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Rob Hopkins: Transition as a Pattern Language

by Howard Silverman

On the Transition Culture blog, Rob Hopkins outlines a movement-as-network vision for "Rethinking Transition as a Pattern Language":

Over time though, there is a danger, identified sometimes in a near-obsession with “doing Transition properly”, that what was a model thrown together in order to communicate it to people becomes ossified and encourages slavish adherence rather than creativity and innovation. …

Therefore, in the interests of promoting non-attachment to ideas and enshrining the principle that none of us really know what we are doing, as encapsulated in the ‘Cheerful Disclaimer’, for the Transition Handbook 2.0 I am taking the original Transition model and throwing it up in the air, using A Pattern Language as a way of recommunicating and reshaping it. ...

I have come to think that Transition has a number of qualities, which include the following:

Viral: It spreads rapidly and pops up in the most unexpected places

Open Source: It is a model that people shape and take ownership of and is made available freely

Self organising: it is not centrally controlled, rather it is something people take ownership of and make their own

Solutions focused: it is inherently positive, not campaigning against things, rather setting out a positive vision of a world that has embraced its limitations

Iterative: it is continually learning from its successes and its failures and redefining itself, trying to research what is working and what isn’t

Clarifying: it offers a clear explanation of where humanity finds itself based on the best science available

Sensitive to place and scale: Transition looks different wherever it goes

Historic: it tries to create a sense of this being an historic opportunity to do something extraordinary – and perhaps most importantly of all

Joyful: if its not fun, you’re not doing it right

(See also: Defining Localism and Localisation)

Tags: cooperation



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