A movement to accelerate the Great Transition

Communicating to change the direction of our whole society is too vast a project to be carried out by any one organisation. The reach of organisations is inherently limited. Typically organisations expand, slowly or rapidly, and then reach a saturation point. The Roman Catholic Church did set the tone in Europe, but it took 400 years before it became the state religion.

Ordinarily organisations do not want to be under the aegis of other organisations. And attempting to form an umbrella organisation with a steering committee and agree policy would predictably be contentious and time-consuming.

So we are not building an organisation in the usual sense. Our model is to enrol thousands of organisations and individuals as independent agents communicating about whole system change to a life-sustaining society.


A movement without hierarchy


If we are aligned in the intent to transition to a life-sustaining society, and we see the need to communicate to engage mainstream commitment, we can just get on with it – each in our own way.

Therefore Inspiring Transition is an open community of peers with no centralised command-and-control. Nobody directs what other participants do. We are a community of practice.

For this model to work, a great many of us must act as self-starters. We act as self-initiating independent agents, although we may combine forces at times. In other words, we just get on with communicating about whole system change without knowing whether very many other people are doing it (at first), and with no guarantee of success.

Why would we do this? because engaging intelligent mainstream commitment is essential for success.

The Great Transition Mobilisation – February 2017

The Great Transition Mobilisation is a global initiative to generate mainstream commitment to transitioning to a life-sustaining society, rather than continuing on our current path of collective ecological suicide.

Between now and February 2017, under the radar, unseen by the mass media, we will quietly organise a communication initiative to raise the global sustainability conversation to a new level. That level is whole system change to a life-sustaining society. Then we will spring it in February.

Masses of us will post blogs, send emails to our networks and conduct transformative conversations with our friends and neighbours. We envision prominent individuals and groups such as Bill McKibben, Naomi Klein, George Monbiot, The Guardian newspaper, Avaaz and GetUp! all simultaneously talking about the Great Transition, and encouraging members to become citizen educators.

As a culture we need to change with unprecedented speed. This is why I am encouraging you to take part in the preparations for the Great Transition Mobilisation.

Possible roles include:

  • Outreach to leaders of organisations.
  • Preparing to post blogs and send emails to your networks. (This will be very easy, ready to use sample emails that you can tweak will be available.
  • Equipping yourself to conduct Kitchen Table Conversations.

Other tactics are available. Please contact me to discuss what role (s) you may play, and what support you might need to make it as easy as possible.

Andrew Gaines
andrew.gaines [@] inspiringtransition.net
+61 2 8005-8382

Why the short time frame?

In 2007 Rajendra Pachauri, head of the IPCC said, “If there’s no action before 2012, that’s too late.” Regretfully, he may be correct.

In any case, we’re right on the edge. I live with a daily sense that methane release from Arctic seabeds – once thought impossible because of thick permafrost – is rapidly increasing. This is only one of several major civilisation destroying trends.

If we are to solve global warming, collectively we need to change all the factors that make global warming worse, including inefficient industrial design, trade agreements and government policy that increase industrial production, and psychological factors that underlie excess consumption. Taken together this amounts to a ‘whole system change’ to a life-sustaining society.

The short time frame is because we are in an ecological emergency now, and we need to pull out all the stops if we are to change course in time. Having such an audacious goal inspires creativity, and in fact we have no time to lose.

A scenario

Imagining a scenario to raise the global sustainability conversation to whole system change to a life-sustaining society is not too hard.

Suppose for example that Mindy Lubber, the president of Ceres (a group of institutional investors concerned about environmental sustainability) and some Ceres members took up transitioning to a life-sustaining society? They have trillions of dollars in assets and could really make a splash.

Or suppose that online protest groups such as Avaaz, MoveOn, and GetUp! invited their members to act as citizen educators about whole system change? We would be able to reach millions through the personal networks of their members.

Or suppose Naomi Klein took it up. She has a global audience already, as does George Monbiot ofThe Guardian newspaper. And The Guardian itself has taken a strong stance on climate change.

It is easy to imagine these and other pathways to bringing the vision of transitioning to a life-sustaining society to public attention.