The Global Transition Movement

The Transition movement is a global, grassroots network of people taking positive, creative action to increase neighborhood quality of life and local resilience. Neighbors come together to create a stronger community, improve economic well-being, reduce dependence on oil and other damaging sources of energy, and increase food and energy production, local jobs, and security.

As of April 2012, no fewer than 971 communities worldwide had adopted the Transition model to address the converging threats of economic crisis, peak oil, and climate change.  (1) And while each of these initiatives must plot their own unique course for adapting and responding to an uncertain environmental, economic and energy future, all of them have at their hearts the same goal: community resilience.

The Transition movement emerged from the work of permaculture educator Rob Hopkins and his students at the Kinsale Further Education College in Ireland. Hopkins and his students began exploring how their community could face the implications of fossil fuel depletion and successfully make the transition to a lower-energy future.

In early 2005 they created a strategic community planning document called the Kinsale Energy Descent Action Plan, which was later adopted as policy by the Town Council. It was the first document of its kind to address issues of energy supply by looking at creative adaptations in the realms of food, farming, education, economy, health, and more.

Hopkins wanted to take the peak oil preparation process out of the classroom and into the community. In early 2006, he started “Transition Town Totnes,” the first community Transition initiative, in the town of Totnes, Devon, UK. The movement has since spread virally across the world as groups in other communities quickly copied the model and initiated the Transition process in their own locale.

The Transition Network was established in the UK in late 2006, to support the rapid international growth of the movement. In 2007, increasing high levels of interest in the States led to the launch of Transition US. As of early 2012, Transition US lists 108 Transition initiatives in the US and 414 worldwide – representing 32 US states, 34 countries, and 13 languages.

We believe the Transition Movement is the most vital social experiment of our time and we’re working to build a local chapter here in Charlottesville.

Read more on our Transition in Charlottesville page.