Tell us about the impact, relevance and potential of the Transition movement
By Yaz Brien 4th November 2020 Knowledge & learning
Launching our international survey!
As introduced here, Transition Network is working with the international Transition Hubs Group to support a collective evaluation of what the Transition movement is achieving and how it might need to adapt to respond to current and emerging challenges. We know many groups and hubs are already exploring the impact, relevance and potential of Transition. Now you have an opportunity to contribute to a broader conversation and hear the perspectives and experiences of people in many different places.
Here is a survey that we will be sharing far and wide throughout November. It’s currently available in English, French, German, Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese and Spanish thanks to the speedy work of translators drawn from across the Transition movement (please contact email@example.com if you might be able to help us add a new language to this list).
We encourage you to complete this survey however long you have been involved in the Transition movement and however deep your connection. We want to hear from people who are active within Transition hubs and groups, Transition trainers, people connected to the Municipalities in Transition project and people who consider themselves allies, but who are not currently participating in Transition activities.
We encourage you to focus on the questions that feel most interesting and relevant – don’t feel you have to answer every one. Also, please complete the survey in the language you are most comfortable using – we can arrange translation.
As we start this evaluation exercise we can draw on feedback that Transition Network has already received in recent months, from different parts of the movement. We hope that hearing some of this feedback might stimulate your ideas and encourage you to share your own perspective and experiences.
This summary document brings together and begins to analyse recent feedback from various parts of the movement (including a strategic evaluation conducted by Transition US, the recent survey carried out by the new international circle for Training for Transition and last year’s survey of Transition groups in Britain). It also draws on an ongoing review of over 250 academic papers on Transition published in the last 5 years.
We know that these different sources only represent part of the picture, and that there are gaps. So we’d be really interested to hear if you are seeing or feeling something different in your place? If some of the themes we have identified make sense to you, what are your examples and stories that can help us illustrate them better? Please contribute your stories, perspectives and experiences via the survey.
Why a survey … and why now?
Here are just a few of the reasons why we are conducting this survey in 2020
- This has been a year of rapid change for so many people. The Covid-19 crisis has caused widespread suffering and disruption, while highlighting and deepening the faultlines of existing inequalities. The world’s response to Covid-19 demonstrated that rapid social change is possible, but how can we ensure that it is the type of rapid social change that we are all longing for? It feels important to reflect on this together, finding a way to hear from as many perspectives as possible.
- The climate crisis continues to worsen and reach critical tipping points and is only one aspect of the accelerating, interlinked crises to which the Transition movement is seeking to respond. We want to explore our collective understanding of the complex challenges we are facing and identify what will help us stay connected, resilient and impactful in these times.
- Responding to a series of preventable tragedies, the Black Lives Matter movement has exposed how historical and colonial injustices are alive and impacting individuals and society today. We want to find out how the Transition movement is being shaped by, and contributing to, other movements for social justice.
- Transition Network works to attract resources into our distributed grassroots movement and we know that people at every level of scale are constantly trying to raise funds and demonstrate the value of their activities. For this we need strong evidence and compelling stories. This evaluation process is designed to help Transition Network and others across our movement secure the resources we need to continue our work and have greater impact.
- Thankfully, Transition is not the only movement that is supporting a transition to a safe and just space where we can meet the needs of all people equitably, and within ecological resource limits. Within this rich and evolving ecosystem of social change, how can we in the Transition movement find the best match between the skills, practices and approach we have developed over the years, and the pressing needs of our times? Through this survey and follow-up conversations we want to support good decisions about where to focus energy and attention and try to reach a clearer collective sense of the contribution that our movement makes to the wider ecology of change.
The survey is one very important part of a broader evaluation process. We will also identify specific case studies to explore in more detail and organise online discussions in late November and early December. You can use the survey to suggest interesting projects as case studies, tell us the stories that feel most important to you and express an interest in further evaluation activities.
If you have questions, comments or ideas that don’t fit easily into the survey, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
With special thanks to Alina d’Amelia, Anahí Beatriz Pacheco Araneda, Andrea Giraldo López, Catherine Pizani, Deva Fatima, Frank Braun, Krisztina Olasz, Isabela Maria Gomez de Menezes, Shahaf Margalit and Yoav Egozi who helped translate the survey into multiple languages and to people within the Hubs Group who are sharing it across their territories.
I am in the process of a Masters degree project researching fuel poverty in the Scottish Orkney Islands.
Whilst there is plenty of renewable energy development on the islands supporting the UK, Orkney still has the worst fuel poverty in Europe, 63%.
I am identifying how their community could be more involved and have influence in the decision-making process for renewable energy to afford them warm homes.
I would be keen to hear how transition communities were able to make the move to a more self-sufficient lifestyle to see if this would be workable in the Scottish Islands.
Is there a population limit for this to work?
Any words of wisdom would be welcome.
It might be worth contacting Transition Scotland https://transitionscotland.weebly.com/ and Scottish Communities Climate Action (the umbrella group that they are a member of) https://www.scottishcommunitiescan.org.uk/
They are likely to have ideas and information that would specifically relate to Transition type projects in a Scottish context, as well as potentially having an interest in your overall research.