The Essential Guide to Doing Transition. The Essential Guide to Doing Transition. - Page 25

Working to ensure our Transition groups are as diverse and inclusive as possible isn’t easy, but it’s vital that we do it.

Here, taken from our Transition guide, 7 Ingredients for a just, fair

and inclusive Transition, are those ingredients:


When we really listen, we are able to find common ground and start from where people are at. Real listening is about being prepared to be changed by what we hear.

Meeting everyday needs

An important question for Transition groups working with marginalised communities is how can people even begin to think about building resilience against the future impacts of peak oil and climate change if their fundamental needs are not being met in the here and now? What are our fundamental needs? Although our wants and desires may vary, we all ultimately hold the same basic needs in common. According to the Development Specialist, Manfred Max-Neef, there are nine basic, fundamental needs: subsistence, protection, affection, understanding, participation, leisure, creation, identity, freedom. These are very useful to bear in mind when planning Transition projects.

Deepening inclusion

There are many ways to place inclusion at the heart of your Transition group: making sure your meetings are not in venues that exclude some people, not presented in ways that exclude people and are physically accessible to all. Individually, people can be very committed to ideas around diversity and inclusion but as a whole, they can form a culture that feels exclusive to others. All too often, this culture is drawn from, and reflective of, the culture that is dominant in society. Those that are excluded by it are therefore also the people who tend to have less power or privilege in society at large.


Building bridges

How can Transition succeed in building resilience if it doesn’t build friendship and trust across all “barriers”? Think about who needs to be part of what you’re doing, and go and see them - don’t expect them to come to you. ‘Hard to reach’ is only hard to reach if we don’t try to reach out and find out how to make Transition relevant to everyone.


Diversity opens the door to celebrating the different ways we have of expressing the things that we hold in common. Celebration enables people to comfortably move out of their comfort zone. Celebration enables people to revel in life and creative expression. Make sure you weave celebration through all that you do.

Exploring rank and privilege

As Process Worker Arnold Mindell says, “Any power, good or bad, if not recognised, can become oppressive and harmful”. We need to make a concerted effort to understand our relationship with power and privilege to enable us to use this to co-create a more caring, just, equitable and life-enhancing world - in solidarity with those who our current culture most marginalises.

Embedding diversity

If we are to build a truly inclusive and equitable Transition, perhaps the most important ingredient we need to take away is that of threading a commitment to diversity and social justice through everything we do. Our ‘7 Ingredients’ guide offers a wealth of advice on this.

You can download our guide 7 Ingredients for a just, fair and inclusive Transition here:

Left: Transition Town Tooting's 'Tour de Tooting' began with a question: "Once upon a time in a town called Tooting, there was big windmill whose sails had not turned for a very long time. A group of children got together and wondered - if they took to the streets

asking everyone to create energy from their whistles, clicks, thumbs up, high fives and smiles - could they

get the sails to turn again?" Photo: Luke Harris.