At the first meeting of our relaunched Initiative, founder member John Marshall gave a lovely introduction to what it means to be a Transition Initiative. You can read what he said below:
Transition Initiatives aren’t just towns, there are transition universities, transition cities, transition hubs and so on. All have the underlying assumption that we have a future with less oil and that is to be preferred to life today because of the damage it does. This means that we will need to become re-localised and resilient to the shocks that we will face along our journey to a net-zero carbon future.
It’s a systems approach, not one which focuses on one problem. We also consider both internal and external transition. We have to bear in mind that we “We shape our physical world in response to what we value and believe” and shape our values and beliefs in accord with our physical surroundings.
We shape our physical world in response to what we value and believe.
Thus, we shouldn’t just produce a local food guide or erect community wind turbines. There is also the task of attending to the stresses, the fears and even the results of exhilaration. Some initiatives have “Heart and Soul” groups which support the wider process, offering support and counselling (Inner Transition).
Transition leads by practical example, using the power generated to enable people to visualise a more sustainable world. It’s a valuable exercise to visualise the low carbon world that we want to inhabit and the to tell the stories of how we can get there. We thus provide a continuity from the past to the future and in doing so ask those valuable “What If?” questions.
An individual transition initiative is place specific and although there may be similarities between initiatives, each is unique to its own location and community. Transition is a tool for finding the answers that lie in the problems. The problems then become opportunities.
Transition isn’t political, or vegan or heterosexual or white. It is inclusive and works with all elements of a community wherever it can because this brings the resilience that we will need derived from links across the community. All elements in a society thus have a value and a stake in the future.
Transition embraces a culture of social entrepreneurship. From these come benefits to communities including employment and social inclusion. Transition tells the stories leading to the new, low carbon world that we will occupy after 2030.