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One Year in Transition: open for 2013 entry

One Year in Transition is now open to applicants starting in September of this year (2013). Our first meet-up is 23 to 29 September at Sharpham, outside Totnes in Devon. As well as workshops that land you in Transition, and introduce you to storytelling and being in Nature, you design the shape of your own learning and the group designs the shape of the year. You will have access to the core of the Transition movement and come to understand the philosophy and change models that underpin it.


If you are in your 20s and looking for a part-time course that supports you to find or create a livelihood aligned with living sustainably on the planet, get in touch for a conversation. The cost is £1500 (excluding travel and living costs on the residential meet-ups), it lasts til July 2014 with four meet-ups in total, and you can do it where you are or find a community to live in. From the experience of the current students it is both challenging and fun, is a huge confidence booster and gets results.


For more details go to:  or contact Isabel Carlisle on: (Tel: 01803 847976)

 current participants in 1YT

Below is an account I wrote for Transition Free Press of how the course came into being and how the pilot year is going.


For many young people the rising tuition costs of higher education are not the only reason that they are questioning the desirability of getting a University degree or college certificate. The conveyor belt of performance learning from SATs to GCSEs and A-Levels and upwards no longer guarantees a job at the end. Nor do they see much work that accords with their values and their desire to bring a different future into being, one that supports their lives, the lives of their communities and the lives of future generations.


In spring of 2011 I began to reflect on these issues as I looked at ways in which Transition could make an offering to young people looking for right livelihood in community. If they were to step forward into community, either their own or a Transition community that offered them a place, what skills and knowledge would they need? How would they map that community and make their pitch, knowing that they were creating value and finding their niche? How would an understanding of new economic models such as Gift Culture serve them, and how would we weave a learning process that combined the inner and outer aspects of Transition?


Around these questions a group of eight young people aged 17 to 27, in different parts of the UK, gathered for regular Skype chats. This design team agreed the learning should be through mentoring. They liked the idea of practical skills and they asked for the freedom to learn through being given responsibility and being allowed to fail. They didn’t want an over-designed course, they thought the students should design much of it themselves, and they said it should not cost more than £1500 for a year. One Year in Transition was born and then launched at the September 2012 Transition conference.


Despite the fact that we didn’t have time for marketing 1YT, we have three intrepid “Transitioners” who have so far had two week-long meet-ups in Totnes. Each student has a personal mentor who is a trained psycho-therapist or coach. We use Action Learning to plan, take action and reflect on our projects and own our learning journeys. Skills mentors are recruited as needed to offer voluntary placements in the skills that the Transitioners choose to learn. We collectively plan future meet-ups and choose the “tutors” who we invite to teach us. In October we Landed in Transition with Sophy Banks and did a storytelling weekend with Martin Shaw, as well as meeting people at the heart of Transition Network. The January focus was on REconomy and Gift Culture (economic models for the future and non-monetary exchange).   


The projects that the Transitioners are working on include setting up the new network for youth in Transition, starting up a new Time Bank in Oxford (Cowley) and starting a new green skilling programme for young people at risk of exclusion in Bristol. 1YT validates the way in which young people want to learn: “This week has shown me many possible ways to tackle difficulties with a healthy attitude, but also how to avoid situations becoming difficult in the first place. It has encompassed personal, group and social psychology, and the technicalities of developing initiatives. It has given me permission to get wrapped up in nature and the metaphors of myth and has caused us, as a group of students to become close and to be truly honest and appreciative of one another” (Richard in South Brent).


“I signed up to 1YT because I felt I needed a container and support for the things I'm planning to do this year. I need to reframe success, and I want my ethics to be central to my working life, not something I do in my spare time. The first week's training was just phenomenal. I learnt so much from the Transition model, which is going to be so helpful in my own project. Especially the way people deal with the realisation that we are living in an unsustainable world, and how to support them and ourselves as we come to terms with the kind of appropriate actions we need to take” (Hannah in Oxford) “As I stepped out of the door [at the end of week one] I realised how incredibly grateful I am to be a part of 1YT and how healing it is to be carrying out this work” (Lisa in Bristol).


Isabel Carlisle

Co-ordinator, Transition Education