Every initiative does it differently, and that’s part of the fun of the whole thing. Think of it like cooking. There are all kinds of amazing ingredients we can assemble in order to make, say, a cake, and the creation of every cook will be unique, reflecting his or her abilities and culture, and the local resources available.
At the same time, there are certain time-proven stages to successful cake baking. You can’t just put the flour in a bowl, throw in some butter, put it in the oven and expect a cake to emerge. That wouldn’t work at all.
Similarly, with Transition there are distinct stages the process goes through, from meeting equally enthused people and deciding to give Transition a go (‘Starting out’), to finding that you are now becoming a viable, vibrant project (‘Deepening’), then trying to broaden your engagement with the local community (‘Connecting’) and scaling up what you are doing in order to make localisation a reality on the ground (‘Building’). Lastly, there is a visionary, speculative stage of looking forward to how things might be if this happened everywhere (‘Daring to Dream’). That’s where things get really interesting.
This first stage takes you from Transition being just an idea or an aspiration to its being something that is under way with a good chance of success.
Your Transition initiative will build momentum and practical projects will start to emerge. You may have to design for the sustaining of the organisation and the deepening of its work, broadening its engagement across the community and being more efficient and effective. This set of ingredients and tools relates to what seem to be key elements of this stage. They explore the need to consider the sustainability of your initiative, for practical ‘outer’ Transition work, and also its ‘inner’ aspects.
It is often said that the scale of a proper response to peak oil and climate change would be akin to the preparations for World War Two. Every aspect of our lives needs to turn on a sixpence, in a coordinated and effective way. The ingredients in this section explore how Transition initiatives can play a part in that process, and take Transition to a wider audience.
Transition groups aim ultimately to catalyse the localisation of their local economy. They strive to move from running small community projects to thinking and acting much bigger. New skills and ways of thinking will lead Transition initiatives to become social enterprises, such as becoming developers, banks, energy companies and so on. This approach often challenges those traditionally involved in community environmental issues, but is vital for big results. The ingredients in this section explore aspects of this step up.
The old saying ‘Think global, act local’ is still relevant. The ingredients in this section imagine the stepping up of Transition thinking to the national stage – imagining what it might look like if every settlement had vibrant Transition initiatives setting up food networks, energy companies, growing food everywhere and catalysing a new culture of social enterprise . . .