Our Guiding Principles

1. Positive Visioning

  • We can only create what we can first envision.
  • If we can’t imagine a positive future we won’t be able to create it.
  • A positive message helps people engage with the challenges of these times.
  • Change is happening – our choice is between a future we want and one which happens to us.
  • Transition Initiatives are based on a dedication to the creation of tangible, clearly expressed and practical visions of the community beyond its present-day dependence on fossil fuels.
  • To collectively design a more sustainable community, without sacrificing quality of life.
  • Our primary focus is not campaigning against things, but rather on positive empowering possibilities and opportunities.
  • The generation of new stories and myths are central to this visioning work.
  • Dare to dream! Encourage imagination, creativity, and a sense of fun & play.


2. Help People Access Good Information and Trust Them to Make Good Decisions

Transition Initiatives dedicate themselves through all aspects of their work, to raising awareness of peak oil, climate change and economic instability. In doing so they recognize the responsibility to present this information in ways which are playful, accessible and engaging, enabling people to feel enthused and empowered rather than powerless.

Transition Initiatives focus on telling people the closest version of the truth that we know in times when the information available is deeply contradictory.


3. Inclusion and Openness

Successful Transition initiatives need an unprecedented coming together of the broad diversity of society. We dedicate ourselves to ensuring that our decision making processes and working groups embody principles of openness and inclusion, whereby members of the community have an opportunity to engage in productive and positive dialogue, assisted by facilitation expertise.

This principle directs us in endeavoring to reach the community in its entirety, and from an early stage, to engage our local business community, the diversity of community groups and local authorities.

In a successful Transition project every skill is valuable because there is so much happening. We need good listeners, gardeners, people who like to make and fix everything, good parties, discussions, energy engineers, inspiring art and music, builders, planners, project managers. Bring your passion and make that your contribution – if there isn’t a project working in the area you are passionate about, create one!!


4. People are the Heart of Our Community

Value and celebrate the skills and human resources present in our community and advocate for the rights of all of its people, as well as their physical and emotional well-being.


5. Sharing and Networking

Transition initiatives dedicate themselves to sharing their successes, failures, insights and connections at the various scales with all other communities across the global Transition network, so as to more widely build up a collective body of experience.


6. Building Resilience

This stresses the fundamental importance of building resilience – to ensure that the capacity of our businesses, communities and settlements respond as well as possible when faced with environmental and economic shock.

Transition initiatives commit to building resilience across a wide range of areas (food, economics, energy, etc.) and also on a range of scales (from local to regional to national) as seems appropriate. Most communities a generation or two ago had the basic skills needed for life, such as growing and preserving food, making clothes, and building with local materials. Transition Prince Rupert aims to help strengthen our local culture and economy.


7. Inner and Outer Transition

The challenges we face are not just caused by a mistake in our technologies but as a direct result of our world view and belief system.

The impact of the information about the state of our planet can generate fear and grief – which may underlie the state of denial that many people are caught in. Psychological models, such as addictions models and models for behavioural change, can help us understand what is really happening and avoid unconscious processes sabotaging change.

This principle respects that we are all at different stages of inner transformation and personal growth, and also honours the fact that Transition thrives because it enables and supports people to do what they are passionate about, what they feel called to do.


8. Transition makes sense – the solution is the same size as the problem

Many films or books suggest that changing light bulbs, recycling and driving smaller cars may be enough. This causes “Cognitive Dissonance” – a trance-like state, where you have been given an answer but know that it is not going to solve the problem you’ve just been given.

Transition looks at the whole system rather than just one issue, because we are facing a systems failure, not a single problem failure. We work with complexity, mimicking nature in solutions-based problem solving, by utilizing the principals of permaculture design, to promote the creation of an urban ecosystem that brings people together.


9. Self-organization and decision making at the appropriate level

This principle enshrines the idea that the intention of the Transition model is not to centralize or control decision making, but rather to work with everyone so that it is practiced at the most appropriate, practical and empowering level, and in such a way that it models the ability of natural systems to self-organize. We create ways of working that are easy to copy and spread quickly.


10. Transition Takes Times

The Transition model is an influential and effective means of producing positive change in communities, provided it is given sufficient time to take root and grow.