Skip to Main Content


Transition Network Conference 2010 UK - Sessions and schedule

The following is the draft session listing, in no special order. We're in the process of putting times/locations against each of the sessions and we'll add them as soon as we can.


 Title Description PresenterTime and location
Energy Descent PlanningThe workshop will explore and discuss some of the methods and strategies used in starting out and designing a framework for research, gathering material for the timeline and responsive thinking in communities to create ideas and involvement in developing a locally based Energy Descent Action Plan, using some aspects of the Totnes and District experience for reference.Jacqi Hodgson and Shaun ChamberlainSunday 13 June 2 pm, location tbd
Diversity: Building a Resilient and Just TransitionAs in all eco-systems, a diversity of species is essential to creating a resilient and sustainable system, and likewise, in communities, the diversity of people is one of its greatest strengths and assets. So this workshop will focus on people’s tried and tested experiences from diverse points of engagement with a range of different local communities as a practical starting point for exploring our feelings and ways of learning about community diversity.Catrina Pickering, Transition Network Diversity Coordinator, Luci Ransome from Transition Scotland Support, + other Diversity practitionersSunday 13 June 2 pm, location tbd
Structuring and Facilitating Good meetingsMeetings can be participatory, efficient, fun and inspiring. They can also reflect our values of co-operation and sustainability but all to often they don't. This is a hands-on workshop to look at, and practice, some simple techniques to bring the reality of our meetings closer to the idealMatthew Herbert of RhizomeSunday 13 June 2 pm, location tbd
Communication, community and conflictAt the core of every Transition initiative are groups, and many have said that the key make or break technology for Transition is people skills, the ability to work together, build trust, and deal with differences and conflict when they arise. In this experiential workshop you can learn tried and tested techniques that work to resolve conflict, help to strengthen understanding, and create a deep democracy where all voices are genuinely welcomed and understood. We will also learn to work with issues of rank and power in ways that increase rather than diminish group cohesion. Taken from Process Work, founded on the work of Dr Arnold Mindell, these methods have been used to help create dialogue in war zones and to enable communities to get to grips with issues of difference, disempowerment, or difficulty. There will be an opportunity to explore how we could support this theme in the wider Transition movement. Sue Milner and Emily HodgkinsonSunday 13 June 2 pm, location tbd
How to Set up and Run an Inner Transition / Heart and Soul groupMany Transition Initiatives have recognised the need for a group that looks at the inner dimension of Transition. This workshop gives a chance to explore how to do this – sharing experience and enquiring together into: What is the territory of Inner Transition ? How does an Inner Transition or Heart and Soul group define its purpose? How to start a group What activities or practices have worked well – or not – and what can we learn from each others’ experiences?Sophy Banks and Rosie BellSunday 13 June 2 pm, location tbd
The Work that ReconnectsJoin us for a taste of Joanna Macy’s wonderful and deeply transformative processes: one of the core underpinnings of the Transition movement. This is a rare chance to safely and creatively express your personal and our collective responses to these times - the joy and the pain - using ritual, inquiry and movement. This is playful and profound work! For more on TWTR see Spencer of Schumacher College and Jenny MackewnSunday 13 June 2 pm, location tbd
Local economics - plugging the leaksAn interactive and information-packed session including background theory and practical advice, with time to swap ideas and start planning a currency system for your own region. This workshop will include a review of Transition currency projects around the UK, and a look at the importance of alternative and complementary currencies, asking what are local and regional currencies for, what are the options in setting up a currency, and how does local circulation contribute to the development of local goods and services? It will then focus on keeping money in the local economy, what is known as the multiplier effect, looking at how to determine your ‘local’ area, how might alternative currency be spent into the local economy and also measuring how businesses and people spend income within the local area. Then it will explore the question of planning the social economy, including Credit Unions, cooperatives and community development trusts, the role of local authorities and policies in achieving a successful local currency and sustainable regional economies: how big is big enough? Finally it will look at ‘Local Money in Action’, specifically building momentum: who needs to get excited, a focus on the Bristol Pound - a regional currency for the city and the South West and asking how far can we go? All wrapping up with group discussion on next steps!Pete North - author of "Local Money - making it work in your community" Ciaran Mundy, and Mike PayneSunday 13 June 2 pm, location tbd
Beyond community resilience & a cuddly transition This session addresses 2 questions: How can we facilitate the changes in cultural values, individual behavior and personal inner worlds which must accompany the community resilience-building activities of transition? And it seems that many people are turned off by the co-operative and egalitarian (cuddly) values of many transitioners. How can we communicate with them in ways that can align the goals of transition with their existing motivations?Nick OsborneSunday 13 June 9 am, location tbd
Communities, councils and carbon - what we can do if governments won'tFrom 2006 to May 2010 Cllr Alexis Rowell was Chair of the London Borough of Camden's all-party Sustainability Task Force which had a remit to suggest ways to address climate change, peak oil and resilience. This workshop is a distillation of the ideas that came out of that Task Force and best practice that Alexis gathered from around the country. This workshop is aimed at helping Transition groups to know what they can ask for from councils and how to work with councils.Alexis RowellSunday 13 June 9 am, location tbd
Making local food work: Considering food projects for your groupWhere do we start when building a resilient low carbon food system? Whether you are in a rural community, market town or deep within a city there are always things you can do to get closer to the source of our food. This workshop will help you to take a closer look at what your local needs might be, share your experiences and learn about successful projects and sources of support that could help you get started, whether you want to get more people growing your own, coming together to buy the food you want or connecting up with a farmer...Bonnie Hewson and Traci Lewis from the Soil Association and Tully Wakeman from East Anglia Food LinksSunday 13 June 2 pm, location tbd
DIY streetsEvery day Sustrans is working on practical, innovative ways of dealing with the transport challenges that affect us all. One of these projects is 'DIY Streets' - a project that brings communities together to help them redesign their streets, putting people at their heart and making them safer and more attractive places to live. It's an affordable, community-led alternative to the home zones design concept. The workshop will help people to understand theories around traffic calming, (that won't be as boring as it sounds, we promise!), along with exploring practical examples of what can be achieved on a local level, how to ensure as much of the community is involved as possible, and how to face any challenges that may come up.Katherine Rooney of SustransSunday 13 June 9 am, location tbd
Zero Carbon BritainAn exploration of the Centre for Alternative Technology’s new Zero Carbon Britain 2030, and how to communicate it to accelerate the transition in your local area. The report sets out to raise dialogues over a path by which the vital transition can be achieved – through re-thinking our attitudes and taking an uncompromising new approach to energy we find can deliver well being on a lot less energy, and we can extract the energy we do need from our indigenous renewable energy sources.Paul Allen, CATMonday 14 June 9 am, location tbd
Food mappingIn 2009, Mark Thurstain-Goodwin worked with Rob Hopkins and Simon Fairlie to model and map how far communities might be able to meet their food needs from their immediate surroundings. Now Mark, the founder and MD of Geofutures Ltd, leads a workshop examining how we can put this know-how into the hands of Transition planners everywhere. Mark will demonstrate an online tool built for Somerset Community Food to collect fine-scale land use data and enable community groups, landowners and sponsors to develop new food production areas. He’ll discuss how Transition Training could use these types of easy-access technologies to help users understand potential opportunities and conflicts in planning food re-localisation. These tools aim to help Transitioners plan their food future – and also to factor in the availability of other resources. Is there potential to use this kind of analysis to link together all the data being collected – revealing how best whole regions and even nations could feed, water, equip and fuel themselves?Mark Thurstain-GoodwinMonday 14 June 9 am, location tbd
Transition as a Pattern LanguageThe 12 Steps of Transition' has become the way that Transition is communicated, in the Handbook, Transition Training and so on. But is it the most appropriate model for communicating something as multi-faceted as Transition? For the second edition of 'The Transition Handbook', Rob is reworking the Transition model, inspired by Christopher Alexander's 'A Pattern Language'. It offers a way of explaining Transition that is much more representative of what it has become, much more usable, and reflects the multi-faceted nature of Transition. It is a process that needs your input and your ideas. This workshop will introduce work in progress, where the project has got to thus far, and will have plenty of space for ideas and feedback.Rob HopkinsSunday 13 June 9 am, location tbd, repeated Monday 14 9 am
Becoming a zero-carbon farm"This workshop describes our journey from complete non-farmers to our current status, which I characterise as 'Transition Farming': organic farm, native breeds, selling produce locally, use of fossil fuels almost completely eliminated, engaged in the Transition process in our locality, including running this Transition information exchange website." Paul SousekSunday 13 June 9 am, location tbd
Mindfulness - a key discipline for transition?Mindfulness is increasingly used in health care and education to calm the mind, manage stress and foster resilience. This experiential workshop will introduce some powerful and practical Mindfulness tools and show how they can deepen and support the work of inner and outer transition.Kim Clancy and Eva Ruijgrok-LuptonSunday 13 June 9 am, location tbd
Wild food walkWild food is local, often organic, it's travelled zero food miles and what's more it's free! So why not take part in this short taster session (if you pardon the pun!) and learn a little more about the ultimate in low-carbon food? Join forager, author and self-confessed foodie, Dave Hamilton, as he guides you around the grounds of the conference site pointing out what might be good for the kitchen table.Dave HamiltonSaturday 12 June 5:30 pm, outside!
Transition Network web platform and strategy - how it'll help your transition initiativeA workshop in two halves:
1. will be an open show and tell about the new Transition Network website, with a focus on how transitioners can use it to share what they know, and questions they want to ask to other transitioners for support and advice. The initiatives, projects and people directories will be covered, as will the forums and news services. We will also have a look at the new 'Community Microsites' if there are attendees who want to know more about them.
2. will be an open Q&A and general conversation about web and communications issues any attendees might have. Want to know how to set up a community blog? What web hosting is the best? Is it worth staying on 'Ning' or should we move? etc. etc.
Ed Mitchell, Web Coordinator for Transition NetworkMonday 14 June 9 am, location tbd
Coops - an organising model that's perfect for transitionMark Simmonds will facilitate this workshop exploring the following: The historic role of Co-operation in relation to communities 'doing it for themselves' and the potential role of Co-operation in Transition. The structures chosen by various different Transition and Transition-related initiatives and the factors around, funding, profit, ownership and member control which affect this potentially confusing choice. This workshop would be suitable for anyone involved in choosing the structure of a Transition initiative or interested in contributing to the debate as to the possible structures such organisations could adopt and develop.Mark Simmonds, Cooperatives UKMonday 14 June 9 am, location tbd
Community ownership of local assets - a prerequisite for an equitable and resilient future? Come and join this participatory workshop to understand the issues, explore the barriers and opportunities about assets - acquiring, using and making them viable for your Transition work! Bring your ideas and questions and we will cover: * Community ownership of assets * Routes into community ownership * Community use of assets without ownership * Community investment * Models of ownership and asset protectionMark Simmonds of Coops UK and Diana Moore of the Development Trust AssociationSunday 13 June 9 am, location tbd
Social entrepreneurship - a crucial element for implementing an EDAPAn introduction to social entrepreneurship, covering definitions (what is a social entrepreneur?), key areas of knowledge, top start-up tips and advice, useful and practical tools / resources, signposting to support and much more, all laced with inspiring case studies and examples of local, national and international social entrepreneurs changing their world and the world around them.Nick Temple of the School for Social EntrepeneursSunday 13 June 2 pm, location tbd
Getting personal - Transition Circles and Transition TogetherTransition Initiatives often focus at the level of a town or city. But we as individuals and families can make changes now to reduce the carbon footprint of of homes, transport, food and purchases. Some TI’s have been experimenting with small discussion groups as a way of informing and supporting this personal transition, and this workshop will explore their experiences.Transition Norwich and Fiona WardMonday 14 June 9 am, location tbd
Engaging with your local businesses and organisations - what skills and tools do we have to help us do this?Businesses and many other types of organisation are incredibly influential forces in today’s “cheap oil” society and economy. This session explores the role of businesses in Transition, and the role of Transition Initiatives (TIs) and Transition Training and Consulting (TTandC) in assisting businesses and organisations to adapt to the low carbon, energy-constrained future. It includes an update on the latest TTandC services and experiences so far, and will identify opportunities for you and your TIs to engage positively with the organisations and businesses that most influence your community’s ability to develop resilience and sustainability.Shane Hughes, Transition Bedford; Tony Greenham, Transition Town Totnes; Nick Osborne, Transition Glastonbury; Graham Truscott, Transition Derby.Sunday 13 June 2 pm, location tbd
Breakthrough to "step" 13So now Transition Town Totnes has published its Energy Descent Action Plan (EDAP), what next? Here we look at an evolving strategy for navigating the terrain beyond the '12 Steps', taking EDAP into implementation phase.Hal Gillmore, TTT coordinatorMonday 14 June 9 am, location tbd
ConstellationsThis process reveals the truth about all sorts of problems typically involving challenging group dynamics in ways that points quickly and clearly to interventions that work. Always popular, always insightful - and spectacularly intriguing.Jenny MackewnMonday 14 June 9 am, location tbd
Supporting Transitioners with tools, techniques, materials, practical advice and guidanceTransition Network has helped transitioners a lot with the books (Handbook, Primer etc), the training courses, the events, the web platform and creating an ethos of DIY. Still, it's not enough. This session invites transitioners to co-design the kind of support organisation/capability that transitioners really need and "co-figure out" how it might get set up.Ben BrangwynMonday 14 June 9 am, location tbd
Bringing it all back home – from Systems Thinking to Systems BeingWe are increasingly aware that the world is a complex living system and yet it is still hard to transition to ways of living that sustain the environments we depend on. What shifts do we need to make to allow us to integrate this awareness into our everyday choices? In this session we explore ways of grounding the valuable insights from social evolution theory and systems thinking into practical living.Alexander Balerdi and Inez AponteSunday 13 June 9 am, location tbd
Transition YouthThis presentation by a group of thirteen and fourteen year olds from Ysgol Bro Ddyfi in mid-Wales will focus on the making of spOILt, their film examining the Canadian Tar Sands, and how young people can be inspired to found an international Youth Transition movement. This will be followed by an action planning session on how this might happen in your Transition Initiative...Sarah Woods and assorted Bro Ddyfi young peopleSunday 13 June 9 am, location tbd
Sex and TransitionAre you much more interested in windmills and panels than all that floaty feelings/process stuff? Or are you passionate about your Heart and Soul Group but wonder why some people in Transition don’t seem nearly so interested in it? Might these differences arise from, and reflect, some of the distortions and divisions of the society we are moving beyond? They have the potential to be divisive, to drain energy and creativity, to limit us. But if we meet them fully, with presence and consciousness, they have the potential to liberate energy, to free up what has got stuck. Transition can be a wonderful space in which to explore things which might block some of our creativity and passion, and in this workshop we hope to enjoy and learn from our differences.Hilary Prentice and Peter LipmanSunday 13 June 9 am, location tbd
Book of Rubbish IdeasTracey runs an upbeat and animated workshop with debate and discussion on ways to 'Slow Down and Green Up'. She also has a few tools for 'armchair activism' on rubbish reduction and will help you see that rubbish doesn't have to be a dirty word!Tracey SmithMonday 14 June 9 am, location tbd
Emerging Transition national hubs outside the UK: Best practicesWe would like to look together into how to best support Transition (and be supported by the UK transition network) when "localizing" Transition into non-native-English (mainly European) countries. This also includes debating about how much sense it makes e.g. to shift parts of the UK network support functions more to the national hubs, to either keep that fully open, flexible and different per country or find to a minimum-set of guidelines / procedures in line with e.g. the current MOU process etc. Sharing our experiences will be part of the workshop; as well as looking into how to improve communication in general between UK and other hubs, how to prevent issues from being dropped due to work-overload, finding optimal processes etc. As we all know there are some challenges in this rapidly growing network and we would like to find productive, positive ways to deal with them.Gerd WesslingMonday 14 June 9 am, location tbd
Local Sustainable HomesWhile the government talks about sustainable housing, thousands of individuals, groups and organisations are busy making it happen. This session looks at inspiring examples of people and communities making housing more sustainable, the obstacles they face, and how to overcome themChris Bird, author of the forthcoming Transition Series Guide "Local Sustainable Homes"Monday 14 June 9 am, location tbd
Wild Zones: Nurturing a generation of youth who love the earth and love their own livesWild Zones are places where children, teenagers and adults can co-create a new form of public space that is dedicated to free play in nature. This participatory workshop will discuss Wild Zones as a holistic strategy for revitalizing communities, developing earth stewardship, and promoting the crucial role of play in nature for children’s social, emotional and cognitive development. We will explore the strategic and practical aspects of integrating Wild Zones into Transition Towns.Karen Payne and David HawkinsMonday 14 June 9 am, location tbd
Woodland Management WalkThis walk will focus on "Trees for Transition", looking at how we might apply forestry, woodfuel, coppicing and conservation to the challenges of climate change and peak oil. It will consider how a biomass boiler for the college might work given the available resources and also look at the 2 acres of old coppice by the science block. Participants will also look at the surrounding land from a nearby viewpoint (5 mins walk) and consider the role of trees in protection from increased sun, rain and wind, provision of timber and fuel, and the involvement of the community. On a more technical issue, it will also explore how appropriate land and forest management can act as net carbon sinks, whilst providing a wide range of useful services, not least beauty and enjoyment.Robin WalterSunday 13 June 5:30 pm
Is Transition in Brazil following the football road - created in England with the best players in Brazil?Less than a year since the first Transition Trainings were seeded in Brazil’s fertile soil, Transition has virally taken off in most different socio-economic contexts. This participatory session will look at how this is taking shape through three case studies: -Transition in high resilience below poverty line communities - Serra & Brasilandia -Transition in middle class, alternative communities in Rio de Janeiro- Grajau, Santa Teresa and Petropolis and in Sao Paulo-Vila Mariana • -Transition in affluent neighborhoods- Granja Viana Participants will be used as coaches /designers to help address crucial questions on the path of resilience of a country where peak oil is far in the horizon and social disparity is miles long.Taisa Mattos, May East, Monica Picavea, and Sílvia RochaSunday 13 June 9 am
Communicating the Economic Crisis as the Third Driver of Transition?Peak oil and climate change are, at least in the way Transition is communicated at the moment, the ‘twin drivers’ of Transition. But given recent events, and insights from tools such as the ‘Crash Course’, should Transition now be talking about economics and the bursting of the debt bubble as a third driver? This workshop will strive to make what has been happening in the world’s turbulent economic recent history understandable, and will ask the question, to what extent ought an awareness of economics underpin Transition?Mike PayneSunday 13 June 9 am
Making Sense of the Financial Crisis in the Era of Peak OilPeak Oil and the collapse of global Ponzi finance are a “perfect storm” of converging phenomena that threaten to sink our age of prosperity through wealth destruction, social discontent, and global conflict. Nicole will describe how our current financial system is an unsustainable credit bubble grounded in “Ponzi dynamics,” or the logic of the pyramid scheme. She warns that most people are woefully unprepared to face the consequences of the devastating deflation that is now unfolding.Nicole Foss of the Automatic Earth2:30 pm Saturday 12 June
Entertainment: Open mike Transition's got talent - lots of itstarring you(?!!), with Mike Grenville MC'ing 
Entertainment: England vs USA (world cup soccer)Watch grown men cry and roll about clutching their shins  
Trip: to Transition Town TotnesGoing via other local and inspiring initiatives, this trip will show how Totnes is tackling the challenges of peak oil, climate change and economic contractionSmall additional cost Sunday afternoon at 2 pm
Trip to Proper Job and Chagford CSANicky Scott, author of How to Make and Use Compost: The Ultimate Guide, will conduct a tour of the Community Composting and Recycling Centre which he founded, and as a bonus, will also show Transitioners around the newly-formed Chagford Community Supported Agriculture site.Small additional cost Sunday afternoon at 2 pm

The schedule


Registration will be open from 7pm, and so will the bar. Reacquaint with old friends and meet new ones.


  • 07.30 to 09.00:  Breakfast
  • 09.00:  Registration
  • 10.00:  Conference opening and mapping
  • 10.30:  Form "home groups" (your own group of new buddies for the duration of the conference, and beyond)
  • 11.00:  Break
  • 11.30:  Open Space prep
  • 12.00:  Sharing stories of transition (by theme/interest group)
  • 13.00:  Lunch
  • 14.30:  Open Space #1 and "Surgeries", Making Sense of the Financial Crisis in the Era of Peak Oil session
  • 16.15:  Open Space #2 and "Surgeries"
  • 17.45:  Optional recreation: dance space, and Wild Food Walk
  • 18.30 to 20.00:  Dinner
  • 19.00:  Bar opens
  • 19.30:  Optional recreation: England vs USA (world cup soccer)
  • 21.00:  Open mike - Transition talent in all its 5 octave glory


  • 09.00 to 10.30:  Short workshops #1
  • 10.30:  Break
  • 11.00 to 12.30:  Big Group Process - more info to follow...
  • 12.30 to 14.00:  Lunch
  • 14.00:  Long workshops / Trips
  • 15.30 to 16.00:  Break
  • 16.00 to 17.30:  Long workshops / trips continued
  • 17.45:  Close for day 2
  • 18.15:  Free time, sport (indoor 5-a-side footie, frisbee, dance, relaxation, Woodland management Walk)
  • 18.30 to 20.00:  Dinner
  • 19.30:  Bar opens
  • 20.00:  Cabaret, music jams, impromptu performances, whatever takes your fancy...


  • 07.30 to 09.00:  Breakfast
  • 09.00 to 10.30:  Short workshops #2
  • 10.30 to 11.00:  Break
  • 11.00 to 11.30:  "Go forth!!" Home group discussions about what we'll each be doing next
  • 11.30 to 12.00:  Final networking
  • 12.00 to 13.00:  Final session - feedback and close
  • 13.00 to 14.00:  Lunch and closing Whoooooosh