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Transition: Bounce Forward – What If · What Next?

in News

Transition Network has secured funding from The National Lottery Community Fund to deliver a 6 month project in England, in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, that will support groups to provide more on the ground activity through a small grants scheme. This will be combined with a series of online events exploring how communities can respond to crises, including a visioning process inspired by Rob Hopkins book ‘From What is to What If’: Unleashing the power of imagination to create the future we want’.

As Transition Liverpool recently stated in their newsletter:

We cannot afford to revert to “Business As Usual”  and “life as normal” because the normal we knew is destroying the planet and that threat, while not immediate like Covid, is rapidly becoming an irreversible reality.  Transitioners are well placed to help get this message across through our own activities and our alliance with the many organisations, petition sites and social and political movements which are working for fundamental social and economic change.“

Why the focus on England?

Transition Network supports the international Transition Movement, but because Transition originated in Britain we have continued to act as an informal Hub for groups in England and Wales.

As part of a plan for helping an autonomous Transition Hub to emerge in England and Wales we were supported by the The National Lottery Community Fund to develop a 4 year project which we hoped to have been able to start delivering in Great Britain from July of this year. You may have seen or responded to the surveys we carried out last year with British groups that informed this funding bid. However, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic this funding stream has been put on hold until at least next year, though we are still hopeful that our bid will be successful in the future.

For now, The National Lottery Community Fund are prioritising funding projects and organisations that will support communities through the Covid-19 pandemic. We were invited to quickly develop a 6 month project that would help groups and communities in England to respond and adapt to the pandemic and its impacts.

In true Transition form our vision was not to ‘bounce back’ to how things were before, because we know that this crisis has brought into clear focus many of the societal and community issues that we already faced. Instead, we’re committed to how we can bounce forward.

While The National Lottery Community Fund funding is restricted to work in England, our recent ‘What Is’ and upcoming ‘What If?’ and ‘What Next?’ online events will be open to individuals and groups from across Great Britain, through our ongoing relationships with the Transition Scotland Hub and groups in Wales. In addition, the resources we develop will be available to anyone across the world.

Transition: Bounce Forward

Transition: Bounce Forward will support Transition groups in England through strengthening and supporting them to respond with activities that contribute towards a more equitable, resilient, caring and environmentally sustainable future. The project will also engage Transition groups and wider sustainability and social justice networks in a larger conversation about the changes needed now, and in the future, as we respond to the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.

How Will We Do This?

Seed funding

We are developing a small grants scheme that Transition groups in England will be invited to apply for. There will be two types of grant – one between £350-£500 to support small scale activity and another up to £3,500 for more substantial projects.

These grants will support groups to:

  • Develop existing and new projects that offer community responses to the Covid-19 crisis:
    • Transition projects relating to local economy, community resilience, neighbourhood mutual aid, support for disadvantaged groups, local food growing and more.
    • Capacity support for groups to continue to respond through the Covid-19 crisis.
    • Peer-mentoring to help create and develop these projects.
  • Run What if visioning processes.
  • Engage with their Local Authority in developing Just Recovery plans which also respond to the climate and ecological emergency.

What If · What Next?

The visioning process we have created is inspired by Rob Hopkins’ most recent book ‘From What is to What If: Unleashing the power of imagination to create the future we want’, and is open to groups in England, Wales and Scotland.

What Is delved into what is happening right now during the pandemic, what it has uncovered and taught us, and what inspiring responses Transition groups and collaborators have already developed.

What If will be an active and imaginative visioning process that a Transition group can use to explore what we want to Bounce Forward to. (November 2020)

What Next is an online summit being developed with CTRLshift that will bring all this thinking together. We will join with others from outside of the Transition movement to explore how we can advocate for wider and ambitious societal changes towards a just recovery, and make our visions our reality. (20th-28th February 2021).

Get Involved

There will be lots of online events and activities happening throughout this process and we don’t expect you to be able to take part in them all – though brilliant if you can!

Now would be a great time to check in with your Transition group to think about how you might engage with the events, as well as the seed-funding opportunities which will be announced in November.

We’ll be sharing updates and information on the Transition Network website and socials, but now’s a good time to follow Transition: Bounce Forward so you don’t miss a thing.


Facebook: @TransitionBounceForward

Twitter: @TTBounceForward


Our thanks to National Lottery Players, and The National Lottery Community Fund for enabling us to Bounce Forward!