Transition Culture

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

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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.

7 Jan 2010

A Delicious Array of Short Films about Transition

Here is a selection of 7 new short films about Transition, uncovered in a short rummage around on the internet.  They demonstrate the dazzling diversity of things underway around the world, talks, events, community film-making, as well as personal reflections on the process.  I love the fact that it is so easy to make short films and post them online (so I’m told), and the great stories that that allows to be captured.  Sit back and enjoy…..

1.  An unnamed gentleman somewhere in the US reflects on Transition while making toast in his kitchen after attending his first Transition meeting (great views of his ceiling)

2.  A Talk I sent by DVD to Celebrate the First Anniversary of the Unleashing of Transition Sandpoint

3.  A Great Film from Transition Manchester in Vermont, USA, about peoples’ visions of 2020

4.  Transition Sweden – Intervju med Jan Forsmark (one for the Swedish speakers…)

5.  Jonathan Smith Gives a Talk About Transition Scilly as part of the EDay on the Island

6.  Transition Derby Get Permablitzing

7.  A Talk about Transition from Transition Town Initiative Bielefeld in Germany (one for the German speakers…)

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


Brad K.
7 Jan 5:21pm

Listening to the camera guy (first video), he focuses on a traditional economy. He defines development of products, promotion of business goals, business community activation as the path to Transition.

What I ask is – how do you engage the public? Can Transition afford to overlook the young parents of young children, striving to keep food and utilities, shelter and clothing and hygiene intact? Is it enough to rely on advertising and marketing and even political momentum to convince, in economic terms, a consuming republic to “buy” the concept?

I continued my thoughts at

Where is the “golden land”, that people will be driven to for life and refuge?

The first guy sounds Canadian to my American ears. I’ve noticed that Canadians often talk about “North American” culture or “Canada & the US,” as he did. The vast majority of Americans might as well not know that Canada exists when thinking and talking about areas where there’s a huge amount of overlap between the two countries. Just sayin’…

Brad K.
8 Jan 12:55am

I had been thinking Minnesota, Wisconsin, or Michigan – in central Minnesota the “ah’BOOT” pronunciation for “about” is pretty common, eh?

Kelly R.
8 Jan 5:37am

Yeah, Grey and Bruce counties are in the Province of Ontario, Canada. Notice the spelling of Grey…Americans spell it Gray.

James Samuel
8 Jan 6:22am

Thanks for these.

Here’s another video and story of a fun event that took place yesterday on Waiheke – The Great Waiheke plum Drive. We gather fruit and cooked up 150 jars of delicious plum jam – and had so much fun in the process!

Neil Chadborn
8 Jan 11:16am

Here’s a really anal comment Rob (but with deeper implications…) – with my biochemistry hat on, in your film to Sandpoint you use the metaphor ‘distilling together’ this is really an oxymoron, as distilling means separating out or purifying. Of course I’m being pedantic, but lots of people from whisky drinkers, water tech enthusiasts to oil engineers would notice this (- for future reference!) Blending might be more appropriate (from whisky point of view) or from engineering amalgamating, alloying, from biochemistry conjugating, from business conglomeration (I’m on dodgy ground here). Traditional speak – splicing. For drink/foodies: cocktail.

As you’ve said before, also Brad’s comment above, we all need to share ideas to develop appropriate language for targeted audiences. I would like to hear ideas on language appropriate for city-dwellers; 9-5ers and low-income young families.

Following on the anal comments though – the other one that bugs me is the metaphor of the yeast dying in their own excretia (alcohol). Although it’s a good analogy it should be bourne in mind that this is an anthropogenic (artificial) environment – the brewer encourages population growth (aerobic) followed by asphyxiation, leading to alcohol excretion and death of the yeast (anaerobic). This shouldn’t be confused with the natural life cycle, which would be population growth (as the fruit rots), then spore formation (as food runs out the yeast goes into a dormant resilient phase) – ha! – maybe that’s the metaphor to follow!! – also involving conjugation / sexual reproduction…. see
Interestingly, during the growth phase population increases with no genetic change (vegetative/clonal growth) which can be compared to Industrial Growth System/monoculture. When conditions become limiting it’s time to increase variation (sexual reproduction), mix up the genes – an attempt to find a new form which will be better adapted to the new niche: evolution, biodiversity, redundancy, resilience. But also sporulation involves a kind of hibernation/powerdown with the aim of lasting until finding pastures new.
I’m still trying to think of a bio-metaphor for outgrowing the old model, which doesn’t involve parasitism. Strangler fig is a good one, but unfortunately the names wrong for a positive vision… Neil

Brad K.
8 Jan 6:17pm

Neil Chadborn,

I might expand just a touch on your yeast explanation. In addition to going dormant – the spores increase the likelihood of being scattered, and increase the range that they might be scattered over. Could this be a metaphor, that Transition Towns should be sending out starter “seed” groups and individuals? That the point is not sustainable autonomy, but remaking the surrounding range into media suitable for creating, growing, and budding more Transition Towns?

Should Transition towns “bud”, create a daughter offshoot to nurture, or combine with one or more Transition Towns to create composite, “blended” offspring, to raise and nurture? Or am I just too wrapped up in an incomplete analogy?

Richard Bell
9 Jan 5:43pm

Thanks for the video round-up. It’s great to see such diversity. Watching the Swedish and German videos, I would only wonder when are the AI (artificial intelligence) people going to get real-time translation working so we can understand transition in all of its many language.

FTW, I gather from the “so I’m told” remark that Rob has not been producing videos, or he would not have called these videos “short.” Videos that are 20 minutes long are not “short.” Even the sorter videos in the bunch, at 6 minutes or so, are not really what most Youtubers would call “short.”