The Essential Guide to Doing Transition

A quick look at the guide that offers 'everything you need to know to start Transition in your community'.

According to the ‘Transition Network Organisation’, since 2005 we are discussing about transition, meaning the movement of communities that want to address various challenges on a local scale. Books, files, articles, workshops and seminars are putting particular focus on this concept, but let’s have this guide inspire us by explaining first why and how transition can occur. The ‘Transition Network Organization’ has launched “The essential guide to doing transition” as a manual for all of us that seek to shake up the current governance structures and put in practice new city-making solutions. The following 7 steps will further explain and analyze the practices for city-making.

The ‘Transition Network Organization’ is a charity that wants to bring about positive change in our societies by supporting, inspiring, facilitating and catalyzing grassroots movements across the world. It has launched “The essential guide to doing transition” tries to answer the basic question of ‘what transition actually is’, and what are the basic steps for its achievement. Transition is a continuous process imagined, ran and moderated by all those who want to rethink and shape their cities in more just and democratic terms and conditions. By doing that together, and starting locally, they are able to create appropriate solutions together. Either belonging to ‘community currency’ movements, alternative food projects or sustainable mobility trajectories, change-makers from all different backgrounds and mindsets have the possibility to make their dreams come true.

Head-Heart-Hands at the Cultivate Centre in Dublin ©Transition Network

“It is about communities stepping up to address the big challenges they face by starting local. By coming together, they are able to create solutions together.” – Transition Network Organization

Movements that seek local transitions lead to better citizen relationships linked with city-making bonds. Amongst them, one can identify principles such as creativity, social justice, sentiment of ownership and cooperation, resilience and sharing of knowledge and ‘know-how’. However, in order to bring all these notions to light the ‘Transition Network Organization’ introduced 7 ingredients for transition: Healthy groups, Vision, Involvement, Networking, Practical Projects, Part of movements and Reflection. 

The guide has put first on the list the ‘healthy groups’. Intending to form such a group, city-makers should remind and prove to all members how important it is to work together for the common good. Listening to everyone’s opinion and bridging differences can lead to successful bonding and meeting the needs of the society. Of course, in order to create a cohesive group, it is highly significant to shape jointly the future ‘vision’. This second step helps to create shared values and goals as well as communicate better the plans and methodologies for it to happen. Modern challenges that our societies are confronted with demand that change occurs from the very bottom, meaning that citizens get activated and take action. That introduces the third step, focusing on the ‘involvement’ of all sorts of people that envision their cities to finally satisfy and meet their needs.

Apart from those three previous steps, a glance at ‘networking’ appears to be the fourth key tool to bringing change and opportunities in society. Partnering up with people, organizations or networks that share the same visions and goals can guarantee potential. Also, teambuilding, exchange of knowledge, good practices and ‘know-how’ are signs of good partnerships.

How to start Transition ©Transition Network

What is following is the importance of creating ‘practical projects’. As a fifth tool, such projects might vary in content and strategy depending on the context and the impact they will have on the local community each time. From running local bazaars to growing organic vegetables in community gardens, transition movements can most likely apply solutions to local concerns and needs.

As mentioned before, transition movements bring together people from different disciplines, angles, organizations, cultures, yet different countries. What connects them is the feeling of doing something together and being ‘part of a movement’ to change the local systems.

” […] once you start an initiative, you become part of that huge learning network of people sharing their insights, learning and wisdom.” -Transition Network Organization.

After having shaped the group, the common ideas, partnerships and strategies, it is equally important to always acknowledge the difference city-makers want to bring. Appreciation and ‘reflection’ are the last tips for transitions to achieve and further promote ideologies of various initiatives.

All across the world, transition movements have common goals and values. They aim at intervening at local scale and deal with obstacles that impede the society to grow and sustain itself. No matter who these initiatives consist of and where they are coming from, they establish transitions so long as they connect minds, vision and skills.

Feeling inspired? Download the entire guide here.

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