March 2012 – Transition Network Newsletter

Transition Network

March 2012 – Transition Network Newsletter

With spring on the way, we bring you another edition packed full with seeds of ideas that we hope will reap bumper crops in your communities. As well as being the media with social reports about skill share, films, energy and the economy, we are also in with the Guardian and Radio 4. You can learn how Bristol gets fed what a home using 60% less energy is like inside, get inspired with Training and be part of a thriving Reconomy.


We’re one of ‘Britain’s 50 New Radicals’!
Transition Network was announced by NESTA and The Observer as one of
‘Britain’s 50 New Radicals’. We’re honoured, and are in some great company.
You can see the full list of finalists here

February Round-up of What’s Happening out in the World of Transition
Our round-up starts in Canada with a riveting speech about the tar Sands pipeline and other inspiring projects including a Transition Bus! In France a community garden is using old kiwi storage boxes to grow veg and herbs. There is also news from Germany, Holland and a CSA conference in Ireland. News also from Japan and a meetup in Portugal to discuss the future of the National Network. News also from Australia, USA, South Africa and lots from the UK

US Edition Round-up

The February Podcast
The Bristol Pound, resilience surveys and a Transition newspaper!

The 2012 US Transition Challenge
Throughout May thousands of citizens from around the USA take up the Transition Challenge. Abandoned lots will be converted into green oases and school children will pull weeds and plant tomatoes. Whole communities will pick up shovels and tools to help construct rainwater harvesting systems, install solar panels, make energy efficiency improvements, and share garden know-how with their friends and neighbors. Read more:

Transition at the Guardian Open Weekend
Starting a Community Business and Currency are two of the Transition events at the Guardian newspaper’s Open Weekend. On Saturday evening there will be a screening a screening of ’In Transition 2.0‘ followed by Q&A. Although tickets have all sold out, it is hoped that some of these events will be filmed and put on the Guardian’s website.

BBC Radio 4 ‘Four Thought’ Talk
« “Engaged optimism” is the best way to face the global challenges » said Rob Hopkins on BBC Radio 4’s Four Thought, a series of talks in which speakers give a personal viewpoint recorded in front of an audience at the RSA in London” Using a series of props, Rob illustrated his talk that aimed at ‘breathing new life into the concept of resilience’. You can read the notes and download the podcast of the programme here


A selction of some favourites stories this past month with the full archive of stories here:

Skill Share

Skill Sharing as a Way of Life
Imagine if skill-sharing was an integral part of our society, how much knowledge
there would be available, almost like a physical internet!


Peak Oil: Seven Years on the Plateau
In 2005 we arranged ourselves in a line according to when we thought
the year of peak oil was.

Power to the People
This is a story of how a community created its own energy company. It began with an Open Space workshop run by Transition Town Lewes mid-2007 called ‘How will Lewes power itself?

Wind and Democracy
Currently in Britain, only about half the proposed on-shore wind projects are
granted planning permission.

I Got the Power!
Small consumer acts like turning off the shower or changing the lightbulb
do not challenge the system.

Transition and Film Media

The Last Picture Show
This week we’re looking at Transition and Film Media. Films powerfully affect the way we perceive the world. They can maintain the illusion that everything is fine by providing us
with entertainment and feel-good escapes, or they can confront us with reality.

Democracy, Journalism and Film Nights
Five or so years of regular monthly screenings have created all manner of bonds
and connections between those who attend.

Fine Tuning the Great Transition
Why we made The Crisis of Civilization and what’s next for Transition

The Power of Film
The price collapse of projectors, quality video cameras, and video editing software
has enabled a wealth of all sorts of documentaries.

Reflecting on The Transition Companion: Ingredients and Tools

Coming Together in Groups Ingredient #1
It is the essential thread that runs through the whole movement and distinguishes it in many ways.

The Power of Visioning: Ingredient #7
So many people become paralysed by ‘depressing’ films that they just cannot
imagine an alternative to our current society.


REconomy and Me
If Transition is to succeed – to deliver on its promise of happier, more resilient communities – then it’s always seemed obvious to me that the work we do is fundamental to this change.

Lancaster: Small Steps to REconomy
Six months work by nine dedicated, busy and unpaid professionals – gone.

Time For The Rest Of Your Life
I can’t claim that Timebanking cures all known transitional aches and pains

Transition Stories

Off the Wagon
My name is Helenofnorwich and I haven’t driven for 6 days and 3 hours…

A Love Affair With Place
The challenge we face in Transition is to belong to places ourselves.

I Am Another Yourself
Some of us have partners and families and friends who do not see it our way
at all and contradict our every move.

The Happy Hoarder: Waxing Poetic
Lots of your friends are becoming farmers; so why don’t you become a candle maker?


« Who Feeds Bristol? »
So, who DOES feed Bristol, and will they be doing it in 2050? The report was commissioned and funded by NHS Bristol. The report is primarily a descriptive analysis of the food system serving Bristol. It also gives some global context, plus a discussion of resilience in relation to inputs, outputs and threats. There should be one of these for every town/city.

More projects in the Projects Directory

Brixton Energy Repowering South London
The UK’s first inner city community owned solar project launches with a £75,000 community Share Offer. The project will install several hundred square metres of solar panels on the roofs of the Loughborough Estate in Brixton, one the UK’s most economically deprived areas.

A Lush Offer
Local Transition groups are offered support from soap retailer Lush.
A year ago Lush kindly provided some funding to Transition Network in order that we could provide bursaries for the Transition Training courses for people who would otherwise struggle to pay. Lush say their shops are now running environmental, charity and campaigning events and that they suggest their shops tie up with their local Transition group. For example Transition Cambridge did a training session on running charity events in the shops.
Note that Lush is a vegetarian/vegan company so they wouldn’t want to get involved with any projects promoting rearing animals. If you think there is something you could do together contact your local shops directly.
Find your local shops here:
Or contact Lotte who works with the Lush Green Team to support the shops doing all things green:


REconomy Project Local Entrepreneur Forum – Totnes March 21st
Hosted by Transition Town Totnes, it will bring local social/sustainable entrepreneurs, investors, and experts together for an all-day event that will include learning, networking, and deal-making. One of the aims of this project is to document it and make it easily replicable for other communities around the country.

Event organiser Jay Tompt comes over all enthusiastic about the REconomy launch:

SuperHomes Week 17-25th March
Pioneering owners of more than 60 of the UK’s most energy efficient SuperHomes will be hosting free open days and tours. SuperHomes are older homes that have been renovated
by their owners to reduce carbon emissions by at least 60%.These are real homes owned by real people who have made a major commitment to reduce their carbon emissions. At these
Open Days the owners will share the benefits and challenges involved in making these dramatic changes. Find an open home to visit near you:

More events here


Last few days to book for London’s first “Transition THRIVE” course
– the training for people in established Transition groups
When: weekend of 17-18 March (9:30am-6:00pm on both days)
Where: Islington Ecology Centre, two minutes’ walk from the Piccadilly line
Trainers: Naresh Giangrande (Transition Totnes and Transition Network training’s co-founder) and Mandy Dean (Transition Bro Ddyfi, Wales)
Costs: £105 for both days (Bursaries are available!)
Contact: If you’d like to book a place, have any questions or bursary enquiries or can’t make March but would like to do the next Thrive training contact
Want to know more about “Transition THRIVE” and if it is you? More info:

Still a few places left for Transition LAUNCH- the training that gets people started
When: weekend of 21-22 April (9:30am-6:00pm on both days)
Where: Birdwood House, right in the heart of Totnes
Trainers: Sophy Banks and Hamid Van Koten
Costs: £105 for both days (Bursaries are available!)
Contact: If you’d like to book a place, have any questions or bursary enquiries or can’t make April but would like to do the next LAUNCH training contact

Click here to see all upcoming Transition Training courses.

« If you know that life is a gift then the natural response is gratitude…..
If there are no gifts, then there is no community. »

Watch the new short film with Charles Eisenstein

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

Newsletter Editor: Mike Grenville,
from Transition Forest Row for the Transition Network
+44 (0)7974 924289

Copyright (C) 2012 Transition Network All rights reserved.

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