A call to transition to a post-oil world
There are two kinds of Transition Initiatives – ‘official’ and ‘mulling’. The official initiatives are ones that are registered on the global Transition Network, have received proper training, meet a certain criteria and are underway in phase 1. The mulling stage is when a community is ‘thinking’ about the initiative, perhaps learning more and just beginning to formalize a group. To date, between official and mulling status, there are roughly 1000 initiatives underway worldwide in 34 countries such as England, Brazil, USA, Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan and more. Many countries choose to establish a National Hub, which coordinates with the Transition Network.
In Canada, there are roughly 60 initiatives underway, with 20 of them being from B.C. include: Vancouver, Victoria, Salt Spring Island, Nelson, Powell River, Kelowna, Prince Rupert, Smithers, Vernon, Williams Lake, Penticton, Sooke, Shuswap, Maple Ridge, Comox Valley, Cowichan, Alberni Valley, New Westminster, Denman and Pender Island. In the Vancouver area, there are neighbourhood Transition ‘villages’ such as Dunbar, Burnaby, Hastings Sunrise, Kitsilano, Main Street, Strathcona, UBC and many more.
What is also unique about the process is that inner transition is also built into the framework. There is an acknowledgment of the fact that all people are at different stages of awareness, and that we all must meet people where they are. In the end, what is required for us is a psychological shift in understanding in order to embrace some of these new principles that may feel foreign to those who have their lives deeply ingrained into the current system.
The Transition Companion book asks: “What if the best responses to peak oil and climate change don’t come from government, but from you and me and the people around us?”
It’s all about trusting the process. No one person has the answer, but collectively, we do.
How does Transition work?
A closer look at the process, there are five main phases:
Phase 1 – Starting Out
Phase 2 – Deepening
Phase 3 – Connecting
Phase 4 – Building
Phase 5 – Daring to dream
Phase 1 – Starting Out
In phase 1, an ‘initiator’ starts a temporary group called an ‘Initiating Group.’ The goal of the Initiating Group is to learn about the process, raise awareness in the community, provide training and education, model effective group process, learn about facilitation and tools for community engagement, build partnerships, and facilitate the creation of working groups. The point is to build enough critical mass until there are many more hands that wish to be involved. Once there are a minimum of four working groups in place, the initiating group disbands and a new structure emerges that encompasses community-wide ownership over the process. It takes roughly one year of awareness raising and education before approaching tasks in phase 2.
Phase 2 - Deepening