I was twenty-five years old when I started working for Transition US almost four years ago, and since then one of my strong desires has been to engage more young people in our movement. I’ve seen the energy and passion young people bring to social change work. And as the ones who are inheriting a planet in distress, we need to be equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary to navigate the future.
There’s so much attention on the upcoming election, and with good reason: our future is at stake. But it’s important to remember that political power is tied to economic power, and we vote every day for the kind of world we want to live in with every dollar we spend and every purchase we make.
The Transition Movement in the US – and internationally, too, it seems – is at a stage in its evolution where many of us are thinking about how to grow the capacity and increase the impact of our efforts. One strategy for growing and strengthening Transition Initiatives (those efforts that are building-resilience in communities using the Transition Model) is to develop more formal organizations with paid staff, rather than relying solely on volunteers, which can limit participation and often leads to burn-out.
Jeremiah (my partner) and I don’t dream of getting rich, or owning a big house with a white picket fence and a two-car garage, or driving a fancy car.
A couple of weeks ago, Transition US convened a handful of courageous and inspired community leaders who are implementing Transition Streets in neighborhoods across the US: Sacramento and Berkeley CA; Bozeman, MT; Charlottesville, VA; and the Catskills, NY. We were very excited to hear about their successes and innovations, and wanted to share some of our takeaways with you.
Partnering with Local Government
I was very fortunate to be able to attend the International Transition Conference and National Hubs Meeting in South Devon, England last month, thanks to a scholarship from Transition Network. After two and a half years immersed in Transition work at the national, regional, and local level, my soul was in need of some nourishment. The International Transition Network Conference gave me exactly what I needed, and so much more.
The day before the International Transition Conference in England last month, I was one of thirteen participants from nine countries—Australia, Belgium, Brazil, England, Italy, Portugal, Scotland, Sweden, and the US—to participate in the first-ever international Transition gathering for self-identified “young adults” (or “youngers”), as well as adults who are focused on supporting young adult participation in Transition.
“Houses don’t make neighborhoods – neighbors make neighborhoods,” a friend recently told me.
“Economic Power is always tied to Political Power. And what is happening is that we want political power, but we put ourselves into economically powerless situations and wonder why we aren’t more empowered.”
Blog post submitted by Russell Evans, Transition Lab
In 1996, attracted to the low cost of land and the lenient zoning restrictions, a group of young Stanford graduates raised money from friends and family and headed to northeastern Missouri to set up what is now known as Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage, a successful intentional community and 270-acre community land tru