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updated 21 Oct 2008
The following information has been taken off the UK Transition Towns site.
As the "official" Transition Towns in New Zealand have discovered, it is not an onerous set of requirements, more a guide to readiness, and a way of noting if there are any areas within your local intiative that could benefit from being strengthened.
Please read on and when you are ready to explore this further, call me on 09 372 8737 and we can have some dialogue around it. -- James Samuel
We've established a draft set of criteria that tells us how ready a community is to embark on this journey to a lower energy future. If you're thinking of adopting the Transition Towns model for your community, take a look at this list and make an honest appraisal of where you are on these points. If there are any gaps, it should give you something to focus on while you build the initial energy and contacts around this initiative.
Use this form when you're ready - and this isn't something you can rush - to tell us about your initiative, your core team and your response to the criteria.
We've introduced this slightly more formal approach to registering Transition Towns/villages for a couple of key reasons:
- Our trustees and funders want to make sure that while we actively nurture embrionic projects, we only promote to "official" status those communities we feel are ready to move into the awareness raising stage. This status confers additional levels of support such as speakers, trainings, wiki and forums that we're currently rolling out
- In order to establish coordinated programmes (such as combined funding bids to the National Lottery) we need a formally established category of Transition Initiatives that we're fully confident can support and deliver against such programmes.
- We've seen at least one community stall because they didn't have the right mindset or a suitable group of people, and didn't really understand what they were letting themselves in for.
These criteria are developing all the time, and certainly aren't written in stone.
- an understanding of peak oil and climate change as twin drivers (to be written into constitution or governing documents)
- a group of 4-5 people willing to step into leadership roles (not just the boundless enthusiasm of a single person)
- at least two people from the core team willing to attend an initial two day training course. Initially these will be in Totnes and over time we'll roll them out to other areas as well, including internationally. Transition Training is just UK based right now, but that's going to have to change – we're working on it.
This has been waived for New Zealand for obvious reasons. However there are now people in New Zealand involved in offering training, so please consider making use of their offerings.
- a potentially strong connection to the local council
- an initial understanding of the 12 steps to becoming a TT
- a commitment to ask for help when needed
- a commitment to regularly update your Transition Initiative web presence - either the wiki (collaborative workspace on the web that we'll make available to you), or your own website
- a commitment to make periodic contributions to the Transition Towns blog (the world will be watching)
- a commitment, once you're into the Transition, for your group to give at least two presentations to other communities (in the vicinity) that are considering embarking on this journey – a sort of "here's what we did" or "here's how it was for us" talk
- a commitment to network with other TTs
- a commitment to work cooperatively with neighbouring TTs
- minimal conflicts of interests in the core team
- a commitment to work with the Transition Network re grant applications for funding from national grant giving bodies. Your own local trusts are yours to deal with as appropriate.
- a commitment to strive for inclusivity across your entire initiative. We're aware that we need to strengthen this point in response to concerns about extreme political groups becoming involved in transition initiatives. One way of doing this is for your core group to explicitly state their support the UN Declaration of Human Rights (General Assembly resolution 217 A (III) of 10 December 1948). You could add this to your constitution (when finalised) so that extreme political groups that have discrimination as a key value cannot participate in the decision-making bodies within your transition initiative. There may be more elegant ways of handling this requirement, and there's a group within the network looking at how that might be done.
- a recognition that although your entire county or district may need to go through transition, the first place for you to start is in your local community. It may be that eventually the number of transitioning communities in your area warrant some central group to help provide local support, but this will emerge over time, rather than be imposed. (This point was inserted in response to the several instances of people rushing off to transition their entire county/region rather than their local community.) Further criteria apply to initiating/coordinating hubs – these can be discussed person to person.
- and finally, we recommend that at least one person on the core team should have attended a permaculture design course... it really does seem to make a difference.