The Essential Guide to Doing Transition

This report by the Transition Network team provides a beginner’s guide to how people can make a change in their local communities. It emphasises benefits of co-creating visions that tackle local challenges as well as broader issues such as climate change. It suggests a range of activities to undertake whilst also demonstrating examples of other ‘Transition’ initiatives.

Date added 9 July 2020
Last updated 9 July 2020

This report by the Transition Network team provides a beginner’s guide to assist communities in starting to tackle challenges they are facing. It can be particularly useful during the transformation stage of COVID-19 as it is expected that new grassroot projects will emerge, and new partnerships will be formed as a response to challenges posed by the pandemic. The approach put forward by the report focuses on starting change locally but illustrates how these changes can influence grander challenges such as climate change, resilience, and social justice. It describes Transition as a movement that encourages people to come together and create solutions. By strongly emphasising on a co-creational approach, the report outlines seven essential ingredients for doing Transition: healthy groups (working well together); vision (imagining the future you want to co-create); involvement (getting the wider community involved and developing relationships beyond friends and natural allies); networks and partnerships (collaborating with others); part of a movement (scaling up your impacts by linking up with Transitioners elsewhere); practical projects (inspiring others and building new infrastructures); and reflect and celebrate (reflecting on how you're doing and celebrating the difference you're making).

Furthermore, the report provides a step-by-step manual on how to get started with doing Transition. Firstly, it suggests that an ‘initiation group’ consisting of people who have the time, energy and skills should get together and carry out the first stage of the transition process as well as map out the next steps. Once the group is up and running, the report suggests a range of activities and events such as workshops to sustain the group, but also involve new people. Secondly, it recommends a ‘core group’ to be established. This group will build on what the initiation group did and catalyse the larger projects associated with Transition. The report proposes that projects are divided into branches of themes in order for the group to develop an organisation structure that enables ambitious and impactful projects.

A challenge often faced by groups is maintaining new members and volunteers. Therefore, the report also points out why this may be and recommends ways of keeping them engaged. For example, people want to know how they can best contribute and therefore, a contact person whose role is to greet and provide information to new members can be helpful. The report also suggests that it is useful to conduct a Transition health check every year to track progress, achievements and generally assess how the group is doing, and it provides a set of questions that aid initiatives undertaking this Transition health check.