Seven essential ingredients for the future of Transition
14 December 2023
7 minute read
Transition emerged as a grassroots, local movement – it makes sense that Transitioners themselves shape our development and direction. Creating space to move towards that in England and Wales has been a core goal of the Transition Together project.
A Caretaker Group was formed in the summer of 2022 to explore what this could look like in practice, and what structures and approach were needed to nurture this process. Our mission was to find a path towards the creation of a resilient and accountable Hub tailored to local Transitioners’ needs. Initially a team of five, the group expanded to include Ems Rixon, who led on a dialogue with Welsh environmental community groups to understand and take into account the unique context of Wales.
As Amy Sciafe reported in our last update, to explore how a hub could serve the Transition movement in Wales and England, the Caretaker Group connected with international Transition hubs, existing regional hubs within the UK and with the individuals and groups which make up the movement here. They sought information, advice, to listen to their experience, and to create space to hear their needs, ideas and vision for the future.
A summary of the group’s findings have been gathered here. We discovered seven essential ingredients necessary for a democratic and resilient hub to support the movement. We would love to know what you think of them.
- Equity and inclusion must be at the heart of all that we do, so any hub or project we set up must include systems that promote solidarity across difference and nurture unity within the movement.
- The way we organise is as important as what we do. Transition in Wales and England needs a transformational governance structure to reflect the depth and breadth of change we want to see the wider world. So any hub or project should be founded on ways of working that are transparent, accountable to the wider movement, where there are mechanisms for all voices to be heard and where there is an understanding that equity is both an outcome and a process. This is an ongoing learning journey – and we will draw on sociocracy and other governance models to find the best way forward for our movement.
- The value of belonging and our work being both nourishing and fulfilling so the Hub will focus on becoming the ‘beating heart’ of our movement, creating opportunities to grow connection, building solidarity, soulcraft and a sense of family.
- Transition groups need practical support and we are stronger as individuals, groups and as a movement when we can share skills, knowledge and resources. A hub structure offers an opportunity to unlock more support and resources for the movement and creates a structure to collaborate, share skills and self organise.
- Place-based connections are a defining feature of Transition. At the same time, it can exclude or discourage some people from getting involved. A hub can explore and open up new ways of connecting and plugging into Transition which complements and is in addition to our place-based network of local community groups, helping us open up Transition to a whole host of new people, particularly people who may be excluded and marginalised by our current narrow definition. We can now fulfil the promise of a ‘movement of communities.’
- In a challenging and uncertain world, we need to develop long-term resilience in order to safeguard the future of our movement. We will do this by working in partnership with like-minded organisations, sharing our learning with others and diversifying funding opportunities.
- The context, needs and shape of the Transition movement across Wales and England are not the same. We will support and help to grow the work that already exists in Wales, to build capacity and leave space for the potential future emergence of a standalone hub for Wales.
Above all these ingredients, we found that the vibrant threads of equity, inclusion, and diversity must be woven into the fabric of our Hub development. Only in this way can we create a Hub that not only serves our communities but truly reflects the richness of who we are. We want to make sure everyone’s voice is not just heard but celebrated.
Why Equity Matters:
I invite you to imagine a garden where every plant gets the sunlight, water, and care it needs to bloom. True permaculture perfection: that’s the kind of diverse landscape we want for our Hub. Equity means ensuring everyone has equal access to resources and opportunities; where we all feel like we are in this together.
Inclusion is the Heartbeat:
It’s not just about inviting people to the party; it’s about making sure they feel like they belong, and their ideas are valued. Our Hub for Wales and England is to be seen as a welcoming space where everyone’s uniqueness is a cause for celebration.
Diversity as our Superpower:
Diversity isn’t just a checkbox; it’s our superpower. Different backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences mean a treasure trove or a well equipped toolbox of ideas. Our Hub is to be the canvas where this colourful diversity paints a picture of a vibrant and resilient movement.
Getting Real about Representation:
We want to make sure our Hub represents the incredible tapestry of Wales and England. Every shade, every hue – we want to hear from you! Your stories, your challenges, your triumphs – they’re the building blocks of our Hub.
Now, over to you…
Since the Caretaker Group completed their exploration, Phil Frodsham and Monica Cru-Hall have continued with the task of gathering your responses and refining the proposals in light of them, and preparing the ground for the next phase of the project.
A hub will be built not on paper (or online!) but in practice. Its shape and life will only emerge as we step forward on this path. It will be decided by how Transitioners engage with this emerging hub and what you seek to make it.
So now we invite you to step closer to the action and be part of this next exciting chapter.
We’ve distilled the ideas developed over the last 15 months into a 6 page summary proposal and we’d love you to read it. The proposal tells a bit of the story that got us here, the 7 Essential Ingredients outlined above and maps out potential next steps. Read it here.
Tell us what you and your group think by:
In February 2024, Transition Together will recruit three hub co-ordinators to build on the findings of the Caretaker Group and your feedback, to start building and shaping the Hub in practice. They will each work 2 days a week for a year to develop and activate the Hub. The idea is we learn by doing and refine the model through practice, with Transition Groups across Wales and England. More about these roles is in the summary document, and details will be shared early in 2024.
The potential for growth in strength, reach, relevance, impact, and creativity is boundless on both a local and global level. It’s not just a project; it’s a movement, potentially a home for each and every one of us. Together, we’re on the brink of something extraordinary, and we can’t wait to discover what unfolds along this transformative path and the launch of the hub.
For more information: Read the Hub Proposal Summary
We’re aware that not everyone can give time freely and that there will be some work leading up to the workshop in terms of pre-reading. To address this, we are offering financial support from a limited budget for those who need it. Please contact us here to arrange in confidence.