Evolutionary Change

Dear friends and fellow Transitioners,

I’m writing to let you know I’m currently in the process of starting a six-month sabbatical from Transition US to finish writing a book I’ve been working on for the past few years (and thinking about for more than a decade). I take heart in knowing that I’m leaving this organization in the very capable hands of our new Executive Director, Jessica Alvarez-Parfrey, and the rest of our talented and hard-working staff team: Marissa Mommaerts, Elvia Cruz-Garcia, and Bret Carr. I plan to return to Transition US in August or September to support our National Week of Action and continue developing our training programs.

The book will likely be titled Evolutionary Change: From Personal to Global Transformation. I hope it will serve as a source of powerful inspiration and practical guidance for both experienced and aspiring activists and organizers who feel called to help humanity rise to the challenges of our time. It will draw on the work of such beloved luminaries as Rob Hopkins (Transition), David Holmgren (Permaculture), Joanna Macy (The Work That Reconnects), and Otto Scharmer (Theory U), as well as more than two decades of my own personal experience as a student and practitioner of transformational leadership for social, ecological, and political change.

The basic message of Evolutionary Change is that we can start wherever we are and grow progressively from there. What may begin as just the tiny seed of an intention to try to help better our world can mature into a commitment to ongoing self-transformation, which can provide the ground that’s needed to step into ever-greater leadership. At every stage on our journey, new vistas are revealed and new opportunities and challenges present themselves.

As excited as I am about this book and the positive impact it could have, I’m only able to take a sabbatical now in good conscience because I feel so confident about where Transition US is presently at. We have recently expanded our staff team to five (and are currently hiring for a new Network Development and Design position) in an effort to significantly increase the amount of support, resources, programs, and networking we are able to provide for our movement. We have also been forging vital partnerships beyond Transition and strongly bringing social justice to the fore. More than 1,100 people participated in our ReGenerative Communities Summit this past Fall and early interest in our new, three-year ReGeneration Nation campaign has been extremely encouraging.

Indeed, this is a moment of evolutionary change for all of us, this movement, and our world. However, we don’t need to be intimidated and overwhelmed by the enormity of our task. All we need to do is look within to connect with our sense of true purpose, then step further onto that path without hesitation. We can pick up everything we’ll need to know and all the skills, relationships, and resources we’ll need to develop along the way. We simply can’t wait to have it all figured out before we begin.

In that spirit, I want to wish everyone reading this an adventurous and regenerative 2022! I look forward to working with you all again when I return from sabbatical later this year. In the meantime, if you need to reach out to me for any reason, you can still do so at don@transitionus.org.

In Community,

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