Urban farming in Chicago. Picture by Linda, Chicago, USA - New crops, CC BY 2.0
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Inspiring a Rapid Transition

How can our civilizations make a rapid transition away from climate disruption, and toward a future where all beings might thrive? Novasutras has joined the Rapid Transition Alliance, a network of organizations committed to such changes.

Nicky Saunter offers this explanation of the Rapid Transition Alliance strategy:

logo of the Rapid Transition Alliance

The Rapid Transition Alliance is a UK-based global network of people and organisations working towards the Paris Agreement goals of keeping our Earth’s warming below 1.5 degrees.

Although the window of opportunity for doing this is shrinking fast, it is vital that people see the real possibility of transformation – and stories can help us to do this.

Stories of the Rapid Transition Already Happening

Storytelling plays a crucial role in how we share knowledge and learn about the world around us. Not only do stories teach us about life, they can also inspire us, fuel our imaginations and encourage us to act. A river in New Zealand has become a legal entity to protect itself from pollution and degradation, a hospital in Senegal keeps cool without air conditioning, and cities grow food on their rooftops. These are just three of our multitude of stories about real, proven sustainable living that could be adopted right now.

the Whanganui River, which has become a legal entity to protect itself from pollution and degradation as an example of Rapid Transition
‘One of the many lookouts over the Whanganui River’ by Kathrin & Stefan Marks. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Transformative changes are called for to prevent climate breakdown and create the conditions for people to thrive together. These types of large-scale, rapid changes can seem difficult to achieve but through storytelling, we aim to show it is not only possible but has also been done before in many different ways.

Urban farming in Chicago. Picture by Linda, Chicago, USA – New crops, CC BY 2.0

Collecting Stories of Change

The Rapid Transition Alliance collects stories of change to share and demonstrate how rapid transition has happened in the past, remove excuses for inaction and show the way ahead.

We focus on safe water, clean energy, enough money, better homes, efficient travel, liveable cities, secure rights, natural advantage, good food, and decent work, with stories that take in these themes across the world. We have partners in India, Africa, the Americas and Europe, and are always looking for more to help build our shared learning. From Asia, we have learned about community action, water resources and new ways of thinking about the natural world. From Africa, we have stories of just transitions, the new role of “prosumers”, and wind power. From the Americas, we see the inspiration of forest charters, the role of young people in change, and waste reduction ideas. And from Europe we learn about sleeper trains, heat pumps, and electric ships.

If you have a good story about successful rapid transition to share, please let us know here.

During the pandemic, we saw an acceleration of change, much of it remarkable and uplifting despite the trauma and tragedy people were experiencing. Our Reset series explores the lessons from the global pandemic on two vital areas for rapid transition: overconsumption and unnecessary travel. It includes a set of downloadable short briefings and some fun films focused on scalable, rapid change – evidence-based hope for the future. Please download and share these – they are easy to read and useful resources for schools and colleges too.

Check out many more like these, on a wide variety of topics, on Rapid Transition Alliance’s Reset page.

Hope is not a lottery ticket you can sit on the sofa and clutch, feeling lucky. It is an axe you break down doors with in an emergency.

Rebecca Solnit, Hope in the Dark

Our Pocket Book of Hope is available to download for free too, so get stuck in and let us know what you think @RapidTransition on Twitter.

If you are an organisation and would like to join, it’s free and simple to apply – just sign this pledge and welcome to the Rapid Transition Alliance!

Nicky Saunter ~ Rapid Transition Alliance 2022

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