“The realization that there was a whole movement out there with the same objectives and ideas that we had was a heart-warming and encouraging experience.”
Rob Hopkins began the Transition movement in 2006 in Transition Towns Totnes. There are currently transition initiatives all over the world, with 149 official ones in the US alone. Hopkins says that ordinary people can take action to make their communities more sustainable, even if it seems small; he calls it “the power of just doing stuff”.
I just read an article on Rob Hopkins’s blog about a village in Hungary that was already working on sustainable initiatives before they began using the Transition model. In 2007 the local government founded the Hungarian Climate-friendly Associationin Hosszúhetény, a village in the south of Hungary of about 3,400 people.
At the same time various projects were started like a local marketplace with weekly market days from local producers and a few years later in 2012 they began a Local Exchange Trading System (LETS). They also have a yearly seed swap, as well as other events to promote sustainability like movie screenings, workshops about gardening, and talks about climate.
In late 2013 a group from the village participated in a Transition training weekend where they learned how to communicate better with local government, as well as how to reach more people, and raise awareness about food self-sufficiency.
In the next few years, along with Transition Wekerle, they plan to expand and strengthen the Transition movement throughout Hungary by teaching and learning new skills with other Transition communities.
Hosszúhetény is a great example of how groups that are already organizing can use the Transition model as a powerful “how-to” guide to keep people inspired, involved and taking action towards making their communities more sustainable. The Transition Network assists groups in transition and supports the Transition movement to reach more people.
Each Transition community has the catalytic potential to inspire other communities with their ideas and projects, but like other grassroots movements Transition has been gaining momentum slowly over the years.
Due to the immediate dangers posed by climate change a report published by AEIDL urges the Transition approach be expanded beyond its grassroots origins by using lobbying and advocacy to make Transition a part of mainstream policy and thinking.
What do you think, should Transition stay at a grassroots level, or is it time for Transition to go mainstream?
Read the full report: Local Communities Leading the Way to a Low-Carbon Society