The story of Inner Transition in Totnes

Transition Town Totnes’ (TTT) Inner Transition group started it’s life in 2006 when Hilary Prentice launched a ‘Psychology of Change’ group. It has sat at the heart of TTT’s work and is still going strong 10 years on.

Sophy Banks and Hilary Prentice talking about the history of the Inner Transition Totnes group. 

This film  shares more about the whole process of starting the Transition Town Totnes project, and how important the Inner dimension was to its success.

The exploratory journey with Inner Transition in Totnes centred around an invisible but incredibly palpable process which emerged in early group meetings, and which continues to emerge wherever attention and space is given to this inner dimension of Transition and activism more generally.

It was as if there was a purpose in and of itself to people simply coming together to pay attention to the feelings of fear, despair, outrage, and grief that arise when we notice what is happening in our world? By going against the grain and conditioned fears that by opening to our emotions we will simply derail our group process and waste precious time that is needed for other more important things, this focus on being open to the possibility that the whole process would go more smoothly with this emotional reality being attended to did indeed facilitate the emergence of a far more transformative group culture.


Date Event
Jul 2006 Hilary Prentice called together a small group to offer a “psychology of change” group as part of the mix of theme groups for the newly emerging community project. Two people went forward to birth the group, Hilary and Sophy Banks. This first “Theme group” for the TTT project was welcomed by the “initiating group” – Rob Hopkins and Naresh Giangrande.
Oct 2006 A month after TTT was launched the “Heart and Soul” group held a public launch event. 55 people heard a talk about ecopsychology and change, contributed to a group brainstorm on what the group might do, and experienced a conversation with people from the future – using the “Double Circle” or “7th Generation” process from the Work that Reconnects.

All present were invited to the group’s first open meeting and events.

Sept – Dec 06 Sophy and Hilary coordinate the first Heart and Soul programme, including an Earth Wisdom council, a Truth Mandala, an “Eco-constellations” workshop
Nov 06 The first Heart and Soul meeting – 25 people came.

The group starts to meet every 6 weeks or so, with 20 – 25 people at most meetings

Feb 07 Heart and Soul Open Space day in the Civic Hall, with 80 participants and a mix of taster workshops and discussion tables.
2007 Launch of “Home Groups” – with an information pack containing guidelines on how to self facilitate supportive sessions, as well as tips on energy saving from the Energy group. This later became the very successful, more practically based “Transition Streets” project, with a printed workbook and 7 weekly sessions for neighbours.  
2007 Mentoring Project – still running in 2016

Volunteer professional counsellors, supervisors and coaches offer free regular sessions to people actively involved in Transition Town Totnes (this is described as a project on and in the films on Youtube)

Later some complementary therapies were added to this.

There were many meetings, activities, discussions, contributions to the wider project in these intervening years – most in the areas listed below as ongoing activities. As the TTT website got upgraded we have lost some of the archive of event write ups from earlier versions of the site.
2011 Renamed “Inner Transition”
2013/ 14 Ongoing activities for the group:
3 Hosting public talks on themes that relate inner practices to Transition
4 Workshops e.g. in Good Meetings, Work that Reconnects, nature connection and seasonal celebrations
2 Hosting open meetings with processes for connection and reflection, and space to talk about Inner Transition business and ideas
1 Circulating email bulletins and forwarding news of our and other Inner Transition related events e.g. Open meetings, Consciousness Café
9 From 2012 a meditation teacher started offering Time to Breathe, a weekly relaxation / inner practice / meditation session
10 An Inner Transition Reading group works through a book per “term”, and shares and discusses ideas
5 Facilitation of big TTT events such as celebrations, public feedback meetings and strategic review and planning days. Support for groups needing help with difficult dynamics.
6 Public conversations on hot topics – such as To Fly or Not to Fly; Brexit Speed Dating.
8 Exploring collaborations with others such as Mindfulness trainings with the Sharpham Trust.
7 Contributing good process to Core group

To see latest information and activities since 2011 see here