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A learning network

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2
Transition Network Conference (photo - Chris Croome)

Challenge

If Transition initiatives work in isolation from each other, doing brilliant innovative things but not sharing what they learn, we miss the possibility for a rapid upscaling of their collective efforts.

Description

The large number of Transition initiatives has created valuable experience and learning. Being part of this network means we can create change much more quickly and more effectively because we can draw on others’ experience and insights.

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Solution

Rather than reinventing the wheel, tap into the pool of accumulated insight the Transition movement has generated, as well as feeding into it and enriching our collective understanding.

Full description

The large number of Transition initiatives has created valuable experience and learning. Being part of this network means we can create change much more quickly and more effectively because we can draw on others’ experience and insights. Those engaged in Transition are learning in many different settings. The learning is chaotic and emergent. Conventional academic or scientific research and experiment/dissemination tends to be much slower. This is a real-time, real-life social experiment, with learning and growing together in many places and cultures, made possible by the sheer number of initiatives and modern communications. Ten years ago, Transition would have been far less possible.

You could think of Transition as being like Open Source software. It is based on some simple principles and then invites participation, inclusion and creativity, the results of which are then shared and go on to further shape the model.

An evolutionary approach such as this develops where the best ideas and practices succeed and are copied. For instance, there is much material about people’s experience of awareness raising. It is discussed in training, at conferences and at regional gatherings. It features in this book and on Transition Network’s Projects Directory. There is learning from blogs, forums tweets and through informal meetings.

The more information is shared, the richer the commons. The faster the rate of learning, the more effective the movement. One of the most important features of a commons is to balance giving and taking. Probably the main role of the larger-scale Transition structures, such as Transition Network and the national and regional hubs, is to facilitate this.

by Naresh Giangrande
 

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