Transition Network newsletter january 2014

The January 2014 Transition Network newsletter
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The Transition Network Newsletter
January 2014
Supporting community-led responses to climate change
and shrinking supplies of cheap energy,
building resilience and happiness.
In the newsletter this month we have an unusually inspiring read that is the Transition Network’s Annual Report, and we have a 2 month Transition world round up. Our relationship with « stuff » is the theme of interviews that include New Materialism, the joy of vinyl, citizen muscle, red flipflops, owls and Love Bombing. Our Social Reporters have an International Round-up from Japan to Italy by way of Greece, and an Edge Week. Plus many more hidden gems.


Celebrating 2013 & Plans for 2014
The Transition Network’s Annual Report and Accounts, which may sound mighty dull, but are actually an amazing read capturing what an amazing thing Transition has become. Have a look at what a wonderful thing we have all created.

The November & December Round-up of What’s Happening out in the World of Transition
Some of the highlights come from places such as Chile where the local police attended Transition training, Canada developing Transition Streets, a Dutch version of the REconomy Project is launching from a building and grounds they won, a TransitionFest in Italy, taking afternoon tea in Spain, a school garden project in Romania plus lots of activities happening all around in German-speaking Transition initiatives. In the UK Crystal Palace produced a guide to a more ethical and sustainable approach to shopping, an energy fair in Basingstoke, Totnes organised a health and care Conference, Stroud held their annual Winterfest, Reading a Repair Cafe and Chichester have been planting more trees. Lots more..

REconomy (UK) Funded for Another 3 years
As announced just before Christmas, we will be working closely with 2 Transition Initiatives here in the UK, and finding new ways to support and invest in emerging enterprises, among other things. Read more about our plans to help Initiatives start their own local REconomy Projects, as we develop and share the REconomy model:

Happy News Year from Transition Free Press
If you haven’t read the winter edition of Transition Free Press yet there are some great stories in its pages about people who are using their ingenuity, skill, intelligence and good-heartedness to forge the kinds of enterprises and networks that help us do just that.

Winds of Change – living with climate change
As the effects of climate change become a daily lived experience for many, Sophy Banks reports on how empowering it was to come together and talk about how it feels to be seeing or experiencing extreme weather events at home or far away.

How different would the world be if we paid the True Cost of food and farming?
Tamzin Pinkerton, Food and wellbeing Editor for Transition Free Press, recently attended the True Cost Accounting in Food and Farming conference, organised by the Sustainable Food Trust.

‘Tales of our Times’, red flipflops and « stuff »
Storyteller Steph Bradley on what it’s it like to set off, shod only in a pair of flip-flops, with only as much « stuff » as you can fit in a rucksack, to spend months walking the land in search of Tales of Transition

Now Steph is raising funds to enable the process of writing another version to inspire those who may never have heard of Transition. Called « Flip Flop – A tale for our times », it is set in the Utopia of 2050 where an elderly storyteller shares her experience of a pilgrimage she made in 2010. The part fable, part folklore story, bridges the gap between today’s looking forward to an as yet ungraspable future, and the future we all dream about already in existence. By buying the book in advance (for example) you can help make it come into being:


Our relationship with « stuff » from different angles was the theme of the December interviews.

The New Materialism
Ruth Potts is the organiser of the recent ‘Festival of Making’. She is also co-author of a pamphlet ‘The New Materialism – how our relationship with the material world can change for the better’. She describes her work as « inviting people to fall in love with stuff in a good way ».

What the rebirth of vinyl tells us about « stuff »
Rupert Morrison, who runs The Drift Record Shop, talks about the vinyl revival and what it tells us about how people relate to artifacts of beauty.

Blessed are the PVC makers
Any sense of « we’re all in this together » appears to evaporate when it comes to those industries that use the most amount of energy. Rob Hopkins asks if given the scale of the cuts demanded by the climate change science, can any institution or company really be seen as being somehow immune?

The Adverts That Want to be Your Friend
Rob Hopkins explores the impacts advertising has on us, and what it all means to our relationship with « stuff ».

‘Affluenza’, Love Bombing and strengthening our « emotional immune systems »
Oliver James is a chartered clinical psychotherapist and has written a number of books on the psychology that underpins our consumer culture.

Annie Leonard on Stuff and « Citizen Muscle »
Creator of the ‘Story of Stuff’ series of videos, who has done more than anyone to popularise the idea of « stuff »?

Transition Camp 2013, Owls and « unStuff »
Reflecting on the highlights of the last year, Martin Grimshaw ponders on his relationship with things and the fun of unStuff.


December brought an International Round-up from the Transition movement stretching from Japan to Italy by way of Greece, and an Edge Week in which Grant recalled a lovely day in October whilst Caroline reflected on a stormy evening in Lancaster.

Reskilling 2013
Grant Venner finding a ferment of learning and imagination at Ealing’s third reskilling event,

Ee, the Weather’s a Bit Funny at the Moment!
Caroline Jackson on extreme weather and how growing projects will have to develop resilience.

Japan in Transition: an antidote to post-Fukushima despair
Guest Blogger Hide Enomoto, tells how hope was restored to Fujino through Transition activities.

Signs and Portents for Transition in Italy
Guest Blogger Deborah Rim Moiso tells the story of how the first Italian Transition Fest was created by using an online adaptation of John Croft’s Dragon Dreaming design tool.

Akadimia Platonos
Jay Tompt in Athens to turn Plato’s political philosophy on its head and put the Philosopher Citizen in its place.

Write For us?
The Transition Social Reporters are a small voluntary group of writers who are always looking for more people who want to tell their stories of Transition. Do you write? Are you interested in a variety of topics? Want to try writing a post or two to see how it feels? If so, we need you! Please email us:


Launch online is running again from January 15th, and we have the first Transition; Launch trainings happening in Latvia, Mexico, and Israel. See below for details.

Transition Launch OnLine
There are still a few places left for our next training. Transition Launch Online is packed with imaginative ways to delve into the practice of Transition helping you to set up, run and grow a Transition Initiative. It is also useful for people who have recently become involved in Transition and want to develop the essential skills and insights to help their Transition Initiative become a success.
Starting January 15, 2014 19.00 UK time and for the following 8 weeks at the same time

Transition Launch trainings in:

Latvia 25-26 January
Mexico 1-2 February
Israel 3-4 April

Want some help with how to evaluate the work you do as a Transition initiative? We have a one year project with Oxford Universities Environmental Change Institute and are looking for 15 communities to take part starting now. If you want to participate (funding is available for project time and travel expenses). Contact Naresh Giangrande:


The In and Out List: 2014 Edition by Transition Voice

Our theme on the website for January is how best to scale up Transition so as to be proportionate to the challenges we face. Can it be done?

Follow Transition Network on Twitter!/transitiontowns

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Film Reviews

Our Transition Youtube Channel

Find previous editions of the newsletter here

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This newsletter is published on the first Friday of each month. Next newsletter 7th February 2014

Newsletter Editor: Mike Grenville,
from Transition Forest Row for the Transition Network


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