Author Archives: Rob Hopkins

Book Review and Competition: ‘Born on Third Base’ by Chuck Collins.

Book Review: Born on Third Base: a one percenter makes the case for tackling inequality, bringing wealth home and committing to the common good by Chuck Collins.  Chelsea Green Publishing.  * Win a copy in our exclusive competition below! * I am regularly, and rightly, asked about the extent to which the Transition movement successfully […]

Rob ‘Hop King’: my first year as a hop farmer

As someone fascinated by the craft beer movement, in particular the remarkable things it does with hops, I had a moment last year when I wondered if my surname, Hopkins, somehow referred to an ancient relative who was known among his neighbours as the ‘Hop King’.  That his knowledge of hop production was so treasured […]

Exploring Transitions in Wuppertal

The day after the 10th anniversary of the Unleashing of Transition Town Totnes (has it really been that long?), I hopped on a succession of trains to head for Wuppertal, a city in the North Rhine-Westphalia region of Germany.  Home to 350,000 people, it is sometimes called the ‘Manchester of Germany’, with its history of […]

When Loorbach met Hopkins: on Transition and research

How might research best support, document and inform both the Transition movement and societal transitions more widely?  Over the last couple of days, at Wuppertal University in Germany, a conference called the International Sustainability Transitions Conference has been taking place.  One of its plenary sessions was called ‘Research and Practice Perspectives on the Governance of […]

Camping in the Anthropocene

I spent a fair bit of August under canvas.  We had good weather and bad.  One night in particular it was as though we had erected our tent in a car wash which had been left on all night.  When we awoke in the morning after a patchy night’s sleep, it was clear that while […]

Our new theme, ‘From the Archive’, kicks off in the bathroom.

On November 1st, we will be launching and entirely new, redesigned, rewritten, reimagined Transition Network website.  While we may all have given the outward semblance of calm and tranquility over the past 6 months, behind the scenes the team here have been hard at it, creating something really quite wonderful for you.  So we thought […]

Resilience in Action!

Our thoughts go out to all those affected by the earthquake in central Italy – as we post this 241 people are known to have died, dozens are still trapped, many are homeless and aftershocks continue to rock the area. At this time of crisis, it may not surprise you to hear that a team […]

Emerging a new Culture: exploring new ingredients.

Inner Transition Coordinator, Claire Milne, shares about the Cultural Emergence Leadership Training she recently participated in and the promise it holds for those of us longing to support our groups, communities, family or organisations to unleash their genius and gifts. As I sat there alone in the woods I found myself overflowing with elated fascination. […]

From Burnout to Balance: Co-creating cultures of collective and self-care

Inner Transition Coordinator, Claire Milne, shares about Transition Network’s new workshop offering support for those feeling the edge of burnout. When we think of mounting inequalities, eco-systemic collapse, runaway climate change and the resulting mass displacement of people from their homelands and loved ones – the challenges we face can seem insurmountable. No matter what […]

Light posting during August

As is the tradition here at, we’re taking it easy over August, reacharging our batteries, and trying to model being an organisation that takes its being as importantly as its doing.  So there may be things posted here during the month, but not much.  We hope you get to do some good things, take […]

What I submitted to the Museum of Fossil Fuels

The wonderful Happy Museum just opened an online Museum of Fossil Fuels, which they introduce like this: “We invite you to ponder what object would best represent the shift from our fossil fuel dominated present to a more sustainable future and donate it to our new virtual museum.  Objects can be large and historically significant or […]

Exeter Pound launch a £4.50 note. But why?

The Exeter Pound is launching a new £E4.50 note on the Quay on Saturday 30th July from 12 noon to mark the 450th anniversary of the Exeter Ship Canal.  The new note will arrive at the Quay by boat having travelled along the ship canal from the Double Locks carried by a Tudor merchant in […]

A new way of introducing Open Space

Today we are going to share with you a great exercise that was created for the 2015 Transition Network Conference at Seale Hayne in Devon.  On the second day we did a big Open Space event, which was introduced by Maggie Seeley from Transition Alberquerque in New Mexico.  Rather than the standard way of explaining […]

Tony Blair, Godzilla, and the Banquet of Consequences.

In February 2003, in Dublin, I marched against the impending Iraq War alongside 100,000 other people.  Similar protests took place around the world that day, including around a million people marching in London.  Today, 13 years, and 250,000 violent deaths later, with millions of people displaced, we now have official recognition of what those of […]

Transitioners’ Digest (May-June 2016): Renewal

Our theme has been ‘Springtime Renewal’, and we have cast our net far and wide.  Our opening editorial piece looked at the sense of renewal that arises from the recent Hillsborough decision and what happens when a great wrong is finally named and addressed.  We heard from Cat Johnson how Transition Palo Alto in the US are creating a culture […]

A letter to you, dear Transitioner, from Pella Thiel.

This letter, by Swedish Transitioner Pella Thiel, was written as an introductory speech at the conference ”In transition for resilience”, the final forum of the international REALS project, held in Järna, Sweden in June 2016.  REALS – Resilient and Ecological Approaches to Living Sustainably, is a project to increase learning, awareness and access to information in […]

This #ProgrExit starts with your longing

Nobody knows what the Brexit vote will mean for the UK.  People are reeling after a campaign marked by very poor quality debate, some deeply dangerous and divisive framing, a decision many didn’t really understand and an election where only 36% of young people, who are those most affected by the decision, turned out to […]

The Forest Economy: woodland as New Economy metaphor

I spent Sunday afternoon having a beautiful walk in the woods with my son at Venton Brook, near Holne on Dartmoor, one of the most beautiful places on earth.  As we walked down through this ancient woodland, with its stream, its waterfalls, its trees, moss and lichen, the sun breaking through the canopy, I found […]

Transition Town Tooting Turn 8!

The wonderful Transition Town Tooting in London just celebrated their 8th birthday.  They have a lot to celebrate.  Here is a list from their website: We ran our 9th series of Carbon Conversations last year – a series of workshops to help individuals reduce their carbon footprint and explore the challenges we face in light of climate change. […]

Ruah Swennerfelt on the Transition movement and people of faith.

Ruah Swennerfelt has just published a fascinating new addition to the literature on Transition.  ‘Rising to the Challenge: the Transition Movement and People of Faith’ was published recently by the Quaker Institute for the Future (QIF), and, as Stephanie Kaza puts it in her endorsement of the book, “demonstrates the possibilities of practicing loving kindness […]

Greyton Transition Town win 3 national awards!

By Nicola Vernon: South Africa’s only Transition Town in Greyton, in the Western Cape, swept the board at the country’s recent environmental awards, winning in three out of seven categories.  The hat-trick saw Greyton acknowledged as an eco-Community, its Director, Marshall Rinquest, won Eco-Youth and its Chairperson, Nicola Vernon, won Eco-Angel.  The awards are given […]

From our Support Offer: Vision

By Mike Thomas, our Initiative Support Coordinator: “Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin”. Visions are really the stories that we create for ourselves to help us build a more positive future. We are constantly bombarded by negative, dystopian visions of the future in television programmes, in films and in books. These stories have a huge […]

What if: ATMs issued local currencies?

Banks.  We can’t live with them, we can’t live without them. Yet.  Much has been written about the role of banks in creating austerity, and coercing whole nations to dismantle and sell off public services and national assets, while being bailed out by the very people who depend on them. But banks do provide essential functions and […]

Emmanuel and Elizabeth at Pocheco: “Let’s change everything”

When you ring Pocheco, a company that makes 2 billion envelopes a year in their factory close to Lille in France, the holding message describes Pocheco as “the first ecolonomic factory in the world”.  If you ordered a copy of ’21 Stories of Transition’ from us, you will have received it in a Pocheco envelope. […]

Film review: ‘This Changes Everything’

‘This Changes Everything’, the recent film starring Naomi Klein and made by her partner Avi Lewis, is ambitious in its scope and its reach.  We meet those trying to block the expansion of fossil fuel extraction in the US, Canada, India, Greece and other places, as well as those fighting for air quality in China. […]

7 things a Local Entrepreneur Forum can unlock

Thursday May 12th was the fifth Local Entrepreneur Forum in Totnes.  I’m not going to write the usual blow-by-blow report of the event, as I’ve done that in previous years, and in many ways this one stuck with the format of previous years, albeit with a few tweaks and different timings.  If you are wondering […]

The beer that innoculates against Philip Green

Every February, the Russian River Brewing Company in Santa Rosa, California, brew a beer called ‘Pliny the Younger’.  Nothing too remarkable about that you might think.  But what would you say if I told you that their brewing this one particular beer leads to $4.88 million in economic impact on the local economy?  Craft beer […]

How Transition Palo Alto Brings Sharing and Community to Silicon Valley.

By Cat Johnson, originally published by Shareable: Transition Palo Alto is part of the worldwide Transition network working to build local resilience and connections. Based in Silicon Valley, the community is a great example of a growing, engaged and active Transition project.  With a focus on “bringing people together to build a more sane and sustainable world,” Transition Palo Alto hosts […]

Introducing our theme of Springtime Renewal.

I was working in my greenhouse last week, planting out lettuce seedlings with the kind of grounded but slightly heady optimism that starts to course through a gardener’s veins at this time of year, and listening to the radio.  The news came through that the jury in the Hillsborough Inquiry had ruled that the 96 […]

On reflection: why the TN team took time out.

By Sarah McAdam: The Transition Network team has been reflecting recently.  It’s been a fascinating, sometimes uncomfortable and very useful process (we think!), so we thought we’d share a little of the experience.  We decided to create space in our diaries for a “period of reflection” because we were feeling overwhelmed by the needs, opportunities […]

Transitioners’ Digest (March – April 2016) International.

Our theme over the past 2 months was ‘International’.  We set out to look at Transition in its many international manifestations and how it has spread, and what it has become.  We started with our editorial piece which looked at the EU in/out referendum in the UK in June from a Transition perspective.  It was a […]

Report: converging for the common good in Hvalsø, Denmark.

I first visited Denmark in 1995 when I was doing my sustainability degree.  We visited Odense, and spent a week immersed in wind farms, district heating schemes, co-housing projects and a raft of other sustainability schemes.  Returning to the UK afterwards, leaving the land where everywhere you looked, even then, there were wind turbines, felt like going back to Medieval times.  For […]

A snapshot of Transition in … Japan

Shunro Yoshida, co-founder and representative board of director of Transition Japan reports from Japan: We started Transition movement in 2008, since we met Rob Hopkins at Findhorn at the Positive energy conference with Hide (Hidetake Enomoto) who was living in Findhorn at that time and invited me to come to that meeting.  The beginning of 2009 […]

Flying to the US: was it worth it?

In October 2013, Peter Lipman and I travelled to the US, initially to be part of the Environmental Grantmakers’ Association annual retreat, but also to visit a number of Transition groups.  I had, at the time, not flown for 7 years, having vowed not to fly again having seen ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ in 2006.  The “to fly or not […]

Juliet Davenport of Good Energy on the UK’s EU Referendum

As part of our theme of ‘International’, we have been looking at the UK’s forthcoming EU in/out referendum from different perspectives.  We thought it might be interesting to get a view on it from Juliet Davenport of Good Energy.  How might a Brexit vote affect the push for a renewable energy system in this country?  […]

The Panama Papers and the emergence of Transition in Iceland

Naresh Giangrande writes: The Panama Papers were released last Sunday April 3rd, and 48 hours later the Prime Minister of Iceland, Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson, resigned. Icelanders are clearly angry at having been betrayed again, and what’s more important, prepared to do something about it. In this short interview with Tinna Guðmunds, Director of Skaftfell – […]

Juan del Rio: Construyendo puentes para la transición iberoamericana

Today, we hear from Juan del Rio, Transition Trainer and author of La Guía del movimiento de transición, the first book in Spanish about Transition, about his recent tour of South America.   Appropriately, his article is in Spanish. Introducción Caminante no hay camino, se hace camino al andar, decía el gran poeta Antonio Machado. Y […]

Possible funding for North West UK Transition groups

Localgiving is the UK’s leading membership and support network for small, local charities and community groups. Launched in 2009, Localgiving has raised and distributed over £13m for over 5,000 charities. Localgiving has teamed up with the People’s Postcode Lottery to provide environmental groups in the North West of England the chance to develop their online […]

How to develop a healthy group

To be successful at Transition, you need to be successful at working together collaboratively as a group. A group that works well together is a joy to be involved in, it runs smoothly, gets things done and members feel fulfilled and nourished through their work together. That is not to say that it won’t be […]

What to do if Donald Trump joins your Transition group.

It’s a thought-provoking question.  An article on the Big Think website recently looked at the American Psychiatric Association’s diagnosis of ‘Narcissistic Personality Disorder’ (NPD) and argued that it perfectly describes US Presidential candidate Donald Trump*.  NPD is defined as “pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behaviour), need for admiration, and lack of empathy”.  In this blog […]