Transitioning: Towards a Life Sustaining Society?

By Clare Power.

Published by The Sustainability Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

In this paper I investigate an initiative that promotes systemic change: the Transition Model, which emerged from Totnes Transition Town in the UK in 2006. This model is premised on the need for communities to build resilience in the face of climate change and peak oil. It provides a framework that is based on strengthening and developing all aspects of a community. Since its inception in 2006, the Transition model has spread rapidly across the UK, New Zealand, the USA and Australia and many more residential communities across the globe are continually registering interest (Hopkins & Lipman 2009, Transition Towns, 2008).The Great Turning, a conceptual descriptor for this time (Joanna Macy 2006) is proposed as an appropriate framework for the Transition model. This model, and the insights of participants in a local Transition initiative, is considered using a complexity approach. It is suggested that only through engaging with complexity will we be able to fully meet the challenges of these times.

Keywords: Transition Model, The Great Turning, Complexity Theory

The International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability, Volume 6, Issue 1, pp.243-256. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 623.505KB).

Clare Power

PhD Candidate, Lecturer, Social Justice, Social Change Research Centre, University of Western Sydney, Wentworth Falls, NSW, Australia

I work in the field of student learning at the University of Western Sydney where I coordinate a peer learning program and am active in University life, particularly in relation to sustainability. Although I am very committed to this work, it is the need for a shift to a life sustaining society that I feel most passionately about. Therefore my doctoral studies involve researching the Transition model as it is manifesting in the Australian context. Transition literature draws on the work of Joanna Macy whose work is a strong influence. I am also interested in complexity and ecofeminist approaches.

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