As you may know Transition Putney underwent a transition and celebration of it’s own in May 2012 – as all Transition groups are required to do (according to the Transition model step 4 & 10)

Yes Transition is a 12 step group, and as such creates a series of steps to follow – these steps provide a framework for results that do seem to work.

Over the past several years I have had the honor to serve as a core Transition member with a group of dynamic individuals that are committed to change in Putney. It is a pleasure to see the inspiration that our group – our town, has provided for other towns forming their own Transition initiatives.

In this core group we had incredible results; hundreds of reskilling workshops, lectures, movies, and community events. A farmers market, a community garden and many working groups – loosely associated with Transition Putney. An Asset Mapping group was formed, a Discover Putney initiative bloomed, a local currency group was started, a local investment group formed and unformed (hopefully to reform), a sustainability group formed, a local community supported restaurant is happening soon, a healthy aging group or two formed and the Putney Town plan was modified to include an Energy Descent Action Plan. All these groups (and others not mentioned) have contributed to the success and reach of the Putney Transition Movement.

Reminder – It is a movement comprised of all those people in town that would like to see change – not just a small group of people making decisions – that made Transition Putney a success.

In May we held the celebrations called the Great Unleashing – with food and live music. We had our symbolic group closure and we officially ended the Transition core team involvement. This was not an end to our community involvement.

What happened next was a surprise to us…

The initial Transition core group had called for all the working groups to select a representative to serve on a new council of workgroups.

These community selected members would then serve as the new “core” group to facilitate and provide a cohesive center for the widely varying working groups. The old core worked at creating a conflict resolution group, and had created relationships with the schools and with SIT for interns. We thought we had laid the groundwork for success…


Not many groups came forward.

The transition of our own group (IMHO) has not been one of our successes, perhaps we are a hard act to follow, perhaps there are just not enough people with a desire to see change occur, perhaps the timing was off. I really do not know the answer – but here is what I do know.

Transition initiatives can only survive and flourish if people get involved.

It is helpful to use these guiding principals as a reference, with the idea that no one really has all the answers.

I can say that when a movement or group of individuals come under fire for not doing enough, or not being transparent enough – that criticism can undermine an entire organization – so I encourage all of us to stay positive, to look at what was done, (as a best effort), and to lend a hand making it better, better… better!

So this is a call to action – in the next few days the new Transition Putney Group will announce a meeting to gather us together. If you are part of a working group, or want to start one – this is your time!

You might be wondering what responsibilities come with being a member of the new Council Group. In short, the Group’s mission is to help ensure that Transition Putney thrives as a community-driven, welcoming, apolitical, all-inclusive initiative that helps people to connect with one another across age, political, socio-economic, and all other divides (this is not easy).  Each member of the Council Group will work to honor the dreams and visions of the larger community, and to act in a way that encourages involvement, kindness, and growth among all of us in town.  There is a time commitment, in that Group members meet every few weeks – defined by your ability to be involved. Each Group member also keeps the Council Group updated on what is happening in their own Working Groups.

This is a call for the new council group to rise up – to self organize to meet and fill the vacuum that was created in May.

So dear friends – this is not good bye – this is hello to a new and more inclusive group, and a new chapter in Transition Putney’s history. I remain involved on the following teams; Web site and list services, funding and outreach, local currency, green bike project and energy. If you want to be a part of any of these please contact me. We have a lot of work to do and really really need your help.

-Daniel Hoviss

In Transition!