Getting started

The potential for a citizen-led transformation exists in every community. Unleashing this potential requires one or a small group of committed people to take the first steps. These first steps can be modest and informal, such as getting a few friends or neighbours together to discuss the possibilities, a local awareness raising event or campaign, or a survey. What’s crucial, however, is that someone takes this first step and gets the process underway.

In this section you will find a selection of tools, information, contacts and other resources that could be useful in helping to launch such a process in your community. This includes a

The Community sustainability assessment toolkit: a comprehensive checklist that anyone can complete to get a basic idea of how sustainable their community is. This assessment tool is applicable to any community. While it requires good knowledge of the life-styles, practices and features of the community, it does not require research, calculation and detailed quantification. This assessment takes about two-three hours for an individual to complete, or several times that if done as a group experience by community members.

The Step by step guide to setting up a Transition initiative: this explains the different stages the process of launching a community-led initiative, from meeting equally enthused people and deciding to give ‘transition’ a go (‘Starting out’), to developing a viable, vibrant project (‘Deepening’), then trying to broaden your engagement within the local community (‘Connecting’), and scaling up what you are doing in order to make localisation a reality on the ground (‘Building’).  Lastly, there is a visionary, speculative stage of looking forward to how things might be if this happened everywhere (‘Daring to Dream’).

Starting out in Permaculture: which outlines some simple ideas to reduce your impact on the planet, and improve your quality of life.