Transition US Newsletter - September 2009


September is ending with 42 Transition Initiatives in the US (4 new Transition Initiatives this month) and 220 around the world.  There have been noteworthy developments in the UK and if you have not been on Rob Hopkins’ blog recently (it was rather quiet in August as he was reportedly on vacation) then you will likely be captivated by the prolific writing and diverse range of topics covered and discussed here. Some of my favorites this month were on the launch of two alternative currencies: Stroud pound and Brixton pound. The post from Transition Oxford entitled Reflections on When a Transition Initiative Stalls (read here) and the subsequent discussion reveals a rich and caring community. The was also a lively discussion about national hubs!

We were fortunate this month to find our newest team member, Carl Shuller.  He is already thinking up brilliantly designed new systems and in short order may reinvent our office. Meanwhile, the lovely and gracious Deborah Grace Kraft has moved on to travels, family and further transitioning adventures. 

Several new board members and a financial advisory group have stepped forward and we will be announcing them with some fanfare in a few weeks. 

What is quickly becoming a monthly tradition is a request to the community at large.  Is there someone out there who can provide us with some good thinking on various legal structures for the emerging Transition Initiatives?  We would love to hear from you.  We will want to do a webinar or teleconference on this topic so consider rolling up your sleeves to offer that as well. 

I know we have mentioned our new bloggers but want to herald them again.  If you engage them with some invigorating comments I suspect their posts will become real page-turners. 

Please do remember to do some wise and wonderful deeds on October 24th for the Day of Climate Action and join with people from 100 other nations who are raising awareness in preparation for the climate talks in Copenhagen talks this December.


Transition Initiatives

This month, we welcome four new Official Transition Initiatives in the US, bringing the total to forty-two:

If you've been mulling it over and feel you're ready for the next step, check out the initiatives map and learn more about becoming an Official Transition Initiative.

Throughout the month, we post stories from Transition Initiatives about some of the wonderful projects they are working on. Here are some highlights:

Sustainble NE Seattle hosts a solar potluck
"When you plan a solar cookout in Seattle, you keep your fingers crossed that the sun will shine that day, and that enough people actually have solar cookers and will bring them to your potluck. Luckily the weather couldn't have been better and thanks to a workshop on building solar cookers offered just in time, we had plenty, " says Leo Brodie. While the rest of us may have missed out on a delicious feast, we can watch the most endearing video of the summer. (read more)

photoWeb of Local Self-Reliance Rewoven: New Haven Transition Song
Members of Transition Greater New Haven was featured in the New Haven Independent in an article by Melinda Tuhus which captured some of the discussion from the evening around building community resilience, as well as a delightful recording of a group rendition of the "New Haven Transition Song." (read more)

Read more stories online.



Transition Training

There are a number of trainings coming up, so if you're interested in taking the Training for Trainsition (T4T) workshop, do check the listing and see if there's something in your area. If not, why not explore hosting a training? Download our guidelines and find out what it takes to host a Training course.

Web of resilience eventUpcoming Training for Transition (T4T) courses are scheduled in:

Photo: Web of Resilience, Transition Olympia. Shared by Joanne Lee. (original)



News from the Transition Network

transition logoTransition Together Pilot Project a Smashing Success
Transition Town Totnes has just finished trialing their rather clever and inspiring community initiative, "Transition Together". The Transition Together project forms small, social groups of friends, neighbors and colleagues and then supports them in taking a number of effective, practical, money-saving and carbon-reducing steps. (read more)

Getting your input - two new Transition books
Local food guide The Transition Handbook and the imminent "Local Food - making it happen in your community" owe their success to you. Your inputs into those books have been absolutely invaluable. Now the next two books need input from transitioners who are interested in "Sustainable Housing" and "Working with your local Council". If you think you might be able to shape these books, either by contributing content or by stating what you need the books to cover, please go to the following questionnaires:

TN logoIf you're interested in receiving updates from the Transition Network in the UK, where it all began, you can sign up for their newsletter here.


Transition Resources

Getting hold of the movie "In Transition 1.0"
filmWe have high aspirations for this movie. We're hoping it can stand alongside movies like "Power of Community", inspiring people with stories of transition work going on right now in many places around the world. This is the solution-orientated movie to follow the films that do such a good job at identifying the problems, such as "Age of Stupid" and "Inconvenient Truth." Check out the release schedule and details and put the movie into your awareness raising schedule between now and Christmas. We don't have much time and there's so much to do...

Community Resilience toolkit coverCommunity Resilience Toolkit
Produced by the fine folks of Bay Localize, the Toolkit is designed for groups to prepare their communities to weather tough times. It places a special emphasis on economic and climate instability. The Toolkit provides resources to evaluate a community's relative strengths and vulnerabilities, and take action to build resilience. (read more)

Age of Stupid
ageofstupidThe Age of Stupid recently had its global premiere and licenses are now available to screen the film in a school, church, pub etc. Watch the trailer. "The Age of Stupid is the new four-year epic from McLibel director Franny Armstrong. Oscar-nominated Pete Postlethwaite stars as a man living alone in the devastated world of 2055, looking at old footage from 2008 and asking: why didn’t we stop climate change when we had the chance?" (read more // Jennifer Gray's film review)

Your Money of Your Life
book coverOnLine Study Groups were created by The Simple Living Network (SLN) in cooperation with The New Road Map Foundation (NRM). Our purpose is to provide hosted, interactive, on-line classes for those following the nine-step program in the best selling book Your Money or Your Life by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin with Monique Tilford. Registration is currently open and the next scheduled class starts November 24, 2009. (read more)



What's new at Post Carbon Institute

  1. Post Carbon Institute is very happy to welcome two new Fellows:
    MajoraEnvironmental justice advocate and economic consultant, Majora Carter. Majora works tirelessly to help civic, business and nonprofit organizations understand how their individual interests will be met by working together through green economic avenues.
    Land Institute
    founder and sustainable agriculture pioneer Wes Jackson. Here’s a great NY Times article Wes recently co-wrote with Wendell Berry entitled ‘The 50 Year Farm Bill.’
  2. coal videoTo help fuel the addiction of social media junkies, Post Carbon Institute is now on Facebook. Join over 400 tuned-in FB fans here. 
  3. Lastly, if you haven’t watched it yet, take a moment to check out PCI Senior Fellow Richard Heinberg's new video.



Related Events, Workshops, Things to Do

Bioneers - October 16-18, San Rafael, CA
The Bioneers Conference is a leading-edge, environmental conference where social and scientific innovators focus on solutions inspired by nature and human ingenuity. This year the conference will also feature panel of speakers, including Jennifer Gray, on "Localization - the Path to Living Economies."

Day of Climate Action - October 24 - What's your Transition Initiative doing?
Our friends over at are organizing an international Day of Climate Action on Saturday October 24 (read Bill McKibben's letter to the transition community). So far, people in more than 100 nations are taking part -— it's shaping up to be to be the biggest day of grassroots action on global warming ever. But they're hoping for it to be much larger. Let us know what your Transition Initiative is planning for Oct 24th!

SRI logoSRI in the Rockies - October 25-28, 2009, Tucson, AZ
SRI in the Rockies is a follow up to the Slow Money Gathering. It is the premier annual gathering of investment professionals and related organizations who work to direct the flow of investment capital in transformative ways. A professional conference, SRI in the Rockies offers many opportunities to meet and learn from passionate, creative people from all corners of the sustainable and responsible investment industry in the United States and around the world.

PeachesPermaculture Design Certification (PDC) Course – November 7-14, Grass Valley, CA
Instructors:  Bill Wilson of Transition US, Wayne Weiseman of The Permaculture Project, and Vidya Chaitanya of Transition LA. The Transition Movement recognizes the PDC Course as an extremely helpful training in understanding transition and its implementation.  8 pre-course webinars fully prepare students for this week long journey into creating a more ‘permanent-culture’. Registration open.



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