Leadership projects

Leadership group

Partnering, vision & strategies for transformation - this Primer gets you started


Do you want to transform whole sectors or significant portions of your local economic system? This section provides examples of how Transition groups are starting to do this, and a REconomy Leadership Projects Primer that will help you start on your own leadership activity. The Primer references the examples in several places, and you can also navigate the Primer using the links in the menu to your right.

Examples of leadership & strategy

Economic Evaluation

This approach aims to build a partnership of local stakeholder organisations, agree a wellbeing-led purpose for the local economy, quantifies local economic opportunities in key resilience-building sectors (food, renewables, retrofitting etc.), defines a 3 year action plan to turn opportunities into jobs, then works with the stakeholder group to implement the plan. This process has been piloted by Transition Town Totnes, Transition Town Brixton and the Herefordshire in Transition Alliance – you can download the reports and read more about the pilot projects and also find out about the support and training we offer.

Sustaining Dunbar Action Plan

A Scottish Transition Town has developed a low-carbon economy focused Community Local Resilience Action Plan. This looks at food, energy, transport, health and enterprise skills & education. It outlines a vision, the challenges and potential solutions, and required activities. A ‘logic diagram’ for each sector shows aims, milestones, actions, external factors etc. They have made a start on a number of strands, are moving towards having a stakeholder group, and hope to use bits of the Economic Evaluation approach to quantify their local economic opportunities.

Food Shift, Colorado, USA

Transition Colorado commissioned a report called The 25% Shift: The Benefits of Food Localization for Boulder County and How to Realize Them. Like the Economic Evaluation work, this report analysed the local food system and estimates the economic impacts (jobs etc.) of moving a quarter of the way toward fully meeting local demand for food with local production, processing, and distribution.  They offer ideas for programmes and investment priorities, including enabling enterprises at the heart of the food system. They are now running a campaign to get people and businesses pledging to spend 10% on local food, and building networks of local businesses and entrepreneurs. They are planning how to help other groups get started with a similar approach.

Jamaica Plain New Economy Transition Group (JP NET), USA

Boston-based JP NET has economic change at the heart of its mission. Here’s a post by Orion from JP NET that gives you a good sense of their approach and some of their practical projects.

Other approaches led by others, e.g. councils

There’s also a small number of well-informed, proactive councils taking the lead on low-carbon and community-based economic regeneration, such as the Haringey Carbon Commission (now Haringey 40:20). Haringey’s process was initiated thanks to lobbying by Friends of the Earth and other local sustainability groups, and supported by nef. Liz Cox from nef says “They are one of a few local authorities shaping a vision and practical plan to take this scale of activity forward – and they have continued with this work even with the cuts. Securing the large commitments first is key to guard against political change in the council”.

We’re sure there are other good examples that we are missing – if you know of any, please send them to us.

A Primer to help you start your own Leadership Project

The approaches given above seem to have some things in common. To help your group start your own leadership activity – which some Transition groups are calling a ‘local REconomy Project’ – here we offer some guidance and useful resources around these common themes, as outlined in the 4 sections below. It’s not an exhaustive list of everything you could do, or lots of detail on how to do it, but we hope it’s enough to help you get started…

We think the ideal starting place is with ‘Resource yourselves’ so you gain the capacity to do the work, but the other things could be done in parallel – your approach will likely depend on your local situation, such as the current state of your relationship with key partners, similar work already underway and so on.

We suggest the Resource yourselves section is also helpful for the larger Economic Enabler projects.

Primer sections

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