The Transition Movement is a global movement of communities who are returning a proactive way of community life to prepare for Peak Oil and other impending social shocks. The Transition Network, started by Rob Hopkins began the Transition movement and now works in conjunction with the Post Carbon Institute and other organizations to prepare for Peak Oil.

It promotes self-reliance including energy, food production, local economy water and waste treatment….generally a trend away from dependency on centralized power structures.  It is a trajectory that follows a Gradual Descent from a high energy lifestyle….weaning ourselves quickly off of cheap energy and returning to  local, resilient and autonomous, socio-economic system. 

Figure 1: Map of Communities participating in a Global Transition to a New Economy (Source: New Economics Institute)


Paul Piper of Wind-Works in Germany has recently written, “51 percent of all alternative energy in Germany is owned by citizens and farms”. This energy transition is an increasingly dramatic power shift from traditional markets and its big players into small-scale and community-owned projects.

As Peak Oil begins to appear, Transition Towns will fare far better than Business-as-usual as shown in the diagram below:

Figure 2: Transition vs Non-Transition Town (Source: Post Carbon Institute interview with Rob Hopkins of Transitional Networks)

There has been talk for years of a transition but now there are global organizations devoted to action. The Blue Economy is one and The Global Transition to a New Economy is another. Since the economy is central to all the problems we now face, it is clear that unless the Economy transitions rapidly, none of the other critical areas: population growth, food security, Global Warming , Energy will follow.

To learn more about how to transform your community into a Transition Town, go here.

A PDF format primer on building transition community is available from Rob Hopkins and Transition Networks here.

An action plan by the Irish town of Kinsale produced by permaculture students at the Kinsale Further Education College and edited by Rob Hopkins is available here.