Transition Initiative Introduction


Published on

Transition Initiatives is a world-wide network of communities acting locally to address global challenges like climate change, peak oil, and economic crisis. Started in England in 2005 by Rob Hopkins, this framework for action has empowered communities to plan for the future in a meaningful and proactive way.

Published in: Education
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide
  • Welcome to this introduction to Transition Initiatives – a contagious framework for individuals and local communities to take local action as they address global challenges.
  • We will briefly outline the impetus for the creation of Transition Initiatives, a short history of the first initiative and its chronicler,The principles which emerged,Structural suggestions,things you might see in an active transition initiative, the explosive growth of the movement, including what is happening locally,And what you can do now.
  • The Key Questions:For all those aspects of life that this community needs to sustain itself and thrive, how do we: dramatically reduce carbon emissions (in response to climate change); significantly increase resilience (in response to peak oil); greatly strengthen our local economy (in response to economic instability)?Nonetheless…each of these issues is but a symptom of deeper problems facing our world…
  • The underlying issues that we must face are: “It takes a lot of cheap energy to maintain the levels of social inequality we see today, the levels of obesity, the record levels of indebtedness, the high levels of car use and alienating urban landscapes. Only a culture awash with cheap oil could become de-skilled on the monumental scale we have.” —Rob Hopkins
  • One of my favorite comic strips is “Agnes” by Tony Cochran. This strip ran recently and I thought it would be appropriate to share it with you today as an illustration of the attitudes of too many people.Cindy will play the part of Agnes, and I will take the part of Agnes’ friend, Trout.
  • So far, what we do know is that, since the industrialization of the developing world, our population has grown at an exponential rate. By association, our energy and resource use, and thus our detritus of pollution and waste has also grown and an increasingly rapid rate. US has 4% of the world’s population yet uses 25% of the world’s resourcesWe are approaching what some call a Tipping Point.
  • As we look to the future, many see the growth curve approximating this shape. In my opinion this could at best be called a Techno-Fantasy (emphasis on Fantasy) that supposes that technology or new discoveries can accommodate our reckless behaviors.
  • However, if we continue to believe that “they” will take care of fueling our over-extended lifestyle, or that “science” will find a way to enable it…we are headed for a rude awakening (ala “Mad Max”) where we find ourselves in a desperate situation.
  • Of course there is the hope that Green Technologies, like wind, solar, geothermal and hydro energy will develop quickly enough to compensate for the demand and we will all become somewhat more conscious of our energy use. The key in this scenario is that our overall demand is brought into alignment with the available renewable technologies, in spite of increasing population rises.
  • The basis for the Transition initiative is that we have to make some long-term decisions and create what is called an “Energy Descent Action Plan” in order to make a deliberate move into a deep Earth Stewardship model of behavior. Through difficult choices, deliberate behavior, and life-affirming action we can together create a plan that will meet all our NEEDS in a fair, just and equitable manner.We need to be PRO-active rather than Reactive, whether “peak oil” is faced now or 100 years from now..
  • “I believe that a lower-energy, more localized future, in which we move from being consumers to being producer/consumers, where food, energy and other essentials are locally produced, local economies are strengthened and we have learned to live more within our means is a step towards something extraordinary, not a step away from something inherently irreplaceable.” —Rob HopkinsThe Transition Handbook
  • TTT began informally in late 2005, when Rob Hopkins and Naresh Giangrande initiated a series of talks and film screenings to raise awareness about the issue of peak oil.  This rapidly began to build momentum for some kind of a community response, and this was launched as Transition Town Totnes in September 2006, at an event called "The Official Unleashing" of TTT, attended by 400 people.  They have since delivered an extensive program of events with many of the leading speakers in the field of sustainability having visited Totnes.
  • Written in 2008, wrote The Transition Handbook to share the process that Transition Town Totnes and other communities, in a manner that would encourage other communities to creatively engage in proactive, local solutions to global problems.This book was written with the following question in mind: “How might our response to peak oil and climate change look more like a party than a protest march?”
  • “Transition is a replicable strategy for harnessing the talent, vision, and goodwill of ordinary people.”—Richard HeinbergThose of you who say this is impossible need to get out of the way of us who are doing it.
  • Three of the hallmarks of the Transition initiative are: the Great Unleashing – which is like a launching of a community’s intentions and dedication to each other in a move towards a more responsible lifestyle; the Great ReSkilling – which involves re-learning skills used by our grandparents (and their grandparents) like spinning & weaving, canning, gardening, herbal medicines, animal husbandry, bread-making and others – which incorporates the concept that we need to honor and engage our elders; and the creation of an Energy Descent Action Plan (alluded to earlier) which is a strategic map for the community describing what living with local energy, less energy, and renewable energy will look like – and how we will get there.
  • We use the term “typical” loosely…There are many different types of groups that have taken on the challenge of transition: there are Transition Towns, Cities, Colleges, Villages, Islands, Woods, Penninsulas and so on. Another of the unique aspects of a Transition initiative is that the original steering committee or initiating group intends that theyAre successful enough at establishing working groups, projects and plans that they will no longer be necessary and/or that the leadership will evolve away from a centralized committee.In a coming set of slides, we will share what some of the manifestations of the different working groups can be.
  • Deeply rooted in Permaculture principles and ethicsCultivates positive visioningProvides training in the practical skills needed for a post-oil societyRecognizes the psychological side of the process of changeEncourages inclusiveness, openness to peer-to-peer feedbackPromotes non-hierarchical, distributed decision-makingEnables sharing and networkingBalances inner/outer, left/right brain, masculine/feminine, young/oldProvides a replicable model, a clear pathwayEngages whole communities in the processScalable and adaptable to particular communitiesSpreads like wildfire!
  • Coming Together To:Raise Awareness and Encourage Discussion of Challenges of Climate Change, Peak Oil & Economic Instability.Create a Positive Vision for a More Self-Reliant, Sustainable, Resilient and Enjoyable Future.Unleash the Collective Genius of the Community in Designing New Initiatives that are Inspiring and Fun.Form Partnerships with Business, Local Government and other Organizations that Share Similar Goals.Create an Energy Descent Action PlanHow does Transition thinking foster behavior change:Integrates our thinking (Head), our values (Heart), and our actions (Hands)Provides a supportive environment for people to cope with a realistic assessment of the future and their role in becoming an agent of positive changeProvides information and resources about what other successful Transition Towns are doingEngages people in a positive way to create a future we all want to live intoIt is grassroots, creative, fun, action-oriented and democratic!
  • Resilience is being able to withstand a shock <use fist to hit palm, demonstrating the give and return to level position> without “Post Petroleum Stress Disorder”It used to be that all the ingredients for a healthy life were available locally: eggs, flour, fruits, vegetables, nuts, meats and so forth. And when something “special” was called for – like a cake, I ingredients could be bought from other communities. At this point, we have in our pantries all kinds of mixes, ready-to-eat snacks, frozen meals and so forth, and we make a special effort to bring in fresh fruits and vegetables and buy the rare locally milled flour or farm-raised meat. In this topsy-turvy current scenario, the locally produced items are the “special” items that we add to our diets.Resilient communities have strength in their localized systems for food, and also their energy, transportation, health and housing.
  • Localized Infrastructure Resiliency Indicators:Percentage of food consumed locally that was produced within a given radiusRatio of car parking space to productive land useDegree of engagement in practical relocalization work by local communityAmount of traffic on local roadsNumber of businesses owned by local peoplePercentage of local trade carried out in local currencyProportion of the community employed locallyPercentage of essential goods manufactured within a given radiusPercentage of local building materials used in new housing developmentsNumber of 16-year-olds able to grow 10 different varieties of vegetables to a given degree of basic competencyPercentage of medicines prescribed locally that have been produced within a given radius
  • Local food starts with living, naturally enriched soil – as opposed to over cultivated soil reliant on petroleum dependent and energy intensive fertilizers.
  • Visioning what MY community would be in 20 years using my senses and emotions.How can we best live in a community that is sustainable?Our vision is a future where life is more socially connected, more meaningful and satisfying, more sustainable, and more equitable in a greater community of relocalized communities…Where production and consumption occur closer to home…Where long and fragile supply chains—now vulnerable to surges in oil prices and economic volatility—have been replaced by interconnected local networks…Where the total amount of energy consumed by businesses and citizens is dramatically less than current unsustainable levels…
  • The rapid spread of the empowering Transition concept really illustrates for us this famous quote by Margaret Mead.
  • Where the Transition initiative has gone in less than five years is amazing…there are 283 initiatives (and counting) throughout the world. To give you an idea of how fast it is growing, when we gave this presentation on February 14th, there were 265 worldwide initiatives, and only 54 in the US.There are mullers in Austria, Belgium, Greece, Latvia, Poland and Sweden
  • The map that you see here is accessible through the website. It is an interactive map where individuals and groups can post their initiatives, their personal interest, and where groups that are in the formative stages, or as they are called “Mullers,” can encourage others in their areas to participate You are welcome to go to this site and find folks in your area and/or post your own interests. And more springing up each day. The folks from Transition Anderson recently shared with us that there is a Transition Hub being established in the Cincinnati area to support the wide range of groups there.
  • As an example of interacting with local government, Transition Town Southeast Ohio participant Ben Shender talked about the initiative at a recent Athens Town Hall meeting.
  • And thus engage our heads, hands and hearts - indeed all our being.
  • The Head: Understanding Why Small is Inevitable, and being able to vision into the futureThe Hands: Creating and living into the future through Local Resilience BuildingThe Heart: Feeling Why Having a Positive Vision is Crucial and feeding those feelings through acknowledging and celebrating the successes we have along the way
  • A central tenet of this initiative is to wake up and be alive to that which makes you feel even more alive. And by following our passion for the long-term vision of what we want our lives and our world to be, and by coming together with others in our communities, we will fulfill our basic needs.
  • The Transition movement 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-paneled studies churning out erudite papers, no slavish adherence to a model carved in stone.This work, 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…
  • We would be glad to share an eight page list of resources with you in a pdf format. Please write your name, zip code, and email address so that we can send this to you electronically (and save a few trees).
  • Transition Initiative Introduction

    1. 1. Transition Initiatives<br />Local Actions Meet Global Challenges<br />Earth Month 2010<br /> Ohio University<br /> April 6, 2010<br /> Athens, Ohio<br />
    2. 2. Why<br />How<br />What<br />Now<br />Where<br />Who<br />
    3. 3. We are concerned about<br />
    4. 4. However, the roots of these issues are<br />
    5. 5. This comic strip sums up our society’s attitude quite well:<br />AGNES<br />
    6. 6. Our ignorance is not so vast as our failure to use what we know.<br />- M. King Hubbert<br />
    7. 7. Beyond Cheap Energy Sources<br />By whichever economic indicator (at left) we choose, we have grown at an exponential rate since the Industrial Revolution. <br />What will happen in the future?<br />
    8. 8. Beyond Cheap Energy Sources<br />Our “business as usual” model assumes that new technology or discoveries can accommodate our exploitive behaviors.<br />
    9. 9. Beyond Cheap Energy Sources<br />However, if we continue to believe that “they” will take care of our needs, we are likely to be faced with extreme shortages of fossil fuel and limited adaptive capability.<br />
    10. 10. Beyond Cheap Energy Sources<br />There is the hope that Green Technology will be developed quickly enough to compensate for a stabilized demand.<br />
    11. 11. Beyond Cheap Energy Sources<br />Or we can proactively move into a deep Earth Stewardship model through deliberate action. <br />
    12. 12. “Inherent within the challenges of peak oil and climate change is an extraordinary opportunity to reinvent, rethink and rebuild the world around us.” <br />—Rob HopkinsThe Transition Handbook<br />
    13. 13. The first Transition Town began informally in late 2005 in Totnes, England through awareness raising about peak oil. This built momentum for community-centered action based on a shared vision.<br />
    14. 14. The awareness raising in Totnes brought the community to several Ah-Ha Moments:<br /><ul><li>Life with less energy is inevitable, and it is better to plan for it than be taken by surprise.
    15. 15. We have lost the resilience to be able to cope with energy shocks.
    16. 16. We have to act for ourselves and we have to act now.
    17. 17. By unleashing the collective genius of the community we can design ways of living that are more enriching, satisfying and connected.</li></li></ul><li>Rob Hopkins, one of the initial founders of Transition Town Totnes, wrote The Transition Handbook in 2008 to encourage other communities to creatively engage in proactive local solutions to global problems.<br />
    18. 18. …A creative, engaging, playful process, wherein we support our communities through the loss of the familiar and inspire and create a new lower energy infrastructure which is ultimately an improvement on the present.<br />What is Transition?<br />
    19. 19. The Twelve Elements of Transition<br />Set up an initiating group and design its demise from the outset<br />Raise awareness<br />Lay the foundations<br />Organize a Great Unleashing<br />Form groups<br />Use Open Space<br />Develop physical, practical projects <br />Facilitate the Great ReSkilling<br />Build a bridge to local government<br />Honor and engage the elders<br />Let it go where it wants to go<br />Create an Energy Descent Action Plan<br />
    20. 20. Typical Transition Town Structure<br />Initiating Group aka Steering Committee<br />Plans and Leads <br />Conducts Awareness Raising Projects<br />Examples of Transition Town Working Groups<br />Local Food<br />Energy & Transportation<br />Economics & Livelihood<br />Heart & Soul <br />Arts, Education & Other <br />Support<br />Local Transition Support Network<br /><br />
    21. 21. 7 Principles of Transition <br />Positive Visioning<br />Help Others and Trust Them to Make Good Decisions<br />Inclusion and Openness<br />Enable Sharing and Networking<br />Build Resilience<br />Inner and Outer Transition<br />Creativity and Celebration<br />
    22. 22. Remember… we are encouraged toLet it go where it wants to go<br /><ul><li>Focus on the questions
    23. 23. Unleash the collective genius of the community
    24. 24. Any sense of control is illusory</li></li></ul><li>A Purpose of Transition Initiatives is to buildResilient Communities<br />Communities that are self-reliant for the greatest possible number of their needs will be infinitely better prepared than those who are dependent on globalized systems for food, energy, transportation, health, and housing.<br />
    25. 25. Resilience is based onRelocalization<br /><ul><li>Local production of food, energy and goods
    26. 26. Local development of currency, government and culture
    27. 27. Reducing consumption while improving environmental and social conditions
    28. 28. Developing an exemplary community that can be a working model for other communities when the effects of energy decline become more intense</li></li></ul><li>Local Food<br />
    29. 29. Living Soil<br />
    30. 30. Living Food<br />
    31. 31. Community Gardens<br />
    32. 32. Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)<br />
    33. 33. Farmer’s Markets<br />
    34. 34. Local Businesses<br />
    35. 35. Good Food – by Melissa Young and Mark Dworkina film to awaken our taste buds and our courage!<br />(Bullfrog Films) <br />
    36. 36. Transition Community<br />Other aspects may include…<br />
    37. 37. Distributed Energy<br />
    38. 38. Alternative Transportation<br />
    39. 39. Local Currency<br />and Bartering<br />
    40. 40. Re-Skilling: relearning practical skills<br />
    41. 41. Building Community through Connection and Celebration<br />
    42. 42.
    43. 43. Visioning Our Future<br />Transition Initiatives are about<br />Creating a Plan to get there,<br />and Living into that Plan<br />Joyfully<br />
    44. 44. Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world: Indeed it’s the only thing that ever has.<br />- Margaret Mead<br />
    45. 45. Since 2008Transition Worldwide (285)<br />England - 135<br />Ireland – 3<br />Northern Ireland – 2<br />Scotland – 13<br />Wales – 12<br />Australia – 27<br />Canada – 12<br />Chile – 1<br />Denmark – 1<br />Finland - 1<br />Germany – 3<br />Italy – 1<br />Japan – 3<br />Netherlands – 1<br />New Zealand – 8<br />USA – 62<br />April 5, 2010<br />
    46. 46. Transition US Official Initiatives<br />1. Transition Colorado Boulder County CO 2. Sandpoint Transition Initiative Sandpoint ID 3. Community Rising Ketchum ID 4. Transition CotatiCotati CA 5. Transition Town LyonsLyons CO 6. Transition Santa Cruz Santa Cruz CA 7. Transition Town MontpelierMontpelier VT 8. Transition Initiative PortlandPortland ME 9. Transition SebastopolSebastopol CA 10. Transition Laguna Beach Laguna Beach CA 11. Pine Mountain's Let's Live Local Pine Mountain CA 12. Transition Town AshlandAshland OR 13. Sustainable BereaBerea KY 14. Transition PimaPima AZ 15. Transition Los Angeles Los Angeles CA 16. Transition DenverDenver CO 17. Transition WhatcomWhatcom WA 18. Transition Mount Shasta Mount Shasta CA 19. Sustainable NE Seattle NE Seattle WA 20. Transition LouisvilleLouisville CO 21. Transition NewburyportNewburyport MA 22. Transition Paso Robles Paso Robles CA 23. Transition PDX Portland OR 24. Transition SLO County San Luis Obispo CA 25. Transition Town HohenwaldHohenwald TN 26. Transition Ann Arbor Ann Arbor MI 27. Transition Town OKC Oklahoma City OK 28. Transition West Marin West Marin CA 29. Sustainable TucsonTucson AZ 30. Transition Greater New Haven Greater New Haven CT 31. Transition Town Santa Barbara Santa Barbara CA 32. Stelle Transition InitiativeStelle IL 33. Hancock County Towns in Transition Hancock County ME 34. Hardwick Area Transition Towns Hardwick Area VT 35. Transition Whidbey Southern Whidbey Island WA 36. Transition Culver City Culver City CA 37. Transition SunnysideSunnyside, Portland OR 38. Transition MediaMedia PA 39. Transition Carrboro/Chapel Hill Carrboro/Chapel Hill NC 40. Transition HoustonHouston TX 41. Transition OlympiaOlympia WA 42. Transition Town ChelseaChelsea MI 43. Transition AndersonAnderson OH 44. Transition AustinAustin TX 45. Citizens for a Sustainable Monterey County Monterey CA 46. Transition NorthfieldNorthfield MN 47. Transition LouisvilleLouisville KY 48. Transition ShelburneShelburne VT 49. Transition Van Buren-Allegan Fennville MI 50. Transition RenoReno NV 51. Transiton Town ManchesterManchester VT 52. Hay River Transition Initiative- HRTI Prairie Farm WI 53. Transition Westminster/Arvada/Broomfield Westminster CO 54. Transition BloomingtonBloomington IN 55. Transition San Francisco San Francisco CA 56. Transition Keene Keen NH 57. Richmond Rivets Richmond CA 58. Transition PGH Pittsburgh PA 59. Transition Albany Albany CA 60. Transition Micanopy Micanopy, FL 61. Transition Staunton Augusta Staunton, VA 62. Transition Town Putney Putney, VT<br />
    47. 47. Ohioans in Transition<br />Transition AndersonAnderson, OH<br />Transition Central OhioColumbus, OH<br />Transition Town Southeast OhioAthens, OH<br />GreensilienceGreenville, OH<br /><br />TRANSITIONANDERSON<br />
    48. 48. Transition Town Southeast Ohio<br />Athens Town Hall Meeting, 1/26/10<br />
    49. 49. Our purpose is to engage and inspire people in central Ohio to learn about the Transition community, and to work together in local action that strengthens our community's resilience. We shall do this by engaging our heads, hands, and hearts in the work of transforming our communities.<br /><br />
    50. 50.
    51. 51.
    52. 52. Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.<br />- Howard Thurman<br />
    53. 53. Cheerful Disclaimer <br /><ul><li>Transition is a social experiment on a massive scale; we don’t know if this will work!
    54. 54. If we wait for the governments, it’ll be too little, too late.
    55. 55. If we act as individuals, it’ll be too little.
    56. 56. But if we act as communities, it might be just enough, just in time.</li></li></ul><li>Thank You!<br />Mary Cunnyngham<br /><br />614-571-4918<br />Cindy Parker<br /><br />740-742-8901<br />