For those who have long been involve in the efforts towards preventing climate change and reducing our impact, and even for those who are new to it, exasperation with the government and international organizations is something quite familiar. The founders, and, those involved in the Transition Network decided to take change into their own hands. Rob Hopkins is one of the founders of Transition Network who wrote a handbook for developing local Transition groups. The headquarters of this initiative is located in Britain where they support about 1,130 to 1,600 groups worldwide. The Transition Network is a charitable organization who works to help local communities develop organizations that help diminish our impact on the environment.
Those involved in these Transition groups, all across Canada, have decided to stop waiting for the government to respond and take action. Transition groups are made up of people living in the same area. They come together to discuss what they consider to be a healthy future for their community. They meet regularly to discuss how to diminish their use of fossils fuels on a daily basis, how they can influence youth through education, and they discuss upcoming projects and workshops. They believe the path towards true change starts with the community and with the culture of such a community.
The virtue in having local, community-oriented organizations is that they do not have a set list of principles as to how to repair our world’s problems. It is up to the members of each group to develop their own plans of action. Each Transition group is a grass-roots and unique initiative, specifically catered to each community. We have a Transition initiative in N.D.G, and they regularly host open-invitation potlucks and discussion groups. They can also be seen hosting film nights, clothing swaps, and gardening projects. There is also a Transition group located in Villerary, called, Villeray en Transition. This movement expresses their openness and desire to have a wide diversity of members within their groups. They state that some members are staunch anti-capitalists, while other members are perfectly ok with capitalism. Any contribution is appreciated, the example they use is if a member drives a Hummer, and then switches to a pick up, that is a victory for them.
Some critics believe this movement is not radical enough to make any significant impact, that it is too optimistic and too focused on being open to everyone. While it may take some time for community efforts to make an impact on our world globally, Transition is gaining some notoriety around the world. Groups are popping up in North America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Chile, South Africa and even some countries in Asia. Hopkins was recently invited to France to take part in a conference run by the present, to discuss what countries could do aside from economic growth.
One of the pillars this movement is founded upon is ‘inner transition’. They belief that true change starts with the individuals who make up a community, and the communities who make up a city, etc. Again expressing their desire to have a diversity of followers, they insist they want this movement to be a mainstream movement, they are not seeking to isolate people or to point fingers. Transition is always open to bringing in new members, please refer to the links below to find out how you can get involved.
Source: Penhale, Joanne. "Local Movements for Global Goods." Montreal Gazette 8 Nov. 2014, Extra sec.: D3. Print.
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