We gathered 21 stories of transition

21 Days - 21 Stories

In the lead up to COP21 we'll be posting one story every day
Uploaded image

1. Potager Alhambra

A Brussels neighbourhood experiencing the daily impacts of being a red light district responds by creating a new food garden! Read story
“We are ready for change. We have already started it where we live in our neighbourhoods, and it’s great!” Read story
Uploaded image

2. The rise of local currencies

How Transition currencies are reimagining money as “wonderful invites to us all to step into a better future”. Read story
Local money schemes, as one of the most immediate and tangible manifestations of Transition, have featured regularly here. But the voices we have never heard are those of the designers who create these beautiful objects. Read story
Uploaded image

3. Crystal Palace Food Market

An award-winning urban food market which “stands as a powerful reminder about what can happen when people dare to put a dream into reality”. Read story
“Encourage people to take the initiative and give them the tools to do so. You might be surprised what they can achieve. It is possible to create bottom up infrastructure that can deliver locally sourced sustainable food on a significant scale.
Read story
Uploaded image

4. Repair Cafe Pasadena

Repair Cafe began in 2010 when Therese Brummel, co-founder of Transition Pasadena, read online about a Repair Cafe in the Netherlands. Read story
It can transform a relationship to serious problems to something empowering that actually enriches your own life. You get permission to do meaningful work, with support, and it’s fun! Read story
Uploaded image

5. Caring Town Totnes

When Transition uses its ‘power to convene’ to bring together those providing care to reimagine a different approach. Read story
Caring Town Totnes is a new and unusual collaboration of over 70 local public, voluntary and private health and social care providers who are forming the Caring Town Totnes (CTT) Network. Read story
Uploaded image

6. Scaling up in Peterborough

Localise as much of your economy, as fast as you can. You build community resilience and strength. Read story
Entrepreneurship has always been at the heart of what they do. What kind of thinking and processes might enable a community Transition initiative to really scale up its impact? Read story
Uploaded image

7. Media’s Free Store

A shop where everything’s free? How might that bring a community together? Read story
It’s a place where every day synchronicities occur. People find the lid to a pan they love that has been lidless for 30 years. People make new friends. People experience what its co-ordinators call “a compassion-building exercise”. Read story
Uploaded image

8. Eco Crew in Greyton

What role could Transition play in communities recovering from the past impacts of apartheid? Read story
Greyton Transition Town is the first official Transition group in Africa, initiated in December 2012 by Nicola Vernon, who said “as a driver for social integration it’s the best I’ve encountered in 30 years of working in social welfare”. Read story
Uploaded image

9. REconomy in Luxembourg

So far, three new co-operatives have emerged through the work of Transition Luxembourg… Read story
In the country with the world’s second highest per capita gross domestic product and among the highest per capita GHG emissions, a new collaborative economic model is emerging based on the REconomy approach and co-operative values. And it works. Read story
Uploaded image

10. Transition Fishguard’s Cafe

The cafe that sees going out of business as a sign of success, and whose daily menu is determined by what local businesses throw away. Read story
2 members of Transition Bro Gwaun (TBG) were visiting local shops looking for food waste to feed pigs, and realised how much perfectly good food was being thrown away, and that that presented a huge opportunity. Read story
Uploaded image

10. Rainwater Harvesting in Sao Paolo

Residents of two very different neighbourhoods come together to learn to safely harvest, filter and store rainwater in the face of the worst drought on record. Read story
“Our main message is that water falls from the sky and it’s FREE”. Read story
Uploaded image

12. The Million Miles project

Is it possible that a bottom-up, citizen-led approach could actually make a substantial impact on levels of car use among a mostly rural population? Transition Black Isle set out to find out. Read story
The aim of the Million Miles project was simple: to cut car travel by a million miles (1% of the current total) through promoting greener alternatives. Read story
Uploaded image

13. Transition Streets

Communities in 2 Australian cities support each other to cut carbon emissions, save money, and build community in unexpected ways. Read story
“And you realise how everybody’s trying to do their best with what they’re doing. And then you find that someone’s doing this and that and, ‘Oh I haven’t thought of doing that. I should try that’”. Read story
Uploaded image

14. Greenslate Community Farm

A formerly derelict farm is being transformed into a community farm, providing a meeting place, caring services, an incubator for social enterprises, good food and so much more. Read story
“It had become more of a commuter place. I could see the community fragmenting, people turning their backs on each other. They don’t talk the same anymore. I could feel the community going, and I felt we needed to step in”. Read story
Uploaded image

15. Casau Community Garden

A community project which links the loss of diversity of seeds with the loss of local languages. Read story
“When you use the knowledge of the citizens, then you can change the world”. Read story
Uploaded image

16. Les Compagnons de la Terre

In Liege, new local food enterprises are being considered in their wider context, that of a ‘Food Belt’ around the city, a joined-up learning network of microfarms. Read story
“We want to show that the alternative can be serious, professional, and a real substitute to the economic model that exists now. This can create jobs and it can feed people”. Read story
Uploaded image

17. Aardehuis (Earth House)

A key way Transition groups can increase their impact is by working in partnership with other groups or projects. Aardehuizen Project is a great example of that. Read story
The Aadehuizen Project is a housing development of 23 houses and a Community Building, the first ecovillage project in the Netherlands. Read story
Uploaded image

18. Lambeth Local Entrepreneur Forum

An event which beautifully models what it looks like when a community gets behind its creative entrepreneurs and changemakers. Read story
“We were just sat down afterwards and saying “well that was amazing, let’s go to loads of these, but I don’t really know where I would go now, because I think it’s probably quite exceptional”. Read story
Uploaded image

19. Zarzalejo Futuro: future scenarios

Politics in Spain is changing profoundly. What does it look like when Transition meets the 15M movement in the context of a mountain village in the centre of Spain? Read story
“If COP 21 leaders came to visit us, we would thank them for coming to visit a real project, happening on the ground”. Read story
Uploaded image

20. Ungersheim, Village in Transition

Transition is a process led by, and owned by, communities. But what might it look like if a Mayor decides to run with the idea and really make it happen? Read story
“If world leaders visited Ungersheim, I would show them that community excitement is the yeast and also the spearhead of Transition, generating the capacity to take back your destiny in your own hands, what we call resilience”. Read story
Uploaded image

21. The Rise of Community Energy

Energy generation is something done by huge energy companies, right? Wrong. Community energy is one of the key ways communities can start to take back control of their economy, and their energy supply. Read story
How Transition groups have raised over £13,155,104.88 for investment in renewable energy, produced 17,800 MWh of renewable electricity a year and saved 7,450 tonnes of CO2 annually. Read story

Why Cop 21

We produced this book, and this website, as the Transition movement’s contribution to COP21 (the 21st ‘Conference of the Parties’), the United Nations’ climate change negotiations in Paris in December 2015.

  We invited Transition groups to send us the stories they’d like us to share. From those, we selected the stories that make up this book. They represent the experiences of people from all around the world who have stepped up. We offer these 21 stories in the hope that regardless of decisions taken by world leaders, at COP21 and subsequently, they will inspire you to step up too.  

We hope also that this powerful and heady taste of what is bubbling up from the ground will enthuse decision-makers with new courage, new ideas and new possibilities.  

Something brilliant and historic is already underway, and our message to the Obamas, Camerons and Merkels of this world is that it’s already happening without them, and they need to support and enable it, but even if they do nothing, it will continue to grow, because it’s the future.  

The future is being written now, and these stories offer inspiration and clear direction, whether you’re reading this before, during or after the talks in Paris.  


Rob Hopkins, Transition Network
October, 2015