Transition Network’s attitude to research

Transition is a movement of communities who are engaged in real life, real time experiments.  We are ordinary people who are creating, bit by bit, resilient and sustainable cultures all across the world and research and learning are important to us.

We are a self organising, often chaotic and creative space of cultural experimentation and renewal. We often operate on instincts and intuition, copying and pasting other’s ideas and experiments. We learn, but informally, and in a haphazard manner – often lacking the time and resources to do anything more structured. At the same time, we have been studied by, and worked with, formal academic researchers.  This research is well resourced, methodical, and follows accepted research protocols.

Academic research and the everyday practice of Transition share common goals and ideals, but come at the process from very different perspectives. There is lots we can learn from each other. It is our view at Transition Network that both formal academic research and informal, citizen led experiments are necessary and can compliment each other.  We recognise that Academic research is also ‘transitioning’.  Researcher practitioners are being increasingly incorporated into academic research teams (and many academics are also personally involved in Transition).  The ‘extractive’ form of research is increasingly less and less attractive and effective.  

One the one hand we need the quick results that the informal, ‘following our gut feelings’ learning enables. Transitioners need to be nimble to recognise and respond to opportunities and needs as they arise. At the same time, we can benefit from the sober reflection, sound research methods, and evidence base that academic research can provide. This section of the web site attempts to bridge formal and informal learning.

Connect to the Transition Research Network

This network is building mutually beneficial relationships between transition activists and researchers. Details here: