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A collection of news stories, reports and announcements from or about Transition related matters.

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October 2010 Transition Network Newsletter

The October 2010 Transition Network Newsletter

~ Transition World Round Up
~ Communities, Councils and a Low-Carbon Future
~ Transition and The Big Society
~ Sustainable Ability report
~ Allotment Motion
~ Ways of Knowing
~ Transition US Appeal
~ The Turning Point - the movie

~ Dreaming Circle for Transition Trainers
~ Germany in Transition Conference
~ Diverse Roots Of Belonging Conference

~ Community Microsites Update
~ Transition Near Me
~ Twibbons Are Go

~ Quote of the month


Transition World Round Up
Reports this month come from countries including the Netherlands, Italy, Sweden, Canada, USA, New Zealand, Australia as well as around the UK.

Communities, Councils and a Low-Carbon Future:
what we can do if governments won’t
This new Transition book by Alexis Rowell is designed to inform and inspire councils and councillors, as well as local environmental activists, community groups and Transition Initiatives. While central government is busy setting targets they know they will never have to meet, local government can break the logjam of helplessness, denial and despair over climate change and peak oil.

You can read the Forward to the book by Rob Hopkins here

And order copies here

Plus enter a competition to win a copy
Thanks to those good people at Green Books, we have 5 copies to give away in our easy-to-enter competition. So get your thinking cap on, and here we go… As you have hopefully noticed, we have now published 4 books in this ‘Transition Books’ ‘local’ series: Local Food, Local Money, Local Sustainable Homes and now this one (which line up beautifully next to each other on a bookshelf … you should try it…) What do you think should be the next title in the series? Every entry, whatever the suggestion, will go in a hat, and the winners drawn out at midday on Friday 15th October 2010. (UK delivery only). To enter, simply email an idea, however well thought out, silly or throwaway, to rob [at]

Transition and The Big Society
The Conservative party in the UK have announced a flagship initiative called the Big Society. The stated aim is "to create a climate that empowers local people and communities, building a big society that will 'take power away from politicians and give it to people'.

At the end of September, an invited group met in Bristol to examine from a Transition perspective Big Society’s implications and associated threats and opportunities and discuss how we might shape its future development.

Sustainable Ability report
With a forward by Transition Network Chair Pete Lipman and written by two of the driving forces behind Transtion Tooting, Lucy Neal and Hilary Jennings, a new report from Sustainable Ability explores the importance of the arts in behavioural change.

The report firstly makes a start to map the growing response to both resource scarcity and climate change by individuals and organisations in the UK arts and cultural sector. It also begins to assemble information, which might help deepen our understanding of the practical and behavioural barriers preventing greater breadth and depth of response to both issues.

You can view the report online and download the pdf here:

Allotment Motion
Earlier this year Transition Town West Kirby did a survey of allotment waiting lists in England. They found that the average waiting list has increased from 49 to 59 people waiting per 100 plots (a 20% increase) and there is no sign that the increase in demand for allotments is slowing down. This amounts to a total number of people waiting for allotments around England is 94,124.

An MP has submitted an Early Day Motion (EDM 687) for debate. To-date 28 MPs have signed the Motion and author of the report, Margaret Campbell, is asking Transition groups around the England to check if their MP has signed the motion and if they have have, thank them for their support and offer to meet with them to discuss the situation in their constituency and if they haven't, to seek their support.

Ways of Knowing
Is "critical thinking" the only reliable way of knowing? A group from Totnes met to explore the following four questions:
what is the role of inner work in transition?
what is the role of spirituality in transition?
what's implicit or explicit for each of these?
what (relative) emphasis should we give to the various ways of knowing?
These questions had arisen, in part, due to the inclusion of "critical thinking" as a pattern in the next version of the Transition Handbook and some objections to Rob’s suggestion in that draft pattern that "critical thinking" was the only reliable way of knowing. Following the meeting, each participant agreed to write up their thoughts, so that the debate could be continued more widely on the Transition Network site.

Transition US Appeal
Since Transition US was founded just two years ago, 75 Transition Communities have formed -- in rural areas like Hay River, Wisconsin; cities like Houston, Texas; and even the largest metropolitan area in the US: Los Angeles, California. Now, Transition US is taking a bold step and seeking to raise $200,000 by the end of the year, to give this burgeoning movement a big boost at a critical time.

Here's the best part: every dollar you contribute will be matched through a challenge grant going through The Post Carbon Institute, if we hit our $100,000 Challenge Goal.

The Turning Point - the movie
The Findhorn Ecovillage in Scotland have made a short film intended to inspire and empower Transition Initiatives called The Turning Point. As well as practical examples of low carbon enterprise, the 40 min film features inspiring commentary from Joanna Macy, Richard Heinberg, Rob Hopkins and Dorothy Maclean, among others. They are willing to send a free DVD of the film to up to 200 Transition groups anywhere in the world that are interested in showing the film at an awareness-raising event (offer open up to the end of October).


Dreaming Circle for Transition Trainers
Braziers Park, December 1st-3rd
Calling all facilitators and trainers who have expertise in group process. This is an an exciting, experimental opportunity to become part of a collaborative training community!

We are experimenting with how to evolve the next generation of training we offer to Transition Initiatives. Our intention is to develop the next generation of training for Transition Initiatives, and to widen the group of people who are involved in creating and delivering training and make this process open and collaborative.

The idea is to set up a dreaming circle, where ideas and practice can be shared and explored. Because group work is crucial to Transition, we’ll be focusing on how to set up and sustain fun and effective groups as the first in what we hope will be a series of Dreaming Circles.

Germany in Transition Conference
19-21st November, Hanover
Participants are expected from Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Benelux, and other places. It will be primarily a German-speaking conference

Diverse Roots Of Belonging Conference
20 - 21st November, Edinburgh
This conference is a truly international feast and will be a fantastic opportunity to see how Transition can make new alliances and work with the other movements and initiatives which are all aiming at reclaiming our creative, collaborative, place-based way of living.

More on all these events and more here


Community Microsites Update
We're moving off the old wiki at the end of 2010. This is an update for all those initiatives using the old wiki for their website, and those newly interested in the 'Community Microsites'.

Transition Near Me
Ever wondered what was happening transition-wise near you? Ever wondered what that those other two transition towns in your vicinity were up to? Ever needed to find another like-minded person you could actually spend some face-to-face time with to discuss your transition efforts/successes/woes?

Twibbons Are Go
No, it's not as weird as it sounds. Twibbons are little 'badges' you add to your twitter profile to show your support. it takes a couple of moments to do, doesn't do any harm, and is a bit of fun, as well as saying 'Yup, I'm a transitioner'.

Quote of the month:
'Each uneventful day that passes reinforces the steadily growing false sense of confidence that everything is alright. That I, we, my group, must be OK, because the way we did things today resulted in no adverse consequences.'
Scott Snook, senior lecturer in the Organizational Behavior unit at Harvard Business School
quoted by Laurie Taylor on 'Thinking Allowed' on Radio 4


Newsletter planned to be on the first Friday of the month.

Newsletter Editor: Mike Grenville, from Transition Forest Row
+44 (0)1342 825169

Read the October 2010 newsletter online here