Transition Town Movement

Welcome to ‘Seeds of Transition’!  Our Local Earth community groups help support, organize, coordinate and facilitate weekly Transition Town  study groups.  The focus is creating sustainable, resilient and localized communities that are less dependent on fossil fuels.

We use the ‘The Transition Handbook’ as a tool to educate and empower members of our local communities.  Each group chooses a specific day of the week, time and location for the 7 week study group.  For details and locations see the  Calendar.

If you are interested in starting your own study group or participating in one that is already in action please contact Wade Vernon (wade@treekaya.org) for more information!

The study group outline can be found on the Transition Seattle website under RESOURCES –  Transition Handbook Discussion Course.

Seeds of Transition
Date/Time/Location: (Same day of the week for 7 weeks – see Calendar for upcoming groups, details and locations)

Each week we study 2 or 3 chapters of the book individually and then come together as a group to discuss the reading.  This weekly gathering is open to anyone in the community.  You do not necessarily have to be reading the book or in the study group to attend the gathering.  You can learn and share a lot just by being part of the discussion.   You may want to register with the Initiative on the Transition website to be more involved in the Transition!

The 1st gathering is an introduction to the group.  We take some time to get to know each other, get familiar with the Transition Initiative and watch the introduction movie (about 45 minutes).   We begin discussing the 1st reading assignments the following week.

We recommend you order your books soon if you want to have your own copy for the study group.  It is an excellent resource to add to your personal library.

We recommend you order your books soon if you want to have your own copy for the study group.  It is an excellent resource to add to your personal library.

LINKS:

Local Transition Initiative
Buy book at Amazon
More Transition Books & Publications

We look forward to Transitioning with you!!! Learning … sharing  … and exploring together as a community!

~Namaste
The ‘Seeds of Transition’ Team

More about the books

As people around the world experiment with the Transition Model and apply it to all sorts of different types of communities, we’re seeing the knowledge base expand significantly. And as Transition Initiatives get further into the work of transforming their communities, the specialist groups are learning more about relocalised responses in the fields of energy, local government, food, housing, business, economics and beyond.

In order to distill the learnings from all these projects and experiments, we’re producing a number of books in partnership with Green Books:

  • The Transition Handbook: from oil dependency to local resilience – by Rob Hopkins
  • The Transition Timeline: for a local, resilient future – by Shaun Chamberlin
  • Local Food: how to make it happen in your community – by Tamzin Pinkerton and Rob Hopkins
  • Local Money: how to make it happen in your community – by Peter North
  • Local Sustainable Homes: how to make them happen in your community – Chris Bird
  • Communities, Councils and a Low Carbon Future: working together to make things happen – by Alexis Rowell

The first of these was the Transition Handbook, by Rob Hopkins.  Patrick Holden, director of the Soil Association, describes it well:

The Transition concept is one of the big ideas of our time. Peak oil and climate change can so often leave one feeling depressed and disempowered. What I love about the Transition approach is that it is inspirational, harnessing hope instead of guilt, and optimism instead of fear. The Transition Handbook will come to be seen as one of the seminal books which emerged at the end of the Oil Age and which offered a gentle helping hand in the transition to a more local, more human and ultimately more nourishing future.

What exactly is a Transition Town?
A Transition Initiative (which could be a town, village, university or island etc) is a community-led response to the pressures of climate change, fossil fuel depletion and increasingly, economic contraction. There are thousands of initiatives around the world starting their journey to answer this crucial question:
for all those aspects of life that this community needs in order to sustain itself and thrive, how do we significantly rebuild resilience (to mitigate the effects of Peak Oil and economic contraction) and drastically reduce carbon emissions (to mitigate the effects of Climate Change)?

Here’s how it all appears to be evolving…

It all starts off when a small collection of motivated individuals within a community come together with a shared concern: how can our community respond to the challenges, and opportunities, of Peak Oil, Climate Change, and increasingly, economic stagnation? They recognise several crucial points:

  • to a certain degree, we all experience a life disconnected from our living environment, disconnected from our communities and disconnected from our landbase
  • that our energy-profligate ways of living have depleted our resource base to critical levels
  • that we used immense amounts of creativity, ingenuity and adaptability on the way up the energy upslope, and that there’s no reason for us not to do the same on the downslope
  • that we have to act now, rather than wait for the government or “someone else”
  • if we collectively plan and act early enough there’s every likelihood that we can create a way of living that’s significantly more connected, more vibrant and more in touch with our environment than the oil-addicted treadmill that we find ourselves on today.

They begin by forming an initiating group and then adopt the Transition Model with the intention of engaging a significant proportion of the people in their community to kick off a Transition Initiative that is asking the BIG question :
for all those aspects of life that this community needs in order to sustain itself and thrive, how do we significantly increase resilience (to mitigate the effects of Peak Oil) and drastically reduce carbon emissions (to mitigate the effects of Climate Change)?
They then usually do a few activities:

  • awareness raising around peak oil, climate change and the need to undertake a community lead process to rebuild resilience and reduce carbon
  • connecting with existing groups, including local government, in the community
  • forming groups to look at all the key areas of life (food, energy, transport, health, heart & soul, economics & livelihoods, etc)
  • kicking off practical projects aimed at building people’s understanding of resilience and carbon issues and community engagement
  • engage in a community-wide visioning process to identify the future we want for ourselves rather than waiting for someone else to create a future that we won’t like
  • eventually launch a community defined, community implemented “Energy Descent Action Plan” over a 15 to 20 year timescale

This results in a co-ordinated initiative across all these areas of life that strives both to rebuild the resilience we’ve lost as a result of cheap oil and also to reduce the community’s carbon emissions drastically.

The four phases (roughly)

The community self-organises to respond in four phases.
First, the small initiating group starts a programme of awareness raising and hooking up with existing groups. They articulate the rationale for adopting/adapting a transition approach and show the creative responses that the community might embark upon.
Second, as the group becomes larger, it self-organises in groups in all the key areas such as food, transport, energy, housing, education, textiles etc, and creates practical projects in response to that big question (such as community supported agriculture, car clubs, local currencies, neighbourhood carbon reduction clubs, urban orchards, reskilling classes). Most Transition Initiatives are in this phase.

Third, when the initiative is sufficiently competent with these concepts and practices, it embarks on an EDAP (Energy Descent Action Plan) process. This is a community-visioned and community-designed 15-20 year plan that creates a coordinated range of projects in all these key areas, with the aim of bringing the community to a sufficiently resilient and low CO2-emitting state. A very small handful of Transition Initiatives have embarked on this phase.
Fourth, they begin implementing the EDAP, sharing successes and failures with other Transition Initiatives that are travelling the same path. As of June 2010, it looks like only Transition Town Totnes have embarked on this phase – see their Totnes EDAP site.

Cheerful disclaimer!

Just in case you were under the impression that Transition is a process defined by people who have all the answers, you need to be aware of a key fact.
We truly don’t know if this will work. Transition is a social experiment on a massive scale.
What we are convinced of is this:

•    if we wait for the governments, it’ll be too little, too late
•    if we act as individuals, it’ll be too little
•    but if we act as communities, it might just be enough, just in time.

Everything that you read on this site is the result of real work undertaken in the real world with community engagement at its heart. There’s not an ivory tower in sight, no professors in musty oak-panelled studies churning out erudite papers, no slavish adherence to a model carved in stone.

This website, just like the transition model, is brought to you by people who are actively engaged in transition in a community. People who are learning by doing – and learning all the time. People who understand that we can’t sit back and wait for someone else to do the work. People like you, perhaps…

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