About Transition Berkeley
Transition Berkeley is part of a network of Transition initiatives.
We're joining cities around the world to face the enormous challenges of economic instability, climate change and fossil fuel dependency. Transition Berkeley is the 110th Transition U.S. Initiative. The Transition approach helps us envision and create a future with more locally produced food and other necessities, cleaner forms of energy and transportation and a healthy habitat. Along the way, we're building a more equitable and vibrant local economy and relearning practical skills our grandparents once had. Learn how to get involved!
Inspired in 2010 by the 10/10/10 Day of Climate Action (a 350.org worldwide event, see photo above) Linda Currie and Susan Silber, with the help of engaged citizens officially launched Transition Berkeley at the Ecology Center in February 2011. A group of volunteers sprang up to form an Initiating Team, which has since become an official nonprofit (501c3) organization.
Transition Berkeley Mission
Transition Berkeley brings neighbors and community members together to build a more equitable, regenerative, self-reliant future for Berkeley. We envision a strong, diverse local economy, with greatly reduced dependence on fossil fuels, and a healthy, cooperative, rewarding community life.
Projects and events emerge through volunteer interests and collaborations.
Thus far we have engaged with community in many ways, by hosting awareness raising panels and films, swap & share events that build community connection through growing and sharing food, provided hands-on opportunities to support habitat by planting native pollinating gardens in city parks and encouraged repair through our sponsored Repair Cafes and classes. Learn how to get involved!
Transition Berkeley engages and connects with people and groups throughout Berkeley building connections that amplify and support existing efforts. We have forged many partnerships including those with city government, parks and schools, community gardens, University of California, nonprofits like the Ecology Center, 350 Bay Area, Berkeley Rotary Club, the Culture of Repair, and many others. Here in Berkeley, we have abundant resources and support that can help us in creating vibrant neighborhoods where we all can thrive.
The Transition Movement
The Transition Movement is a network of imaginative and locally focused Initiatives that address current challenges of resource depletion, climate change and economic instability through community inspiration and engagement. This holistic form of engagement helps raise awareness and provide hands on solutions to these challenging issues, while affording support for the inner transition that is taking place within us simultaneously.
Rob Hopkins, a permaculture teacher, created the beginnings of Transition, along with his adult education students, in Kinsale, Ireland in 2005. Knowing about the impending issues of: unstable economy, peak oil and climate change, they were seeking local level solutions.
The students created a plan for the intentional weaning of Kinsale off its oil dependency entitled, "Kinsale 2021: an Energy Descent Plan". After educational and awareness raising films and events, the idea caught on in Kinsale and blossomed as Rob moved to Totnes, England and spread in towns throughout the country. Since then, communities around the globe have embraced the "ingredients" of Transition and its grassroots model.
The Transition Model
The Transition Model aims to build scalable microcosms of resilience (Transition Initiatives) able to withstand severe energy, climate or economic shocks while creating a better quality of life in the process. The Transition Model is based on four key assumptions.
Life with dramatically lower energy consumption is inevitable, and that it is better to plan for it than to be taken by surprise.
Our communities currently lack resilience.
We have to act collectively, and we have to act now.
By unleashing the collective genius of our communities it is possible to design new ways of living that are more nourishing, fulfilling and ecologically sustainable than the ways we are currently living.
Transition Movement Cheerful disclaimer!
Just in case you were under the impression that Transition is a process defined by people who have all the answers, you need to be aware of a key fact. We truly don't know if this will work. Transition is a social experiment on a massive scale.
What we are convinced of is this:
If we wait for the governments, it'll be too little, too late
If we act as individuals, it'll be too little
But if we act as communities, it might just be enough, just in time.
Everything that you read on this site is the result of real work undertaken in the real world with community engagement at its heart. This site, just like the transition model, is brought to you by people who are actively engaged in transition in a community. People who are learning by doing - and learning all the time. People who understand that we can't sit back and wait for someone else to do the work. People like you.
Transition Berkeley in the Media
"Repair Cafes Touch a Diversity of People and Interests," Transition US, April 28, 2022
“Berkeley's Ohlone Park Crop Swap Builds Community Through Food,” Berkeleyside, July 6, 2021