Head, Heart & Hands
Doing Transition successfully is about finding a balance between these:
The Head: we act on the basis of the best information and evidence available and apply our collective intelligence to find better ways of living.
The Heart: we work with compassion, valuing and paying attention to the emotional, psychological, relational and social aspects of the work we do.
The Hands: we turn our vision and ideas into a tangible reality, initiating practical projects and starting to build a new, healthy economy in the place we live.
Transition is an approach rooted in values and principles. These are described slightly differently in different parts of the movement, but broadly:
We respect resource limits and create resilience – The urgent need to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, greatly reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and make wise use of precious resources is at the forefront of everything we do.
We promote inclusivity and social justice – The most disadvantaged and powerless people in our societies are likely to be worst affected by rising fuel and food prices, resource shortages and extreme weather events. We want to increase the chances of all groups in society to live well, healthily and with sustainable livelihoods.
We adopt subsidiarity (self-organisation and decision making at the appropriate level) – The intention of the Transition model is not to centralise or control decision making, but rather to work with everyone so that it is practiced at the most appropriate, practical and empowering level
We pay attention to balance – In responding to urgent, global challenges, individuals and groups can end up feeling stressed, closed or driven rather than open, connected and creative. We create space for reflection, celebration and rest to balance the times when we’re busily getting things done. We explore different ways of working which engage our heads, hands and hearts and enable us to develop collaborative and trusting relationships.
We are part of an experimental, learning network – Transition is a real-life, real-time global social experiment. Being part of a network means we can create change more quickly and more effectively, drawing on each other’s experiences and insights. We want to acknowledge and learn from failure as well as success – if we’re going to be bold and find new ways of living and working, we won’t always get it right first time. We will be open about our processes and will actively seek and respond positively to feedback.
We freely share ideas and power – Transition is a grassroots movement, where ideas can be taken up rapidly, widely and effectively because each community takes ownership of the process themselves. Transition looks different in different places and we want to encourage rather than unhelpfully constrain that diversity.
We collaborate and look for synergies – The Transition approach is to work together as a community, unleashing our collective genius to have a greater impact together than we can as individuals. We will look for opportunities to build creative and powerful partnerships across and beyond the Transition movement and develop a collaborative culture, finding links between projects, creating open decision-making processes and designing events and activities that help people make connections.
We foster positive visioning and creativity – Our primary focus is not on being against things, but on developing and promoting positive possibilities. We believe in using creative ways to engage and involve people, encouraging them to imagine the future they want to inhabit. The generation of new stories is central to this visioning work, as is having fun and celebrating success.
Last updated: November 2021