The Transition Companion

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What if the best responses to peak oil and climate change don’t come from government, but from you and me and the people around us?

In 2008, the best-selling The Transition Handbook suggested a model for a community-led response to peak oil and climate change. Since then, the Transition idea has gone viral across the globe, from Italian villages and Brazilian favelas to universities and London neighborhoods. In contrast to the ever-worsening stream of information about climate ...

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The Transition Companion: Making Your Community More Resilient in Uncertain Times

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What if the best responses to peak oil and climate change don’t come from government, but from you and me and the people around us?

In 2008, the best-selling The Transition Handbook suggested a model for a community-led response to peak oil and climate change. Since then, the Transition idea has gone viral across the globe, from Italian villages and Brazilian favelas to universities and London neighborhoods. In contrast to the ever-worsening stream of information about climate change, the economy, and resource depletion, Transition focuses on solutions, on community-scale responses, on meeting new people, and on having fun.

The Transition Companion picks up the story today, drawing on the experience of one of the most fascinating experiments under way in the world. It tells inspiring tales of communities working for a future where local economies are valued and nurtured; where lower energy use is seen as a benefit; and where enterprise, creativity, and the building of resilience have become cornerstones of a new economy.

The first part discusses where we are now in terms of resilience and vulnerability in the face of rising oil prices, climate change, and economic challenge. It presents a vision of the future if we do not address these issues, and how things might change if we start to do so. The book then looks in detail at the process a community in transition goes through, calling on the experience of those who have already embarked on this journey. These examples show how much can be achieved when people harness energy and imagination to create projects that will make their communities more resilient. The Transition Companion combines practical advice—the tools needed to start and maintain a Transition initiative—with numerous inspiring stories from local groups worldwide.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"What Rob Hopkins has done-in this book, and with the Transition movement-simply couldn't be more important. We're coming to a powerful crunch time for our civilization, and if you read this you'll be well ahead of the curve in understanding how to prepare your community. There's much beauty here, and hope."--Bill McKibben, author of Eaarth

"This is the biggest urban brainwave of the century. A visionary, practical blueprint that took root in a town and is circling the globe. This is a book that can change your life-our lives."--Nicholas Crane, broadcaster and author of Clear Waters Rising

"There is no more important journey we can undertake than the transition from our current fossil-fuel dependency to locally based economic resiliency. This book is the ideal companion for that journey-optimistic yet clear-headed; informed by experience yet playful and encouraging. Hopkins's wisdom, creativity, and gentle humor pervade each captivating page."--Richard Heinberg, Senior Fellow, Post Carbon Institute, and author of The End of Growth

"Here, Rob sets out an exciting, much-expanded idea of what Transition is and could become; one that is rich with hard-won insights and practical advice. It's a work full of bold answers, inspirational ideas and daring solutions. Although profoundly serious at heart, it's never somber. In fact, it's a great deal of fun, frequently demonstrating how Transition is a highly creative, stimulating, and even playful process. …The Transition Companion offers an extraordinarily rich yet highly accessible model for drawing together the people around you, and describes the tools needed to start an economic and social renaissance in the place you live. It's a book that is unashamedly ambitious and far-reaching in its scope and vision. But, if we are to successfully navigate what's coming toward us, and hold on to our identity, our community, and our shared optimism for the future, that is exactly what we need."--Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, from the foreword

"Transition is the most vital social experiment of our times. The Transition movement has already motivated thousands to begin to adapt their lives to the twin challenge of peak oil and climate change. Drawing on this collective experience, The Transition Companion offers communities a combination of practical guidance and real vision for the future."--Tim Jackson, author of Prosperity without Growth

Library Journal
Hopkins, founder of the Transition movement, shares his learning from a four-year-long experiment that put his Transition ideas into practice. He takes readers toward a more holistic, appropriate model of the planet that explains how to transform the place you live from being vulnerable, not resilient, and oil-dependent to a state of diversity, localization, and nourishment. His focus is on solutions, community-scale responses, and involving all people. In this follow-up to his Transition Handbook, he includes numerous inspiring personal stories of communities working for a new future based on local economies, less energy, and their own resilience. Hopkins presents a summary of the status of the Transition movement and his vision of the future if we don't learn how to manage these challenges. He also explains the process of a community in transition, using personal experiences of individuals working through this process in their neighborhoods. Hopkins's practical advice will help readers who want to do something about major worldwide challenges. VERDICT This work applying pragmatic community organization strategies to addressing problems facing us all will appeal to fans of Bill McKibben and other authors seeking new directions for the planet. Essential for all university libraries and for sophisticated, interested lay readers.—Dale Farris, Groves, TX
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781603583923
  • Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing
  • Publication date: 11/3/2011
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 7.70 (w) x 10.20 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Rob Hopkins is the cofounder of Transition Town Totnes and of the Transition Network. He has many years' experience in education, teaching permaculture, and natural building, and set up the first two year-full-time permaculture course in the world, at Kinsale Further Education College in Ireland, as well as coordinating the first eco-village development in Ireland to be granted planning permission.

He is author of Woodlands for West Cork!, Energy Descent Pathways and most recently The Transition Handbook: From oil dependency to local resilience, which has been published in a number of other languages, and which was voted the fifth-most-popular book taken on holiday by MPs during the summer of 2008. He publishes, recently voted the fourth best green blog in the UK. He is the winner of the 2008 Schumacher Award, an Ashoka Fellow, a Fellow of the Post Carbon Institute, served three years as a Trustee of the Soil Association, and was named by the Independent as one of the UK's top 100 environmentalists. He is the winner of the 2009 Observer Ethical Award for the Grassroots Campaigner category, and in December 2009 was voted the Energy Saving Trust/Guardian's Green Community Hero. He lectures and writes widely on peak oil and Transition, holds an MSc in Social Research, and recently completed a PhD at the University of Plymouth entitled "Localisation and resilience at the local level: the case of Transition Town Totnes." He lives in Devon and is a keen gardener.

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Table of Contents

Ch. 1 The emergence of an idea: a potted history of Transition -- Ch. 2 Why Transition initiatives do what they do -- Ch. 3 Where we might be headed: the power of future scenarios -- Ch. 4 Resilience and Vocalisation -- Ch. 5 A taste of a powered-down future -- Ch. 6 Framing Transition -- Ch. 7 The story of four Transition initiatives told using ingredients and tools -- Starting out -- 1.Coming together as groups -- 2. Inclusion and diversity -- Tools for Transition No.1: Permaculture design -- 3. Respectful communication -- 4. Forming an initiating group -- Tools for Transition No.2: Standing up to speak -- 5. Understanding scale -- 6. Measurement -- Tools for Transition No.3: Transition Training -- 7. Visioning -- 8. Arts and creativity -- Tools for Transition No.4: Running effective meetings -- 9. Awareness raising -- 10. Forming working groups -- Tools for Transition No.5: Forming a legal entity -- 11. Building partnerships -- 12. The evolving structure -- Tools for Transition No.6: Communicating with the media -- 13. Backcasting -- 14. Creating a space for inner Transition -- Deepening -- 1.'Transition Towers'-having an office, or not? -- 2. Practical manifestations -- Tools for Transition No.7: Volunteers and volunteering -- 3. The 'Great Reskilling' -- 4. How we communicate -- Tools for Transition No.8: Financing your Transition initiative -- 5. Celebrating -- 6. Celebrate failure -- 7."How are we doing?" -- 8. Local food initiatives -- 9. Momentum -- 10. Ensuring land access -- Tools for Transition No.9: Supporting each other -- 11. Personal resilience -- Tools for Transition No.10: Unleashings -- Tools for Transition No.11: Healthy conflict -- 12. Education for Transition -- Connecting -- 1. Forming networks of Transition initiatives -- Tools for Transition No.12: Street-by-street behaviour change -- 2. Involving the council -- Tools for Transition No.13: Becoming the media -- 3. Working with local businesses -- Tools for Transition No. 14: Energy Resilience Assessment -- 4. Oral histories -- Tools for Transition No. 15: Community brainstorming tools -- 5. Engaging young people -- Tools for Transition No. 16: Meaningful maps -- 6. The role of storytelling -- Tools for Transition No. 17: Speaking up for Transition -- 7. Pausing for reflection -- Building -- 1. Energy Descent Action Plans -- 2. Social enterprise and entrepreneurship -- 3. Scaling up -- Tools for Transition No. 18: Community renewable energy companies -- 4. Strategic local infrastructure -- Tools for Transition No. 19: Tools for plugging the leaks -- 5. Appropriate technologies -- 6.Community ownership of assets -- Tools for Transition No. 20: Community-supported farms, bakeries and breweries -- 7. Strategic thinking -- Tools for Transition No. 21: Peak oil resolutions -- Daring to dream -- 1. Policies for Transition -- 2.A learning network -- 3. Investing in Transition.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 2.5
( 2 )
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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2013

    The Nook edition is absolutely awful. The font won't adjust above about 3 points.

    Do not buy the Nook edition. It is terrible, and fails entirely to capture the essence of the book. The font won't adjust, and it is ridiculously small.

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  • Posted December 12, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    First exposure or follow up¿The Transition Companion is recommended reading

    You can start or continue your journey with the Transition Movement with this book. For those who are new to the concept, the Companion effectively introduces you to the current flavor of the process. After a few years of completing initial transitions in a variety of cities and companies, the movement has a better understanding of what works.

    The flexibility of the movement is both the challenge and charm of the book and process. Transition purposes to not tell individuals or communities what the right answer is for each process of change. Rather, the movement is specific about the objectives and methods. The objective is to create stable communities without dependency on oil harvest-levels represented by peak oil production.

    Rather, the objective is an effective community that can support itself in a more local way so the need for extensive transport is needed. The movement is well-aware that not all products should be handled in smaller communities and bases. One of the most interesting tables in the book illustrates this fact. Some opponents of the movement characterize participants as being simple Luddites who don¿t understand the implications of modern society. With the updates presented in The Transition Companion the founder makes it clear these are not the goals of the movement.

    Obviously, a single book cannot address everything a person or community needs to become self-supporting. The Companion can get you started or bring you up to date on Transition experiences around the globe. Transition is not about fear about modern failure or disaster. It is about preparing and adjusting: reasonable actions in our changing, unsettled world.

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