Transition Culture

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

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30 May 2012

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

Welcome to the monthly round-up of what people are up to doing Transition around the world.  Let’s start this month in Spain.  Spain recently held its first national Transition conference, which you can read more about here, and you can see Juan del Río’s reflections on it here.  Here is a great film about the event which gives a great sense of the energy and dynamism that it tapped into:

Also in Spain, the students at High School Joan Segura i Valls in Santa Coloma de Queralt (in Catalonia, Spain) completed their project on Transition, and submitted their final report (see below).

The school also featured in the most recent Transition podcast, in an interview with their English teacher, Mar Mullerat.

As usual, all sorts of amazing things are underway in Brazil.  We recently heard from someone who visited Transition Brasilandia who was blown away, and whose blog on the visit we hope to be able to post in the next roundup.  In the meantime, Brazil now has its first Transition magazine, ‘Em Transição’!  You can have a read through it below:

Here is a story sent in for this round-up from Brazil, entitled “Eco-Vesak again a blockbuster success”. The Ecofeira Granja Vianna happened in the Zulai Temple on  May, 20, confirming once again the success of this event  focuses on sustainability, encouraging the consumption of organic food and generating income for local farmers.  About 1500 people passed through the EcoFeira tents , which occurred within the Zulai Vesak festiva program , celebrating the birth of Buddha. The Ecofeira exhibitors expanded the variety and quantity of products offered, but still, around noon (the show began at nine o’clock) some had already sold its entire production. Vegetables, mushrooms and organic fruit items are much in demand as well as the food ready in the form of pickles, jams, breads, cookies, pastries and cakes. The craft sustainable brings functionality and beauty to visitors as well as flowers and ornamental plants that are also offered.

The Children’s Corner, conducted by the monitors of Jungle Yellow-Green Ecological Society, formed by the Culture Site of CEACOTUR in Mandu, was an attraction, with activities such as planting seedlings of garden, in addition to special programming Plays Yoga activity developed by Renata von Poser, where the kids could practice yoga postures and learn some concepts in a playful and engaging.  The next Ecofeira Granja Vianna will occur on June 3, at Granja Vianna School, located at Av Jose Felix de Oliveira, 1270, from 9 to 14 hours.  The event is a joint promotion of the City of Cotia,  Site da Granja , Transition Granja Viana Movement and Mario Schenberg College, with support from the School Granja Vianna, Ciagraph, I-Grafix, Felix Office, and selva All Loc – Ecological Society Green Yellow

In Ireland, T-Donabate Portrane are hoping to secure and develop a community garden.  Just up the road, T-Donabate Portrane have inspired Rush (a seaside town in Fingal) to set up ROOTS! Read more here in the North County Leader.  From Japan, we are very grateful to Paul Shepherd of Transition Japan for sending us this video (with English subtitles) which he thought you might find interesting:

Also from Japan is news of a rather special screening of ‘In Transition 2.0’.  On June 10th  there will be an event in Tokyo called “How to build a transition town?” which will feature a movie screening and a Transition ‘talk’ event.  This will be the second, annual, half-day transition ‘talk’ event in Tokyo.  A year ago, in the same location (Meiji Gakuin University) in Tokyo a half-day, Transition ‘talk’ event was held with about 180 participants.   This year, it is expected that between 200 & 250 participants will take part in this movie screening & ‘talk’ event.  It is expected that about half the participants will be people already active in Transition towns in Japan and the other half will be people interested in learning more about the Transition movement.

To the UK now.  In Cornwall, thanks to Claire James and Louise Austin of SEA (Saltash Environmental Action) aka Saltash in Transition for providing this wonderful report of their new Incredible Edible plot in the centre of town.  Still in the west but heading into Devon, here is TT-Totnes’ May Bulletin. Also in Totnes, the great Costa coffee debate has been brewing and Transition Town Totnes are involved in a campaign to keep the chain off the High Street.  You can read more, and see the Costa application in the wider context of the current government push for economic growth in one of Rob Hopkins’ recent posts, ‘Why we need to put the Local back into Local Enterprise Partnerships‘.  The great poster below can now be seen in shop windows up and down Totnes High Street:

In Essex, Southend in Transition held a meeting to discuss creating a local food coop and as a result are now taking steps to build local resilience through their food initiatives.  TT-Winvenhoe continue with their station garden which evolves year by year (see right).  They have also been busy trying to secure a cinema venue in the town.

TT-Cheltenham with the blessing of the local council have plans to turn part of a public park in to a veg garden!  The story is also covered here.  Inspired by a programme on Bees, Butterflies and Blooms, TT- Nailsea will be planting wildflowers along a local bridleway that is managed by the council.  Just up the road, T-Taunton held Taunton Green Doors which included open homes, gardens and events.

To London now.  TT-Brixton held an Open Day. Read their May newsletter here.  T-Crouch End were one of several community groups involved in May Day in the Park. Check out this fab poster advertising the event below, gorgeous!

 TT-Tooting had a shop open for a limited time only in May on 68 Upper Tooting Road – “Nothing for Sale but Lots to Offer”. Read Lucy Neal’s blog about the experience here and the Tooting Online forum here.   The shop was kicked off with the amazing ‘Treasuring Tooting’ event.  Here are a couple of photos (with thanks to Tooting Online), followed by a delightful film:

A Green Party Cllr in Bury St Edmonds is helping to get a Transition group off the ground. The fledgling group had a great turnout at a local pub. Read more here in the Bury Free Press.  From West Sussex, many happy returns to Transition Town Lewes, one of the pioneer Transition initiatives, who recently celebrated their 5th birthday!  Did they all go out on a pub crawl and then onto a club?  Erm no, you can read the report of what sounds like a suitably celebratory celebration here and enjoy a great gallery of photos from the event here.    Part of the event included creating a Timeline of their work so far, which you can see below: 

Also from Lewes, here is a short film clip of the Ouse Valley Energy Services Company (OVESCO) with their energy bike at the Priory ruins in Lewes May 2012, raising money for Southover Bonfire Society and giving advice on renewable energy to the local public.

In Wiltshire, T-Marlborough have got the go ahead for a monthly Sunday Community Market in the town (see below), and in Worcestershire, TT- Redditch were one of several community groups who attended the first ever May Fayre on Headless Cross Green.

Skipping briefly around the globe to North Island in New Zealand, Transition Town Tauranga were one of several community groups involved in IDEAshare twentytwelve . Wild and Grace wrote this report of the event which also included Welcome Bay Transition Town.  Also from New Zealand, here is an article in Element Magazine with input from long time Transition advocate James Samuel.

From Canada, TT-Comox Valley on Vancouver Island explored the concept of leadership and working collaboratively in groups at their May meeting.  Also, here is a short film of Lee Brain from Transition Prince Rupert beaming in virtually to contribute to the International Young Naturefriends Networking Conference:

Here’s a story from France, with many thanks to Delphine Le Page for this story from Lannion. It’s great to hear news from fledgling groups as well as from groups who are much further down the road!  “We’ve been showing In Transition 1.0 last week in a local pub. It was a success ! We did some welcoming games and a cooperative debate.  There is no Transition group yet in Lannion. As a local authority, we are informing the citizens of the possibility to form such a group and that we are happy to help to do so.  You can see the presentation of the screening (of In Transition 2.0) for June 20th on this website. It’s  in French, but the Google translation is not so bad !

Discussions after the screening of 'In Transition 2.o' in Lannion, France.

‘In Transition 2.0’ has also been sweeping across Germany.  Our thanks to Gerd Wessling for the following update:

“On May 13th more than 15 German, Austrian & Swiss Transition initiatives (from small towns to large cities; from Lübnitz to Bielefeld to Bremen to Zurich to Regensburg to Munich to Hanover to…) self-organized a screening of “In Transition 2.0”; with audience numbers ranging from a living-room-cozy (5 people) to packed cinemas of about 100.

TT Bielefeld activists & friends happily mingling about in the foyer of the cinema "Lichtwerk" after the screening of 'In Transition 2.0'

Reviews were overwhelmingly positive and most viewers particulary liked the international scope, breadth & depth of the projects appearing in the movie.  The screenings gave a huge boost in visibility for many of our German-speaking initiatives, as well as was just a great “excuse” to celebrate on that day what has already been accomplished for some other of our Transition initiatives.

Many thanks to all the organizers & viewers!  More reports here (in German).  More screenings are planned on June 19/20/21 during the “Festival of Transition”

In the Netherlands, Transition Town Tilburg ran an event that was something to do with local food, so far as I can tell (sorry!):

To the US.  You can read the Transition US May monthly roundup here.  The Ukiah Daily Journal writes a great report on T-Ukiah and their plans for making the Mendocino Countyneighbourhood more resilient (see right).

TT-San Luis Obispo created a Transition Town Village for Earth Day with the help of their education group who were also involved in a Home Show.  Jamaica Plain (MA) New Economy Transition held a potluck get together to discuss worker cooperatives and what they could mean for their neighbourhood (see left); and here’s a great write up by local resident and active Transition member Jana Pickart on a vision for the future of Jamaica Plain.

Here is Don Hall, director of Transition Sarasota, speaking on a show called ‘Dare to be Different’:

… and here is Don again, being interviewed in a corridor somewhere by ‘The 3 Kitcheneers’:

T-Wayland member Kaat Vander Straeten (one of the stars of ‘In Transition 2.0) was the main organizer for the Earth Day Fair which celebrated their community and attracted around 400 visitors (see below).

Wayland MA Photo caption: fair attendees could build bird feeders or tool boxes at the carpenters table. Credit - Pat Conway

Kaat has also been busy with a new Solarize Massachusetts state program which aims to help 4 MA towns purchase solar panels at a reduced rate via bulk buying.  TSouhegan Valley held a Connect the Dots rally and local resident, Transition member and biologist talked about how climate change has directly impacted the state’s moose population (see right).  Transition Town Montpelier in Vermont are holding a Montpelier Village Building Convergence, which includes teaming up with the local Occupy group:

Transition Town Berkeley recently held a ‘Crop Swap’.  “A what?” you may ask.  Handily, here is a video to explain all:

Finally, here are a few non place-specific pieces.  Read how Transition has reached the Baltic state of Latvia in this Permaculture article.  Here, Mandy Barnett of Happy Museum Project talks writes here about Transition and the language of change.  In Arts Professional, Hilary Jennings and Belinda Sosinowicz describe how Transition Town Tooting is using the arts to improve wellbeing on South East London.  Here is a piece on Grassroots Innovations are researching sustainability from the bottom up including the impact of Transition Towns.  Here is a somewhat interesting forum on Transition in China or rather lack thereof.  Finally well leave you with an article in The Ecologist: Why the best World changing ideas begin in your neighbourhood.

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


31 May 7:23pm

“An May Roundup”??! Rob. Learn from Mitt. ALWAYS proof read your headlines! 🙂

(for any not aware, Mitt Romney was in the news for an app that misspelled “America” – “Amercia”. Not going to live that down!

Rob Hopkins
31 May 10:39pm

Gah! Well spotted. All I can say is that this month’s round up was done in quite the most spectacular rush, so to only end up with one spelling mistake feels like quite an achievement. Thanks for pointing that out.

Trish Knox
2 Jun 9:53pm

Well done, Rob, for orchestrating so many parts. It can be a thankless job….but it is not when you are thanked! So, thank you, for your ongoing energy, commitment and work! Did I mispell commitment?