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.

9 Jul 2013

Transition Thursdays: Three down, three to go!

Transition Thursdays image

So, three down and three to go.  I wrote a report and made a short film of the first Transition Thursday (even though it was actually on a Tuesday), which took place in Crystal Palace in London.  I’m going give you an update on the next two, which have taken me first to Sheffield, and then to Downham and Swaffham in East Anglia.  They’ve been a blast so far.

The Sheffield event, on June 27th, was great fun.  I’m going to let Transition Sheffield tell you about this one, from their website:

“Thursday 27 June was a packed day for Transition Sheffield with workshop, sustainability delegation, and evening talk.  We held an afternoon workshop on Sustainable Cities. We set the scene with a presentation to share some information about the motivation for the Transition network, and about local Transition initiatives. Participants chose to discuss five key topics – Food, Transport, Money, People, and Technology. When asked how they felt, there was general agreement from participants that they’re capable of supporting a change to create a more sustainable Sheffield, and most people wrote down a specific action that they intended to take, even if only to find some further information, or to connect with others. See below for more discussion notes.  Many thanks to Colette Cameron for the loan of her amazing decorations – see information about her classes and workshops.

Then we set off to the steps of the Town Hall to meet with Cllr Jack Scott (Cabinet member for Sustainability, Recycling and Streetscene). A bunch of people gathered with music from SolarActive‘s solar powered soundsystem and the Transition Banner (see below). Jack sped into town to meet us in the council’s electric car, and we handed to Jack a copy of the latest Transition book – the Power of Just Doing Stuff. It’s well argued, very readable, and has great examples of inspiring projects.

Transition Sheffield

After a stopping off to refuel in the very excellent Blue Moon Cafe, we gathered in the Quaker Meeting House to hear a talk by Rob Hopkins, one of the founders of the Transition movement. He’s won various awards and plaudits as a leading grassroots campaigner, ‘green community hero’, and ‘new radical’, and is a very engaging speaker. A recording of his talk is available (thanks to Chris from indymedia)”.  

While I was in Sheffield, I also asked Transition folk I met there what, for them, is Transition?

… and also, why do they do it?


The next day I travelled home, not before discovering a craft brewery on Sheffield station and having to write a rather excitable blog about how great it would be if every station had a brewery on it.  

The following Thursday took me to Downham Market in East Anglia.  Here is a short film I made about the day I spent there:

I think it kind of captures everything I would want to say about the day there.  It was great fun, really beautifully organised and held, thanks to everyone who made it happen.  While I was there, I did an interview with Gabbie Joyce for The Breckland View, which you can hear here.  My thanks also to photographer Suzanne Fossey who took some great photos of the evening, which you can see here.  

One additional fun thing is that Bob Flowerdew, he of organic gardening guru fame, was there, and here are his thoughts on the evening:


I also took the opportunity to ask people in East Anglia what Transition meant for them, how they would describe it?

Also, why do they do it?  What do they get out of it?


I should also mention a couple of other things that haven’t, strictly speaking, been Transition Thursdays, but have been talks that have taken place during this time.  There was the Totnes launch of the book, the day before the Sheffield event, which also featured music from Charlie Mgee’s Formidable Vegetable Sound System all the way from Australia and en route to Glastonbury Festival, pictured below with Rob and the Mayor of Totnes and her consort, Lionel.  The other star of the show was the launch of ‘The Power of Just Brewing Stuff’, the first beer from the forthcoming New Lion Brewery (seen clutched firmly in Lionel’s hand below).    

Totnes book launch

The other event was giving the Sir Patrick Geddes Memorial Lecture in Edinburgh, which you can hear below, illustrated with slides:

The next Transition Thursday will be in Worthing, hosted by the local Transition group there, this Thursday.  There are still some tickets available, do come along.  Then to Slaithwaite in Yorkshire, then Louth and Horncastle in Lincolnshire. 

worthing poster






Effective groups


Local Government