The Essential Guide to Doing Transition. The Essential Guide to Doing Transition. - Page 57

Beware the doughnut

Some Transition groups report what they call ‘The Doughnut Effect’. This is when the energy of the group, the focus of the most energetic people, ends up being given to the active projects, rather than to the initial group, to the co-ordinating and joining up of what’s happening.

So, it could be that in Year One of your group, you have a very active Core Group which is putting on a lot of events and starting lots of projects. By Year Five, you might have a community garden, a community energy company, a regular Repair Cafe and a variety of workshops happening, and everyone is so busy with those that they don’t have enough time to enable the Core Group to continue functioning. So perhaps, by Year Ten, you have loads of great projects established and thriving, but the fact that they emerged from Transition is but a distant memory.

In some ways that’s not a problem. You’ve got some great projects, so why does it matter? Well it matters because it can mean that limited new energy is coming into the whole Transition initiative, which makes it hard to sustain its energy and possible growth. Some groups get round this by finding funding either from within or from outside their community to enable a Project Manager who plays the role of drawing all the threads together and allowing all the different elements to feel part of something.

Find our full guide to moving from Initiating Group to Core Group here:


If the whole doughnut analogy doesn't work for you, you might think of it like eating your dinner in space. Unless you're very attentive, your starter might float over there, your pudding over there, and your knife and fork somewhere else entirely. Keeping them all on the tray takes some conscious effort. Likewise with Transition, keeping eveything feeling like part of the same process needs some focused attention.