Community, Transition Towns and Resilience

“Too often environmentalists try to engage people in action by painting apocalyptic visions for the future as a way of scaring them into action.... what would happen if we came at this the other way round, painting a picture of the future so enticing people instinctively feel drawn towards it”
(Rob Hopkins, The Transition Handbook, 2009).

The pizza oven was one of the first constructions built at Source, as we believe it is important to celebrate, build community and eat well whilst trying to create a better future. This typifies the spirit of the Transition Towns movement, which started in the UK in 2005, and has now gone global. The term 'transition' refers the changes we need to make in our lives, societies and economy that will enable humanity to cope with the twin challenges of peak oil and climate change. These phenomenon have the potential to fundamentally change the direction of humankind. While most people are familiar with the concept of climate change, they are less familiar with peak oil. Cheap and readily available oil, as a source of fuel, fertilizer, plastic and other petrochemical based products, has driven the high rate of global economic expansion over the past century. However oil is a limited resource. Peak oil is the point when the earth's oil resources reach peak production and start to become more and more expensive to extract. This will drastically reduce the amount of energy available to power the unsustainable systems we currently depend on, such as broad acre farming and the import and export of food and goods over long distances.

However, as Rob Hopkins, the founder of the Transition Towns movement says: “Inherent within the twin challenges of peak oil and climate change is an extraordinary opportunity to reinvent, rethink and rebuild the world around us....”

At Source we are centred around food, as we believe that changing how and what we eat is a key way that people can reduce their environmental footprints and support more sustainable food systems. We also believe pro-activity and optimism are the best ways to confront the challenges, and embrace the opportunities facing humanity. Peak oil and climate change present an exciting opportunity to build stronger, healthier and more connected communities that can respond creatively and adaptively to challenges. Resilient communities are those that can meet many of their own needs and will not collapse at the first sight of global energy or food shortages.

Source is a small example of how the future could be if we embrace small-scale, local and sensible technologies, community and common sense!

For more information about Transition Towns and sustainable living, please visit