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17 Apr 2012

Announcing the Festival of Transition

I am delighted to be able to announce today the Festival of Transition, an initiative of new economics foundation, Transition Network, the Ramblers Association, Mission Models Money and UKYCC.  The idea is that rather than flying to Rio, putting nearly 4 tons of carbon dioxide into an atmosphere that really doesn’t need 4 tons of CO2 put into it, we stay at home, and do stuff that models the kind of world we want to see.  It is a celebration of change, of practical responses, of community, and we hope that it will be a global event, not just in the UK.  All kinds of great events are already being planned over the time of the Festival.  The crowning glory will be the 24 Hours of Possibility, a real life experiment in living differently, in showing what’s possible, on the day the Earth Summit begins, 20th June.

The idea is simple. You imagine different ways in which a post-transition society might also be a better one, and then try them out as a real-life experiment during a 24 hour period starting at dawn on 20th June 2012. Activities could involve family, friends, work colleagues, fellow students, community groups or even people you’ve never met before. It could involve the whole town or it could be more personal. You can come to the website to explore a menu of suggested ideas and activities, or add your own.

Here’s some ideas to get you thinking:

24 hours of only eating local food
24 hours of exchange without using money
24 hours of dawn breakfast, lunch, dinner, and midnight feasts out on our street
24 hours of life lived outdoors
24 hours of dancing in the streets
24 hours of guerrilla food growing
24 hours of bringing disused premises back into use
24 hours of talking with strangers
24 hours of slow everything
24 hours of consensus decision making in my school
24 hours of imagining a day in 2062
24 hours of transforming a derelict site
24 hours of getting active
24 hours of not using a car
24 hours of inter- generational gatherings
24 hours of swapping roles in my workplace
24 hours of activity in my local museum
24 hours of feasting and planning for the next generation
24 hours of getting the high street closed and having a carnival on the street
24 hours of making things for other people
24 hours of working less and living more
24 hours of reading together
24 hours of new community celebrations and ceremonies
24 hours of creating a community garden
24 hours of installing solar panels
24 hours of sharing your skills
24 hours of random acts of kindness and spontaneous beauty
24 hours of dreaming a new world awake

So this is an invitation to start having a think about what you might like to do for it, having some conversations with the people around you, and seeing what ideas it stimulates.  We think this could be a great celebration of what Transition does best, showing on the ground the kind of change that is possible when we gather together with our friends, neighbours and colleagues.  It’s over to you…

You can also read what Andrew Simms of nef said about it here.  





Comments are now closed on this site, please visit Rob Hopkins' blog at Transition Network to read new posts and take part in discussions.


Jennifer Lauruol
17 Apr 12:38pm

Thanks for posting this Rob–I’ve just tweeted it to 900 peeps

Judy Fraser
17 Apr 1:18pm

I can count on you all for a breath of fresh sanity!

Jonathan Smith
17 Apr 1:30pm

This is an excellent idea and such a counterpoint to the Earth Summit, which will have debateable outcomes and as you say create enormous GHG emissions from well intentioned people flying there.

We’re going to discuss ideas at our next Transition Scilly Committee meeting and hope to join in.

John Hartmann
17 Apr 3:53pm

Great idea. We are beginning a transition group in Louisville, Kentucky and are seeking ideas on what neighborhoods can undertake that will be effective in coping with the future. Any ideas or resources you can suggest are welcome.
Thank you,
John Hartmann

Charles Justice
17 Apr 8:15pm

I like the “24 hours of possibility” idea. Much better than “Earthday” which has the negative symbolism of turning off lights. Great idea for a transition festival, especially in response to the EarthSummit which will be big in every way but results.

Paul Sousek
24 Apr 9:27am

I wonder why you deleted my comments on this piece?

Was it because it was critical?

Come on, grow up

Paul Sousek
24 Apr 9:28am

Oh dear, not another initiative with zero effect on either global climate catastrophe, energy depletion, mineral depletion, biodiversity or population explosion.

What is actually needed is a permanent switch to a new lifestyle, not 24-hour fun experiment. Doesn’t anyone realise the urgency of our predicament?

Here are a few life changing alternatives:

1. Visit, select an Open Day at one of the 100+ houses converted to reduce their carbon footprint by at least 60%, 100% in some cases, learn what is involved and then DO IT.

2. Search for or set up your own Directory of Local Food, then ensure that you shop there on a weekly basis. You can start with

3. Get yourself an energy monitor, learn how much energy is used by your various devices and cut the in halve.

4. Switch your energy supplier to one that4. is 100% renewable, such as Good Energy or Ecotricity – even if it is more expensive.

5. Don’t fly. Period.

6. For about £4-6,000 you can get yourself a second hand G-Wiz electric car that will take care of most of your shopping trips, as well as visiting up to some 20-30 miles from your home. In combination with a few PV panels it will be free of charge to run (and zero tax and in many places no parking charges)

7. Grow your own veg and keep a few chickens for eggs – they will live quite happily on all your scraps.

8. And for man kind sake, stop reproducing. Disregard your own natural parenting instincts and set yourself a maximum of 2 kids in your whole lifetime.

We have. Check it out here or here

Rob Hopkins
24 Apr 9:59am

Hi Paul. I didn’t delete your comment. You sent it while I was cycling to work, and for some reason your original post was sent for moderation, but your “where’s my post?” comment went straight up. I’m puzzled as to how that happened, but probably best not to leap to conclusions. I think you can assume that people who visit this site generally do “realise the urgency of our predicament”… Thanks.

Paul Sousek
24 Apr 10:16am

That’s a relieve. I was beggining to wonder if dissent was no longer tolerated.
As you may know, I am an advocate of doing, of practical action, including spreading awareness. This particular initiative seems a little self centred …
Thanks for explaining

João Bicho
25 Apr 9:12pm

Acho uma óptima idéia fazer este Festival. Parabéns. Pode não ser suficiente mas é muito importante sensibilizar e agir mesmo com pequenas acções. Os exemplos dados são ineressantes.

Mike Grenville
3 May 2:48pm

Rob/Paul – I think comments with links go to moderation, especially if they havn’t posted before.