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Rapid Transitions: how did we do that?

24th April 2017 @ 10:30 am - 6:30 pm

Join in on Twitter: #RapidTransitions

In the face of environmental crises and global inequality, how can we work together for more sustainable futures? What can we learn from great transitions and transformations of the past?

This event brought together activists, academics and practitioners to explore what we can learn from history and how we accelerate change in the present, and launched a new booklet, How did we do that? The possibility of Rapid Transition.


In the video playlist, we asked speakers to share their views on rapid transitions, including Caroline Lucas, Rob Hopkins, Richard Murphy, Andrew Simms, Andy Stirling, Pete Newell, Paul Allen and Molly Conisbee.

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/embed?listType=playlist&list=PLI8qkz1i11OR1rUcO55Wd0VQNzhkxaRPZ[/embedyt]
how did we do that? book cover
Download the booklet (PDF, 1 MB)

Booklet: How did we do that? The possibility of Rapid Transition

by Andrew Simms and Peter Newell
STEPS Centre & New Weather Institute, 2017

Is rapid transition possible? Sometimes events or new knowledge throw up reasons why we must make change happen quickly. At the present moment, climate change and chronic social inequality seem to demand radical change – but what kind of changes will work, and how can they be achieved?

This booklet collects stories of rapid transitions and different kinds of transformations to show what we can learn from history and the present day about how people adapt to rapid change.

Download the booklet (PDF, 1 MB)

More about the event


  • Caroline Lucas, co-leader, Green Party of England and Wales
  • Paul Allen, Centre for Alternative Technology
  • Rob Hopkins, Transition Network
  • Ruth Potts, Schumacher College
  • Molly Conisbee, University of Bristol / Bread, Print & Roses
  • Andrew Simms, New Weather Institute
  • Peter Newell, University of Sussex/ESRC STEPS Centre
  • Leo Murray, 10:10
  • Phil Johnstone, SPRU, University of Sussex
  • Richard Murphy, Tax Research UK
  • Bradon Smith, The Open University, Stories of Change project
  • Chris Rowland, OVESCO
  • Kayla Ente, Brighton and Hove Energy Services Co-op (BHESCo)
  • Ruth Potts, Schumacher College / Bread, Print & Roses
  • Sarah Woods, playwright & artist

About the Transformations series

TransformationsWhen in the past have societies made rapid transitions, and what were the circumstances that drove them? What can we learn from these times, positively and negatively to enable the transition we need to make today in the face of climatic upheaval and fossil fuel dependence?

The Transformations series, co-organised by the New Weather Institute and the STEPS Centre, aim to change the conversation about transition in the UK. Through informed public discussion and engagement we will gather opinions, capture outcomes and stimulate debate about how to facilitate the speed and scale of the transition.

See the Transformations event series page for more details.



24th April 2017
10:30 am - 6:30 pm
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United Kingdom


New Weather Institute

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