What is transition?

In a nutshell

Faced with uncertain energy prices1 and climate change, our response is to build a stronger, more versatile community – a community with the capacity to adapt to whatever happens and where we can be happy and healthy. Making better use of local resources also means saving money - by growing more of our own food and by reusing and adapting stuff instead of throwing it away.

1 We used to say that Transition was about facing peak oil and climate change but it turns out peak oil is less of a problem, though energy prices are still very uncertain– see What about peak oil

We asked some of our members what they like about being a part of Transition Cambridge. This is what they said. (See also interviews with Transition members on the Transition Cambridge Media blog)

For me, enjoyment and learning are closely related so it's been great to expand my knowledge by interacting with like minded people. We have a lot of practical expertise within the group, which was very useful when it came to reducing my own carbon footprint, especially by making my own house more economical. Patrick O'Donohoe, Energy group


It's amazing to watch projects develop from a person's idea to an initiative that flies with its own wings, and also to learn that nothing stays the same for ever: some things we've started come to a stop when the group energy for participating dries up. I've learned to view these discontinued projects as part of the cycle, not failures! Our practical activities are a source of pleasure too. Jacky Sutton-Adam, Food group

For me, transition is about making better use of our local resources, and not wasting energy by making our homes more efficient to live in. The cheapest energy is the energy you don’t use. I've learned a huge amount from developing factual resources and games like the quiz cards to raise awareness about energy issues. Here you can see the mayor having a go. Nicola Terry, Energy group

The community garden has been a great way of meeting people on my street and we love that lots of people enjoy the garden even when we're not there. We've learned a lot about how to organise events and make things fun so people to keep coming. Anna McIvor, Romsey Community Garden coordinator (on the right of the picture)

So what is Transition Cambridge?

Essentially we are people who live or work in the Cambridge getting together to do stuff such as:

  • Learning how to live well using less energy
  • Growing more of our food locally
  • Reusing and recycling stuff so that less is wasted
  • Valuing and protecting our green spaces because we need them for our well-being

We’re doing this now because we want to – not waiting until we have to.

The way it works is, if you want to do something, you find some people who want to do it with you, plan together how to do it – and then do it. We can give you help you get started. In practice there are a few main groups – like the food group – that run or spawn off projects. Each group reports to the Hub which is a coordination group, meeting once a month. To get involved you can join a group or come straight to the hub with your idea.

Transition is a global movement

The Transition movement started in Totnes back in 2006. Now its global https://www.transitionnetwork.org/initiatives/map

To see how it all started, have a look at the Transition Primer, the Transition Handbook (available from us or various bookshops including Heffers). For the latest news see the Transition Network website, and the Transition Culture website. There's also the "Who we are and what we do" document from the Transition Network.

The Transition Network is

  • a loose federation of voluntary groups in towns and cities around the world, involved in raising awareness and practical projects
  • aiming to inspire positive, solution-focused responses

Our Mission

Transition Cambridge aims to help Cambridge make the transition to ways of life that are more resilient in the face of rising energy prices and a changing climate.

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