Transition Culture

An Evolving Exploration into the Head, Heart and Hands of Energy Descent

Transition Culture has moved

After eight years of frenzied blogging at this site, Transition Culture has moved to its new home. Do come and join us, but feel free to also browse this now-archived site and use the shop. Thanks for all your support, comments and input so far, and see you soon.

22 Oct 2012

Your help needed! New book about Transition needs your awareness raising stories

Thanks to everyone who contributed their very short stories of the projects their Transition initiative has been up to (do keep ’em coming in…).  I have another request today… there is a section about awareness raising in this new little book about Transition that I am working on, about how Transition groups imaginatively introduce the concepts of peak oil, climate change, economic contraction and Transition to their local community.  I’d love to hear your stories about the piece of awareness raising of which you are most proud, which you think took a new approach to it, or which had impacts you hadn’t imagined.  Any stories spring to mind?  Thanks …

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


Michaela Woollatt
22 Oct 9:37am

Throughout 2012 Transition Nayland together with Rexel Senate and Measure My Energy have been working on a collaborative project to provide Nayland Primary School with equipment to measure, monitor and manage their energy consumption with a view to increasing awareness of the issues surrounding energy use and awareness of the energy being used in school on a daily basis.
During September, 54 circuit sensors were fitted throughout the school to measure energy being used by a variety of appliances – from the lights in the corridors to the dishwasher in the staffroom. The circuit sensors provide real-time energy consumption figures.
The sensors are used to determine exactly how efficiently appliances are running but also highlight the hidden electrical usage appliances may have whilst on standby – for instance the laptops in classrooms or the dishwasher in the staffroom!
In addition, because the school is lucky enough to have solar panels (another Transition Nayland project), we have been able to fit equipment which shows how much energy is being generated at the same time as how much energy is being used. This information allows the school to understand when the best time is to switch on appliances to get the maximum benefit of the power being generated.
With the launch of the project a number of assemblies will be held in school aimed at educating children, staff and parents. By managing their overall energy consumption this way, it is hoped the school will be able to lower its carbon footprint even further (they already have an impressive track record!), save money which can be redirected to pay for valuable learning resources and provide the children of Nayland Primary school with an important tool which will help educate them on the impacts of climate change to future generations and the importance of reducing energy consumption which we hope will ultimately lead to behaviour change not just in school but in our homes and community as well for generations to come.

22 Oct 11:55am

Here’s the film of Edible Open Gardens 2011
We had 40 gardens open this year and will be developing the idea for 2012. It has been an amazing consciousness raising event as well as educational and enjoyable. We are now working on a Local Food Strategy for Stroud District and will use the Edible Open Garden website as a sort of hub for information. We are working on our websites at the moment.
The videos are all on our Stroud Community TV channel which is another outlet for raising awareness.

22 Oct 11:56am

I meant ‘developing the idea for 2013′ (not 2012….)

Martin Fodor
22 Oct 12:58pm

Through a local skillsharing project (Freeskills: part of the Bristol Freeconomy) I created a workshop session called ‘How to make the place you live and ecohome.’ From this beginning I offered various short sessions on how to save energy and carbon at home, through local transition groups in Bristol. I then offered a few free ‘taster sessions’ with short drop-in stalls at events eg called “the ins and outs of home insulation” (with a wide range of indoor and outdoor insulation samples to handle and talk about), and examples of eco-gadets to look at, to get people discussing whether we need gadgets to save energy.
I’ve now developed a short course that takes people through a structured and self-focussed programme, called MakeyourhomeEco, so they can explore how they use energy, demystify how energy can be managed at home, and come up with their own projects for free, low cost and then more ambitious ways to cut energy waste and be more efficient at home. Many of the easy wins are of course through greater awareness and behaviour change, and these emerge as people understand their own needs and patterns of use through the short course. We use games, worksheets and hands on sessions to tackle the issues and reveal peoples’ own priorities at home, and by working in neighbourhoods get people helping each other as the course progresses. I’m now looking for more community groups who can host the sessions, as the real obstacle is running a 6 week course for groups of people at as low a cost as possible.

Kaat Vander Straeten
22 Oct 10:21pm

Two founding members of Transition Wayland, Pablo Suarez and Janot Mendler de Suarez, are professional climate change adaption experts and awareness raisers. They work for and with, among other organizations, the Red Cross-Red Crescent Climate Center and UMass-Boston’s Institute on Oceans, Climate & Security.
They can recall countless lectures and PowerPoint presentations on climate change that made eyes glaze over and put audiences to sleep. As a result, people came away without the necessary information or sense of urgency.
In response, they developed a participatory process of learning through the use of games. They have played these games with groups of anywhere from five to 700 people, in venues ranging from the White House and the World Bank to African fishing villages affected by lethal floods.
When Transition Wayland got started, they saw their chance to bring their innovative games to their hometown, which is prone to flooding. The program, called “Treading Water,” involves a game that is a kind of climate “Survivor,” in which people put their own bodies at risk of flooding or drought, pay with beans (if they have them) to buy insurance, and cooperate to manage the unexpected shocks that climate change perpetrates on vulnerable populations.
“The game is effective because it is visceral,” says Pablo. “It starts playfully, but soon moves to the gut. As a game, it is safe because making a mistake has few consequences. But the participant comes away from it with knowledge that is realization over and above just data.”
The game has been played by standing-room only crowds at the local Library, in Wayland church basements and at the Wayland Earth Day in 2012, which was partly organized by Transition Wayland and attracted over 400 visitors. (*). You can learn more about the program and see pictures here:

(*) Some of these events were covered in the local press: ,