Why is the MA Economics for Transition important to the Transition Network?
This MA has been a wonderful opportunity for the Transition Network. The relationship with Plymouth University has been really useful in thinking about how Transition might fit into an academic context. The Transition module that’s in the MA could now be used in a range of other academic set-ups. The relationship with Schumacher College has been a really good symbiotic one for both the Transition Network and Transition Town Totnes. The College gives people an experiential immersion in the ideas that are shaping the future that we have to create, in a way that is nourishing, grounded and always inspiring.
What are the most important things for Transition at the moment?
When we started Transition it was self-organising, but we’ve now just published the Transition Companion which goes back to people on the ground to see what’s working for them. It’s a really rich collection of insights and projects and shows that lots of Transition Groups have matured very quickly. There’s a clear need in there to create social enterprise businesses, farms, breweries, bakeries and mills and so a lot of our work is now about creating a bridge between these ideas and potential investments. We do get approached by a lot of investors, so now it’s all about bringing the ideas and the funding together. That’s where our energy is going.
What are your hopes for the future?
The last section of the Transition Companion … Daring to Dream … considers how things would look if every town in Devon had, for example, its own energy company, local currency, bakery and brewery. How would this impact on where government funding and pensions get invested, where policy is made and how planning works? Everything is still very speculative but it’s really interesting and exciting. I feel it could happen. We had no idea Transition would evolve in the way it has. When you look at the new Transition Companion you can see that people are out there in the world really doing these things and finding our tools useful. It’s the people on the ground that are making things happen – we just collect the stories and spread them.
Read more from Rob on his website Transition Culture which explores the emerging transition model in its many manifestations.