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Bringing neighbors together to build a more sustainable, resilient
future for 
Berkeley. We envision a strong, diverse local economy,
with a greatly reduced 
dependence on fossil fuels, 
and a cooperative, rewarding, community life.

About Transition

A b o u t  T r a n s i t i o n 

The Transition Movement is a network of imaginative and locally focused Initiatives that address current challenges of resource depletion, climate change and economic instability through community inspiration and engagement. This holistic form of engagement helps raise awareness and provide hands on solutions to these challenging issues, while affording support for the inner transition that is taking place within us simultaneously.  


Rob Hopkins, a permaculture teacher, created the beginnings of Transition, along with his adult education students, in Kinsale Ireland in 2005. Knowing about the impending issues of: unstable economy, peak oil and climate change, they were seeking local level solutions.

The students created a plan for the intentional weaning of Kinsale off its oil dependency entitled, "Kinsale 2021: an Energy Descent Plan". After educational and awareness raising films and events, the idea caught on in Kinsale and blossomed as Rob moved to Totnes, England and spread in towns throughout the country. Since then, communities around the globe have embraced the "ingredients" of Transition and its grassroots model. 


The Transition Model 


The Transition Model aims to build scalable microcosms of resilience (Transition Initiatives) able to withstand severe energy, climate or economic shocks while creating a better quality of life in the process. The Transition Model is based on four key assumptions.
  • Life with dramatically lower energy consumption is inevitable, and that it is better to plan for it than to be taken by surprise.
  • Our communities currently lack resilience.
  • We have to act collectively, and we have to act now.
  • By unleashing the collective genius of our communities it is possible to design new ways of living that are more nourishing, fulfilling and ecologically sustainable than the ways we are currently living. 

About Transition Berkeley
Transition Berkeley was inspired in 2010 by the 10/10/10 Day of Climate Action (a worldwide event) and officially launched at the Ecology Center in February 2011. A group of volunteers sprung up to form an Initiating Team of volunteers, which meet regularly to do outreach and plan events and activities.
Transition Berkeley has embarked on the journey of creating a more connected, sustainable community thus far by hosting potlucks and awareness raising panels and films, holding regular Swaps to provide support for planting veggie gardens and to support more sharing of produce, clothing and books.
Transition Berkeley seeks to engage and connect with people and groups throughout Berkeley to build connections and amplify and support existing efforts. The group has formed partnerships with the Ecology Center, the Victory Garden Foundation, Sustainable Business Alliance, the City of Berkeley and is collaborating with other Transition efforts in the east bay. 
We need you!
Transition is going to take the creative genius of all of us! This coming year we envision hands-on visible projects and actions taking place throughout Berkeley neighborhoods. Here are a few ideas for how you could be involved-
  • Swaps - where people meet and share what they have like produce, clothing books etc. Come to one, help out or start one where you live.
  • Skills - got a skill you can share, like how to can, fix a bike or socks? Let us know and we will find a way you can teach others.
  • Events - do you like films, events and parties? Contact us with your ideas and how to help out.
  • Planning - would you like to create a more connected, resilient community? Come to our team meetings and help create your vision!
There is a place in Transition for you! 
Transition Berkeley is a fiscally-sponsored project of the 501(c)(3) non-profit organization Empowerment Works



The Berkeley Transition Vision

  •  To create a city that is more resilient, as it responds to the challenges of peak oil and climate change
  •  To foster neighborhood and community relationships as Berkeley residents work together to protect the environment
  • To help achieve the goals of Berkeley's Climate Action Plan and Energy Descent Plan, working towards an 80% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2050


 Working Groups


Berkeley has approved its Climate Action Plan. Transition Berkeley will help implement the plan by forming working groups to ensure the plan is enacted, while also looking at peak oil and community resilience as an added goal -- allowing Berkeley to sustain itself and thrive. Examples of possible working groups are: food, waste, energy, education, youth, local economics, transportation, water, local government. 


If you are interested in becoming a member of one of these working groups contact Debra Berliner, at the Ecology Center

Transition Movement Cheerful disclaimer!

Just in case you were under the impression that Transition is a process defined by people who have all the answers, you need to be aware of a key fact.

We truly don't know if this will work. Transition is a social experiment on a massive scale.


What we are convinced of is this:

  • If we wait for the governments, it'll be too little, too late
  • If we act as individuals, it'll be too little
  • But if we act as communities, it might just be enough, just in time.


Everything that you read on this site is the result of real work undertaken in the real world with community engagement at its heart. This site, just like the transition model, is brought to you by people who are actively engaged in transition in a community. People who are learning by doing - and learning all the time. People who understand that we can't sit back and wait for someone else to do the work. People like you.


Upcoming Events

Monday, Feb 12 at 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Saturday, Mar 3 at 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM
Monday, Mar 12 at 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Saturday, Apr 7 at 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM

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Subscribe to Transition Berkeley Digest

Transition Berkeley posts an online newsletter of transition related news & events and ways you can get involved. To sign up send an email to: [email protected] to make your donation.


Winter Swaps will be held monthly at Ohlone Park:

Swaps will take place the first Saturday of the month, starting;

Saturday, November 5th, 10:30am-11:30am at Ohlone Park in North Berkeley

Bring your crops, homemade yummies, clothing, books, ideas. Be part of this wonderful sharing economy! Could you lend a hand to keep the Swaps going? Contact Linda at the link below. Clothing, books, prepared food and other items to swap are welcome. Music and neighborhood free fun for all!

Info: contact i[email protected]

Donate to Transition Berkeley

To support the activities of Transition Berkeley please consider making a donation Contact [email protected] to make your donation.



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