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Transition Culture - an evolving exploration into the head, heart and hands of energy descent

Announcing a revolutionary leap forward in the Transition model…

Today sees the launch of three exciting new developments and outputs from Transition Network, the results of many months of work, that finally emerge blinking into the daylight.  We are sure that they will greatly deepen your understanding of Transition, bring depth and richness to your work, re-inspire and energise you.  They represent a radical shift in how Transition is understood and communicated.

They are, in no particular order, the book ‘The Transition Companion’, the online version of the ingredients and tools of Transition, and a beautifully designed set of Ingredients and Tools Cards which can be used to better understand all this.  Together, they represent a sea-change in how we understand what Transition is and how to do it.  So, let’s have a look at those things one-by-one.

No. 1. The Transition Companion: making your community more resilient in uncertain times.

This new book, which replaces ‘The Transition Handbook’, is the result of 18 months of a collaborative process involving people from Transition initiatives around the world.  It reframes Transition as a collection of ‘ingredients’ and ‘tools’ which each initiative assembles in its own way.  It is rich with stories, artwork, case studies and photos contributed by Transition initiatives themselves.  It is rich with insight and the kind of wisdom that can only come from an open-source 5 year global experiment such as Transition.  It represents a quantum leap forward in the Transition movement, a deepening, a maturing, and a very tangible vision of where all of this might go and how we might be most confident of actually getting there.  It has 320 pages, and is in full colour, It’s probably got a picture of you in it somewhere…

You can order it from me (which would be great), from Green Books, from Permanent Publications, from Beetroot Books, from Amazon (if you must), or even better, from your much-endangered local bookshop, or order it through your local library.  If you are in the US you can order it from the US publisher Chelsea Green.  There are no plans for an audio book.  I’ll also be speaking about the book, answering questions, and picking some of my favourite records (Desert Island Discs-style) on the Transition Show on StroudFM, 2pm this Friday.

No. 2. The Ingredients Directory

As well as being gathered together in the book, the ingredients have also been put online in an interactive, interlinked, technologically dazzling kind of jamboree.  Our Transition Network webmeisters have excelled themselves with this, their finest creation to date.  You will notice the homepage now looks rather different, with the ingredients as a major theme.  All the ingredients, and all the tools, are now online, each with space for comments and feedback.  There is also the “Transition Ingredientator”, otherwise known as “Add your own ingredient”, which will give you the opportunity to draft any that you feel we have neglected.  These will be moderated over the coming months. You can either view the ingredients in the 5 stages as set out in the book:

… or see them set out altogether in a directory format. This is an invaluable resource, I hope you find it really useful and link to them often.

No. 3.  The Transition Ingredients Card Game

At the 2011 Transition Network conference we trialled a card game based on the Ingredients.  The idea was that they might help you to familiarise people with them, to better understand the ways in which your group is working, and also to identify ways in which it might be more effective.  They were very popular, and so the wonderful Marina Vons-Gupta has produced a set of beautiful cards which you can download for free, print out (instructions are provided) and use.  Some games are suggested, but they are made available on the basis that you are invited to create you own games and share them, so that in the future we can update them.  They should hopefully prove to be a really useful resource.  You’ll find the cards sat awaiting your downloading here.  Let us know what you think.

We have also reworked the Why do Transition? page at TransitionNetwork.org, and what was the Transition Primer has now been condensed into the link-tastic ‘What is a Transition initiative’ page.  The above projects have been inputted into by thousands of people, but I would particularly like to thank a few people who have put an amazing amount of work and creativity into them, namely Marina, Ed, Laura, Amber, Helen, Ben, Naresh, Sophy, Jim and everyone at Green Books.  It is five years since we kick started this whole Transition thing, which is now active in 34 countries around the world in thousands of communities.

These new iterations of what Transition is represent as deep a shift as the emergence of the whole idea was in the first place.  They are a distillation of all the bravery, innovation, generosity, kindness, success, failure and genius that everyone involved in this has poured into it for the past 5 years.  As a result, they embody a richness and a maturity that is quite extraordinary, yet they remain intensely focused and practical, indeed far more practical than what went before.  Today is a landmark, a key milestone, and I’ll leave the last word to Denise Levertov, the poet, who captures how I feel about this:

Brilliant, this day — a young virtuoso of a day.
Morning shadow cut by sharpest scissors, deft hands.