Transitioning into a brighter future
As a campaigning company, we support many campaigning organisations through Charity Pot and our Carbon Tax fund (our self-imposed tax on our staff's international flights). We also run our own campaigns to highlight and challenge animal cruelty, environmental destruction and human rights abuses. Bringing an end to these harmful practices is crucial to creating a better world, but what's also important is creating a positive alternative. That's why we love the Transition Network!
Totnes - The first transition town
Back in 2005, Totnes became the first Transition Town. When word got out about what they were doing they became inundated with requests for information and advice and so set up the Transition Network as a way to inspire, encourage, connect, support and train others to begin Transitioning their communities into healthy, happy and resilient places. Now, just a few years later, there are over 300 established Transition Initiatives (towns, village, islands etc) around the world, with thousands more taking their first few steps.
Transition is all about the community working together to address the challenges and opportunities of peak oil (oil reserves running out) and climate change and aims to build resilience and happiness. At some point soon, although we cannot say when, we'll be forced to make changes in our lives because of climate change and peak oil, so Transition is all about being prepared for this and creating communities that can cope with these changes. The Transition Network's main principles include creating a positive vision of the future to head towards, looking at the wider picture and not just single issues, to be inclusive of everyone in the community including local businesses and councils and to make decisions together in a non-hierarchical way.
They also put an emphasis on looking after each other through what can be a difficult process. When Transition Cambridge visited us earlier this year, they gave a lovely introduction to what the Transition Network is all about. You can see a short clip here.
A new Transition initiative usually starts with raising awareness in the community about climate change and peak oil (often through screening relevant films) and networking with other local groups with similar aims and bringing them all together.
Once the group has grown sufficiently in numbers, they'll start projects such as learning forgotten practical skills, like growing food (which could include garden shares, allotments and orchards), making clothes (eg knitting) and woodworking; promoting sustainable transport such as cycling and public transport; supporting local businesses and promoting renewable energy use. All the projects aim to reduce the community's reliance on oil and other fossil fuels, dramatically reducing CO2 emissions.
The Transition Network
The Transition Network offers a two day training course to new Transition Initiatives; they have trained thousands of people in over 14 countries and last year, they ran twenty courses in the UK and dozens more internationally. As the Transition Network is only a small organisation with just a handful of staff, they are not able to offer the training for free and participants pay around £110 for the weekend course, excluding accommodation and travel.Transition Initiatives are small, grassroots groups of volunteer community members, some of which are unable to attend the course because of the costs.
Therefore, where they can, Transition Network offer bursary places, but this is usually very limited. Through our Carbon Tax fund, we provided £5,000 funding towards bursary places to enable more volunteers to take part in the training.
If you'd like to be part of this inspiring, positive movement, join a Transition Initiative near you or start up your own - the Transition Network can give you all the information you need to get started.
More about the Transition Network
Join a Transition Network near you