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6 Jul 2012

“One Year in Transition”: a guest post from Isabel Carlisle

Transition Clitheroe: Charlie Stephenson and Kate Murry in front of the gardens TC made at the sheltered accommodation for local elders. Photo: Isabel Carlisle.

‘One Year in Transition’ (1YT) is a new programme that is being offered by Transition Network (the catalyst and supporting organization for the worldwide Transition movement). The purpose is to equip young adults with the tools they really need for the future. This is an experiment: we are breaking new ground because young people are asking for it and our understanding of the world tells us the time is right for Community Supported Learning. If you are thinking of taking part, this is what you need to know: 

1YT is a self-directed learning programme that lasts for a bit under a year. It is for young adults aged 20 years upwards who are strongly motivated to gain a wide range of skills that support them and their communities to flourish (any community). This course will prepare young people to navigate a future through the challenges of the end of cheap fossil fuel energy, the unpredictable impacts of climate change and the inevitability of economic contraction as we reach the limits of growth.

We see this as an exciting time of experimentation. Those who come on this journey will be shaping their own lives and the world around them. Participants are supported to create their own learning paths through personal and peer mentoring, group meet-ups, and guidance in action-based experience and reflection. Personal processes for inner resilience are key. The challenge throughout is to work as much as possible with non-monetary exchange as we explore an economics grounded in personal relationships rather than impersonal transactions.

You will be self-motivated and willing to step out of your comfort zone, able to shift learning environments from your peer group into a multi-generational community setting and the workplaces of individual skills mentors. You will be committed to sharing your learning with the group and to completing the journey. You will be up for the challenge of managing with as little money as possible and bringing Gift Culture alive. The first year group will have the freedom to design the programme, both for themselves and for the future, and this will be integral to your learning. There will be the opportunity for some completers to hold the group that follows after them (2013-14) and run the programme as a social enterprise.

We are going to launch One Year in Transition at the Transition Network conference that is happening in London in September (the “Which Future do I Want?” youth day on Friday 14th). The year’s programme shape is roughly this:

  • First two weeks, October 2012: Orientation (2 days); Transition Training (2 days); group and personal journey design (one week). This will include group facilitation skills, peer mentoring skills, finding your personal mentor and setting your goals (including the two skills that you want to learn and your final project). The first two weeks will take place in Totnes and you will meet the people who started Transition.
  • Next three months: placement in a Transition Initiative. Finding your place in community, working out where you are going to make a contribution, getting stuck into existing projects or starting new ones. Recording and reflecting on your learning (group skypes with your fellow journeymen and women).
  • One week meet-up with more group work and contact with action tutors chosen by the group on subjects ranging from the economy of the future to sustainable building. Reflection on learning. Stepping back out.
  • Two periods of placements with skills masters, probably six weeks each (a range including permaculture, cheese-making, alternative currencies, sustainable building, film making etc etc….. to be decided during the first two weeks in October). Recording and reflecting on your learning (group skypes with your fellow journeymen and women).
  • One week meet-up to share learning, action tutors come in, prepare for the project that each journeyman and woman has chosen to do at the end of the year.
  • Final project (no fixed length of time but at least two months). This will be a project that you are initiating and driving in a community of your choice. You will have negotiated this during the year with a community that you want to be a part of. It could be anywhere in the world, or the community that you come from. It is a bit like the “masterpiece” that an apprentice finishes their training with.

What you will gain:

  • Facilitation skills for working with groups: open space, world café and restorative circle practice (surfacing and resolving conflicts, creating a culture of openness).
  • Peer to peer mentoring skills that you can use in any situation
  • A personal mentor supporting you in the spirit of life-long learning
  • Tools for inner personal work and guided experiences that significantly enhance emotional maturity and personal resilience
  • First-hand experience of stepping into a new community, finding your place in it and making your unique offer in a Transition Initiative
  • Two practical skills of your choice from a skills mentor
  • Understanding of the challenges of the 21st century from a Transition perspective, and how pioneering individuals and groups are tackling them
  • First hand experience of setting up and managing your own project
  • Certificates along the way from your mentors and community leaders, plus a completion certificate from Transition Network.


When you sign up, you put down a payment of £1000 to cover essential tuition costs. There will be a further payment of £650 for the Catalyst course at Embercombe later on. You will in addition need to meet living costs, travel expenses and the costs of residential meet-ups: almost all tuition is free but the group may choose to buy in tutors or short courses as needed (eg: a permaculture course). You will be living in a Transition Initiative and near your skills mentors while negotiating a way to stay at no or low cost with a householder by finding a transaction that is a win-win for both of you. You might offer shopping, gardening, child-care, dog walking or other help in return for food and a bed. In all, during the year, you are likely to spend around £5000.

Please let us know if you need help with funding or bursaries.

For detailed information contact:

Isabel Carlisle, Education Co-Ordinator, Transition Network

Tel: 01803 847 976       Mobile: 0777556648



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


Gary Alexander
6 Jul 10:53am

I’ve seen this project as it has developed, and I think it is looking wonderful!!!

Jo Homan
6 Jul 11:02am

This looks really exciting!

Greg Hewitt
6 Jul 4:10pm

Wow…this does look incredible…however it is incredibly expensive! And 20+ year olds don’t have any money. I’m 23 and I still have little money, I can’t afford that much….can’t even afford the £1000 initial payment!

It’s an incredible opportunity but it seems so restricted by it’s costs. What funding/bursaries can you help with?

julia whatley
7 Jul 10:08am

Living in a small village where everyone in denial and Never heard of transition I get so frustrated. Read lots on Transition and just been to Sunrise. Towards a sustainable future I would love to spread the word. I would love to be involved on this course.. However I have no money and in receipt of Job Seekers (a joke) Can I apply to a bursariy? Julia age 56

Natalie Donahue
9 Jul 3:18pm

Hi this looks awesome! But I’m 18 and not 20, do you have to be 20 to be a part one year in transition?

Natalie Donahue
9 Jul 3:19pm

oops i meant part ‘of’ one year in transition

jacques guilbaud
12 Jul 10:15am

Very good ideas.

Should any of you wish to come to the Nantes area I have a bed and breakfast in Mésangerr(10 km N of Ancenis and 40km E of Nantes.


Jack ,B.S. chemistry
Judicial translator and interpreter

Matt P
24 Aug 3:04pm

For any of you wishing to find out more, ask any questions or get a taste of it all, please do come to our “Which future do we want” Youth in Transition event at this years Transition Network Conference on September 14th at the Battersea arts centre. 1YT will be presented in full there.

More event details here: