Transition Network Newsletter, December

Looks like there is quite a lot of content in this issue, which you can also read online here:


~ November round up
~ USA Turns $1s into $4s!

~ London Transition – a year in review
~ City Living – Tales from London
~ Love in a Strange Climate
~ Havant – between muller and official
~ TT Lewes fundraiser at Glyndebourne
~ So what does Transition Town Totnes actually do?

~ Local Authority Peak Oil reports
~ Had a Spinach Pie moment?
~ Transition on BBC Radio4’s “In Business” programme
~ A Thesis Is Born
~ New UK Version of the Crash Course


~ Transition Scotland Conference round up
~ Communities and Climate Action Conference
~ North East Transition Town Activists Network
~ Confronting Change: peak oil and the big society
~ Introduction to Dragon Dreaming weekend

~ An Avalanche Of Ingredients
~ Daily Twitter Newspaper
~ Transition Voice
~ Our YouTube Channel
~ Transition Book Shop
~ Transition Currency 2.0

~ Sharing Engine diagrams
~ Upgrading the Resources Section

~ Quote of the Month


November round up of what’s happening in Transition
The tour this month takes in France, the recent conference in Germany, Ireland and the Scilly Isles who have food projects. A number of reports from across the UK while from New Zealand we hear of a Community Orchard, in the US there are films, conferences and a Transition map of Los Angeles and Calgary in Canada holds an Open Space for the community to look in the future. Read about these and many more here:

USA Turns $1s into $4s!
When one donor heard about Transition US’s $100,000 Challenge Grant, she made a tremendous pledge – she’s offered to match every dollar raised dollar for dollar up to $5,000, through midnight on Sunday, December 12. Give $25, and she’ll match it. And then that $50 will be matched again by our Challenge Grant, turning your gift of $25 into $100 for the Transition Movement. That’s two matches in one, which means each dollar you give over the next ten days will be quadrupled as they move within striking distance of their $100,000 goal! Donate online here


London Transition – a year in review
A brief summary of some of the more notable events from the past year which were initiated or supported by Transition groups. This list is by no means comprehensive, but hopefully gives a sense of the movement in London.

City Living – Tales from London
Having hung up her flip flops after walking round the UK, Steph Bradley revisited London and gives her impressions of the town and its potential for resilience.

Love in a Strange Climate
Charlotte Du Cann of Transition Norwich recounts her experience of lobbying her MP

Havant – somewhere between muller and official
A thoroughly personal account of the ups and downs, the ins and outs of setting up Transition Havant:

TT Lewes fundraiser at Glyndebourne
Transition Town Lewes recently hosted a fundraising concert at the Glyndebourne Opera House. A whole medley of Lewes performers came together in what some are calling ‘the event of the season’. The performances were hosted and woven together with entertaining stories about Lewes

So what does Transition Town Totnes actually do?
TTT has been running now for just over 4 years, and recently a group sat down to try and capture what has actually been achieved by the process. The name of the report, ‘So, what does Transition Town Totnes actually do?‘, comes from the question often asked by visitors to the town who come to see a Transition town, wander round the High Street and wonder why there are still cars and not windmills everywhere. The report is designed to explain all that is going on below the surface (as well as on top of it…).


Local Authority Peak Oil reports
Warwickshire County Council have formed the Warwickshire Climate Change Partnership, which is made up of a range of partners from the public and private sectors. They have teamed up with a group of MSc students from Warwickshire Business School who have written a report on the influence of UK energy security and peak oil issues and associated higher price scenarios on the delivery of services for the many and various customers of the council. Have seen any more you could recommend?

Had a Spinach Pie moment?
A very clever, concise and entertaining set of videos in which George Marshall from COIN in the UK explores the psychology of climate change denial and climate communications. There are three instalments covering all the ground systematically and in a very easy to appreciate way. Take a look and see if you’ve experienced any “Spinach Pie” moments of your own.

Transition on BBC Radio4’s “In Business” programme
Economic Growth – can’t we think of something better?
The reporter appeared totally convinced that we were entering a time when either we’d move away from economic growth or we’d drive ourselves into a climate that would deliver levels of chaos that we would not be able to handle.
There’s an audio file that you can listen to:

A Thesis Is Born
Rob Hopkins has completed his PhD which, you may not be surprised to hear, is a deep and thorough analysis of Transition in action. Titled ‘Localisation and Resilience at the Local Level’, it researches the history and activities of Transition Town Totnes, as well as discussing the Transition model in general, has an academic literature review for some thoroughness, and plenty of graphs as well we hear. There is an extract from it here:‘Can Totnes and District House Itself? The potential of local building materials to build resilience’. For a more detailed overview, read the Abstract and also order a copy here:
New UK Version of the Crash Course
Chris Martenson travelled to the UK for a series of talks and meetings earlier this year. While he was here we asked him whether he might be up for doing a new version of his famous Crash Course, but tailoring it for a specifically UK audience. We also asked him to make it shorter than the over 3 hour Crash Course, as we felt that would be more useful for Transition initiatives. As a result, a 45-minute UK version of the Crash Course has been produced and is now available free online. Spliced into 6 parts, the 45 min UK version can be viewed on YouTube here.

Free DVD for UK TTs
Thanks to some generous sponsorship, we are able to offer a limited number of copies free, one each to every official UK Transition initiative. Please send a stamped addressed padded envelope to Helen, Transition Network, 43 Fore Street, Totnes, Devon. TQ9 5HN, stating the name of your initiative. Seasons Greetings from the Transition Network! If you are not an official UK initiative and would still like a copy of the DVD, they can be ordered online here:


Transition Scotland Conference round up
The Transition Scotland conference was a great success. In the words of Pete Lipman (chairman) “it enabled us to think better about the connection between belonging and Transition”. Issues of diversity and inclusion were thoroughly covered, indigenous-ness, meaning, context, value and belonging.
You can read the Conference blog for a range of comments, videos and photos.


Communities and Climate Action Conference
16-17th January, London
A free action-focused conference on the role for community action in tackling climate change and creating a low-carbon society.

North East Transition Town Activists Network
2nd annual gathering. 11th December, Newcastle
This year’s event sees a celebration for the north east as the local groups grow to over 20 and loads of projects are actively underway. Contact Wilf

Confronting Change: Peak Oil and the Big Society
16th December 6.30 pm. Southbank Centre, London
Michael Meacher MP, Rob Hopkins, Alexis Rowell and Polly Higgins: Organised by Transition Finsbury Park who brought a great speaker line up together. More info and tickets here:
“Introduction to Dragon Dreaming” weekend
Creating outrageously successful projects
18 – 20th February 2011 – Norwich, UK
Dragon Dreaming is an approach and a set of tools for delivering bold projects that empowers everyone involved; engages their own dreams, energy and growth; and aligns us with the Earth and the call for a Great Turning. Many people will remember John Croft from the wildly-oversubscribed workshops he ran at the 2009 Transition Conference in Battersea. This weekend is designed to give you enough information to use the Dragon Dreaming approach for your own project.
We need to secure enough participants by JANUARY 21st to cover costs, so please book early. More info / bookings contact


Smörgåsbord Of Ingredients

A veritable outpouring of words flows from Rob’s keyboard as he updates the ingredients of Transition into a pattern. Some of the topics updated since the last newsletter are below and you can find the ‘pattern’ index here. Rob is seeking your stories about engaging young people in Transition and also about financing your Transition initiative. Other topics updated include Community Brainstorming ToolsFinancing Your Work; Meaningful MapsEngaging the CouncilInclusion and DiversityBuilding Strategic PartnershipsWorking with local businessesEnergy Resilience AssessmentBackcastingSocial Enterprise/Entrepreneurship ; FormNetworks of Transition Initiatives ; Strategies for Plugging the Leaks ; Ensuring Land AccessCelebratingTransition Cakes and a free download of The Transition Network Guide to making celebratory cakes.
Daily Twitter Newspaper
Twitter is a noisy busy place that some love and others loathe. We think it’s very handy for Transition Towns, and maintain a twitter account, shared between Ed the web coordinator, Richard from New Forest Food, and James from Transition Towns New Zealand. We have recently found a ‘web thing’ which produces a ‘daily digest’ which collects all the tweets from those lists and presents them as a newspaper, so we’ve set one up for each list and are giving it a go.

Transition Voice
An online mag produced in the US by partners Linsday and Erik Curren. It’s a great mix of interviews, probing essays and useful ideas.

Our YouTube Channel
Ed has been doing some tidying up of the Transition Towns Youtube Channel and he thought an update is in order. And he has a request for help.

Transition Book Shop
Don’t forget our online bookshop with Green Books

Transition Currency 2.0 – an online banking system for local money
This is a new blog about the development of a new shared online payment system to support existing and new transition local currency schemes (and other social currencies).


Sharing Engine diagrams
We are about to start on ‘phase 3’ of our development work of the website. Part of phase 3 is about ‘outside the login’ which is about Transition activity not on our site, and how we relate to it. There are many questions arising from collecting and re-purposing news from multiple sites, some of which we are already thinking about and some which we won’t know until we see it in action. How does this look to you?
Upgrading the Resources Section
We intend to make the resources section open to people to upload their own resources, and for editors to pick the ones they think are the most powerful….


Dr David Fleming: 1940-2010.
It is with great sadness that we report the passing of Dr David Fleming, who passed away peacefully in his sleep. He was one of the founders of the Ecology Party, which later became the Green Party. David was the originator of the concept of Tradable Energy Quotas and author of the ‘Lean Guide to Nuclear Power’, among other things.

Quote of the Month:
Localisation stands, at best, at the limits of practical possibility, but it has the decisive argument in its favour that there will be no alternative.
Dr David Fleming: 1940-2010. 


Newsletter Editor: Mike Grenville (from Transition Forest Row)
+44 (0)1342 825169
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One Response to Transition Network Newsletter, December

  1. Pingback: Communities and Funding 2c: Transition Towns | escapingeggshells

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