The Transition concept emerged from work that permaculture designer Rob Hopkins had done with the students of Kinsale Further Education College, UK in writing an “Energy Descent Action Plan”. This looked at across-the-board creative adaptations in the realms of energy production, health, education, economy and agriculture as a “road map” to a sustainable future for the town. That was in 2005.

Today, Transition Towns (also known as transition network or transition movement) is a grassroots network of communities that are working to build resilience in response to peak oil, climate destruction, and economic instability. As of 2010, transition initiatives generally began including the global financial crisis as a third aspect beside peak oil and climate change. Initially, this has been linked to the creation of a series of local currencies in transition towns in the UK, including the Totnes pound, the Lewes pound, the Stroud pound, the Bristol pound, as well as the Brixton pound in London.

The idea has taken off and now includes:
463 official initiatives worldwide
43 countries
139 official US initiatives
35 US states
13 languages

Transition is one manifestation of the idea that local action can change the world; one attempt to create a supportive, nurturing, healthy context in which the practical solutions the world needs can flourish. It is an experiment kicked off by people who share this passion, one that has gone far and wide, popping up in the most unexpected of places, in thousands of communities around the world.

Central to the transition town movement is the idea that life could in fact be far more enjoyable and fulfilling: “by shifting our mind-set we can actually recognize the coming era as an opportunity rather than a threat, and design the future low carbon age to be thriving, resilient and abundant — somewhere much better to live than our current alienated consumer culture based on greed, war and the myth of perpetual growth.”

An essential aspect of transition in many places, is that the outer work of transition needs to be matched by inner transition. That is in order to move down the energy descent pathways effectively we need to rebuild our relations with our selves, with each other and with the “natural” worlds. That requires focusing on the heart and soul of transition.

People like you and I are seeing crisis as the opportunity for doing something different, something extraordinary. It’s an idea about the future, an optimistic, practical idea. And it’s a movement you can join. There are people near you who are optimistic and practical too. And it’s something you can actually do.

Transition is a quiet revolution unfolding around the world.