Author Archives: Ben Brangwyn

“Green renters” organisation offering workshops

Australian organisation supporting people in rented accommodation vising UK, July – Sept This just came through and there may be transitioners out there who’d like to make contact with this group. They seem to be doing great work in an area that receives insufficient attention.   Hello Transition towns people, we’re an equally small organisation […]

Project support survey

We need your input to help us prioritise and shape our work to support Transition Initiatives. This support survey is the most detailed and potentially far-reaching feedback request we’ve undertaken. Please complete the Transition Project Support Survey In this survey we’re hoping to find out: some background information about your Transition Initiative some information about […]

Transition and its edge with “activism”

Exploring the edge where “activism” and Transition meet What follows is an exchange I had with a prominent transitioner from a UK city initiative. His initial concerns revolved around how Transition’s carefully trodden “non-political” path could be jeopardised by being associated more closely with the demonised (and vague) term “activism”. His fear was that this […]

Report from Transition Heathrow’s London gathering June 2011

 Transition and “activism’s” edge Here’s a quick report from the London Transitioners’ gathering in the heart of Sipson where Transition Heathrow have taken up residence on c. two acres of (now) very productive land. This post is a follow on from my earlier post on Transition and “activism”. The crew at Transition Heathrow are a […]

Getting new UK farmers onto the land in Devon

This just came in from the Ecological Land Coop – brilliant! –3 Ecological Smallholdings, Devon – Apply by 19/7/11 The Eco Land Co-op (ELC) are looking for three tenants (households) for three ecological smallholdings.  The holdings are a mix of sizes, between 6-9 acres each and are near Holcombe Rogus, Mid Devon (Somerset border). Two […]

Transition Town Tynedale (UK) and Tyne hydro scheme

Just received this from Transition Town Tynedale, requesting online supporters for their generating scheme on the Tyne river.   “We are involved in a potentially very exciting scheme to generate electricity from the river Tyne, the profits of which would support the local community. In order to have a good chance of getting a large […]

London’s Community Farm – a crazy idea that might just work?

Taking food resilience seriously… As food prices soar and the absurdity of many aspects of the globalised food system become clearer (eg in Guatemala), what could be more appealing than participating in a community farm.  This recently came in from our friends at Bioregional Have you ever dreamt about owning a place in the country? An […]

Foodcycle: healthy meals for those in need

Foodcycle looking for a new community cafe in London This is totally wonderful – turning surplus food into nutritious meals for people in need. The UK is not quite in the alarming food situation that has pushed many people to rely on food stamps in the US, but there are many people for whom Foodcycle […]

Survey on climate change and local authorities (UK)

Local Authorities and climate change – Green Alliance survey Our friends at Green Alliance are looking at how localism is affecting the priority that local authorities give to climate change, as well as any changes to the role of local civil society groups in securing action. They’re undertaking a survey and we think it could definitely […]

Peak oil is still a HUGE story

As the oil juggernaught (aka world economy) keeps chugging along, let’s not forget the bigger picture Here’s a hard-hitting and well researched 12 minute documentary by ABC in Australia. This news station was one of the first to start talking about peak oil back in 2006.  Some extracts from the transcript: Narrator: “Five years ago, […]

Treehouse project: UK community design competition

Just received from a consultant with good green credentials “Sky Television is planning to televise – and promote massively – a community design competition that will feature the design and delivery of three new tree-houses that are popular, sustainable and hopefully in slightly counter-intuitive locations. The idea is that the treehouses are designed by communities, with support […]

London and Thames Valley transition gathering, 11-June, Heathrow

Transitioners in London and the Thames Valley to meet on 11-June-2011 at Grow Heathrow If the previous achievements of the social innovators and community activists at Grow Heathrow are anything to go by, this’ll be an excellent event. A packed day starts at 10am with tea, mingling and a tour of the site. The tour should […]

Low acreage livelihoods: important report re Small Farms

Small is Successful! Ground Breaking Report shows Big Role for Small Farms This comes from Larch Maxey from Sustainable Blackawton – a village initiative in Devon. Larch is pioneering research into small acreage farms, and providing an excellent platform for people considering this option as a livelihood. If it’s viable now, then as the costs […]

An invitation to take part in “A little patch of ground”

Call for Participants Encounters Arts are looking for people to take part in one of two free Food Growing and Live Performance projects ‘A Little Patch of Ground’ that will take place at two locations with from May – September 2011. Artsadmin at Toynbee Studios, London Dartington Estate near Totnes, Devon UK Pioneering participatory arts […]

Otesha Project UK: young people’s cycle tour + workshops and plays

Lovely project potentially coming to a Transition Initiative near you We recently received notice of a project called Otesha UK. There are two elements to it: the offer of a workshop or performance the opportunity to volunteer Here’s what they told us about the performance and workshops In 2011 two groups of 18-28 year-olds cycle across […]

Thinking like a systems thinker: 12 key points

In mid March 2011, I attended a two-day conference in London. Entitled “Smart CSO”, it sought to bring together a collection of green thinking Civil Society Organisations, to co-create some patterns and protocols for working more closely in alignment.  There were lots of great things about the event and one of the best, for me, […]

The faith movie we’ve all been waiting for!

If I hadn’t seen it, I wouldn’t have believed it – faith leaders speaking with one voice on the ecological and social crises of our time Earlier in the week, I was lucky enough to get invited to an exclusive “rough cut” screening of a 45 minute film that will, in my judgement, have a […]

Transition Network 2011 UK conference: 8 to 11-July, Liverpool

This is just a quick heads up to say that we’re going ahead with the conference this year at Hope University in Liverpool for 8 to 11-July (Hope Park campus). Here are the outline details and links: Hope Uni – Liverpool South Transition initiative – Children’s programme included (limited numbers) Full price ticket […]

US: Citizens’ peak oil report accepted by council

Nevada City has just accepted a citizen-triggered Peak Oil report The adminstrations in several cities in the US have worked with local citizens to produce oil vulnerability reports. In the UK, Bristol has seen a similar success. The Nevada press release follows… FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Nevada City Energy Solutions Task Force Report Accepted by City […]

The movie “Farm for the Future” now becomes a way of life

Farm for the Future is one of the most impactful movies I’ve seen about our ecological crises – it brought home the converging problems of peak oil and climate change and the almost unthinkable effects that they might have on food production in a very visceral way.  The film makers, Rebecca Hosking & Tim Green, […]

Job opportunity: Head of “Economics for Transition”, Schumacher College, UK

A new Masters Course is starting up at Schumacher – Economics for Transition Job Opportunity at Schumacher College: Head of Economics (job-share) £37,165 per annum (pro rata) Part time (0.6) Schumacher College, South Devon, UK Schumacher College is a unique international educational institution that offers short courses and vocational and postgraduate courses relating to environmental […]

Transition Heathrow: the most inspiring video of 2011 so far

 When hard-core activism and transition combine… When the Plane Stupid crew decided to help kick off a Transition Initiative in Sipson, a community threatened by Heathrow’s third runway, the outcomes were always going to be unpredictable. This was the first time we’d seen this potent mixture come together, and we watched how the initiative unfolded […]

Earthship building course, Devon UK: bursaries now available

Fancy learning to build an Earthship? If so, check out the course starting 21 March, taking place on Sharpham Estate, Devon, UK.  We’ve just been told that bursaries (amount would depend on individual circumstances) are available to transitioners in the UK and Europe. In addition, there’s also a reduced rate for local people not needing […]

Think we should be measuring “happiness” rather than GDP? Tell the UK gov’t…

UK’s Office for National Statistics is developing new measures of national well-being (at last) And they’re requesting our input via a survey (good old SurveyMonkey). Here’s part of the intro from the survey: The aim is that these new measures will cover the quality of life of people in the United Kingdom (UK), environmental and sustainability issues, […]

Find land or buildings for community enterprises

Finding buildings and land where we can set up community enterprises We were recently alerted to a new service “The Place Station“, which appears to fill in a huge gap in our aspirations to identify land and buildings suitable for socially beneficial purposes. This service is a bit like a dating agency that enables enlightened […]

Find out about local energy projects in the UK

It’s all about sharing energy stories Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, tireless champion of chickens, fish and catalyser of LandShare has extended the latter idea into a new initiative – energyshare. energyshare is becoming a really credible web destination for the vast subject of local energy – it’s an online social network, where groups and individuals can get together with like-minded people to share ideas, […]

The “tragedy of the commons” disproven yet again

At school, the history class that covered the “Tragedy of the Commons” didn’t ring quite true. My subsequent reading as an adult showed that as a theory it doesn’t hold water unless you’re working on the assumption that all the “rational economic beings” operate for purely selfish motivations. I’ve just seen an excellent article on […]

Trees for Transition and Big Society?

Remember that windy woodland walk in Devon at the UK Transition Conference 2010? Robin Walters’ woodland ramble was a highlight of the conference for many people. There’s a real hunger out there for people to understand woodlands and trees in general and how to work with them and help them thrive. Robin has just launched […]

Project spotlight: Crop Swap

 Looking for a bit of inspiration? Check out the project directory… There are well over 100 projects already on the projects directory on this site. They make an excellent resource for dipping into when you want to get some new practical ideas. One caught my eye recently – from Hobsons Bay in Australia – which involves […]

Transition groups and Climate Week

“Climate Week” is all about letting people know what you’re doing about Climate Change Update, 11-Feb-2011: Looks like there’s going to be a lot of noise about RBS being a sponsor of this campaign/award on account of RBS’reprehensible investment record on Tar Sands in Alberta.  Friends of the Earth, GreenPeace, World Development Movement and Oxfam […]

Fascinating report on our low energy heritage

Ecolocal Report: Our Low Energy Heritage We’ve just been sent a fascinating report “Our Low Energy Heritage” (pdf). It’s from the South London based charity Ecolocal. I found it to be a very readable, well researched and thought-provoking publication. Here’s an exerpt from their opening pages: Our Low Energy Heritage is a project which looks […]

Job opportunity: Community Energy Project Manager, Lewes, UK

Job opportunity at the cutting edge of community energy generation Lewes has always been something of a pioneer, and with their energy company, they’re maintaining that spirit. OVESCo, the Ouse Valley Energy Services Company, is non-profit organisation set up to raise capital for renewable power projects in the Lewes District/Sussex region in the UK. Their […]

Social enterprises: learning from Detroit

Detroit took a huge hit when the automobile industry collapsed in the US after oil hit $147/barrel in July 2008. Nearly half the city moved somewhere else, most of the national retailers scarpered and vacant lots are everywhere. And amid this chaos, the crisis has given rise to some very innovative activity in Detroit, building […]

Transition Voice – one to keep your eye on

Transition Voice – one to keep your eye on If you’re looking to extend your transition reading, I heartily recommend 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. Here’s how they describe the mag: “Transition Voice is […]

Transition on BBC Radio4’s “In Business” programme

Economic Growth – can’t we think of something better? Peter Day – if you don’t recognise the name, you’ll certainly recognise his melifluous tones – visited Totnes a couple of weeks ago to probe into community level efforts towards something less daft than economic growth as a measure of our progress. For UK folks, the […]

Ingenious techniques for avoiding having to confront Climate Change, including the “Spinach Pie” effect

This has just come through from George Marshall from COIN in the UK. It’s a very clever, concise and entertaining set of videos in which he explores the psychology of climate change denial and climate communications. There are three installments covering all the ground systematically and in a very easy to appreciate way.Take a look […]

Good article on Transition for US audience

Article from “Smarter Cities” initiative from the Natural Resources Defense Council Written by Fin Keegan, who interviewed transitioners from both sides of the pond, here’s a good introductory article detailing some of the efforts and successes of initiatives in the UK and the US. Go here for the article.  

Two short films: Hackney City Farm (London) and Economic Crisis fishbowl (Totnes)

Interesting material, in easily digested chunks A short film of the recent Transition Town Totnes event on Financial Crisis / Prosperity Without Growth A short film about Hackney City Farm – a brilliant little hub of resilience that’s tucked away in Central London and doing all sorts of great things including social entrepreneurship, training […]

Ways of knowing

  Some thoughts on ‘Ways of Knowing’ – from a discussion circle, 7th September 2010, Totnes, Devon, UK The meeting was attended by Sophy Banks, Ben Brangwyn, Naresh Giangrande, Rob Hopkins, Peter Lipman, Hilary Prentice and Fiona Ward, and set out to explore the following four questions: what is the role of inner work in transition? […]

Funding opportunity: Plunkett/Big Lottery fund – local food systems

Calling communities – New project launched to investigate Local Food Systems A new project has been launched to investigate the practicalities that make local food systems work. Making Local Food Work is looking to work with 4 to 6 communities – both rural and urban – to develop resilient, co-operative activities to improve the longevity […]

Grow Heathrow (part of Heathrow Transition initiative) wins first step in fight to rejuvenate third runway site

Brilliant news from the initiative that is really exploring the intersection between transition and traditional ‘direct action’. Heathrow residents and activists are celebrating today following the adjournment of the court case that was seeking to evict the squatted community garden project ‘Grow Heathrow’, set up on the site of the defeated third runway. The case […]

A lesson from AD400…?

A peach of a blog post from the US From Christine Patton, the Peak Oil Hausfrau who co-chairs Transition OKC (Oklahoma City, US). Me – I’m still chuckling from her last paragraph! You can also check out the original article. Ben. The Gathering Hordes, Rome, Italy – CE 400 Proponents of the so-called “barbarian invasion” […]

Guest post: “Big Society – small state?”

Guest posting from Jules Peck As many of us struggle to get to grips with this somewhat ambiguous concept, Jules examines some of the historical context, looks at the threats and potential opportunities this programme presents. He also suggests some tough questions that are going to have to be answered before we can really figure […]

US based online mag looking for contributions from Transitioners

New online magazine focussing on ‘Relocalisation’ to be launched in the US We love to see new communications and voices telling the transition story, and there’s a new one soon to be launched over in the US. Transition Voice is an emerging online magazine devoted to peak oil, Transition culture, and climate change that is […]

Transition Initiatives setting up Zero Carbon Concerts

Transition Initiatives and Zero Carbon Concerts Chris Keene (that’s him on the recumbent trike he cycled to Copenhagen last winter) is a climate campaigner and a member of Transition Norwich in eastern England, and is attempting to encourage people to take action on climate change. He believes there is far too much doom and gloom […]

A New Zealand Transition Pioneer reflects…

This little article is an intro (and a bit of a birthday honoring) to an extremely engaging article by James Samuel about the first three years of transition in New Zealand. James Samuel was the second person from New Zealand ever to contact Transition Network. It was in late Autumn 2007 and we were a […]

Transition featuring in Bioneers Conference in Findhorn

Transition is going to feature prominently at the Bioneers 2010 conference in Findhorn, starting on 30-Oct. In various roles – presenting, training, facilitating, discussing – roles will be: Naresh Giangrande (co-founded Transition Town Totnes with Rob Hopkins; co-founded Transition Training) Sophy Banks (co-founder of Transition Training; facilitated the Heart & Soul group in Totnes and is […]

UK Permaculture Convergence, 3 to 5-Sept

Forwarded from our friends at the Permaculture Association: What are you doing 3rd – 5th September? Would you like to come to a weekend event about permaculture practice? 300 people are coming to the permaculture convergence and we’d love you to join us! Its three days of permaculture practicals, workshops and films, networking, sharing info, […]

Transition Belsize (London): Energy event/discussion

As part of their ‘Eco Week’, Transition Town Belsize in London is holding a rather interesting event on 23-Sept at St Stephens Church. Jeremy Leggett, a long term supporter of our transition efforts, will be discussing how solar energy can bring about social innovation and strengthen local economies. Disclosure: Jeremy is chairman of a private energy […]

New video from Stroudco Food Hub in UK

Stroud has always been a pioneering community. They were one of the very early adopters of the transition model and have been working on relocalising food production for many years. Nick Weir, a key member of the f3 food social enterprise, has been a long term supporter of Transition Network, presenting at several of our […]