What is Transition?

A Transition initiative aims to decrease dependence on finite resources, develop local sustainability and shift to a low carbon lifestyle.  To be successful, these changes need certain fundamental concepts behind them.  To this end, the Transition Network of Totnes, Devon drew up the following list of seven principles, which would form the backbone of Transition initiatives across the globe.

  • Positive visioning keeps our eyes on a future beyond fossil fuels and throwaway culture.
  • Helping people to access good information and trusting them to make good decisions means more autonomy for individuals and working groups to find the best fit and gets folk back into the habit of taking charge of the choices they make.
  • Inclusion and openness ensures that every individual in the community has the opportunity to participate and feel a part of the process.
  • Enabling sharing and networking gets the right people in touch to turn ideas into meaningful action.
  • Building resilience is the aim, basically.  That is, working towards improving the capacity of our community to deal with shocks to our local and global system.  Nurturing skills, community bonds and resources at home reduces our chances of being disastrously rattled by disruptions, both economic and environmental.
  • Inner and outer transition is based on the understanding that the problems we face are not simply a result of our technologies, but also the way we think about our environment and ourselves.
  • Subsidiarity ensures groups handle their own affairs directly and that decisions are made at the appropriate levels to ensure consensus and individual empowerment.

Here at TES, these principles inform every aspect of our constitution and practice.  All official positions and powers are principally for support, legal and practical purposes.  This initiative is about local people making decisions for themselves.