The Transition Town Movement is only six years old, but has spread virally around the world with each new Transition group that takes up the cause. The “cause” in this case is a reawakening of local community structures, and local economies, so that each place is more self sufficient and stronger. The recently released movie, In Transition 2.0, is not only about the Transition Town Movement, but how to launch a local Transition Initiative in your town.
In Transition 2.0 puts together clips from Transition Initiatives around the world, but woven artfully into a narrative led by Rob Hopkins, Sophy Banks and others central to the movement. While most identify Rob Hopkins as the leader and originator of the Transition Towns movement, others were involved with its inception. Sophy Banks was key to developing the concept of the Inner Transition work, in which we recognize the importance of not only a Transition of the outer world, our society and infrastructure, but a Transition of our inner self.
To what are we to Transition? The Transition Town movement began by recognizing major risk factors to our society, in the form of peak oil, climate change, and financial instability. Each of these individually pose a huge threat to the stability of our society, and together they look so huge that many who ponder these threats turn to doom and gloom. The Transition Town movement says to take positive constructive action, building strength and resilience in our local communities and in ourselves. The Transition is to a strong healthy society, where we know the people in our neighborhood, where the food is good and fresh, where we can take care of ourselves and our neighbors, and where the air is clean.
If that sounded too much like the perfect idealistic world, it sure is, and maybe that world will never exist in reality, but many of us dream of living world in such a world. Unfortunately the world we find ourselves living in is heading in a different direction. Many of us have a sense that something is wrong with the world, so could it be that this is because the world we live in is heading in the opposite direction of the world we want to live in?
The threats of peak oil, climate change, and financial instability are all symptoms of our society, our world, heading in an inherently unsustainable direction.
For example how long can agriculture treat soil as disposable for so long before there is no more soil? When there is no more soil how will we eat? The agriculture system as it stands is destroying the very ground in which the crops are grown, spewing poisons right and left, and producing biological outputs that can be barely recognized as food.
The Transition Towns movement does not pretend to have all the answers. Instead it is a grand social experiment and we do not truly know whether this experiment will work.
What we are convinced of is this:
- if we wait for the governments, it’ll be too little, too late
- if we act as individuals, it’ll be too little
- but if we act as communities, it might just be enough, just in time.
The movie, In Transition 2.0, shows an outline of the steps to launching a Transition Initiative. It shows some of the projects Transition Initiatives have launched around the world. It shows the many forms that Transition Initiatives take as the ideas take root in each community. Transition is a set of recipes, and a framework of ideas. Each Initiative chooses what to do based on local needs.
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