Author Archives: Ben Brangwyn

10 Stories of Transition in the US: Justice and Diversity in Transition

Transition US brings us #10, the final instalment, in their series: “10 Stories of Transition in the US”. Celebrating 10 years of Transition in the United States, these stories describe ten diverse and resilient Transition projects from all over the country, to inspire and invigorate us to take similar actions in our local communities.  For more information about […]

10 Stories of Transition in the US: Transition Fidalgo & Friends’ Vision 2030

Transition US brings us #9 in their series: “10 Stories of Transition in the US”. Celebrating 10 years of Transition in the United States, these stories describe ten diverse and resilient Transition projects from all over the country, to inspire and invigorate us to take similar actions in our local communities.  For more information about Transition in the […]

10 Stories of Transition in the US: Building Community with Transition Streets

Transition US brings us #8 in their series: “10 Stories of Transition in the US”. Celebrating 10 years of Transition in the United States, these stories describe ten diverse and resilient Transition projects from all over the country, to inspire and invigorate us to take similar actions in our local communities.  For more information about Transition in the […]

10 Stories of Transition in the US: Transition Milwaukee and the Victory Garden Initiative

Transition US brings us #7 in their series “10 Stories of Transition in the US.” Celebrating 10 years of Transition in the United States, these stories describe ten diverse and resilient Transition projects from all over the country, to inspire and invigorate us to take similar actions in our local communities.  For more information about Transition in […]

Transition for tribal communities in Orissa, India

Transition Training Empowering Tribal Communities in Orissa It was summer 2013 and wasn’t sure I was hearing right. So I asked again, “She’s doing transition training where?” The answer came back down the corridor and I replied, still not sure of my hearing. “Seriously? And it really takes a day travelling up the Amazon to […]

Scaling up internationally

Scaling up – next week, the world! Introduction This is a little tale of the spread of Transition internationally. We think it’s a relevant story for Transitioners because of the parallels that happen across all sorts of levels of scale. Some of the conflicts, dynamics and prejudices that I see in my own life also […]

Transition in a corporate setting, in Brazil

Change makers program – How to help your workers transition to a more resilient and happy life by connecting them to their own purpose. by Monica G. Picavea from Transition Brazil and Transition Sao Paulo. Here in Sao Paulo in Brazil, our ChangeMakers Program, (I’d love to call it “Transition in Organisations”)  helps mainstream enterprises transition to […]

Ben’s International blog #1: the early days

Introduction During the month of October, Rob is over in the US, catalysing, rabble-rousing and inspiring change in the way only Rob can do. In the meantime, I’ve taken on the role of “Site Editor” for this month, and the theme is “International”. Rob’s a hard writing act to follow. To call him prolific would […]

Junk Raft Armada in Spain

Where fun, water, “rubbish” and flotation devices meet… There’s a million different actions that communities are taking around the world that are helping us get away from a fossil fuel addicted, ecosystem destroying, highly inequal ways of living. Here’s one in Spain that appeals to the inner vagabond in me. An international mix of activist, […]

Transition in Amazonian communities

A report from Transition Trainer, May East, after a training in Amazonas, Brazil We’d never claim that Transition is universally applicable, but there’s plenty of evidence that it’s highly adaptable to different places and cultures. This latest “tale from the edge” shows how key elements of the Transition trainings can enrich and empower communities and […]

Living through the petroleum bubble

Robert Bateman, who is part of the Salt Spring Island Transition Group in British Columbia in Canada, sent in an essay that we thought some people might find interesting. Robert was born in the 1930’s, so has lived through WWII and the rise of the Age of Petroleum. I’m not sure there’s much here in […]

Dentistry in a time of energy descent

An earlier blog post by Ben Brangwyn, from the dim distant past of 2007 There is a deafening silence from the world of dentistry on the subject of Peak Oil. As we move into the era that marks the end of cheap and abundant fossil fuels, all healthcare systems will need to adapt to the […]

A Transition Hub for Israel?

Helping connect Israel and Palestine peacefully through transition By: Deborah Heifetz, Ph.D.BraveHearts International – The creation of the Israeli Hub has gathered momentum.  We had our first meeting July 15, 2012, when Frieder Krups and I returned from a Thrive training in Totnes.  Before I begin the story about the Hub’s unfolding, I’ll give just a […]

Funding opportunity: Transition groups in the UK

Funding for radical groups We’ve just learned about The Edge Fund.  This is a new entity and their first round deadline is 1st December 2012.  They’re seeking to fund community groups as opposed to registered charities and we reckon that Transition Initiatives might want to apply. They are only funding UK-based groups this time, and […]

Transition and Arts: Pete the Temp’s Climate Action show

Using comedy to get the climate point across If you’re looking to combine humour and climate together in an engaging event in your local initiative, this might be of interest. Recently, I got a recommendation from a couple of trusted contacts to check out a show by “Pete the Temp”. He does a stand-up one-man-show […]

Stroud (UK) continue to play big part in Composting in the UK

Stroud lead the way on composting Stroud has always done great work on green efforts, collaboration and transition, and here’s another example. This is a recent press release from the crew at Down To Earth. Stroud’s green credentials have received a fresh boost with Down to Earth becoming the regional training hub and demonstration site […]

Transition Streets: reaching beyond the converted

Reaching beyond the converted with Transition Streets Up against a brick wall trying to get local people interested in energy? Award-winning community engagement project Transition Streets has created a tried-and-tested way to break down the barriers and bring people together to take action on energy. And now it has been developed into the new Streets-wise programme which has just become […]

Measuring transition: an important survey

Do you know how much of a difference your initiative is making? Measuring different aspects of how your initiative is doing can help in many areas: longer term support from local government (and funders) almost always requires some kind of metrics indicating impact it helps us work out which areas you can become more effective […]

Energy Descent at the national level: Bhutan

Bhutan is going organic, nationally! This Rio +20 paper written by the Prime Minister of Bhutan – and it really seems to have been written by him rather than by a bunch of speech writers – is remarkable in many ways. It applauds the work done by small civil society groups, it repeatedly emphasises National […]

Peak money and economic resilience: event report

A report on ‘Peak Money and Economic Resilience’, a Transition Network one-day conversation (by Rob Hopkins) (Read original article on Transition Culture site) A while ago, Transition Network held a ‘Thinky Day’ around the Big Society and how Transition might best respond to that.  These bringings together of people to explore the ‘edge’ of Transition are very useful, […]

In Transition 2.0: review by Charlotte Du Cann

For full details about the movie – screenings, getting hold of a copy, previews – go here:] People of the Butterfly by Charlotte Du Cann for STIR magazine In an abandoned lot in Pittsburgh a boy is selling lettuce. Down Tooting High Street a carnival is in full swing. In a village in Portugal two men […]

Transport: questions for local politicians re cycling

Getting politicians to thing hard about bikes, money and safety. Just saw a very impactful set of questions from Sustrans designed to raise cycling issues to local politicians canvassing ahead of the Welsh local elections. There’s something here for all of us.  We want to demonstrate that walking and cycling is an important election issue […]

Announcing the Festival of Transition

We are delighted to be able to announce today the Festival of Transition, an initiative of new economics foundation, Transition Network, the Ramblers, the arts charity Mission Models Money and the UK Youth Climate Coalition.  The idea is that rather than flying to Rio, putting nearly 4 tons of carbon dioxide into an atmosphere that really doesn’t […]

The Challenge: help for Transition Initiatives in the UK

Submit your expressions of interest now for support in September 2012   [Note: this just came in from a Transitioner in London] The Challenge ( is a nationwide organisation that is focused on community-building and citizenship for teenagers. They are an absolute boon to Transition Initiatives because you receive the enthusiasm and effort of 12 teenagers […]

Researching Transition: making sure it benefits transitioners

You can help make sure that Researchers are doing work that benefits transitioners. Here’s how. Here at Transition Network we get a regular flow of research enquiries – all the way from student projects that have to be in the next day to PhDs with multi-year, multi-country, multi-dimensional proposals. Some of these are purely extractive […]

Faith: reasons to be cheerful

I’m not what people generally know as a “man of faith”, and sometimes the religious responses to the crises of the world have left me exasperated and despairing. However, there is a particular religious initiative taking its place at the leading edge of global stewardship, and it’s giving me good reason for putting faith into […]

Social Entrepreneurs event (UK)

Social and Sustainable Entrepreneurs to Gather in Totnes for REconomy Project Local Entrepreneur Forum  Totnes has a lot of transition-y things going on, and one of the most interesting involves looking at what kind of economic fabric we’ll need to create to establish a range of local employers that can be successful through volatile times ahead. […]

Brixton: community owned solar energy project launched (UK)

First inner city community owned solar power station Following fast in the footsteps of Lewes and Bath Energy companies, Brixton Energy Solar 1 has just launched its share offer. Here’s what they say in the launch email: I am proud to inform you that the UK’s first inner city community owned solar project ‘Brixton Energy […]

Funding: Lots of £1000’s available for energy efficiency (UK)

For Midlands, South and West Wales and the South West of England Western Power Distribution (WPD) have just launched their Community Chest grant scheme, and £50,000 is available to enable communities to install energy efficiency measures in community buildings. The grant is being administered by the Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE) who can also provide expert […]

Bristol (UK) document: “Who Feeds Bristol?”

So, who DOES feed Bristol, and will they be doing it in 2050? Producing a “Who Feeds Bristol” report was an obvious and crucial move after Bristol published its peak oil report in late 2009. It’s a very solid and useful document, commissioned by the NHS (National Health Service). There should be one of these for […]

Buckminster Fuller Challenge: Transition Network going for it!

One of the most prestigious awards out there – and how you can help… Transition Network is proud to announce that we have taken on the Buckminster Fuller Challenge and are in the running for $100,000 to enable us to broaden and deepen our work.  Our entry in BFI’s Idea Index 1.0 is the first one on […]

Jetting to Africa: a poem by the Carbon Coach

If I don’t fly, why the hell should someone else? There’s all sorts of degrees of engaging with the destructive impacts of jetting off far away from home. There are some people who will never set foot on a plane again once they’ve taken on board the environmental impact. Others will only fly for life/death reasons. […]

Get support for your renewable energy projects (UK)

CSE and the Co-operative Community Energy Challenge There’s a new initiative from The Co-operative being launched by the Centre for Sustainable Energy on 1-February called the Co-operative Community Energy Challenge. It’s an integral new element of The Co-operative’s Clean Energy Revolution campaign. Here’s some info from their announcement: The Community Energy Challenge will provide 12-18 months […]

Funding: London derelict land regeneration fund

Callout to London Transition Initiatives in Olympic boroughs – derelict land regeneration fund now open This looks worthy of further investigation if you’re in one of the 6 Olympic boroughs: Barking and Dagenham, Greenwich, Hackney, Newham, Tower Hamlets or Waltham Forest. Groundwork London and the London Sustainability Exchange (LSx) have received funding from Defra and SITA Trust […]

Snippets of Advice: holding interesting meetings

This is the first in what may end up being a long series of Snippets of Advice. We get many emails coming into Transition Network from people asking advice about all sorts of things that are going on in their initiative, and we try to provide a considered response. We reckon that others may find […]

Transition Research Network: Plymouth meeting (UK)

Transition Research Network: New Knowledge for Resilient Futures – Wednesday 29-Feb-2012, University of Plymouth, UK The event is free to attend, and open to academics, researchers, transition practitioners, community activists, and anyone else interested in research and Transition. To book a place please go to: It’s been 5 years since the first researcher got in contact […]

E-learning platforms: advice needed

 Transition Network’s REconomy team are looking for advice for e-learning platform Hi this is Nick Osborne here from the REconomy team. If you haven’t heard of us, REconomy is a project being run through Transition Training & Consulting, to support people in building new kinds of local economies. I’m writing to ask if you or someone you know […]

Sustainable makers: Devon potter

 Introduction Many of the jobs within a post-oil era are going to be different from the jobs of today. The repair, reuse, recycle industries will see a lot more action, and the ways we choose to make the new stuff we need will undergo a major shift as well. For that latter category, some people […]

Woodland Trust: looking for Transitioners interested in woodlands (UK)

Work with Woodland Trust on current and future community woodland projects The good folks at Woodland Trust just got in contact with us to find out of there were any transition groups actively engaged on or contemplating projects involving woodlands. Here’s their email: Is your community preparing  for environmental challenges and supporting people affected by the […]

Low Carbon Hub in Oxfordshire (UK)

Excellent looking organisation just started up in Oxford (UK) From their website: “Our aim is to dramatically cut carbon emissions across Oxfordshire by providing a “hub” where you, communities, can find a route to all you need to take action on climate change. “We believe that community action on sustainable energy and carbon reduction is […]

LEAF Update (UK)

Update on DECC’s LEAF fund =========================================== UPDATE 21-Dec-2011 Just got some clarification on the dates from CSE “… if you can’t make the LEAF deadline tomorrow then you are still able to submit for the 20-Jan-2012 deadline. We have had enquiries from many groups who are doing just this.”  and  “The funding will be issued in […]

Seed swappers: BBC Gardeners World are interested in you

Just through from the BBC’s Gardeners World mag: We’d like to include some seed swap events in the February issue of Gardeners’ World Magazine and I was wondering if you were organising any or knew of any. I’ve had a look in the events section [on] and I can’t see any. So if you […]

LEAF – Seeding Community Energy Action (UK)

The Local Energy Assessment Fund – Seeding Community Energy Action Deadlines – you’ll have to complete your applications by: Phase 1: Applications to be submitted online by 12 noon on 22nd Dec 2011 Phase 2: Applications to be submitted online by 12 noon on 20th Jan 2012 The Department of Energy and Climate Change are providing a new fund which is available […]

Energyshare vote: Transition Initiatives’ clean sweep plus podcast

From the Transition Culture blog: Last Saturday (3-Dec) was the final day of the River Cottage/British Gas Energyshare vote, an innovative approach to raising awareness for, and supporting, community renewables. When voting closed, at 5pm, the winners were, in the large category, Hexham River Hydro, in the medium category, the Portobello and Leith community wind energy project, and in the […]

London: Transition gathering, Thursday 1st Dec

London Transition Groups Gathering with Rob Hopkins on his new book, The Transition Companion. Some inspiration, some celebration, and a bit of a shindig! Come and share what you’re up to and what you’re learning Whether you’re already involved or just interested to know more, all welcome With London Low Carbon Zones, Project Dirt and the London Low Carbon […]

New funding opportunity for Transition initiatives (UK)

Today sees the launch of a great new funding opportunity from the Big Lottery Fund.  Called ‘Communities Living Sustainably’, it is framed as being about supporting communities in England to live and work in a more sustainable way.  Grants of up to £1 million are being distributed between 10 successful projects. It is fascinating how […]

“Voices of Transition” movie in Belgium

A preview tour of the film “Voices of Transition” in Belgium Thanks to Josué Dusoulier for this account (and he apologises in advance for any linguistic liberties he may have taken)   This November, the French-speaking part of Belgium hosted a tour of Nils Aguilar, who presented his film “Voices of Transition”, about food sovereignty […]

Funding: 3 Transition Projects in Energyshare final (UK)

Fantastic news: four projects from our network of wonderful Transitioners have made it to the Finals of the energyshare funding competition. They are 4 of just 19 projects left in the running for up to £100,000 funding and they have been selected from over 900 community energy groups, which is already an amazing achievement. Even […]

New Guide published: embedding diversity and inclusion in Transition

For the past year, Catrina Pickering has been Transition Network’s diversity coordinator, contributing to all aspects of Transition Network’s work with the objective of helping Transition Initiatives to better embed diversity and inclusion in their efforts. The funding for Catrina’s post recently came to an end, and her last piece of work was to distil […]

Movies for Transition: Gasland

This movie is pertinent to all countries with shale gas under their territory. Some countries (eg France) have banned the processes of extracting it – “fracking” – while others embrace it (UK). Many transition groups have shown this movie to good effect, mobilising a human energy source that wants to a) stand in opposition to […]

The emotional impact of transition

In the UK and Wales alone, there are 11,000 parishes (towns/villages), 60 cities and any number of rural communities that are going to have to navigate the downslope of energy descent, either proactively or reactively. But along with these community-based transition, each individual needs to evolve away from addiction to oil and a whole raft […]

Connecting to nature: the dance of the carbon atom

Carbon is the building block of life, and here is a phase in its never-ending journey, adapted from an essay by Primo Levi which he originally dreamt up while a prisoner in Auschwitz. If ever you thought you were unconnected to the planet, this essay should put you right, for you have around 700,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 carbon […]

Funding stream for food projects now open (London, UK)

Just received notice of a scheme that could be of immense help to some of the food initiatives in London.  Dear Transition Town, Capital Growth the projects to start 2012 food growing spaces is launching its 7th funding round to finance community food growing projects. Please see text below, we where hoping it could be added into […]

The Folly of Money

As well as my day job working full-time for Transition Network, I’m involved in several projects within Transition Town Totnes. One in particular gets me in contact with some colourful characters – the Totnes Pound. People come in to talk about local currencies from all over the world, exchange sterling for t£s and in some […]

Transition and campaigning: a trade-off

When we heard that Deal in Kent in the UK was responding to the threat of a shale gas fracking project in their locale, we thought it would be a good opportunity to explore this “edge” of transition and campaigning – it’s something that lots of groups have to deal with, and for some it can […]

Film competition: “What is Climate Change Resilience?”

For those budding film makers within transition initiatives, here’s a chance to win a Panasonic DMC GH2 camera and mic and get your movie in front of a impressive panel of judges. It’s for the COP17 meeting in Durban in November 2011, and the deadline is Sunday October 23rd 2011 (uploaded films and completed online application form). Check […]

Connecting to your community: Local radio stations

Not everyone in the UK listens to BBC Radio One, Two or Four!  We’re seeing a few of these springing up. Check out Transition Marlow’s funky Facebook pages for the “Watts Next?” show on MarlowFM. And here’s what’s going on in Transition Stroud:  Tune In! We’re on air from 2-4pm on Friday on 107.9fm in the broadcast area, or […]