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Transition York Region Sustainable Business Conference, Earth Rangers October 18, 2010

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Transition Town Initiatives. From Oil Dependency to Local Resilience. Transition York Region Sustainable Business Conference, Earth Rangers October 18, 2010. We’ll be covering. what all the fuss is about the need for Transition the nuts and bolts of Transition Initiatives

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Transition Town Initiatives

From Oil Dependency to Local Resilience

Transition York RegionSustainable Business Conference, Earth Rangers

October 18, 2010

we ll be covering
We’ll be covering...
  • what all the fuss is about
  • the need forTransition
  • the nuts and bolts of Transition Initiatives
  • what has been achieved so far
  • next steps
  • how we can support one another
a work in progress
A Work In Progress…

This work, just like the Transition model, is brought to you by people who are actively engaged in Transition in a community—people who are learning by doing and learning all the time, people who understand that we can’t sit back and wait for someone else to do the work.

People like YOU, perhaps…



How can we prepare?

How will these

affect us?



post peak oil producers 64
Post peak oil producers (64)

Oil producers (98)


“The world has never faced a problem like this. Without massive mitigation…the problem will be pervasive and will not be temporary. Previous energy transitions were gradual and evolutionary. Oil peaking will be abrupt and revolutionary.”

  • The Hirsch ReportU.S. Department of EnergyFebruary 2005
possible energy stories for the future
Possible Energy Stories for the Future


Peak Energy

Green-Tech Stability

Industrial Ascent

Creative Descent (Permaculture)‏



Post Mad Max Collapse

Pre-industrial culture

Future Time

Historical Time

Great GrandChildren







“A supply crunch appears likely around 2013…given recent price experience, a spike in excess of $200 per barrel is not infeasible”

—Professor Paul StevensChatham House

Photo: Sustainable Energy Security Report, Lloyds & Chatham House

the need for energy transition
The Need for Energy Transition
  • The challenge of global climate change makes a shift away from fossil fuels necessary for planetary survival.
  • The impending peak in oil and gas production means that the transition is inevitable.
  • Our only choice is whether to proactively undertake the transition now—or later.
  • Transition Initiatives make the transition feasible, viable and attractive.
in canada
In Canada
  • In Ontario
    • Peterborough
    • Guelph
    • Dundas
    • Ottawa
    • London
    • Poplar Hill/Coldstream
    • Barrie
  • Other Provinces:
    • Victoria, BC
    • Vancouver, BC
    • Nelson, BC
    • Powell River, BC
    • Salt Spring Island, BC
    • Cocagne, NB
    • Cowichan Valley, BC
    • Alberni Valley, BC
    • Golden Ears, BC
    • Woodstock, NB

Photo: Transition Victoria event, ‘The Capital” Newspaper article, Sharing Circle at T4T Vancouver

transition town totnes
Transition Town Totnes
  • Rob Hopkins, Kinsale Energy Descent Action Plan (EDAP)
  • Cooperative, phased process of transition from fossil fuels
  • 2006 Great Unleashing
  • Working groups launched projects
  • Collaboration with town council

Photo: Planting Nut Trees, Totnes Pound, David Pearson/Rex Features, Guardian UK

purpose answer the key question
Purpose: Answer the Key Question

For all those aspects of life that this community needs to sustain itself and thrive, how do we:

  • dramatically reduce carbon emissions (in response to climate change);
  • significantly increase resilience (in response to peak oil);
  • radically strengthen our local economy (in response to economic instability)?
the 4 recognitions
The 4 Recognitions
  • Life with less energy is inevitable and it is better to plan for it than be taken by surprise
  • We have lost the resilience to be able to cope with energy shocks
  • We have to act for ourselves and we have to act now
  • By unleashing the collective genius of the community we can design ways of living that are more enriching, satisfying and connected than the present.

Photos: (top) Transition Whatcom feet! (centre) Transition Sandpoint’s Great Unleashing (bottom) Sonya Wallace and Janet Millington, Transition Sunshine Coast EDAP

the goal resilience
The Goal: Resilience
    • From global > local
    • From centralized > discrete and connected
    • From consumption > self-reliance
    • From individual > collective
    • From depletion > stewardship
    • From growth > steady state

(re-use, repair, borrow, grow, make, share)

Photos: (top) TT Totnes event, (centre) Hands in the dirt Transition Whatcom activity for the Perennial Project, (bottom) Transition Town Ashland Celebration Parade

unique qualities
Unique Qualities
  • Open Source
  • Self organising
  • Solutions focused
  • Iterative
  • Sensitive to place and scale
  • Historic
  • Joyful

Photo: Brixton Pound, Local Currency, Transition Town Brixton, UK

transition economy
Transition Economy
  • New LOCAL Industries and Businesses:
    • Renewable energy
    • Sustainable agriculture
    • Local manufacturing
    • Active transportation and renewable transport
    • Swap & Share, Re-purpose, Repair, Salvage
    • Community-owned finance
    • Greening business and green business launch consulting
    • Retrofit home construction
    • Sustainable waste management
    • Re-skilling for local needs gaps

Photo: courtesy TransitionUS flickr album

the business opportunity
The Business Opportunity…
  • Transitioning Existing Businesses
    • Lean & green audits (low carbon & low emissions)
    • Funding recommendations
    • ROI projections
    • Implementation consulting
    • Energy security risk management consulting
    • Carbon offsets (cap & trade)
  • Launching Energy-Transition Businesses
    • Operates on low-carbon / no-carbon / natural resource-neutral
    • Offers a low-carbon / no-carbon product or service
    • Creates a low-carbon / no-carbon supply chain in client business
    • Designs localization of business models
    • Integrates business proposition into local community resilience plan

Any product or service that helps individuals or businesses transition away from fossil fuels and promotes their self-sufficiency.

Photo: UK Publication profiling Low Carbon Start-Ups

the new entrepreneurs andrew heintzman
The New EntrepreneursAndrew Heintzman

“Measured on the basis of green innovation and capital investment, Canada is falling behind.”


“Canada still has the time and the potential to define a strategy for our companies and our economy to be leaders in green innovation. Our entrepreneurs are already pointing the way. Now we must follow their lead.”

The New Entrepreneurs:

Building a Green Economy for the Future

the 12 steps
The 12 Steps
  • Form an Initiating Group
  • Raise awareness
  • Lay the foundations
  • Organize a Great Unleashing
  • Form working groups
  • Use Open Space
  • Develop visible practical manifestations
  • Facilitate the Great Re-Skilling
  • Build bridges with local government
  • Honour the Elders
  • Let it go where it wants to go
  • Create an Energy Descent Plan

Photos: (top) David Johnson presenting at Vancouver T4T, BC, (centre) Ann Arbor, MI T4T, (bottom) Transition Sebastopol, CA film night

form working groups
Form Working Groups

Food / Energy / Economics / Liaison with Local Government / Heart and Soul (& the psychology of change) / Health and Wellness/ Housing / Education / Transport / Arts / Local Economy / Meaningful Work / Urban Design / Business / Green Building

Transition Milwaukee meeting, 2009

what are the groups up to
What are the Groups up to?

Common Projects

  • loads of awareness raising talks, movies, discussions
  • Skills sharing
  • seed sharing
  • local food directories
  • local currencies
  • oral history archives
  • planting fruit trees
  • starting up locally owned renewable energy companies
  • garden share schemes
  • energy saving advice for the community
  • central buying of trees for “city orchards”
  • Sustainable fishing
  • Fix-it and mending courses
  • loads of re-skilling events, eg. Dr Bike, composting toilets, reedbeds
  • working with local schools
  • cutting out plastic bags and holding workshops on how to make fabric ones out of scraps
  • getting sustainability books into their libraries
  • car share schemes
  • community supported agriculture schemes
  • guerilla gardening
  • permaculture courses
  • Peterborough Town Crier
the 12 steps32
The 12 Steps
  • Form an Initiating Group
  • Raise awareness
  • Lay the foundations
  • Organize a Great Unleashing
  • Form working groups
  • Use Open Space
  • Develop visible practical manifestations
  • Facilitate the Great Re-Skilling
  • Build bridges with local government
  • Honour the Elders
  • Let it go where it wants to go
  • Create an Energy Descent Plan

Photos: (top) David Johnson presenting at Vancouver T4T, BC, (centre) Ann Arbor, MI T4T, (bottom) Transition Sebastopol, CA film night

resilience indicators
Resilience Indicators
  • Percentage of food consumed locally that was produced within a given radius
  • Ratio of car parking space to productive land use
  • Degree of engagement in practical re-localization work by local community
  • Proportion of the community employed locally
  • Number of businesses owned by local people
  • Percentage of local trade carried out in local currency
  • Amount of traffic on local roads
  • Percentage of essential goods manufactured within a given radius
  • Percentage of local building materials used in new housing developments
  • Number of 16-year-olds able to grow 10 different varieties of vegetables to a given degree of basic competency
  • Percentage of medicines prescribed that have been produced within a given radius
cheerful disclaimer
Cheerful Disclaimer

We truly don\'t know if this will work. Transition is a social experiment on a massive scale. What we are convinced of is this:

  • If we wait for the governments, it\'ll be too little, too late
  • If we act as individuals, it\'ll be too little
  • But if we act as communities, it might just be enough, just in time.
next steps learn
Next steps - LEARN

1. Read the Handbook

2. Training for Transition (T4T)

3. Surf the Transition Network

  • Peterborough, Guelph, Barrie, Dundas, Victoria

Photo: Transition Town Totnes community garden share

next steps stay connected
  • Join our Mailing List
  • Join our Website (NING network)
  • Join our Facebook Group

[email protected]

Photo: Transition Town Totnes Graveyard Orchard, community garden share

next steps get involved
Next steps – GET INVOLVED
  • Form or join a Working Group
    • Talk to us and then go for it!
  • Next Events
    • Oct 18th, 8am-4pm – Green Business Exhibition, Earth Rangers
    • Nov 11th, 7pm-9pm – Guest Speaker Mike Nickerson, Aurora
    • Nov 25th, 7pm-9pm – In Transition 1.0 Film Screening, Vaughan

Photo: Transition Town Totnes Graveyard Orchard, community garden share