Transition Training

Learning Together & Growing the Network!

  • Want to help grow the Transition movement here in the Twin Cities?
  • Want to start a new group or revitalize a Transition group with new ideas?
  • Want to connect with folks in other Transition groups to expand your network of support and resources?
  • Want to develop some new skills for the work you do?

If you answered yes, this Transition Workshop series is for YOU! In this training you will:

  • Increase your understanding of the key issues of the Transition Movement from local perspective and understand how Transition connects with broader initiatives already occurring in our communities
  • Learn and practice practical, hands-on group processes and facilitation techniques you can use in small and large groups and when organizing your neighborhood initiatives.
  • Be inspired and motivated by a group of colleagues who are also working on Transition so you can continue to connect and collaborate outside of the training.

EACH SESSION runs about 3 hours. We encourage attendance at all sessions so we can ceate relationships and build a network, but you CAN register for just one or a few.

SCHEDULE: The training will be once a week for 8 weeks. Check back for details on 2017 dates. We will hold the entire series twice in 2017.


COST: By donation; consider $25 per session to help us cover room rental, supplies and workshop development costs. But do not let cost stand in the way. We need lots of confident, prepared people working to build a successful movement so let us know what you can afford to pay.

FACILITATION LEADERS: This training has been developed and is being led by Leslie MacKenzie, a member of Transition Longfellow, and Rachel Hefte, a professional facilitator with the Minnesota Facilitators Network and a member of Corcoran Grows.

If you would like to be notified of future training dates, please contact Leslie MacKenzie.

Workshop Description

Session 1: The Big Picture

  • Motivation: Visioning
  • It’s a System: Putting the pieces together so we can reduce greenhouse gas emissions (mitigation) while we also prepare to live with a changing climate (adaptation).
  • The Transition Movement: What is Transition? What does it do? Why does it work (theory of change, research from the field of community based social marketing)?
  • Skill Building: Asset identification and Asset Based Community Development as a helpful theory and approach.

Session 2: What We Talk About and How We Talk

  • Motivation: Making a head-hands-heart connection
  • Climate Change: What are we doing in Minnesota to change the climate? How climate change will affect our state and city? Who’s working on it?
  • Talking Climate: What social science research tells us about what we say and how we say it so we can have effective conversations with those around us.
  • Skill Building: Focused conversation – we’ll practice talking climate

Session 3: Economy

  • Motivation: Investing in what we value
  • The Economy: Our economy is a primary driver of climate change. We’ll look at the primary contributors to greenhouse gas production (briefly) and then we’ll survey all the ways people are working – across the world, the U.S. and Minnesota – to create positive change. Topics include new tools to measure economic success, relocalizing businesses, democratizing the workplace, alternative currency, sharing and caring economy, new ways of investing.
  • Skill Building: What’s your next step (personally) and who can your group partner with to move the ball forward in this area?

Session 4: Building a Solid Foundation for Your Group

  • Motivation: Finding or building a supportive small group
  • The Transition Core Group: How Transition groups start and how you can start a group. Who should be in your core group? Useful skills for core groups. Creating group norms. Effective small groups processes. How small groups can go wrong and how to get back on track.
  • Skill building: Running meetings, brainstorming techniques, facilitation skills for small groups, effective communication, conflict resolution

Session 5: Energy

  • Motivation: Meeting the critical challenge
  • Energy & Transit: Guest speaker Jon Freise takes a fun and informative look at energy past and future. Then we’ll look at how energy production and energy use drives climate change in Minnesota, and who is working on these issues. Leslie MacKenzie will present an Energy Descent Action Plan (EDAP) and participants can begin their own plan.
  • Skill Building: What’s your next step (personally) and who can your group partner with to move the ball forward in this area?

Session 6: Engaging the Larger Community

  • Motivation: Building a supportive community
  • Community Outreach: How-To’s for community outreach and marketing your group and its activities. How to use traditional and social media. Reaching diverse audiences. Connecting with community, with businesses and with local government.
  • Skill Building: Facilitator Rachel Hefte will lead an Open Source exercise. Open Space is a technique used to engage groups of people around their own areas of interest in order to generate action plans.

Session 7: Food and Land Use

  • Motivation: Meeting the critical challenge
  • Food Systems and Land Use: How the food we grow and the way we grow it — and the way we use land — drives climate change in Minnesota and around the world. We’ll also look at how a changing climate – higher CO2 levels and more (or less) rainfall – will affect our food supply. Who is working on these issues?
  • Skill Building: What’s your next step (personally) and who can your group partner with to move the ball forward in this area?

Session 8: Building a Movement

  • Motivation: Building the movement
  • Partnerships, Networks & Alliances: How Transition can be more effective by working with others in partnerships, networks and alliances. How partnerships can encourage diversity. Seeing where Transition fits in the big picture.
  • Skill Building: Community asset mapping, recognizing diverse interests and skills