Our 12 steps to transition

Our 12 steps to transition

Step 1   Set up a steering group and design its demise from the outset:

Following a public meeting late in 2008, an inaugural meeting of all those who volunteered to join the steering group was held on 8th December 2008.  


The intention is that this core group, whose membership fluctuates as people leave or join, drives the project forward during the initial stages. 

The hope is that the strength of the enthusiasm created and the tidal wave of activity as the people of Bridport join in, will sweep the steering group to redundancy.

Chris Holland

Step 2   Awareness raising:

We cannot assume that everyone in our community is aware of, or believes, the environmental and life-changing effects that peak oil and climate change is going to have on us all.  


The world media sends us conflicting messages and it is part of our remit within Transition Town Bridport to make available any tools which will help to increase this awareness and thereby encourage the whole community to formulate its own responses, and to work individually and together with energy and enthusiasm towards a more sustainable and less oil-dependent lifestyle.   


Anne Rickard

Step 3   Laying the foundations:                               

Bridport already has many groups who are sympathetic to the concept of transition and we are inviting them to have a presence on our website.


During the awareness building process we hope to encourage joint ventures to link people together and form a web of support to encourage more participation.


Dave Rickard

Step 4   The great unleashing:

The ‘Great Unleashing’ represents an important stage of the coming of age of Transition Town Bridport.  It is surprising that Bridport is not a transition town already, considering the amount of self-help groups thriving already.  


However, the ‘Great Unleashing’ is a massive event where a bottom-up communal approach involves every kind of age group and its needs.  It is a time when firstly the community will recognise the need for increasing local ownership, secondly there will be education at all levels and thirdly it is possible to have a network of local food production and shared expertise.


Sarah Wilberforce

Step 5   Form working groups:

To enable us to adapt to the effects of global warming and peak oil, all elements of society must learn to manage our shared environmental resources.   We can best achieve this by understanding the nature of the threat and so determine what action can be undertaken by individuals and local groups to mitigate the effect we have on the environment.


The best approach is for a small number of people with a common interest to form a working group prepared to show the rest of us by example and by offering help to achieve some objective.   Examples of activities that can impact on our carbon footprint are:   education about the complex nature of the threat, recycling, reduction of household waste, production of food, reduction in fossil based energy use and utilising renewable energy.


Ian Gallon

Step 6   Open space:

In such meetings there is no agenda or chairman and time is managed jointly.   Whoever comes are the right people and everybody sits comfortably in a circle.   Whatever happens is the only thing that could.   Whenever it starts is the right time and when it’s over it’s over.   If somebody feels they are not contributing or learning, they may leave.


Meetings with open space ideals have: a beginning, when everybody welcomes and introduces themselves; a middle, when a facilitator is chosen to steer proceedings and an agreed method of record taking is undertaken; and an end where everybody is celebrated and thanked.


Ro Gallagher

Step 7   Develop visible practical manifestations of the project:

We have participated in Bridport's Energy Awareness Week and by welcoming other groups to be affiliated to us we can give support to sustainable projects in the town.


We are hopeful that the Great Unleashing will also be the start of new and innovative ideas coming from the people of Bridport.


Dave Rickard

Step 8   Facilitate the great re-skilling:

Previous generations lived with fewer resources and less dependency on cheap fuel than we do today.  This was achieved with human-scale skills passed down from generation to generation, skills like growing and cooking your own or local food; re-using, recycling or composting; mending and refurbishing broken or worn items or repairing or refreshing clothes instead of throwing them away.


We hope to pull the generations together by asking older members of the community to pass on their skills to current and future generations.


Dave Rickard

Step 9   Build a bridge to local government:

Fortunately, Bridport Town Council has acted as facilitator for the setting up of Transition Town Bridport and as we become an independent and self-determining organisation they have already pledged to have a regular representative on the steering group.  


The presence of at least half a dozen other transition groups in Dorset with links to the higher strata of local government also means we already have a valuable presence in the district and county councils.


Dave Rickard

Step 10   Honour the elders:

In today's youth-orientated world, this could prove to be the most difficult step but the Great Re-skilling will give an opportunity for the future generations to value their forebears' experience and knowledge.   The older generation should not, however, think that that respect is a right.  It was, after all, the generations of the last 100 years that have precipitated this crisis.


We need to be seen to be attempting to put right the global problems to which we have contributed and which have precipitated the need for transition.


Dave Rickard

Step 11    Let it go where it wants to go:

We are all different, with different ideas as to how our lives will be affected by the transition which will inevitably come about as oil supplies diminish - indeed some prefer to believe that nothing will change.   All views and visions are to be respected, and this means that a community vision is free to go where it wants to go, at the collective will of the people.   Rigid visions and fixed ideas can result in stress and failure, bringing with it feelings of negativity.


Some may wish to create groups with like-minded people; gardeners and producers, creators and artists, scientists and engineers, meditators and thinkers, finding a future path that is right and comfortable for them.   Others may need support and encouragement to find their own way.


Jude Hopkins

Step 12   Create an energy descent action plan:

Each of the working groups put forward ideas based on their projects, such as; producing fuel crops, large community pV arrays, consumer groups buying in bulk from suppliers, creating electricity from local biomass, garden-sharing for food production, tool and skill trading, etc.  


The best plans are implemented and, as a consequence, our damage to the planet is reduced, our dependence on imported oil is reduced, more money is kept in the local economy, the town’s carbon footprint is minimised and there are no more wars for oil.


Jim Shearman

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Transition Town Bridport