Transition Culture

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

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21 Dec 2009

Is Transition Relevant to the Global South? A Discussion at the Klimaforum

In order to completely contradict my previous post, here is a panel discussion from the Klimaforum, chaired by Naresh Giangrande, with May East, Jonathan Dawson, Sophy Banks and Miguel Valencia. Thanks to for making this available.

Categories: General

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Nick Innes-Taylor
22 Dec 4:59am

I think the “twinning” idea suggested in the discussion is an excellent idea for a practical step to start to link transition initiatives (with a small “T”), in the global North and South.

The Twinning concept could be applied to communities as well as possibly institutions and organizations working on transition initiatives.

I think the observations made in the discussion about the Global South wanting to know that they “are not alone” and the need for the Global North to be able to “listen to and hear” other parts of the “system”, are very important and something we could easily build on.

I live and work in the Global South (Laos/NE Thailand) on poverty reduction programs and would be keen to explore this twinning idea in practice with the Transition movement in the Global North. Anyone interested? Could Transition Culture facilitate this?

I also seem to find the “twinning” idea an excellent one. We are getting ready to attempt to embark on a transition challenge in Greece through an initiative of a non-profit organization I represent as a pilot experiment in a town just outside of Athens. If there is any development in this idea such as a facilitation that Nick suggested or anything to that effect, please keep us posted.

Neil Chadborn
27 Dec 9:22pm

Hi Nick

I liked the twinning idea too. I’d be happy to follow up this idea from here in Liverpool, UK! Can we email? nchadbornatyahoo-co-uk? cheers Neil

danielle grunberg
28 Dec 4:59pm

Hallo to everyone,

The twinning idea is brilliant,absolutely.
One example from years ago was to twin environmental groups im EAST and western Europe.
( I got the idea after doing some work for the Ecologist Mag)
I put Groups in Ukraine,Lithuania, Romania and Slovakia in touch with British groups and I know, for sure that, The Womens Environmental Network, who twinned with Mama 86 in Kiev( looking after Chernobyl children)had a very succesfull collaboration.

So now we can start with North South links ,group with group and through all the levels ie parish/ local/county council etc etc

I’m doing some work in France with Transition and The Council of Europe where the twinning idea has been very well received.

Anything I can do to assist?
I will follow the posts.
Warmest greetings

Julio Jiménez
29 Dec 9:04pm

Adding to the comment on governments (associated with big private interests)trying to direct people’s lifes (and minds), I would like to stress that this is really a big problem in Latin America (and perhaps even the whole world).
More specifically, I think than something which is doing a lot of harm is actually the concept of “sustainable development”, as coined by the UN years ago: people must realize that what is not really sustainable is the financial-economic system that rules the world and all of its top key decisions. But any proposed “development” that does not comply with such system, is disregarded or even found suspect (unless it is a paliative (not deep-structural) action promoted by the system itself (even if socially responsible).

What this means politically for the South is that, in order to reach sustainability, our countries first have the obligation to “develop” (emulate what the north already did), thereby “finishing up the job” of environmental, cultural and social destruction.

What most struck me when I first heard of the Transiton movement is how clear you are as to all the negative aspects that are inherent within the dogma and praxis of economic and material growth.

Howeverm when I mention such things to most people in “the free” South America, they just look at me as if I lost my mind, or if I am just a heretic. Most capital-oriented democracies have convinced people that we must directly (and blindly) “jump into the train of development”, and very few dare to question this.

So the concept of “sustainable development” must really be completely removed from the picture (and documents) if we are to achieve anything globally: the big institutional ecological players must admit that it was a misleading historical mistake, which of course can be corrected.

Secondly: In order to have hopes for sustainability and self-sufficiency, the development that IS needed is the DEVELOPMENT OF MINDS. That is how we can all learn from each other, understand each other and eventually generate true hopes foe healing the world. This might be related to the call for “awareness” that was mentioned in the conversation, if I understood well.

Instead of “free trade agreements”, we need free cooperation, knowledge and training agreements.

The irrational and harmful carriage of goods from one extreme of the world to the other can be reversed to some degree by the spreading of initiatives such as transition. On the other hand, transfer of knowledge, awareness and clarity of mind ought to be intensified, as well as resistance to domination by the media.

Nick Innes-Taylor
4 Jan 5:37am

Hi Nicholas and Danielle,

I’ve started to swap some ideas with Neil Chadborn and perhaps we could share some thoughts over the email. Mine is nickudonatgmail-com.


Nicholas Roberts
25 Jan 2:43am

the Global South, especially South America has a “transition movement”. Its called Socialism for the 21st Century, or the Bolivarian Revolution. And many of its most active participants practice democratic, organics, perennial polyculture, ecological agriculture, grass roots indigenous and peasants.

Bolivia has an indigenous, farm union leader, peasant President, Evo Morales. This is far more significant for democracy than designed-to-fail Obama administration.

Via Campesina/MST are doing a lot to convert peasant farmers to ecological agriculture, and Tony Andersen from Klimaforum09 and many others are working with them to make this happen.

For the Global South, its quite reasonable that they have some growth in consumption and emissions. Many are way below a reasonable global quota of 1 tonne C02/year. And so, its totally understandable and just that they insist on growth.

For the Global North Energy DECENT is required to a stable and just level, say of 1 tonne per person per year.

For the Global South its Global ASCENT.

Also, for the Global South, good old fashioned RESISTANCE is more important than RESILIENCE.

The Indigienous people of the Andes or the Amazon where/are world leaders in resilience, but it didnt help much when the Consquistadores and the Corporations came, killed them and took there world away. They have found Resistance is the first step in a Global South Transition.

I am not talk about violence, but I am talking about political activism that involves a serious political critique of global neo-liberalism. Not words in the TTT vocabulary.

Perhaps as the UK-based Transition Movement does more with towns and localities that do not have the rich, white, educated, privilidged demographic you might discover that for the many in the Global South in the UK things much the same.

Although the UK is far more equitable society than the USA *I have spent considerable time in both in 2009* many locales, other than Totnes, are more like scenes from The Children of Men than from the Transition Movie

I applaud you for hiring a Diversity Transiton person, perhaps they could blog too ?

11 Feb 1:56pm

hi, can anyone tell me why the original video is not available and where i can find it?