Transition Culture

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

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4 Apr 2012

A March Round-up of What’s Happening out in the World of Transition

Our thanks to Gerd Wessling, co-ordinator of the German hub, for the following story from Germany:

“Sunday May 13th 2012 will be declared “In Transition 2.0 film and information day” in Germany, Austria and Switzerland!  We kindly ask all German, Swiss & Austrian Transition initiatives to self-organize screenings of the movie at that date in their regions/towns/cities.  More info for the organizers (in German) & about the coordination here.

A screening in Bielefeld is already fixed; see details here.  We would love to generate a lot of broad, positive reviews and excitement about the movie and Transition in general at that date in the German-speaking region(s) of the world”.

From Transition Town Hannover, here is a short film called “Im Rausch der Rohstoffe”  which according to Google Translate means “In the intoxication of the raw materials”, which, erm, doesn’t really tell us very much.  Anyway, here it is:

… and here is an interview with Fabian from the local group:

From Holland, here is Paul Hendricksen speaking about a project he is involved with to build a new settlement of Earthships near Deventer:

From Ireland, Davie Philip from Transition Ireland and Northern Ireland National Hub reports that on March 22nd as part of the Ashoka Change Nation event, a number of Irish Transition catalysts met Rob Hopkins to discuss progressing a number of new Transition projects in Ireland.

While at Change Nation (which he wrote about here) Rob was interviewed for Ireland’s RTE Television:

Also, this Easter, Dermot Higgins and his son Fionn (from Rush, Fingal) will attempt to paddle across Ireland by kayak, from Dublin to Donegal (330km) in just six days.  The money they raise from their exciting expedition will go to their local Transition Town – Rush Open Organisation for Transition Status  (ROOTS). Read more in The Final Independent. Good Luck Dermot and Fionn!

From Portugal, here is a piece from the newsletter sent in by the Transition Portugal (a National Hub), entitled “In Portugal, creativity is used to find alternative ways of financing the 2-day Transition Launch Course”.   

Celebrating Spring, Transition Portugal stepped a little further towards a more sustainable and inspiring paradigm: during the weekend of 23/24th of March, the Linda-Velha Transition Initiative organized the 3rd Transition Launch Course in Portugal, the first led by Portuguese Trainers.

Adding to this special occasion, the organizing team and trainers decided to step outside of their comfort zone and test an alternative financing model inspired by the “Gift Economy”. Participants, who were also co-responsible for the course logistics (food and props), registered in the course paying a basic registration fee of €30 (confirming the intention and interest to enroll). At the end of the course, all people involved (including participants, trainers and organizers) were faced with the following question: “how much did this course worth for me; what are my true financial capacities; and how much am I going to offer to this course as a way of gratitude, supporting its continuity in the future?”

At the same time, the organizing team and trainers presented their ‘dream budget’ on the blackboard, specifying not only the real costs of goods acquired (mainly stationary) but also how much the organization and trainers would like to get for their work. The dream budget was €1290 … and a couple of minutes after… the sum collected was €1211 … Waw!!!… A dream came true… It did work!… Congratulations to everybody!

So in this time of change, notably for a country like Portugal, our recent experience demonstrates that blooming and flowering are here to stay. Lets show our dreams and colours! Trust we will be pollinated and tasty fruit will develop… Lets believe that bees will spread our pollen … Let’s create that magnificent Garden we envision to live in!

Reading Transition Town volunteers Charlotte Selvey, Sabrina Piergorossi and Ornella Trevisan in Palmer Park.

Over to the UK now, and TT-Reading have been busy planning sweet chestnut and walnut trees as part of their edible planting project in the town (see right).  In CheshireT-Wilmslow who were recently awarded a substantial grant from the Governments Local Energy Assessment Fund (LEAF), held a public meeting inviting local residents to share thoughts about the future resilience of the town.  In Derbyshire, T-Belper want to transform a local church car park in to an allotment and have met with a plethora of reactions from the towns councillors! Read more in the Ripley and Heanor News.

On the subject of tree planting, TT-Exmouth in Devon planted almost 50 trees opposite local Greenfingers Garden Centre who kindly provided a soup lunch to the many volunteers who turned out to dig.

TT-Honiton held a Seedy Saturday to mark Climate Week and to encourage people to swap and grow seeds. Hugh Fearnley- Whittingstall (who wrote the foreword to The Transition Companion) just happened to be in the neighbourhood and popped in (see left).  See a full write up and more pictures on the TT-Honiton website by Rufus Duffin.  Here’s a film about the Seedy Saturday:

Rufus also writes here about a successful evening of lively discussion with Rebecca Hosking and Tim Green after a viewing A Farm for the Future.  Here are Rebecca and Tim and some of the group at the event:

L to R: Rufus Duffin (TTH), Rebecca Hosking, Tim Green, Geoff Wilmot (TTH), Christine Planel (TTH). Photo copyright M.Wilmot 2012

Transition Town Honiton also held a big tree planting event:

Transition Town Totnes (TTT) with the Totnes Development Trust have launched a 6 month campaign called the Atmos Project in a bid to transform a derelict site in the town to a low-carbon mixed development for the community. If you missed Rob’s blog on the launch, you can read it here. This story was also picked up This is South Devon, and as part of the campaign, every day a new ‘Atmos Voice’, a member of the community speaking about the campaign, is posted on the site.  Jonathan Dimbleby popped by to launch the campaign outside the site itself:

Here is a great video of A Little Patch of Ground, by Encounters-Arts, a Transition supported inter-generational food growing and performance project which took place just outside Totnes, on the Dartington Estate.  TTT also held, together with Transition Network’s REconomy Project, a ‘Local Entrepreneurs’ Forum’ at the town’s Civic Hall, which brought together entrepreneurs, mentors and potential investors.  You can read about how it went here, or watch this film of the occasion:

In Ashburton, Totnes’ neighbouring town, Ashburton Futures, part of the Transition Network, recently, thanks to the LEAF Fund which many Transition initiatives have benefitted from, have made a series of films about how to make a diversity of local house types more energy efficient.  One of the hosts is Fraser Durham of Anahat Energy, who is also an active member of TTT.  Here are a few of them:

To neighbouring Dorset, where in Blandford, the relatively fledgling TT group held a Local Food Evening to engage the community.  The picture below shows an activity to map all their local food producers and suppliers:

Also in Dorset, TT-Dorchester’s energy group held an information road show on retrofitting and much more.

Penrith Action for Community Transition (PACT) organised a ‘Big Spring Clean’, in association with Eden District Council, Churches Together and Soroptimists (who I must confess I’ve never heard of, but Google reveals is “an international organization for business and professional women who work to improve the lives of women and girls, in local communities and throughout the world”).  Here is a film about it:

In London, Transition Kensal to Kilburn held a ‘Big Dig’, at Queens Park Allotment where a group of volunteers prepared an allotment ready to plant vegetables.  Here is a great time-lapse film of it:

In Hertfordshire, TT-Berkhamsted held an event during Climate Week called ‘What On Earth should we do about Climate Change?‘, and in Kent, Tunbridge Wells just got its first electric vehicle charging point in the town.  Transition Harborough and the Rural Community Council are hoping to gain a substantial investment from the Big Lottery’s Communities Living Sustainably Fund. In this Green Building Press article you can read their many proposals for positively transforming the town.  There’s more on this story in the local Lutterworth Mail.

Transition Town Leamington's 'Wool Day'

TT-Leamington held a wool day where people could learn to the crafts of spinning and felting.  Also in Warwickshire, T-Shipston are saying no to a proposed supermarket moving in to their town.  Marsden and Slaithwaite Transition Town (MASTT) are running a ‘Warmer Homes’ campaign, looking at how to make the area’s hard to treat houses more energy efficient.  As part of that, the Green Building Store made the following video to promote the campaign:

Thanks to Anita van Rossum of T-Chichester, in West Sussex, for sharing this great video of some of their activities.

Over now to Canada.  TT Sooke on Vancouver Island, hold a regular Transition Town Café to discuss ideas and engage the local community.  TT-Powell River featured this great Self-Repair Manifesto on their website – a must for any Transition up cyclers and fix-it fanatics (see poster, right)!

Also in British Columbia, Nancy Hofer of TT Comox Valley recently presented to the CVEC. The Comox Valley Environmental Council is a 21 year old ‘Not for Profit Society’ which acts as an umbrella organization for 20 local environmental organizations and local Municipal and Regional representatives. Read more about the meeting here in  In OntarioT-Guelph held their second Resilience Festival over two days, read more in the Guelph Mercury.

From Barrie, Canada, comes this presentation, seemingly filmed on a phone from the back of the hall, about Transition in Barrie:

… and also to mention, in case you missed it, the launch of Transition Prince Rupert’s new website and fantastic Transition crash-course they developed.  You can read about it here, or here is Lee Brain from the group to tell you all about it:

In Tasmania, Derek Leahy ponders five thought bubbles (one of which is Transition) and tries to connect the dots regarding the forthcoming Day of Action on tar sands on May 5th.  TT-Guilford in Western Australia held a successful weekend to build community resilience with over 100 attendees.  From Victoria, while browsing  the TT-Maroondah website, we came across this wonderful banner:

To Brazil.  Thanks for Isabela Maria Gomez de Menezes for this wonderful story and picture from T-Brasilândia who celebrated a Beauty Day dedicated to the beauty and strength of the women of Brasilândia.

Here is the story in English:

The beauty day, was a day totally dedicated to the beauty and strength of the women’s of Brasilândia. The event honoring the month of women was organized by women of the Transition Brasilândia, in the community of Vila Teresinha in Brasilandia.

Throughout the day the visitors could enjoy the hairstylist and treatments offered by Institute Embelleze, and also learned how to make turbans and braids with the girls of the collective “Manifesto Crespo”or the Curly manifest, with the project “weaving and braiding art”, which enhances and strengthens the memory and afro brazilian self-esteem. They also had massage available and the women from the “Brasilianas”,  selling their products made with recyclable materials.

During the event, an street art artist from the community,   painted a wall with themes of the event.  Closing the day they raffle a free registration in a Gym Club and distributed seasonings seedlings provided by the Office of Sustainability, to promote the habit of cultivating food crops at home.

For the Transition US March roundup of what’s happening in Transition in the US, click here.  In California, TT- Berkeley celebrated their first birthday with a Potluck meal.  The event also doubled up as an informative get together for those wanting to know more about Transition and how to get involved.  Frances Bigda-Peyton of Bedford-TT (MA) writes an article following her attendance at a recent comprehensive plan workshop and suggests that resilience is crucial for the towns’ future. 

Also in MA, T-Ashland have started a new programme called Grounds around Town which is a fantastic and innovative way to make use of the towns used coffee grounds.  Jamaica Plain New Economy Transition held an event called Education not Deportation.  Canton Public Library in Michigan has been hosting a Transition Towns series and this month was Getting Started in Organic Gardening with Bettylou who says you don’t need lots of space to start growing food.  T-Keene (NH) has launched a Neighbourhood Food Security (NFS) program which has a very specific goal – to produce 30% of food locally by the year 2030.

T-Staunton Augusta (VA) are transforming an unkempt lot in to a New Town Community Garden. Co-founder Lindsay Curren (also of Transition Voice) is excited by the amazing response she’s had so far (see right).  T-Port Angeles (WA) held their first public meeting and over 100 people turned up!

Thanks to Trish Knox of T-Woodinville (suburb of Seattle, WA) for sharing this fantastic Valley Vegetables Demonstrate story:

Saturday morning at the old Hollywood Hill Schoolhouse roundabout, valley vegetables crisply demonstrated their concerns over the threat to farming and rural character posed by a recent Woodinville City Council vote. The carrot was heard to sprout that soon urban sprawl would overtake the vegetable’s precious valley and destroy farmers’ ability to purchase land at a reasonable price. Standing in support of the vegetables to squash the vote and beet back urban sprawl were Sammamish Valley Alliance, Transition Woodinville and The Hollywood Hill Association.  Trish is second from left in the picture below:

Photo: Lincoln Potter.

Finally, we’ll keep one of the best to last.  Here is a great film from Chile about Transition in a town called Pucon:

To keep up with developments in Transition between these monthly roundups, keep an eye on Transition Network NewsTransition Network Projects and Transition Voice.  If you would like to hear more about any of these stories in the next podcast, please let us know. 

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


Trish Knox
8 Apr 3:52pm

Thanks for including us in your March round up. I am looking forward to sharing our April Earth Day events with our global Transition family.

3 May 3:49pm

Its not intoxication of raw materials but
“High on Resources”

thanks for the roundup! Will use it for my translation of Ben´s Transition Presentation!