A project to explore the possibilities of rapid transitions and other transformations, through a series of case studies and public discussions.
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.
Launch event: Rapid Transitions: how did we do that?
This interactive event in Brighton on 24 April 2017 featured speakers and discussion with activists, researchers and citizens interested in transformative change.
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.
About the Transformations series
Hosted by the New Weather Institute and the ESRC STEPS Centre, the Transformations events aim to change the conversation about transition in the UK. Through a series of public discussions, we will gather opinions and provoke debate about how to facilitate the speed and scale of transitions to more sustainable futures.
The world is not short of transitions in action. But many remain sceptical about whether current efforts can meet the scale of the challenges we collectively face. When have transitions in energy, food, finance and transport come about before at a rate demanded now by climate science, and how would they be brought about again? What can we learn from the past rapid transitions to help us tackle climate change, unsustainability and global inequality? How can we do this in a fair and democratic way?
Are there lessons from previous periods of rapid economic re-engineering that tell us otherwise? Join the debate.
Subscribe to the Transformations events mailing list
- Nathan Oxley: Why rapid transitions are more possible than you might think, STEPS Centre blog, 24 April 2017
- Molly Conisbee: Historians tell it how it was: learning from the past about rapid transition, New Weather Institute blog, 2 June 2016
- Richard J Murphy: Are conditions approaching for a rapid economic shift? New Weather Institute blog, 3 June 2016
- Patrick Huff: Learning from Rojava: exploring democracy in the midst of the Syrian war and beyond, STEPS Centre blog, 12 September 2016
- Nathan Oxley & Adrian Smith: What can we learn from digital transformations? STEPS Centre blog, 7 October 2016
- Ian Scoones: Trump and Brexit: what’s the alternative? STEPS Centre blog, 11 November 2016
- Andrew Simms: The new climate change story must be one of rapid transition, The Guardian, 23 November 2016
- Andrew Simms: What can a medieval climate crisis teach us about modern-day warming?, The Guardian, 22 December 2016
17 March 2017
Organised in collaboration with The Nexus Network.
Can rapid transition happen? A current and historical evidence dialogue
University of Manchester, UK
12 December 2016
Accelerating the transition to a decarbonised society
Speakers: Kevin Anderson (Upssala University/University of Manchester), Anders Wijkman (Chair, Swedish Environmental Goals Commission), Andrew Simms (New Weather Institute)
Hosted by the Zennström Climate Change professorship and Uppsala Centre for Sustainable Development, in collaboration with the Sigtuna Foundation, What Next Forum and The New Weather Institute
3-4 November 2016
3 November: public event from 4pm to 8pm in Brighton (film screenings + talks)
4 November: invite-only workshop at University of Sussex
Lighthouse, Brighton, UK
28 September 2016
Part of the Brighton Digital Festival 2016. Speakers: Ann Light, Tim Jordan, Caroline Bassett, Kat Braybrooke, Adrian Smith.
Rapid Transition in industry and infrastructure
Manchester Tyndall Centre
4 July 2016
Transition Design symposium: Can design catalyse the great transition?
The Great Hall, Dartington
17-19 June 2016
A three-day programme of talks and discussions on transitions.
View event details (Dartington website)
Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford
15 June 2016
With Alan Rusbridger, Danny Dorling, Mary Mellor, Peter Newell, Lindsay Mackie, Victoria Chick, Geoff Tily, Maurice Glasman and Andrew Simms.
Hay Festival debates
How Quickly Can We Change…Culture?
31 May 2016 at 8.30pm
with Clare Brass, Molly Conisbee and David Boyle
How Quickly Can We Change… Economics?
1 June 2016 at 8.30pm
Andrew Simms and Richard Murphy
How Quickly can we Change… the Built Environment?
2 June 2016 at 8.30pm
Howard Johns, Lindsay Mackie, John Barrett, Andrew Simms
Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT), Machynlleth, Wales
Friday 29 April 2016, 9am to 4pm
Free of charge – all welcome
Video: Zero Carbon Conversations
Despair is often a barrier to action, so Mike Erskine made a a series of films with participants at the event about what gives them hope for more sustainable futures, what the barriers to change are, and what actions we might take.
View the set of 3 videos on Mike Erskine’s website.
Andrew Simms, New Weather Institute
Peter Newell, Centre for Global Political Economy, School of Global Studies, University of Sussex / ESRC STEPS Centre
Andy Stirling, SPRU / ESRC STEPS Centre
andrewsimms.uk [at] gmail.com