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... for greater sustainability and local resilience

Organizations & Campaigns

This space is intended as a register for North Cornwall-wide organisations that wish to support the Transition Movement or that may be useful to Transition Groups.

To add your organisation either add in a new 'comment' or use the 'contact' form to send in the information you wish to publish.

Why, what, how and where about Transition

Why?

A lot of opportunity is going to arrive in the next 20 years disguised as loss
Dr Martin Shaw

Things are changing rapidly around us. What we expect from the future is already significantly different from what we expected three or four years ago. What might some of our key challenges be?

1. Climate Change
If we want to keep the rise in global temperatures below 2°C to avoid runaway climate change, then we can only burn a fraction of the fossil fuels we know exist underground.

We must leave 2,795 gigatons of CO2 in the ground. This is about 80% of what remains. We can release only 20.2%, or 565 gigatons, of the remaining CO2 into the atmosphere.

Source: Carbon Tracker.

2. Addicted to oil
Since the Industrial Revolution we have built a way of life which is dependent on easy access to fossil fuels.

But as the Age of Cheap Energy (1850-2008) passes the point known as Peak Oil and gives way to the Age of Unaffordable Energy (2008-?) we are increasingly at risk, economically and socially.

We can't just open the oil spigot and expect more cheap and easily accessible energy to fuel our homes, businesses, leisure, transport, factories and agriculture.

3. A skewed economy
97% of all UK grocery sales are now through just 8,000 supermarket outlets.

Yet independent businesses (the other 3%) create more jobs, better health, wellbeing and social justice.

Independent businesses keep the money we spend circulating in our local economy.

Which should we focus on growing?

source: Portas, M. (2011) The Portas Review: an independent review into the future of our high streets. Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

4. The Myth of Endless Expansion
The idea that relentless economic expansion is always a good thing – or even possible on a finite planet – no longer makes sense.

Instead we need to grow community, wellbeing, social justice and resilience (the ability to respond and adapt to the unexpected).

It would surely be sensible to be wary of any approach to creating growth which imperils those things, or which works only for a very few at the expense of the many by being focused solely on monetary growth within a flawed financial system.

This may make you feel
Dis-connected from ourselves and others around us
Anger
Frustration
Despair
Numbness
Powerlessness
You might be feeling overwhelmed by the gloomy forecasts for our future. Often we just switch off from it, and can look as though we don't care. But actually most of us care deeply. Not just about our families, but about our community, the places we live, and the future our children will inherit.

We just need to feel we can do something about it, and that we have the support of others. We need to see the possibility that our actions can actually make a difference.

And the more of us that do this, the bigger those changes will be.

Transition Network is here to help you and your community build healthy, resilient, local responses to these challenges.

We don't claim to have all the answers - we give no guarantee as this is an ongoing experiment and we're all learning as we go - but we've learnt a lot already that we can share with you...

What?
Transition is a quiet revolution unfolding around the world. People like you and I are seeing crisis as the opportunity for doing something different, something extraordinary. The guy sat next to you on the train this morning may well be setting up a community brewery. The woman opposite could be the director of a community energy company. The driver could own shares in a local farm. It's everywhere.

It's an idea about the future, an optimistic, practical idea. And it's a movement you can join. There are people near you who are optimistic and practical too. And it's something you can actually do.

Transition is one manifestation of the idea that local action can change the world; one attempt to create a supportive, nurturing, healthy context in which the practical solutions the world needs can flourish. You may have heard of it as 'Transition towns', or you may have come across a Transition group where you live. It is an experiment kicked off by people who share this passion, one that has gone far and wide, popping up in the most unexpected of places, in thousands of communities in 40 countries around the world.

Transition towns, cities, neighbourhoods, projects, enterprises, universities, schools, livelihoods...
The aim of Transition is to help you be the catalyst in your community for an historic push to make where you live more resilient, healthier and bursting with strong local livelihoods, while also reducing its ecological footprint.

You could think of Transition as being the bit in the middle, between things you can do as an individual and all the big stuff government can do. It’s something that can only happen from the ground up, driven by ordinary people. It’s the missing piece of the puzzle.

What does it look like in my neighbourhood?
Food-growing groups
Most Transition groups start with growing food, whether on an allotment, community garden or through garden share schemes, as well as by setting up new food-related enterprises.

Community-owned bakeries
Every community needs (or kneads?) one, a vital piece of the local infrastructure, sadly no longer common on our high streets, often replaced by out-of-town supermarkets.

Community-owned breweries
Community-owned breweries: one of the ways we can keep money local while innovating and creating employment.
Oh, and really good beer.

Transition Streets projects
Transition Streets shows how change can happen on a street-by-street basis, reducing household costs and energy use while also rebuilding a sense of community.

Building community relationships
Transition groups pay attention to how they work together as groups, to supporting each other and avoiding the burnout which can often happen with volunteer activities.

Community-owned energy
Renewable energy offers huge potential for communities to create cleaner electricity for homes, schools and businesses – generating income and providing a safer place for investments.

REconomy projects
All of the above are making a real difference in their communities. Increasingly, Transition groups are creating new jobs and livelihoods and vibrant, viable new enterprises that keep money local and boost resilience.

These groups are also mapping their local economies to measure the potential benefits of this process. Transition Network’s REconomy project offers the tools, networking and support to enable this.

Where?
The Transition movement has grown from just two groups in 2006 (Kinsale, Ireland and Totnes, England) to over 1,107 initiatives in more than 43 countries across the world in 2013. And those are only the ones registered on our website. We know that there are many more.

Would you like to get involved in one in your community? Or could you add another?

You can start with Transition North Cornwall and this website.