Transition movement to host first international conference

The Transition movement has expanded rapidly over the last decade, and now more than 27 countries boast National Hubs championing the initiative. The network’s first ever international conference, then, has been a long time coming

After nearly a decade of burgeoning success, the Transition Network – a charitable organisation whose role is to inspire, encourage, connect, support and train communities as they create initiatives that rebuild resilience and reduce CO2 emissions – is hosting its first ever international conference.

Taking place in the picturesque Seale-Haye in Devon from 18 – 20 September, the gathering will showcase some of the best and most innovative ideas, organisations and projects that have come out of Transition Network’s worldwide endeavours.

The charity has been in operation since 2006, with Transition Town Totnes pioneering a movement which soon piqued the interest of other communities concerned about climate change and the challenges presented by peak oil.
Thanks to funding from the Tudor Trust, the initiative began to flourish, and in October 2007 a group of people became the first to go through a training course that has since spanned the world.

Now, there are Transition initiatives in Australia, Canada, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, South Africa, Spain, Sweden and the USA, and the conference will see 27 National Hubs represented and attendees from more than 30 nations.

“With National Hubs formed now in over 30 nations worldwide, the Transition movement has expanded rapidly and is taking many different forms in many different places.”

The programme includes a Transition Skills day, where attendees have the opportunity to learn how to set up and run a community-owned energy company and food growing business, as well as taking part in workshops on personal resilience in changing times.

The main schedule includes a huge range of talks, workshops and hands-on seminars. Visitors can learn about making change happen, the importance of nature in community engagement, using conflict as possibility and setting up a local currency – among just some of the opportunities on offer – plus a number of practical skills such as bike maintenance and seed care.

Saturday night will see the Bert Miller Band take to the stage while visitors make the most of offerings from the local community brewery, while a number of fringe activities are planned in other locations around the UK.

Those unable to attend the conference needn’t fear missing out, as Saturday 19 September will see a global webcast take place at 4.30pm, connecting groups around the world to discuss the key themes emerging from the conference so far and overall global Transition trends.

Conference organiser Dan Hurring says the event is designed to bring together the many facets of the charity’s hard work over the last several years.

“The conference is intended to be a coming together of the diverse global threads of Transition. With National Hubs formed now in over 30 nations worldwide, the Transition movement has expanded rapidly and is taking many different forms in many different places. The conference is an opportunity to bring those threads together and rewrite the story of Transition.

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“The conference will be looking closely at how and where the industrial growth model is failing and which new shoots are appearing to replace it. It feels appropriate that this inaugural coming together of the international movement will take place back in Devon, in the UK, where it all began a decade ago.”

He adds that while much of the conference is about celebrating the movement’s successes so far, there will be a strong focus on looking ahead.

“We intend, through the conference, to strengthen and deepen ties with the diverse groups that make up Transition in the UK and beyond, celebrating the successes, acknowledging the places we have fallen short, and looking ahead to what can be created in the years to come.”

With over 350 delegates expected the conference is selling out rapidly, but a number of tickets and accommodation places are still available.


The 2008 Transition Conference © Transition Network