December 2012 Transition Newsletter

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The Transition Network Newsletter

December 2012
Supporting community-led responses to climate change
and shrinking supplies of cheap energy,
building resilience and happiness.

The Transition Network newsletter December 2012


November Round-up of What’s Happening out in the World of Transition
A bumper round-up this month which contains some of the finest short films about Transition among many many other things.

European Union Award for Transitioners
Massive congratulations to Transitioners across Europe as we all win The European Economic and Social Committee Civil Society Prize for 2012. This is great recognition for the work of so many people in hundreds of European local communities who are engaging their local civil society in developing low carbon futures and livelihoods which promote wellbeing for all in the community.

The Top Ten films as chosen by Transition initiatives!
What are your three best films to screen at Transition events? Following a call for input on Transition Culture, the top 10 films have been announced.


At the Transition Free Press we’re gearing up to our first issue and thanks to 40 wonderful Transition intiatives across the UK, we have a fully-fledged distribution network in place. Now our next goal is our crowd-funding appeal launched last month which will go toward paying our contributors and printing costs. We need to reach £10,000 (at least) by next February. Can you help us get the presses rolling? We have 17 esteemed paperbackers already behind us and we’re are looking for many more. Do check out our dedicated site at BuzzBnk
Searching for that right-on, head, heart and hands Transition gift? Why not buy an annual subscription to the paper and help us reach our BuzzBnk target?
A big festive thank you for all of us here.

DECEMBER UPDATE: A Paper is not Just for Christmas – it’s for a Whole Year
(incl advertising and why we are publishing a paper)

Crowd funding appeal launched
After publishing our preview issue in the summer, the need for new media now seems more relevant than ever. Hosted by BuzzBnk it will run for 90 days and our target is £15,000 (or more!).

Introducing Mark Watson, Distribution Manager
For every newspaper printed there is always a hard-working (and usually invisible) editorial crew behind the scenes.


Stories from Deep Time Week:

In the beginning of Transition the EDAP was sort of the point of Transition.

Being Here Now in Earth Time with Plants
In a conversation about plants a herbalist called Kit said she thought the plant for the Occupy movement should be rosemary. For strength. For keeping the heart and spirits in good cheer. For remembrance.

Stories from Hierarchy and Privilege week:

Deconstructing the Beast
We like to think, as Transitioners, we are classless, but we are not…. (but) the middle class slur is a trap, even in the most enlightened, diverse, open, inclusive Transiton groups. Somehow we have to get out of it.

The Transition Pecking Order
When it comes to hierarchy I shall begin in the chicken shed.

Transition Network’s Workshop on Privilege
We ignore the impact of rank at our peril, in both our personal relationships and organisational transactions.

Farewell to Adrienne
Adrienne Campbell – the spark that lit our stove, our friend and fellow social reporter died in her home town of Lewes.

Stories from Trees week:

Forest Livelihoods
Today we see the woods as somewhere we go to walk the dog, where we have picnics and cycle rides.

Reforesting Scotland
Our disrespect for trees is a symptom of our disrespect for the environment at large. There is a mindset, which has persisted for thousands of years, that humans can’t possibly damage something as vast as the environment.

Discovering the world through wooden spoons
Using proper tools is not an opportunity you really get in modern life.

Stories from Livelihoods week

So, what do you do?
“I’m an anti-capitalism activist fighting to turn the global economic system on its head, but it doesn’t pay very well.”

The Case for Transparency
What happens when a project receives funding, a project that has been entirely volunteer-led, where people have provided their considerable skills and expertise for free?

More than it appears at first glance!


The Evolution and Practice of the ‘Transition Town Anywhere’ activity
For many people, the highlight of the 2012 Transition Network conference was the ‘Transition Town Anywhere’ activity, where a resilience local economy was built, lived in, celebrated and then taken down again over the space of one morning. Ruth Ben-Tovim, one of the event’s organisers, tells us how the event came about, how it worked, and how you could do a version in your community.

Swimming for Adrienne
She loved wild swimming. It was something we shared, along with a love of all wild things, bees, plants, ancestors, and of course, Transition.

Les Belles Tisanes de France and other Plants for Life

Playing for Time
Lucy Neal asks « Does art have a purpose? Can it change our sense of what is possible in the world? »

A Tale of Two Cities
While a demonstration gathered in Norwich, only a couple of streets away there was, however, a different story.

Mr Moyse and the Green Tomatoes
A small sustainable tale about honouring the elders and finding your roots wherever you are.

REconomy Corner (or REconomics if you prefer!)
Fiona Ward tells us that November has seen a number of exciting developments around REconomy, here’s just 3 to whet your appetite…

At the start of the month we were involved in shaping and running a 2 day event for local government CEOs across the South West. Richard Sheard, the CEO of our local authority, was responsible for organising this event and invited our participation following the work we have done with him, and and other local organisations, around our Economic Evaluation work in Totnes. Richard bravely decided to stick his head above the parapet and ask some difficult questions…

As mentioned above, the Economic Evaluation work is nearing completion in Totnes (soon to be finished in Hereford too, and Manchester a city by mid 2013) and the detailed reports are now available for sharing. We are already seeing how this work is helping us build close working relationships with our local councils, colleges and business support organisations. There seems to be a lot of interest in this work, and we are busy working on ways to share the process and the learnings as widely as possible…

Show me the money!
We have just posted a set of useful guides, videos and links to help you understand and set-up local currencies and other alternative means of exchange

and still on the money theme, there’s a fantasticreview of 40 crowd funding platforms so whatever you need money for, there may be someone who wants to give it to you!

For all the ideas and resources to help you transform your local economy see
The best way to stay up to date our latest REconomy news is by liking our Facebook page
or following us on Twitter:


Real Clothes for the Emperor: Facing the challenges of climate change
This talk by Kevin Anderson of the UK Tyndall Centre of a lecture at the Cabot Institute’s annual lecture in Bristol is powerful, and essential stuff about climate change. According to Rob Hopkins it « could turn out to be one of the most important 58 minutes you ever spend sat in front of your computer ».

After you’ve watched that, you might want to read this…
Community action alleviates climate change gloom
…and this
Identifying the positive trends of Transition already emerging


Transition Town Forres Are Crowdfunding
With 100% matched funding, Forres Transition are trying to raise $10,000 to convert an existing agricultural shed into an Environmental Education & Healthy Living Centre.

Newport Solar Project
Gen Community’s first project in Newport, South Wales, will put solar panels on 240 low income houses, reducing their electricity bills by 25% annually, helping to alleviate fuel poverty.


Food in Transition: Towards a research and policy agenda
University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester CO4 3SQ, Essex
Wed 6th Feb 2013
help develop a new agenda for local food practice, research and policy.

The End to End Cycle Tour
In Spring 2013, a small group will cycle 1,000 miles from Land’s End to John O’Groats. Along the way it will visit the UK’s most inspiring eco communities, permaculture projects, transition movements, and community kitchens. Applications are now open!

Transition THRIVE course – the training for people in established Transition groups
When: weekend of 9-10 February 2013 
Where: Totnes
Trainers: Naresh Giangrande (Transition Totnes and Transition Network training’s co-founder) and Jenny MacKewn (Senior lecturer at Bath University and member of Transition Bath)
Costs: £105 for both days (Bursaries are available!).
Click here to book:
Contact: If you’d like to book a place, have any questions or bursary enquiries
Want to know more about “Transition THRIVE” and if it is you?
Click here for more info.

Transition LAUNCH
This is our original training with lots of practical ideas on 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 initiative become a success.
Click here for more info:

When: weekend of 16-17 March 2013 (9:30am-6:00pm on both days)
Where: Transition Network, Totnes
Trainers: Hal Gillmore and Inez Aponte
Costs & Booking: £105 for both days (Bursaries are available!).
Click here to book:
Contact: If you have any questions or bursary enquiries, please

Economics in Transition
Our partners at The Schumacher College are now opening applications to join their ‘Economics in Transition’ postgraduate course.

Inner Transition
A practical exploration of the Heart & Soul dimension of Transition
26-27 January 2013 – Islington Ecology Centre, London
This two day workshop is for anyone interested in the inner aspect of the Transition process who wants to deepen their understanding of this area, connect and share experience with others, and be inspired to take the next steps for themselves or their group. The territory of “Inner Transition” is broad, powerful, fascinating and sometimes challenging to define, to explain or to organise. Full details on the course

Free Teleseminar on Transformative Social Change
Sunday, 9th December 7pm
David Gershon introduces strategies and tools we can use to change behaviour, empower communities and transform large systems.

And Finally ….

« Spiritual teachers have long dreamed of a moneyless society. And now look at how many people have a head start. »
— Swami Beyondananda

Open Forum

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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

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