Posted by: Mike Grenville | 4 November 2009

Transition Network Food Project Database Launch

Food project case studies is the first web service to come out of the Transition Web Project. Transition Network Web Co-ordinator Ed Mitchell gives us an outline and invites you to participate.



Over at Transition Network web project HQ, we are delighted to launch the first ‘public beta’ (working prototype) of our ‘projects database’, featuring case studies from a range of transition food projects. This is an important part of, and the first public element of the wider web project and we need your help and input.

What is the ‘projects database’?

The projects database is designed for people engaged in transition food projects to share and discuss essential information about their projects, enabling others to learn from their experience, get in touch and build supportive networks of people doing similar things around the country. We chose food as a topic as it is close to all of our hearts and there are lots of fascinating projects to share.

TT food project screen

It is an easily searchable database of ‘we did this and that worked, but watch out for that, it didn’t work’ kind of thing. It is a way to share information across distance about community learnings drawn from doing projects.

It is not a replacement for conversations, it is a stimulant; a context setter, an introducer. It is a way for ‘initiative a’ to share its learnings easily so that ‘initiative b’, when starting a project, can benefit from those experiences. It is not an ‘efficiency machine’ best practice database, it is a ‘resilience support experience base’ for the movement as a whole.

By sharing project information in this way, we believe that the Transition movement can broaden and accelerate its utility enormously.

What can I do?

It will only be useful if you use it, and we’ll only know that by giving it a try. So we have added some case studies from Tamzin’s book, but these are a starter for ten; the magic is up to you. Please go and have a look at the beta, give it a testing, add some project experience…

  • Do you have experience in a food project?
  • What worked?
  • What didn’t work?
  • What outcomes, expected or not, came out of it?
  • Do you have any web links or other resources for reference?

If you favourite nephew tugged on your sleeve and said “I’m going to start a food project in my neighbourhood”, what would your advice be?

Please note – it is not a finished product – think of it as a ‘diamond in the rough’ that you are helping to hone to how you want it.

All of our web services will evolve ‘iteratively’ in line with regular use from those who use it – so we are looking for transition people to come and have a look, read some projects, add some of their own projects, spread the word to their mates who are into food, and generally give it a good public testing.

All of the project information will be kept so none of your additions will be lost (although it will be moved when we move to our wonderful environmentally efficient micro-data-centre using second hand servers running open source software but that’s another story).

How to participate:

  1. Visit the Transition Food website and peruse the case studies at your will and make a comment if you fancy that. Try using the ‘guided’ or ‘nested’ search list on the left hand side of the screen – there are lots of ways to find the information.
  2. If you want to join the forums, or add a case study yourself, register an account on the site. It is quick and easy, and your data is safe with us (TT web has a 100% spam free promise)
  3. To add a Transition food project, create a case study to tell everyone else all about your project.
  4. There is also a discussion forum to talk about food projects and other food-related Transition issues, so feel free to jump in there and get involved. (The forum content may not be permanent).
  5. Add your experiences, with the site, your likes/dislikes into the forum; it’s how we learn
  6. As new case studies appear, we will start a little competition; the winning case study (based on the number of votes in a simple poll) will get a free copy of the Transition food book.

If you have any enquiries, drop us a line from the contact form and one of us will be in touch.

Some heartfelt words of thanks:

The first bunch of projects’ information has been kindly shared by Tamzin Pinkerton, the author behind our newly published book: Transition Food. We keenly recommend you buy it; it’s great. The whole food database was mastered, researched and driven by the irrepressible Jon Walker with excellent technical support from Graham Mitchell, worldly Knowledge Management advice from Cathy King, and facilitation support from Melissa Worth.

Over the next few months we will be launching a few new services as ‘betas’ as we gradually deliver the web project, so this is the beginning of a rolling development schedule. Buckle up everybody! Web project ahoy!

Ed Mitchell
Transition Network: Web Co-ordinator



  1. This is right on and desperately needed. So often, people doing local food feel isolated, not knowing if what they are doing is really counting for anything. Keep at it and I’m sure it will be ever more helpful.

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