Transition Culture

An Evolving Exploration into the Head, Heart and Hands of Energy Descent

Transition Culture has moved

I no longer blog on this site. You can now find me, my general blogs, and the work I am doing researching my forthcoming book on imagination, on my new blog.

15 Oct 2008

Fireworks and Dancing Elephants! The Transition Network Structure Document is Finished!!

Well it has been a long process, starting in Bristol in April, passing through many hands, being critiqued and pulled around, rewritten several times and now finally wrapped up at a meeting in Bristol a few weeks ago.  It feels like it has been a major piece of thinking, drawing in many new and diverse ideas, and it has been a fascinating process to be part of.  Now, here in its raw form (it will be properly designed and made available both as printed piece and pdf), we present it to you.  You can download it here, or read it below.  We hope you find it a useful document and that you take it to your hearts…

The Transition Network Ltd
Who We Are And What We Do… (lightly edited online version)

Version 1.0
Rob Hopkins & Peter Lipman.
Transition Network Ltd, 43 Fore Street, Totnes, Devon. TQ9 5HN


1. Introduction
2. A Definition of Terms
3. The Purpose and Principles of Transition
4. Identifying the Dazzling Array of Transition Initiatives
5. Becoming a Transition Initiative
6. What Does the Transition Network Ltd Look Like?
7. How Transition Network Ltd. supports these initiatives
8. Membership and Issues of Voting
9. A Snapshot of the Transition Movement in 2011.
10. Thankyou

We would like to thank everyone who contributed to the various drafts of this document, whether via. the Transition Network forum, by email, or by attending the various workshops held during its drafting. We’d like to particularly thank Julie Richardson, Mike Grenville, Mike Jones, Stephan Harding, Brian Goodwin, Pamela Grey, Adrienne Campbell, Zoe Goodman and John Bristow for their detailed input. We would also like to thank the Tudor Trust for their support during the creation of this document.

1. Introduction

Peak oil and climate change have rapidly moved up in people’s awareness in recent years, but often, particularly in relation to peak oil, solutions tend to be thin on the ground. Since its initial emergence in Kinsale in 2005, the Transition idea has spread virally across the UK and increasingly further afield, serving as a catalyst for community –led responses to these twin challenges. As the Transition network has grown, questions have been raised regarding how this emerging movement might structure itself, which this document is the first formal attempt at answering.

We have already been seeing a structure emerging organically over the last two years and what we propose in this document is based on a deepening and a supporting of this emergent model, on the principle that self-organisation, innovation and action are to be encouraged and supported where they arise, supported by a distinct set of principles and clear guidelines.

This document has arisen from a process of extensive consultation across the Transition network, including face-to-face meetings, the use of on-line tools and fora. It will remain work in progress and be reviewed on an ongoing basis.

2. A Definition of Terms

Terms that perhaps need a brief introduction at this point include;

“Transition network” (small n) refers to the broad international community of individuals and groups basing their work on the Transition model (has sometimes been referred to as “the Transition Movement”.
“Transition Network Ltd” refers to the legally constituted body currently called Transition Network.
“Transition Support Scotland” (etc) refers to national Transition fora, usually driven by and arising from a national network of Transition initiatives feeling their work would be better served by having a national network.
‘Resilience’ has been defined as “the capacity of a system to absorb disturbance and reorganise while undergoing change, so as to still retain essentially the same function, structure, identity and feedbacks” . In Transition, the concept is applied to settlements and their need to be able to withstand shock.
‘Transition Primer’. The free online pdf. which acts as the guide for groups starting the Transition process. Available at
‘Carbon cutting’ refers to endeavours which lead to reductions in the emissions of greenhouse gases.
‘Energy Descent Plan’ or EDP refers to one of the main projects that a Transition initiative sets out to achieve, the creation of a 20 year ‘Plan B’ for their community, looking at how it might transition away from its current oil dependency, and towards a low carbon, resilient way of working.

3. The Purpose and Principles of Transition

We begin this document with a redefining and a clarification of both the Transition movement’s Purpose and its Principles. These set out the common motivations for the entire Network.

The Purpose of Transition

“To support community-led responses to peak oil and climate change, building resilience and happiness”.

The 7 Principles of Transition

Positive Visioning

  • Transition Initiatives are based on a dedication to the creation of tangible, clearly expressed and practical visions of the community in question beyond its present-day dependence on fossil fuels. Our primary focus is not campaigning against things, but rather on positive, empowering possibilities and opportunities. The generation of new stories and myths are central to this visioning work.

Help People Access Good Information and Trust Them to Make Good Decisions

  • Transition initiatives dedicate themselves, through all aspects of their work, to raising awareness of peak oil and climate change and related issues such as critiquing economic growth. In doing so they recognise the responsibility to present this information in ways which are playful, articulate, accessible and engaging, and which enable people to feel enthused and empowered rather than powerless.
  • Transition initiatives focus on telling people the closest version of the truth that we know in times when the information available is deeply contradictory.
  • The messages are non-directive, respecting each person’s ability to make a response that is appropriate to their situation.

Inclusion and Openness

  • Successful Transition Initiatives need an unprecedented coming together of the broad diversity of society. They dedicate themselves to ensuring that their decision making processes and their working groups embody principles of openness and inclusion.
  • This principle also refers to the principle of each initiative reaching the community in its entirety, and endeavouring, from an early stage, to engage their local business community, the diversity of community groups and local authorities.
  • It makes explicit the principle that there is, in the challenge of energy descent, no room for ‘them and us’ thinking.

Enable Sharing and Networking

  • Transition Initiatives dedicate themselves to sharing their successes, failures, insights and connections at the various scales across the Transition network, so as to more widely build up a collective body of experience.

Build Resilience

  • This stresses the fundamental importance of building resilience, that is, the capacity of our businesses, communities and settlements to deal as well as possible with shock. Transition initiatives commit to building resilience across a wide range of areas (food, economics, energy etc) and also on a range of scales (from the local to the national) as seems appropriate – and to setting them within an overall context of the need to do all we can to ensure general environmental resilience.

Inner and Outer Transition

  • The challenges we face are not just caused by a mistake in our technologies but as a direct result of our world view and belief system. The impact of the information about the state of our planet can generate fear and grief – which may underlie the state of denial that many people are caught in. Psychological models can help us understand what is really happening and avoid unconscious processes sabotaging change. E.g. addictions models, models for behavioural change. This principle also honours the fact that Transition thrives because it enables and supports people to do what they are passionate about, what they feel called to do.

Subsidiarity: self-organisation and decision making at the appropriate level

  • This final principle enshrines the idea that the intention of the Transition model is not to centralise or control decision making, but rather to work with everyone so that it is practiced at the most appropriate, practical and empowering level, and in such a way that it models the ability of natural systems to self organise.

4. Identifying the Dazzling Array of Transition Initiatives

Since the emergence of Totnes as the first Transition Initiative in 2006, the concept has been popping up at a wide range of scales. Trying to divide Transition Initiatives into neat bands of groups and categories is somewhat akin to trying to nail jelly to a wall. We celebrate this spontaneity and diversity and don’t intend to be prescriptive, but rather we are happy to advise and support emerging groups as to the most effective scales on which to operate.

We are seeing a combination of scales which includes some of the following, local Transition initiatives, regional Transition networks, regional ‘hubs’, national Transition support organisations/networks, temporary groupings of local initiatives to carry out particular projects, as well as other manifestations.  In addition to the 7 general Principles outlined above, there are 6 practical guidelines which we ask initiatives on whichever scale to observe.

6 Practical Guidelines for Transition Initiatives

  1. An agreement with the core Purpose and Principles set out above: this includes an assumption that the group will contribute to the ongoing development and updating of these principles.
  2. Life is Easier if we don’t Reinvent the Wheel: there are now hundreds of initiatives out there who have developed constitutions, projects, websites, structures. Look around, don’t be afraid to ask, groups are generally delighted to share what they have learnt; learn from their mistakes rather than your own! Transition Training is extremely helpful for this, as is ensuring that your initiative contains, at the earliest possible opportunity, some people who have long been embedded in the local community.
  3. Start with a Initiating Group That Designs Its Demise: the initiating group exists to navigate the first few steps of the process, but always with an intention of dissolving itself as the project evolves (with the caveat that early experience indicates that this guideline may be more appropriate at the local level than the larger scales).
  4. Interdependence: Transition initiatives are far stronger where they work supportively with the initiatives around them. Communication is key, as is supporting newer emerging initiatives around them, inspiring and encouraging them where possible.
  5. Openness to Feedback and Learning: Implicit within an acceptance of these principles is an openness to feedback from others also working in this field. This would generally be feedback which questions whether we are starting to run our Transition initiatives in such a way as to no longer embodies these principles. This kind of feedback is most effective when it emerges from our peers, but an openness to being challenged is vital, as feedback can be highly affirming and can generate confidence.
  6. Start in Your Own Back Yard: Local Transition Initiatives will identify for themselves the scales that feel most appropriate for them to work at, but this principle encourages them to work at the scale that feels comfortable and over which they can have an influence, rather than leaping straight in to regional scale work. Don’t bite off more than you can chew.

National Transition Organisations

The only scale we feel needs more than the Guidelines outlined above is the National scale initiatives starting to emerge in the US, New Zealand, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Japan and other places. The need is arising in countries for functioning replicas of Transition Network Ltd to provide its 5 functions in a way embedded in the language, culture and context of the host nation and/or culture, and also to provide a strategic national overview. The idea is that the handover is gradual, taking place over 4 stages, starting with inspiring, supporting and encouraging, then moving on to training, and finally taking on the networking functions as well as the development of adapted principles and offering support to newly emergent initiatives. They would also act as ambassadors for the Transition movement at Governmental and organisational levels .

5. Becoming a Transition Initiative

Transition initiatives on all scales other than national ones go through a succession of stages, as follows.

The Initial Stage: typically, a group of people start to meet each other, start to discuss the Transition concept, and begin the process of enthusing each other to initiate the process

The ‘Mulling’ Stage: Currently here contact is made with the Transition Network Ltd, the individuals or group enter themselves into the Googlemap of Transition initiatives, download the Transition Primer, and let the Transition Network Ltd know of their ‘mulling’ status (although in time this will devolve to regional/national Transition networks).

Formal Transition Initiative: the ‘mulling’ stage can last for a few weeks or for many months, depending on the group. In order to proceed to formal status, the group completes a declaration of intention, which lists the guidelines and asks for information about the initiative, as well as checking that the initiative is in the best possible position to proceed successfully . Many initiatives have told us that they cherish their formal status, and are very proud of having reached that point.

At the moment, applications for formal status are managed by Transition Network Ltd., but in time, the idea is that this function will most naturally be fulfilled by emerging national groups/networks, and also by regional initiatives. Some people in the Transition movement have suggested that new initiatives should self-assess – or that there shouldn’t be any criteria at all. Others strongly disagree with both these suggestions. On balance, and based on the feedback we have received from across the network, we feel that having clear guidelines which are assessed by supportive third parties creates a positive, meaningful process, but fully agree that they must remain open to debate and to being changed.

6. What Does the Transition Network Ltd Look Like?

We have found the image on the left as a useful way of visualising the Transition Network Ltd. It is based on a cell, a biological system, which feels in keeping with the organic emergence of this structure. Although a cell is not a perfect metaphor, in many ways it is very useful for explaining how the Transition Network Ltd functions.

Various scales of initiatives emerge organically like spores in a petri dish at scales that feel most appropriate to them, guided by the Purpose and Principles of Transition, then network together in ways that feel most useful, creating the networks between each other they feel to be most productive. These are represented by the circles of varying sizes within the main circle, larger ones representing regional initiatives, and the smaller circles individual local initiatives.

Transition Network Ltd, in this context, becomes the white encircling ring surrounding the individual initiatives. It functions, in some ways, like a cell membrane, enshrining the Purpose and Principles common to the wider Transition Movement, and acts as a catalyst which keeps the circle expanding as the number of initiatives it contains grows. In biology, a cell membrane is created by the nucleus and the other contents of the cell, but it also defines the identity of the whole and grows with the cell. The role of the Transition Network Ltd then becomes to continue this catalysing function, to continually review and, collaboratively, refine what Transition means, as well as enabling the maximum amount of networking.

This means facilitating smooth and efficient networking between the various levels of hubs and initiatives, as well as between different interest groups, i.e. enabling the various food groups to communicate, swap good practice and organise national events, as well as the energy groups, economics groups and so on. It would also enable networking by geographical areas, by cultures and by population size of project. The communication thus enabled would be deep, diverse and self-perpetuating.

The outer ring in this diagram represents two additional aspects of the work of Transition Network Ltd, its development of creative ‘edge’ with other groups and areas of interest. The circles around the outer ring represent the strong set of partnerships that continue to be developed. This includes key organisations (currently in the UK only, but we think that that will change) such as the Soil Association, NEF, Centre for Alternative Technology, key funders and so on. The circles within that ring represent the emerging new strands to Transition, Transition Business/Local Government etc. The role of Transition Network Ltd is to develop initiatives and projects with the partner groups, and also to network the emerging strands together with the relevant other networks. As time passes, those will grow, perhaps ending up as large as or larger than the current Transition communities circle.

7. How Transition Network Ltd. supports these initiatives

Transition Network Ltd. was established in late 2006 with its stated intention being to;

Inspire • Encourage • Support • Enable Networking • Train

What follows is an outline of some of the projects and developments that Transition Network Ltd. will be undertaking over the next three years in order to carry out this intention. It will continue doing this, always bearing in mind the desirability, where possible, of projects and functions being owned by the most appropriate people/groups and at as local a level as possible;

Continuing to develop and deepen Transition Training, increasing the quantity and ensuring the quality of Transition Training workshops (the full menu of trainings that have been developed) across the country, training core teams of Transition trainers in other parts of the world, and providing ongoing support to those trainers already qualified to deliver the training.

Continuing to co-ordinate and co-develop materials to assist those on the ground doing Transition work. These will include but won’t be limited to;

  • Radically improving our delivery of our “enabling sharing and networking” by, for example, setting up a much improved web platform
  • Producing ‘The (First) Transition Movie’, a film about the Transition concept which will be developed as a collaborative process
  • Supporting the emergence of a quarterly publication, ‘Transition Times’, which would begin online but which could evolve into a regular magazine. This would be complemented by a blog on the new website where individual initiatives are invited to post their successes and failures, events and news
  • Support the production of a series of books on different aspects of Transition, i.e. food, energy and so on… The Transition Guide to Food is already in development
  • Tools to facilitate EDPs, up-to-date presentations and examples of best practice, as well as a forum for people to post their own resources, be it links, papers, short films or their own powerpoints, which they think others will find useful
  • Producing clearer ‘maps’ of how Transition Initiatives might evolve over time, how to assemble the 12 Steps and how a variety of Initiatives have designed different ways through them, drawn from the experience of various initiatives
  • Hosting, moderating and editing the collaborative rewrite of ‘The Transition Handbook’ using a wiki approach, with the original book serving as the basis for a gathering of tools, stories, experience and insight from across the Transition
  • Setting up an online registry of Transition speakers.
  • Supporting and enabling action research and evaluation at a national/international level – partnering with universities where appropriate
  • Organising (in the UK) bi-annual national Convergences alternating with regional Transition Convergences.
  • Supporting new emerging areas of Transition by designing specific events, i.e. Transition in Cities conference (November ’08)
  • Supporting national and regional transition organizations as set out in the principles above
  • Thinking strategically about the emerging context in which Transition Initiatives grow and develop – and when needed revising our practices and this document as a consequence.
  • In essence, Transition Network Ltd’s core function will be to continue to be a catalyst for the Transition model.

8. Membership and Issues of Voting

One issue which remains under review is that of membership of Transition Network Ltd. At present, the Board of Trustees is self-appointed, and there is no formal mechanism to enable those in Transition Initiatives to vote for or remove Trustees. The debate around this issue which emerged in the development of this document revolves around the following;

  • At what point does one become a ‘member’ of the Transition Network? Is it the point at which one decides to engage in Transition work, or is it the point when one pays an annual subscription? There is an argument that rather than creating a two-tier membership, we should strive to create a sense that anyone who engages in this work is a member of this movement
  • A paid membership creates a great deal of administrative work, maintaining membership lists, recruiting new members, supplying them with newsletters and so on, work we are not presently resourced to do

…but on the other hand….

  • Having a membership who could vote for Trustees would make the Board more accountable and representative, which would be desirable.

The decision, as discussed at the meeting to finalise this document (Bristol, September 2008) is to continue with the current situation for a year, and to keep it under review, although it will be discussed again at the 2009 Transition conference.

9. A Snapshot of the Transition Movement in 2011.

What might the Transition movement look like in three years time? We present this fictional look into the future to inspire and provoke debate.
Overall, community responses to peak oil and climate change have begun to take shape in many hundreds of communities across the UK and also the rest of the world. The rising prices of food, fuel and the economic contraction that began in 2008 due, in part, to high oil prices, have been met by people working creatively together to make their money go further, to strengthen their local economies and to build resilience.

1. Local initiatives
There are now many hundreds of local Transition initiatives, with more forming all the time, many of the early ones now well advanced in producing Energy Descent Plans. Transition has begun to make a lot of difference to people’s lives, especially those active in it.

  • Social: It provides a rich social life, with frequent social events big and small: shared meals, parties, meetings. Typically after a shared meal there might be swapping and trading, or a lecture, film or discussion to govern the Initiative, often followed by music and dancing. People know each other better, and work closely together in many ways.
  • Food: People source a lot more of their food from local producers, often organic. They increasingly share produce grown in their gardens and allotments and some new community gardens. They have well-organised deliveries from local farms and farmers’ markets. There are a growing number of newly-established Community Supported Agriculture schemes, and peri-urban market gardens. A few are experimenting with pig and chicken clubs, and community bakeries are starting to mill local flour. Some people are cooking prepared meals for time-pressed neighbours. Many people are learning to cook and garden for the first time, with Transition groups offering training and reskilling in both.
  • Transport: Fuel for personal car use has become much more expensive than 3 years ago, so Transition groups’ Transport theme groups have organised ride share schemes, collection and delivery systems for children, shoppers and social events. Living without a car is now possible in a way that it wasn’t 3 years previously. Car share schemes mean that people have access to borrowed or hired larger vehicles when they need them. There is a lot more cycling among the fit and healthy, and the high price of fuel has meant that many businesses now encourage people to work from home where possible.
  • Household Energy: Transition initiatives have, with funding from their local authorities, initiated ‘insulation clubs’, where people have learned the best ways of reducing household heating needs and help each other do it. Numerous tricks and tips to use less energy have become popular. A growing number of Transition initiatives have now set up Energy Services Companies (ESCOs), owned by the community, to provide locally generated electricity through community-owned wind, solar, hydro and biomass schemes.
  • Re-use, recycling, repair: Many local schemes have been started to extend the life of clothes, repair goods and appliances, creating some part-time employment. Workshops in making do and repairing are commonplace, often inviting older people to share their undervalued skills with younger generations. Much of the local food is distributed in re-usable containers. Transition initiatives are facilitating the bulk-buying of goods designed for durability and which can be repaired when needed.
  • Local economy: People have begun to do a lot of organised trading and exchange with each other, sometimes for money, sometimes for local currency, but very often as favours. They give and receive goods that they no longer want, help each other with childcare, rides, deliveries, and many other services. Groups of young people offer ‘technical support’ on anything from computers to DVDs. This enables people’s money to go much further, and provides some income for those without jobs. They have identified the like-minded local independent businesses and tradespeople whom they preferentially patronise, and give them ratings and recommendations on their websites.
  • Other aspects of community: People are learning that grassroots self-organisation takes a certain amount of effort and are beginning to learn how to do it well. Some people volunteer to look after aspects of the whole of the local transition initiative. There are groups set up to handle conflicts between people, to provide emotional support and counselling when needed, but also to co-ordinate the initiative: to help keep the theme groups in touch with each other and working synergistically, to plan for the future, and to systematically consult on policy decisions.

2. Regional hubs
A variety of forms of regional hub have emerged from a strong network of local initiatives who have decided that such a Hub would aid their work. Some link initiatives in a town or city, others in a rural area or bioregion. These are formed out of members of local initiatives who offer to work at the regional level. There is now an annual Transition cities convergence, where best practice is shared and several similar meetings for more rural hubs. Cities have begun to develop their own version of the Transition model.

  • Supporting new initiatives: The regional hubs have become the first point of contact for those in that area, offering support and mentoring for new initiatives. They have taken over much responsibility for the process of becoming a formal Transition Initiative.
  • Supporting existing initiatives: The regional hubs organise links between the various food groups, transport groups, and other theme groups to help them work synergistically. They share best practice to help the local initiatives avoid problems and correct mistakes. They have begun to take on much of the training aspects, not just for new initiatives, but in reskilling, conflict resolution, organisation and other areas where local initiatives are too small to provide it effectively.
  • Government links: Transition hubs are increasingly working with local government on their local sustainability plans, and have received funding from them for a range of research projects as well as practical initiatives.
  • Business links: Many Transition groups are actively working with local independent businesses, offering consultancy and a range of services, including oil vulnerability auditing and energy efficiency advice, as well as exploring how they can become more resilient and locally embedded in increasingly uncertain times. Many of these businesses have become financial sponsors of the local initiatives and regional hubs.

3. National Support Networks
There are now support networks at the national level in the UK: Transition Support Scotland, Transition Ireland Network, Transition Support Wales and Transition England, and a growing number of national support networks in other countries around the world, with strong networks in the USA and New Zealand leading the way.

  • Infrastructure: With much of the day-to-day support for local initiatives now devolved to the regional hubs, the national networks concentrate more on providing infrastructure and co-ordination. They are supporting ongoing development of communications systems that are available for use by local initiatives and regional hubs. A great variety of different systems have developed, but with common standards so that they can share resources and hold discussions across them.
  • Training and education: The national support networks now develop much of the materials used for the training done by the regional hubs. They have developed strong links with universities some of whom are applying transition concepts to themselves, some of whom are running courses in transition issues, adding a practical dimension to their previously purely academic courses, and several who are doing basic research to support and strengthen the transition model. Transition Training has begun to receive support and funding from various national skills and training programmes.
  • Transition Business: The national networks have begun to develop a strong economic function. They work with each other and outside organisations to identify products and companies that have strong environmental and community credentials. Feeding this information through the network creates a good captive market for such businesses to serve. The networks themselves have developed a range of consultancy services based on the expertise of the regional and local networks, that provides income while effecting constructive change.

4. Transition Movement Worldwide
Transition Network Ltd still remains, performing a co-ordinating role for the national networks, helping them to work synergistically, avoid errors that each other have made, and supporting planning and overall policy. A multi-level structure has emerged naturally – local, regional, national, global – but without any top-down control. Transition concepts of building a positive future are increasingly common in everyday conversation, TV and other media, in response to the increasingly unavoidable reality of the end of cheap energy and economic growth. The shift away from business as usual, or from shocked/doomladen responses to the need to downsize and relocalise is well underway.
10. Thankyou

This document is very much work in progress and will be reviewed on an ongoing basis. We welcome your thoughts and comments on it, and hope that you have found it as much fun to read as we have found the process of creating it. We hope that what we have set out here is a model for a dynamic and powerful movement, one based on form that has been emerging naturally since the Transition concept first emerged. We are deeply grateful to the many hundreds of people across the Transition network who have contributed to the various stages in its creation.

If you would like to comment or offer any feedback, please contact or write to our office at 43, Fore Street, Totnes, Devon. TQ9 5HN.
For more information see;
Hopkins, R. (2008) The Transition Handbook: from oil dependency to local resilience. Dartington, Green Books.
Brangwyn, B. & Hopkins, R. (2008) Transition Initiatives Primer – becoming a Transition Town, City, District, Village, Community or even Island. Transition Network.

Key References that have informed this document

Capra, F. (1997) The Web of Life: A New Synthesis of Mind and Matter. Flamingo
Hamilton, C. (2003) Growth Fetish. London, Pluto Press.
Hock, D (1999) Birth of the Chaordic Age. Berrett-Koehler.
Homer-Dixon, T. (2007) The Upside of Down: Catastrophe, Creativity and the Renewal of Civilisation. Souvenir Press Ltd.
James, O. (2008) The Selfish Capitalist: origins of affluenza. Vermilion.
Leadbeater, C. (2008) WeThink: the power of mass creativity. Profile Books
Maturana, H.R. & Varela, F.J. (1992) The Tree of Knowledge: biological roots of human understanding. Shambhala Publishing
North, P (2008) Localisation as a response to peak oil and climate change – a sympathetic critique. Geoforum (details tbc)
Shirky, C. (2008) Here Comes Everybody: the power of organizing without organizations. Allen Lane.
Tapscott D & Williams, A. (2008) Wikinomics: how mass collaboration changes everything. Atlantic Books.
Walker, B. & Salt, D. (2006) Resilience Thinking: Sustaining Ecosystems and People in a Changing World. Island Press.

Comments are now closed on this site, please visit Rob Hopkins' blog at Transition Network to read new posts and take part in discussions.


Mike Grenville
16 Oct 9:51am

This document is a great leap forward to bringing some focus into who we are and how we work together. It helps resolve some of the questions around the organisation and gives a firmer basis for going forward.

16 Oct 11:53am

I agree with Mike, this is incredibly useful and well done, really a great help for all of us. Thanks to Rob, Peter and the others (we’re already working on the Italian translation).

Kamil Pachalko
16 Oct 2:07pm

Good peace of work and what I like about it most that it gives some direction but still states it is a work in progress and will evolve with time, well done again.

Elinor Mountain
18 Oct 10:06pm

Liked the tone of this document and the vision for three years hence… will be useful for us here in Kilkenny, Ireland inspiring our way forward.. Given the power of church and sport ( G.A.A.) here to influence to see their involvement through spread of eco-church and car-pooling awareness raising at matches etc.! . Also inter-faith eco events and case studies of social inclusion transition initiatives …

[…] A lightly edited online version is here on Rob’s Transition Culture blog. […]

Steve Penny
15 Dec 4:01pm

The stated purpose of the transition network, or movement as a whole, as stated in this document, is:
“To support community-led responses to peak oil and climate change, building resilience and happiness”.
1. Do we really only support the community-led responses of others? Do we not make our own response? What if nobody else is responding?
2. Why mention building resilience (to oil shortage I presume) but not mention reducing greenhouse-gas emissions?
3. “Building happiness” is trite. Are we in the business of increasing happiness generally? There are so many ways of doing this that this is not a useful statement. Are we in the entertainment business, for instance? Or charity? Can we realistically deliver happiness, or this in fact outside our control?

Without a clear and achievable purpose statement, we are unlikely to achieve whatever our purpose is. Getting this right is the highest priority of the transition movement. Everything else follows from it.

Who has written this purpose statement? Who speaks for us, and by whose consent? This purpose statement appears to have been made by some individual or group, rather than legitimate representatives of the transition movement.