Resources and Ideas from April Tele-salon

One of our favorite times of the month here at the Transition US office are the 2nd Thursday Telesalons. These group calls provide a strong dose of inspiration and are a chance to hear directly from individuals around the country who are implementing on-the-ground Transition activities.

In the April Telesalon, we had folks calling in from Gilroy, CA; Lopez Island, WA; Charlottesville, VA; Winter Park, FL; Cincinnati, OH; Las Cruces NM; Hudson Valley, NY; Tallahassee, FL; Northfield, MN; and Fort Collins, CO. Below are a few highlights for those of you that were not able to join the call this month.


Telesalon participants celebrated the following recent Transition successes:

  • Transition Charlottesville Albemarle is on fire! They’ve been hosting numerous educational/skill-sharing events in their community, including a recent workshop on mushroom training. They’re excited to participate in the upcoming Dogwood Festival parade.
  • Transition Tallahassee has had success in using the World Café format for their group meetings and community events.
  • Transition Fort Collins is celebrating their new ReEconomy project
  • Hudson Valley has been successful in using a regional approach for Transition work
  • Transition folks in Lopez Island will be hosting the whole staff from a local credit union at their next potluck, as they discuss ways to localize their economy.


The group discussed challenges they are grappling with, and shared some of their own ideas for resources/solutions. Included below are some of these ideas, along with some resources from Transition US. If any of you have additional ideas/resources for addressing these challenges – we’d love to hear from you! Please share your ideas in the comments below or send them via email to

  1. How to engage marginalized communities in the Transition movement?
    • Suggestion: host projects that take place outside in the community to raise awareness and engage new audiences as they pass by. An example of this approach was the solar cooking demos in NE Seattle. Click here for the audio from the recent Transition US teleseminar, Sustaining a Transition Group, hosted by Sustainable NE Seattle to hear more examples of their projects and ideas.
  2. How to overcome challenges with group dynamics and group decision making processes?
    • Suggestion: listen to Transition US’ Decision Making for Transition Groups teleseminar with Starhawk
    • Sign up for the upcoming Effective Groups trainings, hosted by Transition US this fall. Dates and locations for these trainings are still to be determined, but you can read Rob Hopkins’ blog post about this training, which originated in the U.K.
  3. How do Transition groups work collaboratively and be effective in communities that are already full of activists and environmental organizations working on similar issues?
    • Charlottesville folks shared two approaches they’ve used to collaborate with local groups: 1) they organized a panel for local nonprofits to showcase their work and discuss collaboration, and 2) they coordinated with the Sierra Club and to organize busses for people to attend a Keystone Pipeline demonstration in D.C.
    • Lopez Island organizers address this challenge by inviting individuals from different organizations to come to their potlucks to discuss transition and possible collaborations.
  4. How to move from learning/talking to taking action?
  • Sign up an action with the Transition Challenge!
  • Click here to read Marissa’s blog post about Taking Practical Action Toward Resilience.
  • Borrow Transition Houston’s permablitz approach to action. 

For those of you that have yet to participate in our monthly Tele-salons , these are an open dialogue space where Transition Initiative leaders around the US meet voice-to-voice, celebrate, network, swap ideas, get help, give help, feel empowered, and learn together. We hope you join us on a future call!

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