Posted by: Mike Grenville | 18 January 2009

All 50 US States Start Transitioning


‘It may come as no surprise that Transition has been welcomed with open arms in the United States’.  Carolyne Stayton reports that after a number of years of pessimism, the optimism of the Transition model is being embraced with great relief.

As we know, Transition is an experiment on a grand scale.  How it will emerge in the multifaceted laboratory of the United States will be, at the very least, both fascinating and significant.

One thing we like to do here in the US is take initiative.  Social networking sites have sprung up around Transition in almost every state.  People in all areas of the country are presenting Transition talks to their local groups with their own local flavors. Several groups have re-aligned themselves with the Transition model without yet seeking official Transition Initiative status.  All in all, Transition in the US is definitely taking on a life of its own.  To quote Step #11 of the 12 Steps: “Let it go where it wants to go” – certainly that is evident in this country. We do like fads here, but obviously we cannot afford to turn Transition into one of these.

In the past year, there has been substantial progress in the US.  First, the Transition US Initiating Group (TUSIG) was formed, headed by Pamela Gray (Transition Network trustee) and Jennifer Gray, who established Transition Penwith in Cornwall, the second Transition Initiative.  Both are now living in the United States–a great boon for us!

The TUSIG was charged with facilitating the emergence of Transition in the US. To that end we have been nurturing interest, catalyzing activity, providing expertise, connecting people, developing models, coordinating trainings, and managing press relations.  More Transition Initiatives are now in the works, several trainings have been conducted, and some noteworthy news coverage has appeared with some feature stories imminent.

Since September 2008 we have held five large trainings with Naresh Giangrande and Sophy Banks coming over from the UK to conduct four of those.  For the December training in San Francisco there were more than 100 people on the waiting list–and that was after we had expanded the training size to include 45 participants rather than the usual 22!  Similar large trainings were held in Cambridge, Massachusetts; Portland, Oregon; and Los Angeles.

These trainings galvanized community organizers and we now see many more Transition Initiatives springing up.  Currently there are eight official Transition Initiatives in the US, three awaiting official approval, and several more lining up behind them.

In addition, an enthusiastic and talented new training pool has emerged, fully equipped and ready to go.  In mid-December Naresh and Sophy held a “Training for Trainers” in San Francisco.  People from all over the country attended, and we now have a total of 21 Transition Trainers ready to meet the demand of the nearly two dozen Transition trainings now being scheduled for the first half of 2009.

As a special surprise to most of us, Transition US was offered seed funding to support the growth of the Transition movement in the US. This funding, which comes as a combination of cash and in-kind services, is being provided by Post Carbon Institute, with whom we expect to develop a strong strategic alliance.

There is a tremendous enthusiasm for Transition in this country.  With the shift in the Presidency, anything seems possible.  We are off to a good start that feels a lot like a “new beginning.”  With luck, commitment and the sheer enjoyment of reigniting community, we anticipate success in this great, unfolding adventure of Transition.

Transition US Networking Site

Carolyne Stayton



  1. Looking to connect with the Portland OR Transition team.


  2. […] Hittills finns åtta officiella transition towns/ställ om-städer i USA och flera är på gång. Just nu verkar det pågå ett febrilt uppstartsarbete. […]

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