Deborah Benham

What do you do?

I started working for Transition in March 2019, so am one of the newest members of staff. My background is in wildlife conservation, environmental education, sustainability and community building. Working at Transition feels like a wonderful way to build upon my life long interests of helping people to live in more connection and reciprocity with nature and each other.

I currently have three roles at Transition Network, all quite different, which keeps things nice and varied.  The first is helping to develop collaborative culture within TN as an organisation. There’s already been a lot of good work done on this, including the recent move to shared governance and also the creation of relational agreements. Since I stepped into the TN Culture role I’ve been focusing on working with the team to develop peacebuilding and conflict resilience agreements and processes. This is work I’ve done with several other groups and organisations, and is something I feel is so helpful for any group working together to affect positive change in the world. We’re all different and inevitably can bump heads due to these differences. Working consciously with conflict can turn these occasions into creative and relationship building opportunities, which in turn can help us do our work in the world more effectively. I’m excited to co-create these principles and processes in TN and hopefully share this more widely within the Transition movement.

The second role is called Practice of Change and is concerned with understanding what supports change to happen and how we can use principles and practices which make the work we do most helpful and effective. This involves reviewing and compiling the research available on social and sustainable behaviour change, understanding , updating and making more conscious the principles and practices we use at TN,  then sharing these more widely to support other groups to make effective social change.

Lastly, I have recently stepped into the new role of TN Training link for the Transition movement. Previously we had a Training coordinator within TN who helped  create and coordinate Transition Training opportunities internationally. We are now looking to recruit a Training Coordinator from the wider movement, so this work comes more directly from the Transition community. I am helping to set up a Training Support Circle with several Hubsters, and together we will recruit and help support the new Training Coordinator. I’ve been an educator and participatory trainer for many years, so am really enjoying the opportunity to help re-energise Transition Training.

What do you find most surprising or delightful about working in the field of Transition?   

It feels like an honour to work in service to the Transition movement and I love hearing about all the amazing projects happening around the world. In the face of the many challenges we hear about daily, this movement helps me believe we still have a chance to design and create ways for people  to live in a more regenerative and healthy way on this beautiful planet.