of the master plan of Cotia, something was awakened in our community.  On 28, May, we began a cycle of talks about the Master Plan involving technical guests, people of the City Council and the community .

This was an initiative of Transition Granja Viana in partnership with other movements of our region, as: Site da Granja, MDGV| Movement for the Defense of Granja Viana, Motion Vivo Morro Grande and JDA Magazine. The first meeting drew 25 people, the second drew 43 and we could see that they are really motivated to make a difference in our city. 

In a climate of respect and peaceful spot, a social collaborative technique has been used to conduct dialogues called "Aquarius”, that is a circle in which the guests talked, listened and debated in contemporary exercise of democracy with a relay chairs. Only participating to understand!

Divergences, convergences, culture of peace and creative intelligence scored the first meeting of this working group that was born with power, grounding, ethics and good humor. This is the policy that we dream for the 21st century. 

After years of inactivity, we're seeing the community of our region mobilize and exercise their citizenship and collaborate in the planning of our region. The Transition Group also created a Facebook group for everyone to put their dreams and desires for the region.  We have two more meetings to go and one thing we now, never before our community discussed so profoundly the future of our region".

In Hungary, as part of the ’Communities in Transition’ project which started last year, a 2 day long workshop was organised for representatives of 12 Hungarian Transition initiatives and other sustainable community initiatives. Participantes have learnt about the Transition movement and its methodology, discussed what's important for their communities, what are their strengthens, what kind of tools do they need to set up and run succesfull a community project.

Despite of the almost 40 degree hot temperature attendees had a lot of fun, inspiration and help from each other. Delicious meals were served made from ingredients of the local organic garden which is run by one of the most successful Hungarian social cooperatives.

As a next step of the project, members of initiatives are going to visit each other to study and learn new practicies e.g. paper briquettes technology, permaculture gardening, urban community gardening.

More next month: do send us any stories you'd like included. 

 

Your chance to experience One Day in Transition

Wed, 04/06/2014 - 16:54

We've written before here about the wonder that is One Year in Transition.  It is, in essence, a year-long, part-time and low-cost programme that helps young adults create a livelihood in the community work they dream of doing. Booking is now open for the next year's programme which starts in September.  Now here's your opportunity to experience a taster of what it's all about.  One Day in Transition: how to build your community project is a unique one-day course as an initiating spark for young adults.    

The event takes place on Saturday 12th July at Hamilton House, Bristol.  If you are thinking of doing the IYT programme, come and join the current students as they reach the end of the programme and hear about the course at first hand. Bring your idea for a community project, explore how you can make it real, get a taste of the 1YT experience that gets young adults into the work they dream of doing.

Cost is £5 unwaged or £20 waged.  To register interest, for more information, or to ask for a phone or Skype chat, contact the course leader Isabel Carlisle on: isabelcarlisle@transitionnetwork.org or 01803 847976.

June 2014 - Transition Network Newsletter

Wed, 04/06/2014 - 16:48

This month news that that the Transition roadshow could be coming to a region near you, starting with Lancaster in July. We have the monthly World Roundup, the Digest introduces the 'Transition and Health' articles posted in May, REconomy offers tips to transform your local economy, our Social Reporters are back and Transition Free Press has a new App.

NEWS OF THE NETWORK

Would You Like to Host a Transition Roadshow? 

We are now inviting applications to host one of four UK Regional Transition Roadshows to be held between October 2014 and March 2015. We'd love to hear an expression of interest from you if you fancy hosting one by Friday 20th June. Full information and a form for applying:
http://www.transitionnetwork.org/blogs/rob-hopkins/2014-05/would-you-host-transition-roadshow

Roadshows Start in Lancaster July 12-13

We have some inspiring workshops lined up for the Lancaster event. And as always with Transition Network events we say no to boring conferences, and will be embracing the diversity, wisdom, and enjoyment of each other’s company throughout the day. In the evening, we have 'Howard Haigh and Men of The Hour'  playing a vibrant mix of salsa, funk, and blues. On the second day of this gathering you can check out the local renewable energy company, eco houses, and community farm, travelling from place to place by electric bike or car!
http://www.transitionnetwork.org/events/2014-07-12/north-west-transition-conference

Your Chance to Experience One Day in Transition

How to build your community project is a unique one-day course as an initiating spark for young adults and is a taster of what 'One Year in Transition' is all about.
http://www.transitionnetwork.org/news/2014-06-04/your-chance-experience-one-day-transition

NETWORK NEWS

The Transitioners' Digest (May)

Our theme this month has been 'Transition and Health'. We've been reflecting on where Transition and public health overlap and the benefits all round that could be gained by forging a more explicit link between the two. A collection of interviews by Rob Hopkins and articles published over the last month:
http://www.transitionnetwork.org/blogs/rob-hopkins/2014-06/transitioners-digest-may 

The May 2014 Round-up of What’s Happening out in the World of Transition

World news from Germany, France, Belgium, Hungary, Portugal, Brazil, USA. Around the UK we hear from Crystal Palace, Southall, Tooting, Bridport, Bristol, Dorchester, Horncastle, New Forest, Peterborough, Salisbury, Stourbridge, Totnes and Wivenhoe.
http://www.transitionnetwork.org/blogs/rob-hopkins/2014-05/may-2014-round-what-s-happening-out-world-transition

REconomy

Does Your Local Economy Need Transforming?

The REconomy Project is here to help your Transition group do this. Over the last 2 years we’ve learned a lot about what REconomy is, who’s doing it and what it looks like in the UK and beyond. Find out more about this project on our much simplified website here.
http://www.reconomy.org/about-reconomy/

Get Your Oats Here!

Community support helps new enterprise transform local food supply chain. Holly Tiffen introduces the Oats Project, part of the ‘Grown in Totnes’ campaign. It’s one of the ways that Totnes entrepreneurs are taking advantage of the opportunities identified in the local Economic Blueprint.
http://www.reconomy.org/get-your-oats-here/

Let’s Focus on Local Prosperity, Rather Than UK Growth

Karen Leach and Sarah Longlands write that for Localise West Midlands, the question is more about when will we see a return to a local prosperity rather than simply an increase in aggregate UK growth?
http://www.reconomy.org/lets-focus-on-local-prosperity-rather-than-uk-growth/

TRANSITION FREE PRESS

Read Our App

You can now sign up for a digital subscription to the newspaper. As well as reading it online, digital subscribers can also download the App and read it on their iPhone, iPad and Android phone. 

Would you like to go to WOMAD?

One of our TFP5 partners, ecotricity, is offering two free tickets to the world music festival, WOMAD in July.
http://transitionfreepress.org/2014/06/05/digital-subscriptions-now-launched/

SOCIAL REPORTERS

For the last two and a half years, the Transition Social Reporters have been telling stories of our local initiatives, and of our attempts to shift our communities towards a low energy way of living. This month we’re back from a short break, and examining stories and why we need them.

Does This Story Have a Happy Ending?

Sara Ayech reflects on the plot twists, ups and downs of a real life story.
http://www.transitionnetwork.org/stories/sara-ayech/2014-06/does-story-have-happy-ending  

Tales from Wales

Setting out on another Transition Tales gathering tour, Steph Bradley visits three Transition initiatives which have all been going since 2008: Monmouth, Swansea and Haverfordwest.
http://www.transitionnetwork.org/stories/steph-bradley/2014-06/tales-wales


THINKING OUT LOUD

Inner Transition for Everyone?

Sophy Banks recently gave a webinar for Transition US which explored the ideas around Inner Transition.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cscXg7ZhbtM

The Community Resilience Challenge

Organized by Transition USA with other partner organisations over 10,000 actions were registered in May. The Community Resilience Challenge has four themes: Save Water, Grow Food, Conserve Energy, and Build Community. It is an opportunity to show communities what a more resilient future looks like, and start building it! Check out the support materials, map and inspiring video.
http://www.transitionus.org/crc

Vision 2030

To build a better future, we first need to imagine it, and that’s just what Transition Fidalgo & Friends in the USA set out to do one year ago. Over 60 people from kids to elders set their imaginations free to wander in a future of rising climate, energy and economic impacts.
http://www.transitionus.org/stories/transition-fidalgo-friends-vision-2030  

TRAINING

Launch online is beginning again on 8 October for 8 weeks. There is a Thrive in Barcelona, a Launch training in London this weekend with May East, and another in association with the NOW change your world conference http://nowchangeyourworld.com at the end of November. All details for these trainings and many others can be found here
http://www.transitionnetwork.org/events/network-training  

COMING UP

London Permaculture Festival - Sunday 6 July
http://www.londonpermaculturefestival.com/

Transition Roadshow - July 12-13, Lancaster
http://www.transitionnetwork.org/events/2014-07-12/north-west-transition-conference

One Day in Transition - 12 July, Bristol.
http://www.transitionnetwork.org/news/2014-06-04/your-chance-experience-one-day-transition

NEXT MONTH 

Our theme for June on the website will be 'Transition and Politics'. 

QUOTE OF THE MONTH
"It is always our choice which stories to listen to, and which to share, but if we are to grow as a species into mature responsible adults it is the ones that ignite our passion that will serve us best."
Steph Bradley

Follow Transition Network on Twitter
http://twitter.com/#!/transitiontowns

Be a Friend on Facebook
http://www.facebook.com/transitionnetwork

Film Reviews
http://www.transitionnetwork.org/films 

Transition Youtube Channel
https://www.youtube.com/transitiontowns

Resources — Editor's Picks
http://www.transitionnetwork.org/resources

Find previous editions of the newsletter here
http://www.transitionnetwork.org/tags/transition-network-newsletter

Read this newsletter online 
http://www.transitionnetwork.org/news/2014-06-04/june-2014-transition-network-newsletter

Subscribe to Transition newsletter:
http://tinyurl.com/transitionregister

This newsletter is published on the first Friday of each month. 
Next newsletter 4 July 2014

Newsletter Editor: Mike Grenville,
from Transition Forest Row for the Transition Network
Contact: mgrenville@gmail.com

Transition Bro Gwaun win Future Dragons Den at Hay Literary Festival!

Wed, 28/05/2014 - 15:45

Transition cafe volunteers pitched to the Future Dragons Den at Hay Festival this year for the prize of £10,000 to further their aims in stopping food waste in communities across the UK.  Transition Community cafe collects surplus food from local businesses, individuals and growers and turn it into affordable meals and preserves in their community cafe, meeting the environmental, economic, and social imperatives that are embedded in the Future Generations Bill about to be passed in Wales. 

Their most important mission is to reduce carbon emissions by stopping perfectly good food going to landfill and to change attitudes and more and more people are using the café, understanding that waste is bad both for the environment and their pockets.  They are strengthening the local economy and improving social capital by providing training, employment and work experience opportunities for local people particularly the young, the disabled and the long-term unemployed. 

Food in the cafe is deliberately affordable and available for everyone in the community.  Volunteers eat there or take food home and the demand for the food parcels administered to those in real poverty has increased threefold in 2014 and extends a reach into a part of the community with which it is often more difficult to engage. 

There are strong working relationships with local organizations including the RNLI, Sea Trust, Rotary, the local High School and Pembrokeshire Tourism which are also spreading the message out into the community. 

They offer an holistic, sustainable business model -  an example for others to follow:  With an income  last year of £10,000,  - not yet enough to fully fund  staffing needs  they place  equal importance on making full  use of community exchange, gifting, re-using and re-cycling and the all important volunteers, whose time was valued at over £32,000 last year.  

This prize will help them to future proof the project: surplus food supplies are increasing significantly – from last years average of 100 kg per week to a recent high of 190kg.  What do you do when you receive 30 dozen eggs, 300 ice creams and 5 boxes of cauliflowers all on the same day?

And they need to increase cafe footfall, put on more events, and find more distribution outlets within the community – or disappear under a mountain of surplus food!

By using the money to part fund more staff it will free up more volunteer time to develop the new schemes and systems and reach a wider audience, publicise the projects and generate more custom: part of this will involve by community mapping, needed to identify demand and increase collaborative working; and we need to update IT interaction and make by use of tourism APPS such as Pembrokeshire in your Pocket.

Perhaps the most important aspect of this prize win will be the development of a simple template for setting up and running similar projects in other communities that will enable others to replicate what they do.

OVESCO win 2014 Ashden Award for Community Energy

Fri, 23/05/2014 - 07:40

At last night's prestigious Ashden Awards in London, the Ouse Valley Energy Services Company (OVESCO for short) won the Community Energy Award in recognition of the group's work.  OVESCO, which grew out of Transition Town Lewes, has become a real force for community energy, starting a number of projects including raising £310,000 from local people to put 554 solar panels on Harvey's Brewery, and they are now mentoring 10 other local communities in how to do the same.  

On winning the award, OVESCO's Chris Rowland said: 

We are very proud to receive this Ashden Award on behalf of solar powered beer at Harveys brewery, our directors, investors and Transition Town Lewes. 

We are now mentoring twelve new groups in Sussex, from Chichester to Rye, to help them replicate what we have achieved, and we are working on scaling up our own projects from kWs to MWs. 


In my hand, I have a Lewes Pound and printed on this local currency are the words: ‘We have it in our POWER to build the world anew’, Thomas Paine one time Lewes resident. 

We want to see a POWER generating revolution in the UK. We believe that community owned energy companies are an essential part in making that happen. 

At OVESCO we hope that our success will inspire others to take action in their communities, so that we can build the world anew and community owned renewable energy becomes the new normal.   

We believe this is totally possible.  Thank you.

Here is a short film the Ashden Awards made about OVESCO to show on the night: 

Our huge congratulations to everyone involved. 

New Transition Free Press hits the streets

Wed, 14/05/2014 - 07:21

The latest edition of Transition Free Press came out this week, Issue No.5, the Spring/Summer edition, and it is a marvellous creation.  For this new edition, TFP has broadened its remit from just news and initiatives from the Transition movement to Transition in the wider sense, and it's a richer, and more inspiring publication as a result.  You can read all about it here, and find out how to get a copy, buy a bundle for your Transition group, or better still, become a subscriber. They write that "Transition Free Press is designed as a  paper you can hold in your hands", which is part of its power, but you can also read it online here.   

Here is editor Charlotte Du Cann's opening editorial which beautifully sets the tone for what you will find in TFP's colourful and rich pages: 

"Welcome to our new Spring edition! We’re stepping out into our second year of Transition Free Press, after a successful pilot during 2013, and hope you will keep following our tracks as we cross into uncharted territory.

“We’ve gone as far as data and facts can take us, now something else has to kick in,” food consultant Geoff Tansey told a group of artists who had gathered to collaborate on a book about Transition and the arts called Playing for Time.

Transition Free Press is a paper reporting on that ‘something else’: the people who are shifting from a growth-at-all-costs culture to one that will get us and the Earth we love back on track.

Like all great artists, this new culture works as an intervention into ‘normal’ life, reminding everyone how earthly life is unpredictable, funny, risky, inventive, beautiful; how regeneration can happen on every street corner and that the everyday world is rich.

Facts about climate change and peak resources are necessary to know, that’s clear – but what makes for a sea-change is when you sense another kind of world is out there. That’s a world where you find yourself walking across the street in a swimsuit, sowing beans under the Fenland sky, taking part in a play about apples on Tooting Bec Common. Taking a long walk across the nation with strangers who feel like kin.

Most of all it’s about noticing what kind of life we wish for, given a chance to work it out: getting a deep sense of time, that is not the time of the clock; a change of mood, that is not anxious or mean; paying attention to the seasons like foragers and poets. So though the data may predict the same outcomes, we realise our feeling about things have radically changed.

At the heart of this May-July issue is a story about The Restart Project that inspires people to pick up their broken technology and learn how to mend it themselves – with a little help from others in the neighbourhood. It demonstrates the magic of experiential life. How things can turn around just by our getting engaged. Like all great Transition projects it says: we can take this into our own hands: we can revitalise democracy, sort out the waste crisis, start our own currency, run our own paper! Right here, right now.

Because this not an individual shift. The Earth has come about via extraordinary and unlikely collaborations between beings you might not ordinarily see. It’s as much about how we work together in small and often invisible ways as it is about the direction we take. For 2014 our aim is to keep celebrating those collaborations and give you glimpses into that possible world. In these spring and summer pages we’re welcoming initiatives and campaigns that run alongside the Transition movement and a brand new editorial team. Come on in! The water is lovely.

Charlotte, Alexis, Mark, Amy, Chris, Michaela, Gavin, Marion, Mike, Eva and Tess

Free trees for your Transition initiative to mark the anniversary of World War One

Mon, 12/05/2014 - 07:12

This August marks the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War. The Woodland Trust is honouring all those who took part in the war effort by planting millions of trees that will stand as a tribute for centuries to come. Will you stand with us by planting a free tree pack in your community?

We have over 4000 packs to give away in autumn and they come in three sizes – 30 saplings, 105 saplings and 420 saplings in various themes (hedge, copse, wildlife, wild harvest, year-round colour, working wood, wild wood and wetland). You can apply for more than one pack and theme with 420 saplings being the maximum quantity. You can find out more about them and apply online here, but I’d advise groups to apply sooner rather than later.

Watch our short video clip to find out why thousands of community groups and schools across the UK have been digging in to plant free tree packs in their neighbourhood.

Please feel free to forward to share this information with any group or school that might be interested, add it to your website or include it in your newsletter – many thanks to those who have already helped to spread the word!

Deadline for applications is 4 September but we may need to close early if oversubscribed.

If you have any questions at all please do get in touch.

Kind regards

Beverley Gormley

Community Tree Packs, Woodland Trust. 

May 2014 - Transition Network Newsletter

Fri, 02/05/2014 - 11:32

Our website theme "what is the impact of Transition, and how do we know?" is explored and digested, plus the Roundup offers more illustrations of how it looks. A new draft support system and the first UK Roadshow event. Transition Free Press is out in print and online. Plus some thinking out loud on another possible way of the world.


The Transitioners April Digest 

Feels like we only just started to scratch the surface of our theme of "what is the impact of Transition, and how do we know?" Various Transitioners told us about the impact their work is having. Some of the interviews and reports included Nic Marks, who specialises in wellbeing and happiness, and how they might best be measured; Eamon O'Hara, author of a report called Local Communities Leading the Way to a Low Carbon Society, about his sense of the "important catalytic effect" that Transition, permaculture and ecovillage networks are having; Sophy Banks reflected on her and fellow Transition Trainer Naresh Giangrande's trip to Israel and the West Bank to do Transition Trainings there. Describing Transition as "radicals without rebellion", Andrea Felicetti wrote an article about his research which had looked at the disintinctive approach Transition takes to engaging with politics. A fascinating discussion about resilience ensued folowing interview with researcher Katrina Brown about her work on how a community might set about measuring its own resilience. One of the leading local economists Michael Shuman was asked for his thoughts about localisation and the impact it is having as an idea. Find out more about these and more here:
http://www.transitionnetwork.org/blogs/rob-hopkins/2014-05/transitioners-digest-april


The April 2014 Round-up of What’s Happening out in the World of Transition 

News comes this month in the UK from Worthing, Whitehead in Northern Ireland, Reading, a meet up in Berkhamsted, Bristol, St Albans, Marlow, Horncastle, Langport, Whitstable, London, Exmouth, Dorking, Tooting, Totnes. Plus Germany, Netherlands, Italy, New Zealand, Australia, Spain, Serbia, Japan, and the USA.
http://www.transitionnetwork.org/news/2014-04-09/april-2014-round-what-s-happening-out-world-transition

 

NEWS OF THE NETWORK

New Support System for Transition Groups - what do you think? 

We want to hear your thoughts on new support framework being developed. The new framework includes a new 12 steps, a health check that helps groups to assess their own needs and a new officialising process. It is currently at a draft stage and Transition Network want to hear what you think about it. The Survey close on the 25th May. As a token of our appreciation, everyone who fills in the survey and leave their contact email, will be entered into a draw to win one of 3 signed copies of Rob Hopkins latest book The Power of Just Doing Stuff.
http://www.transitionnetwork.org/news/2014-05-01/new-support-framework-transition-groups-being-developed-let-us-know-what-you-think

Announcing the Pilot Transition Roadshow event! 

In a couple of weeks we will be inviting Transition initiatives across the UK to apply to host one of several Roadshow events we plan to run during late 2014 and early 2015. The first, the pilot for the rest, will take place on July 12th in Lancaster. For more details and to book:
http://www.transitionnetwork.org/blogs/rob-hopkins/2014-05/announcing-pilot-transition-roadshow-event  

 

REconomy 

LEPs and REconomy – an Opportunity or a Waste of Your Time?
Changing the local economy requires collaboration at all levels. Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) have a major influence over English regional economic development, and some REconomy/Transition groups are trying to make connections – are these likely to bear fruit? Read more about their experiences so far:
http://www.reconomy.org/leps-and-reconomy-an-opportunity-or-a-waste-of-your-time/


TRANSITION FREE PRESS

The first edition of the year is here at last with a new twist for 2014. Thanks to over 80 distributors the colourful grassroots paper is now making its ways into shops, cafes, and community events across the UK from the Scilly Isles to the Shetlands. We bring you the latest news and reviews from the culture that’s shifting the way it looks at and engages in the world. All the elemental and essential stories that other papers don’t quite reach: on Earth, on the airwaves and in the swim. This issue focuses on three big W’s: Waste, Walking, and most of all Water. Find out more here:
http://transitionfreepress.org/2014/04/30/weve-arrived-new-springsummer-edition-of-transition-free-press-now-published
Although TFP is designed to be printed and be held in your hands you can also read it online here:
http://issuu.com/transitionfreepress/docs/tfp_2014-05_issuu_a01

 

THINKING OUT LOUD

What Would a Transition Co-operative Store Look Like?
With the need for new visions of the future for the Coop much in the news, Rob Hopkins wrote this article for the Coop news asking 'how might Co-operative stores re-imagine themselves?'
http://www.transitionnetwork.org/blogs/rob-hopkins/2014-04/what-would-transition-co-operative-store-look

It’s Money that is Killing the Local Economy
A recent report on local currency and local economy from Sweden, complied by Transition member Steve Hinton, sheds light on some of the pitfalls and opportunities for local community action.
http://www.resilience.org/stories/2014-04-23/it-s-money-that-is-killing-the-local-economy

On Earth Day, an Economics for People and Planet
Helena Norberg-Hodge writes that since the first Earth Day in 1970, not only have our ecological crises come into sharper focus, it has also become obvious that we need to rescue not just the Earth, but also its people from the clutches of an economy gone mad.
http://www.resilience.org/stories/2014-04-21/on-earth-day-an-economics-for-people-and-planet

Creating a Sustainable and Desirable Future
The most critical task facing humanity today is creating a shared vision of a sustainable and desirable future say Ida Kubiszewski and Robert Costanza in their new book.
http://www.resilience.org/stories/2014-04-28/why-we-need-visions-of-a-sustainable-and-desirable-world

To My Friend the Climate Defeatist: Here's Why I'm Still In the Fight
Jim Shultz asks what action do we take when we have no guarantee at all that what we do will make any difference?
http://www.resilience.org/stories/2014-04-30/to-my-friend-the-climate-defeatist-here-s-why-i-m-still-in-the-fight

 

RESOURCES

New Economics Foundation have just published ‘No Small Change’ – a how-to guide for community currency organisers looking to effectively evaluate the impact of their project.
http://www.neweconomics.org/publications/entry/no-small-change  

TRAINING

We are starting to offer Thrive in Europe, with Spain, Belgium, and Sweden leading the way, and have a full programme of Launch trainings, and a few Effective group trainings too. More details:
http://www.transitionnetwork.org/events/network-training

Transition LAUNCH - London
7 - 8 June 2014
Packed with imaginative ways to delve into the practice of Transition showing you how to set up, run and grow a Transition Initiative. It is also useful for people who have recently become involved in Transition and want to develop the essential skills and insights to help their Transition initiative become a success. More details:
http://www.transitionnetwork.org/events/2014-06-07/transition-launch

 

COMING UP

Community Resilience Challenge
Throughout May, join Transition US in taking action to grow food, save water, conserve energy, and build community as part of the Community Resilience Challenge! Visit the website for project ideas, an organizer toolkit, and to register!
http://www.transitionus.org/crc

The Seven Year Itch Transition Party!
Lewes Transition Initiative is seven years old. To celebrate they're holding a big party on 12 June & everybody is welcome! Special guest is Rob Hopkins. The evening includes lots of local music & iconic prog-rocker Arthur Brown is scheduled to make an appearance. Delicious food will be available as well as a bar & dancing until midnight.
http://www.transitiontownlewes.org/

 

QUOTE OF THE MONTH

"Because the level of misallocation of capital is so profound and frankly complete right now, I think that once people begin to figure out how to shift money into local business, that could proceed very, very quickly". Michael Shuman

NEXT MONTH 
Our theme for May on the website will be 'Transition and Health'. We'd love to share your stories of any ways in which Transition has made your community healthier. Please get in touch.

Follow Transition Network on Twitter
http://twitter.com/#!/transitiontowns

Be a Friend on Facebook
http://www.facebook.com/transitionnetwork

Film Reviews
http://www.transitionnetwork.org/films 

Transition Youtube Channel
https://www.youtube.com/transitiontowns

Find previous editions of the newsletter here
http://www.transitionnetwork.org/tags/transition-network-newsletter

Read this newsletter online 
http://www.transitionnetwork.org/news/2014-05-02/may-2014-transition-network-newsletter

Subscribe to Transition newsletter:
http://tinyurl.com/transitionregister

This newsletter is published on the first Friday of each month. 
Next newsletter 6th June 2014

Newsletter Editor: Mike Grenville,
from Transition Forest Row for the Transition Network
Contact: mgrenville@gmail.com



New support framework for Transition Groups being developed, let us know what you think!

Thu, 01/05/2014 - 21:59


Hi everyone, it’s great that you are taking your time to give us your feedback on the new support framework we are developing for Transition initiatives.  Right now, we're asking for your feedback on:

a) the very hi-level framework for providing support to Initiatives which splits initiatives into 3 phases

  • Phase 1: setting up and developing a strong core group
  • Phase 2: setting up and delivering projects
  • Phase 3: developing and thriving into a broader initiativ

b) the detailed framework for Phase 1. This detailed framework, when agreed, will tell us precisely what new material we need to produce and also how we need to reorganise existing support resources, tools and content. Later, we'll be repeating this process for the frameworks for Phases 2 and 3".

We have spent the last 6 months developing the framework based on research into what makes a successful Transition Initiative as well as taking into account feedback from groups and individuals. 

We reckon the easiest way for you to provide us with feedback (and certainly for us to analyse it and turn it into an action plan) is via a survey. We've prepared one with plenty of space to tell us what you think. Feedback provided via email will not be included in our analyses - it's too unstructured, complex and time-consuming. If you have trouble with the survey, please contact Mike with a detailed description of the problem. You're probably the last group in the world that we need to encourage to be honest, so just tell us straight what your views and concerns are via the survey.

===========================
------> Please take the survey - here. 
=========================== 

FYI, the survey closes on 25-May, so if you want to help us determine how we support Transition groups around the world, we need your comments by then.

As part of the ongoing process of the development of the new support offer, we are hoping to setup a small reference group who would comment on the finer details of the new support offer. If you are interested in being part of this group, then email me at michaelthomas@transitionnetwork.org  with "Reference group" as the subject line as well as your name and role in the Transition movement.

As a token of our appreciation, all people who fill in the survey and leave their contact email, are automatically entered into a competition to win one of 3 signed copies of Rob Hopkins latest book The Power of Just Doing Stuff.

Thanks again for your time, we really value your comments and we'll act upon them.

Mike Thomas,

Transition Initiative Support Coordinator.

How Transition Newent inspired Boy Scouts in New Jersey

Thu, 01/05/2014 - 16:47

Here's a lovely story from the Huffington Post. We are grateful to Dana Glazer for permission to repost it. 

One day this past December it was nearly 70 degrees where we live in northern New Jersey and my 10-year-old son, Charlie, was really bummed out about it.

"It shouldn't be this warm, Dad. Not in December. I guess this is global warming," he said glumly.

I know how Charlie feels. It's easy to feel helpless against the big problems that we face as a country and as a world. The underlying message from the mainstream media is that we are powerless to do anything about these larger forces at work. We can be so demoralized by the belief that there's nothing to be done.

Is that the message we want our kids to have?

Personally, I want my children to believe that they can do something about these big issues, especially when they work together with others. Someday our kids will inherit the role of caretaker of this planet and I think it's important for them to start thinking about what that role might entail. Without frightening them, I believe we need to educate our children about the larger global problems we face, as well as to empower them to do something about it. I want them to understand that even the smallest action can have profound repercussions.

Shortly after Charlie shared his feelings about global warming, I happened upon a video about an "Oil Memorial" that was built in England. This gave me an idea as to how to empower my son, along with the other Cub Scouts in our Webelos den. I figured this was a good way to educate my son, the other scouts and our extended community about how dependent we are on oil for nearly everything and how our overuse of this resource is destroying our planet. The idea of creating a sculpture was also an opportunity to demonstrate how artwork can be a profound communication tool.



Like any good plan, this notion of an oil sculpture drew the best from the people I reached out to. The Principal of my son's elementary school welcomed the notion of having the sculpture placed near the school's entrance. The other den leaders were excited and ready to bring their power tools and other supplies. To decorate the sculpture, each of the scouts collected items that were oil-based or arrived here as a result of petroleum -- which is just about everything we own. The local merchants I contacted were happy to donate supplies to the sculpture's construction. It was really touching how many helping hands appeared to make this project happen.

The night before we were to construct the sculpture, I shared with my son how I was going to discuss with the scouts about our relationship with oil. Charlie was not only deeply affected but also constructive. He suggested that we needed to have something on the front of the sculpture that would explain what it was about. I asked him to write what he thought should be included and below are his words:

"We are calling this sculpture "R.I.P OIL" because oil is a limited resource, which means that it will go away someday if we use it all. We have made this oil memorial for three reasons.  

  • Reason #1: most people don't think of oil as a limited resource, so they waste too much of it.
  • Reason #2: most people don't know how many things have oil in them or got here because of oil.
  • Reason #3: we want people to start thinking about preparing for when oil runs out."

I had Charlie read this statement aloud to the other scouts as a part of the presentation. After having a discussion about oil, we then broke up into groups to decorate the different components of the sculpture. The scouts and many of their parents worked together, drilling and gluing the different objects onto the sculpture.

When everyone was done, I had each child sign his name on the back of the "R.I.P OIL" sign. I explained that this is what artists do when they finish a piece of work. More importantly, it gave all of the scouts a sense of ownership about not only the sculpture but also its meaning.

The next morning, as students approached the front of the school, many stopped to view this seven-foot-tall sculpture and all the amusing items that were attached. I overheard several of the scouts proudly sharing with their classmates what items they had put onto the sculpture. As for my son, the smile on his face was broader than I remember in quite a while.

"Maybe more people will be inspired to build oil memorials, dad. Wouldn't that be great? Maybe we really started something here that can help change things," he later told me, reveling in the possibilities.

I don't know if that will happen, but what I do know is that my son is now a believer when it comes to the power of concerned citizens coming together and making things happen.

As Margaret Mead once wrote, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."

_________

Dana H. Glazer is the father of three small children and the director of the feature documentaries The Evolution of Dad and Parents of the Revolution.

Follow Dana H. Glazer on Twitter: www.twitter.com/parentsoftherev

John Bell on Bedfordshire Transition groups' recent get together

Wed, 30/04/2014 - 11:12

I’m very proud to say that on 23 March we held the first Transition Beds, Bucks, Herts conference.  Wow, sounds good.  A dozen local Transition Towns came together to celebrate our successes, inspire the next project and see how the sum of the parts can be greater than the whole.  It was surprisingly easy to organise, and has certainly inspired me to get going with a Transition Streets initiative in Berkhamsted.

We had a previous gathering in October last year, and the idea for the conference emerged.  Organising was simple - the door was open, it just needed a gentle shove.  For the initial gathering last year, all that was needed was to choose a date, book the venue and then send an email to a few addresses found on the web or in my address book, and word spread.  I asked for a small contribution to cover costs and for people to bring food to share, and the job was done.

The conference itself took slightly more organising, as it was open for anyone to attend, so we put together a booking system as well, and organised an agenda.  We used a survey to find out the level of interest and what people wanted to talk about.  I have to thank John Ingleby of Transition in Kings for his efforts in finalising the day, and to Andrew Davies for his excellent facilitation.

Abbots in TransitionChange4ChalfontHaddenham in TransitionHemel in Transition,Low Carbon ChilternsTransition in KingsTransition St AlbansTransition Town LetchworthTring in Transition, Winslow Transition, Milton Keynes and Transition Town Berkhamsted attended, although Abbots and Winslow were unable to come along this March.

We organised it a bit like Open Space, with pre-defined topics.  We all split up in the morning to talk about community energy, food security and Transition Streets.  I went to the latter, and listened to the great work from Catherine Ross of St Albans and how that could be combined with Street Play – being run in Tring by the eloquent Rob Schafer -  to get people out of their boxes and build that sense of community.  There are now Transition Streets starting up in Tring, Abbots Langley and by me in Berkhamsted.

There was a similar success story with community energy, with Grand Union Community Energy (GUCE, pronounced Juice) of Kings Langley inspiring Letchworth, Berkhamsted (GUCE-B) and Tring (TRICE).  John Ingleby led the workshop, based on the experience of GUCE in raising £72,000 to install solar panels at a local school during 2013.

The project involved a steep learning curve.  GUCE were awarded some additional funds by the Herts and Dacorum councils, which they used to document all the steps they took in the form of an online “Toolkit” rather like an Advent Calendar, where you should only “open” a box after all the preceding steps have been tackled. 

The food security chat was run by David Lyons of Haddenham.  A very interesting debate was had about the future of food and how we can engage more effectively with the majority of food shoppers. Should we try and engage more with supermarkets in order to increase the levels of locally grown food sold in-store or would it be more hassle and carbon intensive, due to their current distribution model, than it's worth?  

Whilst growing one's own or setting up a Community Supported Agriculture project on a small scale will help, it will only reach a very small proportion of the population.  It would take a long while to make a significant impact.

We then enjoyed our food and each other’s company, before moving into the afternoon.  The plan had been to split up to talk about personal resilience (aka avoiding burn-out); scaling up the movement; and energy measuring gadgets.  As it turned out, almost everyone wanted to scale up the movement, but felt too time-pressured and exhausted by the prospect, so there was a general decision to hold a plenary on personal resilience followed by the same on scaling up.

I have to say that I think this was a mistake in hindsight, as there were a small number of people who hadn’t the slightest interest in either topic and wanted to see the thermal imaging camera.  I don’t think we had enough time to devote to what really needed to be a more intimate discussion on the stresses and strains of this work.

I think the afternoon was actually a microcosm of the whole movement as I experience it.  We all feel that there is so much to so, and we feel as though we need to do it all, rather than taking our time and doing one thing right.  So my learning from the afternoon was just that – don’t try to take on more than you can cope with, and do a loving, beautiful job on what you do commit to.

Then we moved on to Scaling Up, and a few peeled off with Brian Kazar of Tring to have a look at the camera.  John Ingleby spoke about his experience of campaigning with The Hunger Project (HP) in the 1980s, when people were invited to “sign a card to end world hunger”. In 1984, HP volunteers achieved 58,000 cards signed in three months. Participation in HP increased substantially through these campaigns. While not suggesting Transition should turn to signing cards, there are several valuable lessons for scaling up:

  1. A clear message
  2. A defined end date
  3. Frequent publicised progress reports

Campaigns with these features are almost always successful (for example, community energy share offers). As when a large group of people light candles from each other in a darkened room, the time to light the last 100 can be less than it takes the first two.

John proposed we should promote the goal of “Zero Carbon by 2030”, and the following discussion explored how this may (or may not) be appropriate for Transition.

Over the two conferences we have made between us a host of very important connections, between each other, ideas and learning insights.  Christine Hopkins said of this conference “Great to be in a roomful of people determined to make a difference, and not just in a small way! Getting together with people from around our region, exchanging ideas and spreading the network, is inspiring and motivating.”

Here’s to the next one, when it is the right time.

John Bell, Ordinary Bloke

Mundaring in Transition launch a success

Thu, 24/04/2014 - 07:45

Over one hundred people attended the launch of Mundaring in Transition at the Hub on Saturday 12th April.  Transition is an exciting new international movement that is rapidly growing in Australia. There are already well over a thousand groups in forty five different countries with several springing up in the Perth metropolitan area. Transition is the process by which a community shifts to a lower energy future, shops locally and generally becomes more resilient and sustainable.

One of the features of transition is the formation of interest or action groups on topics of interest to the community such as waste reduction, cycling or renewable energy. This enables many members of the community, from young to old, to be involved in areas of particular interest to them.

The event  showcased some of the many groups in the Shire that are already doing the work of Transition such as the Glen Forrest Community Garden, Hills Sustainability Group, Hills Local Permaculture Group,  Mundaring Organic Growers Group, Men of the Trees and Swan Hills LETS. Peter Holland hosted the event and there were presentations from the Shire President Helen Dullard, Alan Pilgrim chair of the EMRC, Professor Ray Wills, Curtin University and Simone van Hattem from Conservation Council of WA.  These presenters provided an overview of the work the Shire is already involved with in relation to conservation and climate change and confirmed that an ongoing commitment will be needed over future years. 

Prof Wills provided an optimistic note. History shows that new inventions rapidly replace older, less efficient ones. Prof Wills used the example of the horse and buggy being replaced by the motor car. Australia is a leader in the uptake of new technologies and it is likely that new electric vehicles and renewable energy systems will rapidly swamp our markets making the combustion engine and coal fired electricity generation obsolete.

The excellent turnout and enthusiastic participation of those who attended suggests that the time is ripe for Transition. Many of us who are concerned about climate change and dwindling resources are unsure what action to take and anything we do as individuals can seem insignificant.   However a community coming together to do these things provides mutual support and engenders a sense of optimism which in turn can fuel further energy for change.

Additional evidence that community spirit is already strong in Mundaring was provided by the fact that the event was funded entirely by local sponsorship. Thanks go to the Bendigo Bank and the Shire of Mundaring as our major sponsors. Thanks also to The Mundaring Wellness Centre, the Soul Tree Cafe in Glen Forrest, the Parkerville Tavern, the Breadwinners Bakehouse Bakery, Bolt Coffee and the Mundaring branch of Rotary.

This is the beginning of Mundaring in Transition. This is start of a project that will last for several decades.  The next community event being planned is a visioning session to produce an Energy Descent Action Plan – a Transition concept whereby the community considers how best to adapt to a lower energy future.   It is hoped this will be sometime in August.

The April 2014 Round-up of What’s Happening out in the World of Transition

Wed, 09/04/2014 - 09:14

Let's start on the UK's south coast, where Transition Town Worthing's annual beach clean-up was given a boost through some funding from Southern Water, which covered their insurance and 100 high visibility jackets.  Barbara Shaw from TTW (right, with David Bone from Southern Water)  told The Worthing Herald

“It’s reassuring to have the backing of an important environmental organisation like Southern Water.  The beach clean attracts around a hundred volunteers participating in a well organised scientific survey of coastal litter. With the help of Southern Water we now have the certainty of covering some essential overheads for the next three years, which as a voluntary group is a huge relief.”

Transition Town Whitehead in Northern Ireland have been planting a community orchard, funded by the recently introduced Plastic Bag levy.  Here's a rather lovely film they made about it: 

  

Transition Town Reading have been out planting trees in two community orchard sites, with another two sites planned for next year.  Rich Waring, of TTR, said:

“In these tough economic times we can’t rely on a constant stream of grant money, so we’re using what we’ve been given to teach ourselves how to thrive without it.  The funding secured for the project covers six orchard sites over three years, and the plan is to build the skills in the community to allow us to plant further community orchards around the town without the need for further grant money.” 

Transition Letchworth were recently celebrating becoming an official Charitable Incorporated Organisation.  Southend in Transition have been building some fine new beds on their community allotment.  Transition Loughborough have also been busy.  They tweeted "The fruit cage frame is up! Workshop about to start with Andy showing how to grow soft fruit & make Hugelkuktur beds", and posted the following photo. 

  

Transition Town Walthamstow have been running a series of gardening courses.  You can learn all about how to nurture veg, fruit bushes and vines.  As part of the Cultivate Urban Food Growing Festival, Transition Walthamstow & the Walthamstow Family Bike Club ralso an a special bike ride on Sunday 30th March 2014 to explore food growing sites between Walthamstow & Chingford.  

The Bristol Pound appeared on Dutch TV

 

An ongoing skills and practical training project from TT-Bridport in Dorset continues to go from strength to strength with the support of over 6 local organisations (see right).  Known as the Home Counties here in the UK, Transition groups from Beds, Bucks and Herts were invited along by TT- Berkhamsted to a regional conference/big push for local resilience.  

Transition Streets is going well in St Albans, the group asking "if you would like to join a Streets group in your area, then give us your details and, when we spot a few people who live near each other, we’ll put you in touch.  Just give us your name, the name of your street, and your postcode".   

In addition to the now thriving community market (see left), TT Marlow in Bucks will be turning the market into a hub for sharing practical expertise with regular Skills Workshops.  

According to Horncastle News, "Transition Town Horncastle are hosting a festival in May and want local residents to find out the benefits of renewable energy".  The event takes place on May 17th and will feature information, talks, workshops, and even electric and hydrogen-powered cars.  There will be a range of experts to answer peoples' questions on both renewable energy generation and energy-saving. Jean Peacock from the group said “we do research into what is available for ordinary people to use and this is why we are having the Energy Festival.”

On Sunday May 25th, Transition Bristol will be hosting its 'Small Green Sunday', which it describes as "a gathering and lunchtime garden party, celebrating the amazing grassroots transition and sustainability work going on in and around Bristol".  It will be held at the Trinity Centre and starts at 10am (see flyer below).  

In the last Round up there were lots of Seedy Saturdays and Seedy Sundays, but here's news of the first Transition Tuesday.  Transition Redhill held theirs on March 18th.  Transition Langport have been busy... They tweeted: 

Faithful pickers collected 6 sacks of rubbish picked from community & wildlife areas

... and the following photo:

 

The end of March saw Whitstable Transition hosting an East Kent Transition gathering, inviting Transition initiatives from their wider region.  Here's their invitation:

Do come to this special gathering of transitional activists and hear about other positive community, environmental, sustainability, 'transition town' initiatives that are going on all across East Kent and beyond. Meet like minded and like hearted folk. 

No word yet on how it went.  Here's Transition Belper's latest newsletter. Gill Jacobs who writes about food and health issues, and who is a member Transition Kentish Town, gathered together some fellow members of the group recently to teach them about fermented foods, and wrote it up for The Guardian. She began: 

I'm part of the Transition Network where I live in north London, and naturally a lot of our conversations focus on food. I got chatting to the people who run a local veg box scheme, and we decided to collaborate on an event that would teach people how to make ferments such as sauerkraut, as well as explaining the science behind it. 

For the third year in a row, members of TT-Exmouth (Devon) planted a number of new trees courtesy of Exmouth Town Council which included hazel, willow, field maple, rowan, oak and silver birch (see right).

Transition Dorking's community orchard continues to go from strength to strength.  You can join them on May 18th for a "Blossom Picnic".  Good name for a band that.  They write: 

We did have the biggest crowd in the orchard so far, when over 140 people came to the very successful “Wassailing” event in January, and are delighted that this resulted in quite a few new “Friends” signing up to support the orchard. So we are gradually getting better known. We will definitely be wassailing again next year!

 Transition Town Tooting held their Spring Growing Celebration and Seed Swap which sounded great.  Here is the poster:

  Here's a collage they made of images from the day:   

May 13th sees the third Local Entrepreneurs' Forum in Totnes. It's an amazing event, and here's the rather fine poster.  If you want to come you can register here.  

 

The Garden Earth blog also ran an article by Gunnar Rundgren which looked at Transition in Totnes, in particular it's work around local food.  Ealing Transition Town tweeted:  

Great way to spend a lovely Spring day: 10 trees planted, forest garden off the mark! Thanks 2 everyone who helped, dig, plant, weed & trim!

Transition Chichester have also been gardening.  Here they are at work in the Bishops Palace Gardens: 

 

To Germany now.  According to national hub co-ordinator Gerd Wessling, after 4 years in "legal limbo", Transition Germany finally managed to give itself a legal structure! The NGO "Transition Netzwerk e.V." was created in Göttingen/Germany on March 15 & 16 2014.  It will be located in the small town of Witzenhausen in the center of Germany and was created in an intense & joyful 2 day workshop by 17 representatives and long-term Transition activits, who represented many different German Transition intitiatives.

It is open to all to become a member; be they individual Transitioners or Transition initiatives (who can join the network as such).  It will serve our German network in handling legal and financial issues, but will not BE the network itself.  More on our general structure will be discussed in the large Transition D/A/CH (German-speaking countries) network meeting, which currently is planned for probably (3)/4/5 Oct 2014.  More about the new NGO in German here.

On March 17 & 18th all currently 7 active German Transition Trainers met for the first time together in person in the city of Essen, to intensively work & talk about how to best evolve our very succesful German Transition courses (called "Werkzeuge des Wandels") in Austria, Switzerland and Germany.  More about the results will soon be posted here.  

Charles Eisenstein will be at the University of Bielefeld / Germany April 26th (15:30h) & 27th (9h to 15h) for a talk & a workshop.  The talk (no bookings required), will be entitled "Money, Gift, and Society in an Age of Transition".   The workshop (booking required), is called "(Transition) Activism and Leadership intensive" and you can book here

Here is a video about the work of Transition Town Haren in the Netherlands:

Here also is a film about Transition Town Zutphen ... 

 

From Italy here is a film of a presentation featuring Martina Francesca, one of the founders of Transition Italia and Oreste Magni, Vice President of the SCEC (an alternative currency scheme) in Lombardia:

New Zealand's Nelson Mail ran a piece by Gord Stewart called Transition Towns are on the Rise, which follows his experience of starting a Transition initiative in his community:

Then I received an email from Ben, a young dairy farmer living nearby. Ben wrote, "Is there a Transition group in our town? I'd like to get involved."  I thought: "No, there isn't, but there should be."  Now, I'm not the community organiser type, so my intention was to write about Transition Towns - spread word as best I thought I could - then get on with life.

But it wasn't to be. Ben and I decided to give it a go - show our environmental "stripes" and see if we could get something started in our community.  

Transition KW (Kitchiner/Waterloo) published their Climate Adaptation Toolkit. They held an event to launch it too...  Sylvie Spraakman from Transition KW wrote for this website and told me about the story of how the Toolkit came about

Here is a report from Juan del Rio in Spain.  

"Transitioners of all over the world, we would like to share a quick new about what is going on in Spain in this beginning of spring 2014. The Spanish Transition hub has just launched its new Transition website in Spanish. A collaborative work from people of different initiatives that after long months is finally there. A website that wants to catalyse the movement in Spain and help the Spanish spoken countries in general. It will try to connect the initiatives, inform about what initiatives are doing, about Transition trainings and events, and give a big array of resources to help initiatives with their challenging work. Here we share the new logo of “Red de Transición España”. We hope you like it, use the web, and help us to disseminate it.

The website was launched in a very interesting meeting co-organised by the Spanish Transition Hub, called “Barriers and Oportunities for Social initiatives towards Sustainability” that brought together, different social and ecological initiatives, academia, and people from institutions from Barcelona and other places. The main objectives of the meeting were to show the results of the Project “Barriers and Opportunities for Building Resilience: A Critical Assessment of Transition Initiatives in Spain” done with the Transition Research Network, present the new website, present the new European network ECOLISE, and finally to make a participatory world cafe to discuss among everyone about the main barriers, opportunities for social initiatives towards sustainability, as well as create synergies among them. The results were very rich and hopefully they will help to the different initiatives. Here you can download them (in Spanish).

To Serbia now. Nikola Burić from Novi Sad in Serbia got in touch with us. Nikola is part of ZELENA TAČKA, an environmental/educational hub. After having learnt via a quick internet search that Serbian and Croatian are similar languages (different dialects) we put Nikola in contact with Nenad Maljkovic from Transition Croatia/ZMAG.  

Nikola has already organised a screening of In Transition 2.0 (using the Croatian subtitles) and is reading and using material from the Transition Network website to weave in to ZELENA TAČKA. Watch this space for an emerging Transition Serbia National Hub! 

From Japan, here is an article by Jun Omuru in The Japan Times about Transition Town Hamamatsu which is a 3 year old Transition initiative in Western Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan.

In Queensland, Australia, a Fraser Coast Chronicle reader decided to go along to a Transition Town Hervey Bay (TTHB) meeting expecting a gentle chit chat about gardening over a cup of coffee. Instead, she got sleepless nights after a rude awakening to the vulnerability of the banking system! Read her story here.    

There are a number of fantastic posts on the FB page of TTHB. The Bank of England story she refers to is dated 25 March and is courtesy of Positive Money.

Lastly to the US. Sustainable Berea, Kentucky hosted its fifth annual Local Foods Expo, bringing together 38 exhibitors and hundreds of hungry guests (despite rainy weather) to celebrate the vibrant local food system. Sustainable Berea is also planning a 1.4 acre urban farm and orchard. Fifty-four community members attended the first open meeting to provide input on the farm!

Later this month, Transition Town Media, Pennsylvania will be hosting “Happiness Week” with daily events like a Spring Bird Walk, screening of the documentary "Happy," a Flash Mob, Children's Improv Workshop, Happiness Yoga, and more.

The Mid-Atlantic Transition Hub (MATH) hosted a Resilient Response to Extreme Weather potluck & discussion, an innovative approach to broadening Transition's reach by engaging faith communities around the launch of the new movie “Noah.” Read more in this blog post about Unlikely Suspects – Deep Outreach by Pamela Boyce Simms.

In Northern California, Transition US partnered with Art of Hosting to organize a 3-day Art of Participatory Leadership training which brought together more than fifty Transition and community resilience leaders to hone their facilitation skills. Another training is happening this weekend, April 11-13 in Saco, Maine. Read more about Hosting the Toughest Conversations of Our Time.

During the month of May, Transition US will be hosting the Community Resilience Challenge (formerly known as the Transition Challenge), now in its 4th year. Join Transitioners across the US in taking action to save water, conserve energy, grow food and build community!

On March 15, 65 people from across New England gathered at Antioch University in Keene, NH, to discuss the resilience of New England as a whole. Grounded in the region's deep history, participants provided feedback on a regional resilience concept paper and came up with nine initiatives to start building regional resilience, including a "Whole New England Catalog" and a Transition Research Network of students and academics. Read more or view the short video organizers used to invite people to think about organizing at a regional level.

That's it for this month!  See you in 4 weeks time...