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Meet Transition Network’s Trustees

The charity is governed by a small board of trustees who meet every 12 weeks (approx). Here is the smiling band.

pete lipman photo

Peter Lipman (chair) is policy director at sustainable transport charity Sustrans. He's also chair of trustees of the Centre for Sustainable Energy, and was involved with setting up Transition Bristol.

Every time Pete cycles down a street in Bristol, he sees two scenes - what's there and what's possible. As well as seeing the highway designed for an endless stream of half-tonne machines, he can imagine what it might look like if the people living there redesigned the street for themselves as a liveable neighbourhood. Street furniture, plantings that disrupt line of sight for drivers, different colours, all sorts of things...

Pete has two daughters, Martha and Caitlin, and can often be found wearing shorts in the depths of winter.

Ruth Ben-Tovim has worked as a professional artist and creative consultant for 20 years, using the transformational power of the arts to work creatively with thousands of people in the arts, public, private, education and voluntary sectors. She is now based in Totnes, Devon.

She specialises in participation; devising, delivering and managing participatory arts projects and programmes within community, regeneration, environmental, education, and place-making contexts, that inspire creativity, dialogue and exchange. She is the Creative Director of Encounters-arts, using disused shop spaces to co-author artworks with people and places of all ages and backgrounds, mapping and collecting personal histories and other evidence of everyday life. 

She is also work as a freelance artist, lecturer and dramaturg and have recently been part of a national cultural leadership programme called Taking Up Space that advocates for the role of participatory arts in engaging people at a local level, strengthening a sense of belonging and place and building collaboration. I have been involved in Transition since 2008.

sarah nicholl photo

Sarah Nicholl joined us as a trustee in March 2010. She is one of the organisers of Transition Belsize, in the North London Borough of Camden, where she is a member of the Steering group and currently coordinates the Arts group and co-runs the Food group.

Since leaving Art College in 1997 Sarah has been working within the charitable, educational and environmental sectors, amongst other posts as a Youth worker and Youth Arts Coordinator. In 2007 Sarah joined the Gaia Foundation, an international environmental charity, where she was responsible for developing and running their Learning Centre. She continues to work at the Gaia Foundation as a Consultant.

Sarah grows vegetables and herbs in the front garden, is fascinated and inspired by the optimistic possibilities of permaculture, forages for wild foods on Hampstead Heath, and is passionate about the potential for the arts to offer a transformative, interwoven journey through the transitioning process. She is dedicated to both learning and sharing skills and is working in the local community to promote and deliver practical, hands on workshops and events, including draught busting, local food growing & production, mending & sewing…

clarre pavitt photo

Clare Pavitt joined the Board in January 2011. With a career spanning central and local government, the voluntary sector, broadcasting, the police service and higher education, Clare has more than twenty five years experience supporting organisations on their equality and diversity journeys and has a passion for removing barriers to access and inclusion.

When she is not doing that you will find her making gardens and baking cakes in the Peak District.


tony greenham pictureTony Greenham (Treasurer) is the Head of Finance and Business at nef (the new economics foundation) where he leads work on reform of the financial system.

He was involved in setting up Transition Lostwithiel in Cornwall and was a Trustee of Transition Town Totnes before joining the Board of Transition Network. He currently also sits on the government’s Regional Growth Fund Advisory Panel.

The first half of his career was as a Chartered Accountant and investment banker until he became disillusioned with the absurdities and greed of the bubble. A moment of truth came when enthusing to a colleague about a book on sustainability and being asked “Tony, why exactly are you an investment banker?” He realised it had all been a horrible mistake and moved to Cornwall to set up an ethical food business with his partner. They have an eight-year old son, and now live in Sussex.


Henry Owen

Henry Owen Henry is a student of biomedical sciences at Oxford University and joined the board of trustees in May 2014. Henry’s particularly interested in engaging younger adults in positive social change and community, and is excited about what can be done in a short space of time with energy and enthusiasm.

Henry is president of Oxford Hub, an organisation devoted to promoting and supporting student-led social change in Oxford and has set up a community micro-funding dinners project in Oxford, Project Soup [link to]. When he’s not doing these things (and sometimes when he is) he enjoys long conversations, camping and dancing.


Henry Owen

Hilary Jennings Hilary lives in Tooting, SW London where she has been an active member of Transition Tooting since its first gathering around a kitchen table in 2008. She was founder co-chair and has played a key role in projects such as the Trashcatchers’ Carnival, Earth Talk Walk and Wellbeing Walk.

Working freelance across the arts and cultural sectors she was co-author of Sustainable Ability which mapped approaches to climate change across the cultural sector and co-founder the Case For Optimism a workshop programme which creates space for practitioners in the arts and cultural community to maximise their creative response to global challenges. She is Happiness Associate on the Happy Museum Project  which proposes that museums, and other cultural institutions, as stewards of civic space and culture have a unique role to play in engaging communities in a stronger linkage between well-being and environmental sustainability. She is awards manager of the Craft Skills Awards  and facilitator of the Extend Leadership Programme . Hilary is also a trustee of BioRegional (One Planet Living) and Interim Chair of the Craft Industry Board. More details on her linkedin profile.

She is a community mediator with Wandsworth Mediation Service and other interests include directing local drama and cold-water swimming at Tooting Bec Lido.



Ellen Burman

Ellen Bermann born in Italy and of German origins, has always been living on the cusp of cultures and although this meant sometimes suffering for not being rooted anywhere (or everywhere) now starts to love it and appreciates the gift of having a wide angled view.

After a degree in geological science, she started to work in the tourism industry, first as an employee and then as a free lance consultant, pioneering sustainability and change management for over ten years. Her professional life within tourism brought her to participate, consult and mentor also in various international organizations like UNEP and WTO (World Tourism Organisation), for projects in Mongolia and Caucasus for example.

In 2007 she took a permaculture design course (PDC) which somehow changed her views and life. She still is a permaculture practitioner and teacher, but what is most important in this context is that permaculture enabled the subsequent connection to the early Transition Towns movement in 2008.

After organizing a study tour for Italians in 2008 to Totnes and CAT (Centre for Alternative Technologies) in Wales, with a group of fellow pioneers she co-founded Transition Italia which now is the national hub for transition initiatives within Italy. She inspired and helped to set up two local initiatives: Carimate in Transizione and Biellese in Transizione (a province where she's currently based).

Her natural curiosity and never ending search attitude brought her to deepen other aspects and needs of transition and shifted her interest particularly to inner transition and paradigm shift topics. Through studying with Joanna Macy and John Croft she now also offers workshops and lectures in the work that reconnects and dragon dreaming

She now lives with her family in the mountains above Biella (Piedmont) where she is currently creating and setting up a farm and holistic centre, where she might, eventually, set roots.


Andrew Sims

 Andrew Simms is the author of several books, including Ecological Debt, The New Economics, and Tescopoly. He currently works as chief analyst on the environment at Global Witness which investigates corruption, conflict and environmental degradation linked to the exploitation of natural resources. Also a  Fellow of nef (the new economics foundation) he was nef's policy director for over a decade, founding its work programme on climate change, energy and interdependence and its local economy campaigns on 'Ghost Town Britain' and 'Clone Town Britain' (coining the term) on turning round the forces that undermine local economies. He trained at the London School of Economics and was described by New Scientist magazine as, 'a master at joined-up progressive thinking.' The Independent newspaper listed him as one of the UK’s top 100 environmentalists. Andrew is a long-standing campaigner co-authored the ground-breaking Green New Deal, was one of the original organisers of the Jubilee 2000 campaign to cancel poor country debt, co-founded climate campaign, devised 'ecological debt day,' and made the proposal for 'National Gardening Leave' to combine the benefits of a shorter working week with creating potential for more to engage in promoting transition. He recently set up a new cooperative think tank called The New Weather Institute. After witnessing at first hand over two decades of failed international efforts to solve critical problems ranging from extreme poverty to climate change, his latest book Cancel the Apocalypse: the New Path to Prosperity (2013) is the result of a search for something better and imagines possible pathways toward economic transition globally.


Anna GuyerAnna Guyer is the founder of Greenhouse PR, a specialist communications consultancy, working with entrepreneurs, businesses and NGOs, pioneering a green and sustainable economy, making a difference on issues of social justice and climate change.

Anna is totally focused on her mission to help drive change, from inspiring people to become smart and sustainable investors, to reframing the renewables debate, to promoting sustainable farming and real food for children, to engaging people in the Transition model of developing strong and resilient local economies.

After 20 years in corporate mainstream PR working with top London agencies, Anna now lives a far more balanced lifestyle with her family on a smallholding in Dorset. She loves working with like-minded people, who see the potential in creativity and change to move towards a more fulfilling, rewarding and sustainable lifestyle.



brian goodwin photo

foxglove photoEx-trustee Brian Goodwin passed away in July 2009. He was a truly inspirational member of the board, frequently providing insightful comments about the patterns of nature and how they might be applied to the organisation Transition Network and to the wider field of transition.

Foxgloves were one of his favorite flowers, and we reckon that Brian was probably one of their favorite people.

Brian, you're missed, never forgotten. It was an honour and privilege to work with you.


"Ask the Board"

If you've got a question that you'd like our board to answer, please email us and we'll deal with your question as soon as we can - we'll try using the forums as a vehicle for this so that the collective wisdom of the trustees (large dollop of poetic license in evidence here) can be shared around.

Transparency: Board Minutes 

Please find below Transition Network board minutes from 2013 onwards. If you would like to see a copy of any board minutes from early 2009 onwards please contact Amber (PA to Rob Hopkins & Board Secretary).