Transition Culture

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

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8 Jan 2010

Seeking New Trustees for Transition Network!

drectorsTransition Network is looking for new Trustees.  We are looking for people who want to help support the organisation and the growing movement, as well as represent the diversity of the movement.  The following text sets out how Transition Network functions, as well as the qualities we are looking for in new Trustees.  Do have a think in your initiatives if there is someone you would like to nominate, or if you feel you would like to stand in your own right.  For the right people, this is a great opportunity to become more actively involved in the future direction of the Network.

Transition Network

Transition Network was set up in 2007 to support, inspire, encourage, connect and train the emerging Transition movement of community-led responses to peak oil and climate change.  A charitable company based in Totnes in Devon, it currently employs 7 people, some full  and some part time.  A wide network of many hundreds of initiatives within the UK, and also around the world, Transition has become a vibrant, fast-growing and highly innovative social movement.

The objects of Transition Network, as set out in our Charitable Status, are as follows;

The promotion of the conservation protection and improvement of the natural environment and prudent use of natural resources for the benefit of the public by:

  • Advancing education and raising awareness of climate change, resource scarcity, peak oil and economic resilience;
  • Promoting individual, community and organisational commitment to a reduction in CO2 emissions, energy saving, reducing reliance upon carbon emitting energy sources, and increasing resilience to resource scarcity

The promotion of sustainable development (as per definition) for the public benefit by:

  • The preservation, conservation and protection of the environment and the prudent use of natural resources;
  • The promotion of sustainable means of achieving economic development and regeneration in order to reduce reliance on scarce resources including oil

The Current Board

The board of Transition Network is currently:

William Lana: co-founder of GreenFibres, the organic textiles company, and Chair of the Soil Association’s Organic Textiles Standards Board.

Rob Hopkins: co-founder of Transition Network and author of ‘The Transition Handbook’

Peter Lipman: Chair of Transition Network and the Centre for Sustainable Energy and Policy Director of Sustrans

Julie Richardson: Director of the LandScope Project of the Dartington Hall Trust

Pamela Grey: scientist and award winning entrepreneur

Ben Brangwyn: co-founder of Transition Network with a background in the computer industry.

The Board is also complimented by Naresh Giangrande and Sophy Banks, as contributing observers representing Transition Training.

This was an initial Board chosen to get Transition Network established.  It has successfully steered Transition Network through the stages of being set up, becoming a formal organisation, securing initial funding, and developing an effective and well run organisation.  Now, with the recent passing of Brian Goodwin, and with up to four of the Trustees set to stand down, and Transition Network is looking for between 4 and 7 people to take their place, to broaden the skills base of the Board, to make it more representative of the Transition movement and to take it forward into the future.

The Process for Appointing New Trustees

Transition Network doesn’t have a formal membership, so  can’t use a voting based process in the way that membership-based organisations do.  Instead we have designed a process with the following stages;

  1. Nominations.  We would like to invite nominations for becoming a Trustee.  Nominations need to have a proposer and a seconder, at least one of whom needs to be actively involved in a Transition initiative.  It will also need to be accompanied by a CV and a statement of how you meet the person specification below, including any particular strengths you bring
  2. Independent Appointments Panel.  This will be composed of four independent people from across the network of Transitioners, who will then select Trustees from the applications, against the Person Specification set out below.  This Panel will comprise of Adrienne Campbell of Transition Town Lewes, existing Trustees William Lana or Peter Lipman, Julie Richardson, and Matt Dunwell from the Tudor Trust and Transition Forest of Dean
  3. The appointments panel will make selections from the nominations received, and may conduct phone interviews before making a final selection
  4. Ongoing.  Trustees will be eligible for re-election every two years.

We would like to invite nominations for new Trustees by Friday 12th February 2010 at midday. Announcement of the final new Trustees will be made two weeks later.

Trustee person specification

All trustees should meet the following general requirements

  • commitment to the organisation and its aims, values and principles (which can be found in our publication “Who We Are and What We Do”, and to actively participating in maintaining high levels of trust and openness between trustees, employees and consultants
  • able to give 1 to 2 days per month to Transition Network business, including attending meetings and, if appropriate, taking responsibility for areas of Transition Network
  • ability to think strategically, realistically, and to adapt to fast changing circumstances
  • able to attend meetings without the need for air travel , and occasional residential 2 day awayday / retreats.
  • be able to contribute to the process of the organisation in English
  • willingness to speak their mind in a board setting, and to listen to others’ views, be flexible, constructive and open to challenge.
  • understanding and accepting of the legal duties, responsibilities and liabilities of trusteeship
  • able to shape ideas into action

We are currently looking for trustees who, in addition to the above have some of the following

  • Experience of building and developing grassroots organisation/s for social change
  • Experience of creating partnerships with diverse organisations in the UK, and understanding of issues around inclusion and power including race, class, faith, global north/south.
  • Experience of evaluating and monitoring of an organisation’s impact and effectiveness
  • Knowledge of the functioning of the UK political process
  • Experience of contributing to major cultural change or influencing people from a diversity of backgrounds
  • Experience of fund raising and/or access to high net worth individual
  • A background in social entrepreneurship
  • Experience of HR, organisational development, staff management, capacity building.

Trustees will be selected who complement existing trustees in order to provide a diversity of experience and outlook. The principle criterion for the Appointments Panel will be the creation of an effective and  well-balanced Board.

The statutory duties of a Trustee

  • To ensure that Transition Network complies with its governing document, charity law, company law and any other relevant legislation or regulations
  • To ensure that Transition Network pursues its objects as defined in its governing document
  • To ensure Transition Network uses its resources exclusively in pursuance of its objects: the charity must not spend money on activities which are not included in its own objects, no matter how worthwhile or charitable those activities are
  • To contribute actively to the board of trustees’ role in giving firm strategic direction to Transition Network, setting overall policy, defining goals and setting targets and evaluating performance against agreed targets
  • To safeguard the good name and values of Transition Network
  • To ensure the effective and efficient administration of Transition Network
  • To ensure the financial stability of Transition Network
  • To protect and manage the property of Transition Network and to ensure the proper investment of the Transition Network’s funds

Fulfilling the Role

All trustees are expected to:

  • attend board of trustee meetings which are held at least five times a year, including occasional Awaydays. It is expected that trustees will attend all meetings unless there are exceptional circumstances
  • contribute to Transition Network events such as Conferences, workshops, consultations.

Board meetings

Board meetings are held on a weekday morning, usually at the Transition Network offices in Totnes, but occasionally in Bristol, and usually last around three hours. They are also attended by the senior management team, and any other members of staff where appropriate. Expenses are reimbursed.

Term of office

Two years renewable.

For more information

Contact Transition Network on 05601 531882 or email the Chair of Trustees at  peterl (at)

Categories: Transition Network

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


Chris Rowland
8 Jan 3:03pm

Totnes is some way to travel for many involved with TT’s. Bristol is not so far, but still based in the West. The proposal for week day morning meetings may reduce the number of applicants. Is there any chance that board meetings could be by video link, which would enable a wider range of applications? This would decentralise the network more. Perhaps a percentage of applicants should be encouraged from other areas of the UK?

Shaun Chamberlin
8 Jan 5:36pm

You’re clearly not superstitious, but I must point out that the deadline of Friday 13th February 2009 is somewhat expired!

Perhaps you meant Friday 12th February 2010? 🙂

8 Jan 6:33pm

Ah yes… well spotted Mr Chamberlin. The incisive and insightful skills for which you are so highly revered… amazing that I ran this part about 5 people and none of them spotted the date blooper. All the more reason why we need new Trustees!

Shaun Chamberlin
8 Jan 6:42pm

You also missed out proofreading from the person spec 😉

8 Jan 9:17pm


Steve Atkins
9 Jan 9:10am

I hereby nominate Shaun Chamberlin – Excellent proofreading skills!

Irv Beiman
11 Jan 3:41am

From Shanghai China: You Brits, Rob in particular, and TT in general, are doing a terrific job, prototyping for the world what is needed NOW. If you’d like a pro bono advisor on strategy execution who is obsessed with climate change solutions, I’ll be happy to be of service to you, virtually, or via skype video.
check out the Comprehensive Framework for Resilient Sustainability, which includes a methodology for strategy execution….

11 Jan 12:18pm

Have you concidered having a representative of the Transition Network in another country??
As you no doubt know, here are a great deal of us transitioners living outside the UK, who’d like the oportunity to get involved more…..

Gary Alexander
16 Jan 7:10pm

Some excellent points in this discussion.

Could you envisage Board meetings in London with some external members by audio or video link?

You might have some Board members who need frequent contact with the others and the Totnes staff, and some who don’t.

Loosening the Totnes-centredness of the Trustees would help its strategic role.