A guest post from Michael Thomas, Transition Network’s Support Co-ordinator.
For the past 9 months we have been creating a new support framework which draws on the various resources that Transition Network has produced over recent years, experience gained from Transition Training and feedback from across the movement. We wanted to bring key information together, put a bit of structure around it and make it easier for people to find and use the learning that we’ve gathered from the fantastic ongoing social experiment that is Transition.
We’re calling this first piece of the framework, the Transition Core Elements. We are hoping that these core elements give you the basics that you need to get Transition started within your community. The Transition Core Elements cover the following:
- How to start Transition: Developing an initiating group
- Develop your group
- Community engagement
- Networks and Partnerships
- Practical projects
- Inner Transition
- Part of movement
How it works
We have tried to keep it simple and to provide you with the essential guides, activities and information that will help you get Transition up and running in the place where you live. In future, we intend to build on this new framework by developing a ‘Strengthening’ section for each of the elements. In the strengthening section, we will share additional activities and resources that will support your group to explore each element in a little more depth.
This is a menu rather than a prescription! Each Transition group makes its own choices about how to use its energy and time and we’re constantly surprised and delighted by the new ideas that people come up with. However, we do recommend that you pay some attention to each of the Core Elements over time – there is evidence that groups which consider these issues together are better placed to make Transition happen.
If you’re just starting out, why not have a quick scan through all the elements and then begin with the two elements on How to start Transition and Develop your group?
If your group has been going for a while, you might want to think together about how you are doing with each of the elements and perhaps choose one to focus on next. We will shortly be publishing a healthcheck to help you go through this process.
Let us know what you think
We would love to hear what you think about this new resource. To make it really easy for you to do this, we have embedded a few questions under each element. We will use your feedback to continue to improve the support that is on offer.
What you have already told us
We consulted about the ideas and principles behind this support framework earlier in 2014 and received some really helpful feedback. You said the original structure felt a bit overwhelming, so we’ve simplified it and reduced from twelve elements to nine. We also heard that you wanted lots of flexibility, so most of the resources are capable of being used on a stand alone basis and can be downloaded for people to refer to at meetings and other gatherings.
You pointed out that the original document was pretty inward-looking, so we have now included guides on how to run practical projects and open space sessions, advice about planning and putting on events, as well as loads of examples of small practical projects and fun events that groups might want to have a go at in the early stages. We also recognise, as you did, that connecting with others in the movement can be really useful for new and existing groups. We mention this in the ‘How to start ‘Transition: Developing an initiating group guide’ and have produced a short guide suggesting ways you can make and strengthen those connections.
Onwards and Upwards
I hope that you will find this new resource really helpful for doing Transition in your community. We will be adding lots more to this in the future so sign up to the newsletter to be kept up to date with new developments.