Something strange has happened over in old Blighty. I'm not sure if the Utopian dreams of the 1960's are making a comeback or if a new movement, one grounded in reality but focused on our future, has taken shape. No matter how cynical you are, you can't ignore one of the fastest growing grassroots movements in the UK -- The Transition Network.
In 2006 a founding member of this network, Rob Hopkins, had begun working on an idea in Totnes, a sleepy town in the West of England. From the land of Cornish pasties and clotted cream a community-led initiative began to focus on a duel issues of climate change and the realities of a post peak oil society.
It seems crazy, but by galvanizing the community Rob and a highly networked team developed what is now called the Transition model, the 12 steps or initiatives to transition as described in his book The Transition Handbook. Totnes has become the accidental epicenter of a quiet revolution.
The key components of the Transition model are that groups involved in each of the 12 transition initiatives that focus on the various sectors of local communities. The groups plan awareness programs, include screening movies followed by talks by experts about climate change. Round two they stimulate a local movement by organizing networking events and developing groups focus on different themes deemed important to their local community. Then they produce a 'Energy Descent Action Plan (EDAP)' that reflects the views and inputs from many local stake holders. Then it gets really interesting -- the town collectively finds ways to power down.
It was at this point I went crazy researching, and began writing what I thought was going to be an insightful piece about the movement, where it's going and what it means -- then I found this online video... ...what better than an English poet with a wry sense of humor to explain this fascinating phenomenon.
I recommend you watch the video and make up your own mind. As you watch, just remember that there are many new towns, villages and hamlets are self-organizing under these ideals. They are looking inward to ask themselves what will their future look like based on their needs -- not just some generic government white paper. Take note. This movement could be coming to a town near you.