Training survey: the results
By Naresh Giangrande 23rd August 2011
Transition Training conducted a survey to assess the impact of the Transition training in May 2011. The survey had a great reply ratio and got a lot of invaluable feedback. Thank you all for completing it! This is a high level review of the results. If you want a copy, you can download it directly from this news item (the link is at the bottom of this page) and if you want more information on training generally please email Naresh.
- Creating employment
- What is happening in Transition Initiatives?
- What have you done as a result of the training?
- Was the training useful?
- Looking forward – what training do you need?
- Training format
- Summing up
- Reasons for not responding
- The following places were represented
Transition Training has been offering a two day training course since October 2007. Over 1,000 participants were contacted in May 2011 and 145 people have taken the time to respond to a survey designed to explore the impact this training has had and a further 15 have given input by email or phone.
An overwhelming 86% of the respondents, who are mostly UK based, are still active in transition.
This compares well with 54% involved in a TI when they did the training.
Initiatives have been involved in many awareness raising activities, including liaising with local government, but only a few have been able to create jobs from their work (8.6%). Of these the main areas of employment have been in administration, publicity, workshop facilitation, renewable energy sales, building, and one farm share position in Norwich.
These have either been temporary part time funded positions, or self employed initiatives.
Several respondents indicate a plan to move in the direction of more employment with social enterprises, working with local councils, the Reconomy project, and working more closely with schools and FE colleges.
Many initiatives have a bank account and a constitution and though the majority report having good groups that work well and good relations with other local groups, big challenges for many are:
- Concern around funding running out, &/or the inherent pressures implicit in fundraising (70%)
- Not enough new people getting involved & “burn out” of active members (60%)
- Lack of a clear vision/direction for going forward (70%)
Many comments responding to the question “What are the challenges?” can be summed up by what one respondent wrote: “Resources! – people and money!”
A small but significant number of people reported difficulties arising from challenges arising from working in a group, and some were aware of the tension between keeping task orientated and stepping back to pay attention to group communication, consider progress made and next steps, as well as staying sufficiently informed about current affairs and trends.
A few comments were made about the challenges of inclusion; particularly of the working classes and young people, and moving people from names on mailing lists to actively engaged members. Commitment, sustaining involvement and integrating new people were seen as things to be addressed by some, including the issue of paid work.
For some initiatives there are particular challenges; such as shifting populations, and size of city. Publicity was seen as obtrusive by some and not sufficient by others. Founder members moving on from the position they had held without clear handover procedures has left some floundering.
When asked the question, ‘What’s going well?’, over 90% of respondents answered that question.
Representative answers included:
- “Good core group very committed and highly professional.”
- “team spirit, sense of achievement, adding to community quality of life”
- “commitment that IS given is amazing, no ‘toxic’ personalities, good mix age and sex wise as well as some people not normally involved in green stuff”
- “good in practical outer realms like food, council.”
- “it is really salutory to do a detailed annual report – and we are always surprised at how much we have achieved.”
- “Energy Group and Gardening group have both been running fantastic projects”
- “Networking! People getting to know us and our aims and wanting to link up.”
What is happening in Transition Initiatives?
A great many respondents said food related projects were their big local success; community gardens, orchards, farmers markets, local food events.
Lots of energy fairs have taken place, there have been practical skill shares, lots of film showings, a visioning day, and more unusual projects such as the “DraughtBusters” workshops in Belsize Park, and the Gaskateers work on street lighting in Malvern.
For many, meetings of their core group have become an important and satisfying part of their lives.
What have you done as a result of attending the Training?
92% of respondents said that they had personally gained new insights into Transition as a result of doing the training.
Almost 70% of people said they had gained in confidence to be able to present about peak oil and climate change, well over half said they had spent more time on getting to each other activities, had done more outreach work, and ensured there was space to air feelings in their groups.
Over 80% felt they better understood the role of Transition Network and the support they could receive and in excess of 90% said they now felt part of a national and international movement.
Was the training useful?
Overall a vast majority of 96% people said that they had got something out of the training, more than 86% that it had been useful to their initiative, and almost 95% said that it was good value for money.
Looking Forward – what training do you need?
Of the list of suggestions for areas to be targeted in future trainings, nearly all items were received favourably, ie more than 70% interest. Probably the most popular (in excess of 80% and as high as 92%) were:
- How to create groups that work well
- Working creatively with conflict
- Effective Meetings
- Sustaining Momentum
- Creating an energy descent plan
- Collaborative social entrepreneurship
- Inner transition
- Re-localising the economy
- Working with business and social enterprise to create local economy
The majority favoured weekend courses and the majority liked our 2 day format.
Transition Training has been received very favourably, is considered to be good value, worthwhile, and has enabled people to reach out more effectively, consider the relational aspect of working together, generate considerable practical traction for their initiative, and to better be able to communicate about peak oil and climate change.
Some of the things people would like more of are more signposting of comparable courses, courses offered on specific areas, more availability internationally, and more keeping up to date with current developments.
Reflecting back on their experience of doing transition people have found they are being successful in practical projects, particularly around food, and have felt particularly challenged by lack of resources both human and financial.
Ways forward seem to be around social enterprise and learning to work better with one another in groups, as well as learning to manage the tension between task based and process based approaches to transition.
Words repeated over and over when referring to the training were “inspirational”, “keep going”, “blessings”, “you are doing a great/fantastic/brilliant/terrific job”, “brilliant, keep it up.”.
Reasons for not responding
Finally, from those that did not respond to the survey but who still chose to give input the main reasons given were:
- No longer involved in transition/too much time passed since doing the training
- Discomfort with the media used to collect info
- Didn’t do the training as a transitioner /or not a core group member and therefore many questions were not relevant/answers not known
- Disappointed over lack of Transition model for working effectively in groups and having had bad experiences with the tension between task and process orientated styles.
Anyone wanting access to the full survey report, you can download it from this item (see below), and for more information generally please email Naresh.
Naresh Giangrande and Steph Bradley
On behalf of Transition Training
The following places were represented
“Transition Town Faversham” “Transition Moss Side” “Belsize” “Transition Sherwood, part of Transition Nottingham” “Debenham Area Transition (Suffolk, UK)” “AADD agir aujourd’hui pour un demain durable
in Roquefort-les-Pins, France” “North Howe Transition Toun” Transition Brighton & Hove” “Transition Lincoln” “Transition Manchester” “Transition Black Isle” “Transition Sutton” “Transition Eynsham Area” “Mas Suchitoto”
“Transition Heaton” “Transition Finsbury Park” “kaiwaka nz” “Transition Malvern Hills” “Transition Glastonbury” “Transition Oahu” “Transition Norwich” “Legsby, Lincolnshire” “Transition Valley (Stour Valley)”
“Sampford Peverell and District Sustainable Villages” “Dorking”
“Transition Sherborne””Transition Monmouth””Weymouth” “Transition St Albans”
Transition Montpelier” “Winchester Action on Climate Change”, Transition Ipswich” “Transition Solihull” “Transition Newton Abbot” “Transition Easton (Bristol)” “Kings Heath Transition Initiative” “Plymouth” “Transition Waltham Forest” “Transition Pershore” “Transition Cleeve (Bishops Cleeve and neighbouring villages)” “Dundee” “Transition Highbury” “Transition Town Tooting””Transition Initiative Gosforth and Transition Initiative Newcastle” “Forest Row, East Sussex” “Transition Norway and Omstilling Sagene” “Transition Belsize” “Transition Town Romsey” “otleygreen”
“Transition Town Bromsgrove”Transition Southport” “Transition Leytonstone”
“Transition Town Horncastle” “Amersham in Transition” “Havant Transition Network””Transition Bermuda” “Taunton Transition Town” “Transition Hertford””Transition City Manchester” “Transition Tunbridge Wells”
“Transition Bro Gwaun””Transition Cleeve” Exeter St. Agnes, Cornwall””Paris-Ile de France””Transition Town Totnes” “Transition Kensal to Kilburn””T3 – Transition Town Tramore””Transition Rame””Greener Fram””Calon Teifi” “Transition Woodbridge””transition wimbledon””Bramcote & Wollaton (Nottingham) TI”
“Transition Ireland and Northern Ireland Cloughjordan” “Transition Town Cheltenham””Tring in Transition””Transition Malvern Hills””Stamford Transition Town””Transition Cambridge””Greener Melrose””Wolves Transition Town””Transition Langport””Ealing Transition Initiative””Gosforth ( Newcastle Upon Tyne) Transition Towns)””Palma Desperta in Mallorca”
“Sustainable Seaton a Transition Town””Gosforth – part of Newcastle”
“transition town helensburgh”Swanage, Purbeck in Dorset, “Transition Durham” “Transition Keynsham””Transition Town Cheltenham”
“Sustainable Cupar “Transition Chepstow””transition black isle”
“Transition Bro Ddyfi Trawsnewyd””Derby, Belper and Eaven””West Bridgford in Transition” “Bethnal Green Transition””transition stour valley””Transition Town Brixton””Transition Derby””Transition Forest of Dean””Transition Tufnell Park””TT Christchurch””Transition Hay””Transition Tunbridge Wells”
“Transition Wells””Transition Keynsham””HinT Halesworth in Transition”
“Transition Initiative Newcastle (TIN)””Downham Market & Villages in Transition””Transition Highbury””Transition St Albans””Transition Town Worthing””Stafford””Transition Ferney-Voltaire””Transition Guildford”
“Transition Town Bielefeld” Bro Ddyfi, Bridport