Transition Culture

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

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30 Oct 2012

Your help needed! New book about Transition needs ideas for the Situations Vacant page of 2030

This new little book about Transition (working title ‘The Thrill of Just Doing Stuff’) is coming together nicely, and thanks to everyone who has responded to my requests for assistance so far.  Today I want to invite your thoughts on what, in a Transition economy, refocused around resilience and localisation,  might be the jobs on offer in 2030?  If you were 18 now (and indeed perhaps you are) what would you train yourself to be in order to best be of service to the emerging Transition economy?  Any thoughts much appreciated.  Here is my starter list:

Urban market gardener, urban freshwater aquaculture specialist, Open Source Ecology device developers and engineer, gourmet mushroom technician, edible landscaping consultant, edible plant nursery manager, local building materials processing, domestic retrofitter, Draughtbuster, agroforestry farm manager, building materials reclamation specialist, renewable energy installer, community-supported care for the elderly manager, Energy Resilience Auditor for local business sector, Master Composter, Credit Union/local currency integration manager, Community internal investment portfolio manager, craft brewer, ‘Great Reskilling’ trainer, community arts co-ordinator, food value-adding and processing, debt advice and financial management, mentoring for new start-up Transition businesses, managing and servicing electric bike fleet, ‘Transition tours’ (sharing what your community has done with the rest of the world)


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


30 Oct 10:55am

Definitely engineer. I am frustrated by the lack of small scale affordable and repairable equipment to do the jobs that a small scale farmer would want to do. Most equipment is for large scale farming with massive amounts of outlay, which in itself is a huge block to those entering the farming profession.

If not an engineer to come up with new solutions to small scale farming problems, an engineer capable of restoring old equipment that was perfectly functional for the purpose and would suit todays market if only it was in full working order.

Whilst on the subject, perhaps a teacher to teach the necessary maintenance skills that would be required to maintain the equipment?

30 Oct 11:38am

Solar Foundry Operator, Recycling Fab-Lab team, Repair Part Designer, Person capable of keeping the internet going in our part of the world. Thermal mass heater designer, Insulation specialist. Rocket Stove maker. Wood carver. Parts scavenger. Zero Carbon Party Organiser.

30 Oct 11:44am

Sustainable electronic communications inventor,
energy storage inventor, community development/ democracy enhancement worker, local holistic child educator/ inspirer

30 Oct 12:42pm

Local small scale manufacturing should be included, search maker movement for ideas but Local Logistics Organiser or Materials Sourcing Agent who would be based locally and work with small scale (one person to a few) manufacturers helping them market and sell globally.

30 Oct 1:07pm

Air Fuel Synthesis plant manager required to maintain and operate community synthetic petrol production facility using waste CO2 from local brewery. The AFS plant is currently powered by three community wind turbines, but extension plans include using hydro, wave and tidal sources of electricity to process waste CO2 from aerobic digestion plant nearby, which would otherwise be released to atmosphere. Technical and budget management skills essential. Experience of community project management desirable. The successful candidate will demonstrate practical aptitute as well as commitment to carbon-neutral whole-systems approach.

With funding – this could be a reality within the next 2-4 years. See

30 Oct 1:59pm

Zero carbon holiday organiser, foraging trainer, natural dyer, fabric upcycler, reedbed designer/ manager

Tony Buck
30 Oct 3:26pm

Micro-hydro generator mechanic needed.
Four-season greenhouse mechanic needed familiar with all aspects of building, insulating, site selection and root zone solar hot water systems.
Root cellar designer and builder position to be filled.
Permaculture designer needed for 20 acre property.
Water catchment expert needed to help design and install grey water and irrigation systems for new warehouse.
Edible garden expert required to advise and build demo gardens for documentary company educational series.
Soil expert required to map large property for maximum yield of specialized crops.
Class 1 carpenter needed for Beehive manufacture.
Bus bicycle rack manufacturer needs City & Guilds welder.
Micro steam engine electric generator mechanic needed to maintain regional home units. (Must have knowledge of parabolic solar pre-heat systems.)
Exercise bicycle electric generator salesman position available.

Brad K.
30 Oct 3:33pm

Blacksmith, lawn care shepherd.

Actually, what is this list of jobs supposed to represent? Jobs for people to make it rich in the formal, wealth-concentrating economy (scientist, mercenary, cardinal), or crafts that serve the community and enable one to raise a healthy, disciplined family?

Because I think the lists would be different.

30 Oct 4:31pm

Drovers needed for many routes from Fort William to York. Own dogs and a good pair of boots essential. Must know livestock and be trustworthy. Please provide at least 2 references.

John Mason
30 Oct 5:06pm

Clever bastard potentially capable of turning over all land ownership law!

30 Oct 5:36pm

Musician wanted. Must be able to cheer everyone up.

30 Oct 6:13pm

On a more sombre note (but giving even more need for the musician):
Experienced undertaker. Must be capable of handling large numbers of premature deaths arising from lack of fossil oil-based drugs and medical techniques, hunger and conflict over limited resources, which even Transition has been unable to prevent.

Chris Wells
30 Oct 6:49pm

More positions vacant:

Belsize Park Transition Bank urgently requires an experienced Gift Economics Analyst to support forthcoming enhancements to our Local Currency platform.

Visioning Cafés LLP requires a talented Graphic Facilitator for full-time community visioning and innovation coaching post in Stroud. Must have 5–10 years’ proven experience. Barista skills a bonus.

Brad K.
31 Oct 1:43am

@ Richard,

Keep in mind that musicians do much more than cheer people up. The need for musicians will only grow.

Musicians, and music, have captured and preserved lore from ‘way back. Schoolyard ditties to popular hymns, music has proven a very effective way to distribute teachings and preserve knowledge.

I share Anne McCaffrey’s reverence for the role she labels “harper”, in her science fiction novels of the planet Pern. The harper is a pivotal craft in each story, perhaps best illustrated in White Dragon and in DragonSinger — or Dragon Quest.

Other historical crafts used to capture events and preserve lore include carvers, sketch and paint artists, and bards or storytellers. Remember, the original Grimm’s fairy tales were gathered to bring home the dangers of the forest to young folk. The Grimm’s history of being rewritten early and often to pander to the marketplace does not detract from that first capture of useful lore.

@ Chris Wells,

Good point. Tavern keepers serve a very useful function in a healthy community. Also the cook, folk to serve customers food

And healers versed in folk lore and New Age practices, and an understanding of modern anatomy and healthy body processes.

@ Trugs,

Keep in mind that most modern medicine and surgery does *not* prolong life, it merely makes the “quality” of life more productive. Heart bypass surgery enables the patient to continue working or playing golf; lack of the surgery would leave the prudent patient severely restricted in activity.

It is the health inspector, the sewer department, and the agricultural products and customs inspectors that prolong life for the community.

And, Rob, anyone living next door to an up-and-coming warlord or other tyrant will need security people, from border guards to militia/mercenaries. Which will establish a need for weapons maintenance, for trainers, and for managing provisions.

Rob Hopkins
31 Oct 1:47am

Thanks for these folks, brilliant. Do keep them coming…

mike jones
31 Oct 1:20pm

Arboriculturalist (tree grower) specialising in nurturing and tending larch, sweet chestnut, black locust, oak, douglas fir and western red cedar forests to supply future local, zero carbon building projects. Currently much of our larch woods are being felled and there may be a shortage of these fantastic building logs soon. Another job would be working with kids of all ages on wild and wooly adventue=re playgrounds where they can learn real skills of life- building, cooking, negotiating, fire, food art etc. And working with these kids out in the community helping with any of the tasks of everyday life.

31 Oct 7:10pm

I’ve decided to ditch all my previous career plans and go for Master Composter, or as Trugs has called it, experienced undertaker. Sorry – just trying to make light of a grave situation (I bet this doesn’t make it into the book…)

michael Dunwell
31 Oct 8:47pm

Philosopher. Some one needs to make sense of all this. Is it you, Rob?

31 Oct 10:25pm

…which brings me to a suggestion I was about to put up –

Wanted immediately: Experienced Make-senserer-of-it-all

(although, on second thoughts, perhaps this is the same thing as undertaker again?)

Brad K.
1 Nov 5:54am

I understand the potash that agribusiness farming depends on comes from mines — that are nearly depleted. Availability of ammonia and of urea, other staples of agribusiness (intensive) fertilizers, is tied to processing petroleum.

Thus, I see a growing need to renovate and install new livestock fences on a large scale. New farms will need buildings and fences, because with waning commercial fertilizer availability, livestock will be needed to replenish soil fertility.

And fencing will be needed at a time that materials, and the energy to produce and transport them, will be more costly and less available. Viable alternatives from rock walls to rail fences will fill part of the gap. Hedgerows as a long term solution offers promise, especially if combined with edible components such as berry vines, fruit trees, etc.

There is a viable draft horse and oxen community in many countries. But the roles that these breeders, equipment vendors, and operators can play is miniscule compared to what we could be doing. Farriers, those that trim horse’s feet and attach and maintain horseshoes, are in great demand today, most have more work than they can handle. One implement that makes trimming and/or shoeing a horse easier on the horseshoer (the non-French name for farrier) is a shoeing stock. We will need people to make the stocks and transport them, farriers to care for the horses, veterinarians and inspectors to care for the horses and to manage contagion issues. We will need harnesses — just when the industry is transitioning from leather harness to nylon and plastic, we need to change back, maybe. Then there is the equipment, from wheel wrights and wagon builders, to field forks for gathering hay, stalks of grain, spreading compost and seed, and tilling the ground.

This supposes that the wood currently used for many purposes is available. Alternative materials, and those to work that material, will be precious.

Time will tell whether we retain electronic displays for general education of the young, references for the skilled, and for promulgating news. Making the displays locally will be a huge step forward in security. Alternatively, and perhaps complementary, making and printing local paper or equivalent will also be valuable.

And, I suppose, making and operating an anti-ObamaDrone defense network will be critical.

2030 may be a little late for the first wave of Moon colonists, but there may be openings for Tyro and Mars, and maybe asteroid miners. Think of it. Draft Oxen on the moon. It could happen!

1 Nov 9:52am

Canal network expansion brings the need for 130 labourers this month in the midlands Other areas recruiting next month On site accommodation, shift work 7 days a week.

Rosemary Burn
1 Nov 1:26pm

Landfill historians to locate and date the dumps and forecast what might be in them. Link between materials shortage lists and landfill prospectors.

19 Nov 2:12pm

Honey maker
Bee doctor
Tricycle maker
Brewing team
Street designers
Bike smoothie machanics
expert in compost loos
facilitation teacher
And we probably must all learn to be a form of councillor for each other

Brad K.
19 Nov 3:05pm

Basket weaver
Barrel maker
Bucket maker
(woven straw) hat maker
glove maker
Sock and small clothes maker
Shoe and Clothes mender (unless we think those boatloads of polyester are going to be arriving on time, with full cargoes)