Jon Norcross - [email protected]

I support The Transition because our world is currently moving in a very dangerous direction and that direction needs to be modified for the benefit of everyone rather than a few.

  • Future me letter

    A friend who is trying to sign up says she is stuck at the Future me letter, because it is asking for a donation and she doesn't have any money to donate. She says she can't enter past the donation request to be able to post her letter. She gave me this web address for the page she's having a problem:

    Official response from completed

    The link is confirming that the email will be sent November 24th, 2018. The letter will be sent to them on that date regardless of whether or not co donates to them.

  • Income generation.

    There is nothing much in this section. There are plenty of ways to make money as well as save money. Ask me.

    Official response from planned

    Yes, we know it is a section we have yet to develop in much detail at this time as other parts of the website have been asked to be developed in more detail as a priority. If you would like to share your expertise please draft "How-To" type material in Google docs format and submit to The Transition via the Contact Us section of the site.

  • communities with ecological footprints to include

    with data probably available:

    Dancing Rabbit

    Twin Oaks

    perhaps no data:

    Fellowship Community, Spring Valley, NY

    Also, some other factors to investigate: longevity of the community as a whole; turnover rate; happiness index; food security. Thanks for collecting this data, this is vital and helpful.

    Official response from started

    We have the FIC's printed directory and do intend to get this type of data from as many ICs and groups as possible, but due to our team size it will be a slow process. Our primary focus is on those that attend and are part of the Twin Oaks Communities Conference ( as we make connections and develop relationships there where trust is gained and our intentions are seen as pure as they are. To gather this data takes a lot of relationship building within the IC community movement.

  • bar graph and apples-to-apples comparison for case studies

    would be nice to see the comparisons visually, by category: embodied energy (foodprint), electricity, heat, and transportation.

    Official response from started

    This section is still under development and work in progress we will keep this in mind.

  • usability and redundancy continued

    Another example of where you can win more hearts and minds through usability--I heard you bemoaning that someone would be so foolish as not to turn their phone sideways to see your website. It may seem obvious, but if someone hasn’t yet thought of it, then it's not obvious. It's only obvious in hindsight. So, the best tactical response is to put a little message saying "having trouble viewing this page? if you're viewing it on your phone, have you tried turning your phone sideways? if that doesn't work, have you tried changing your phone's settings?” It may seem stupid but hindsight is 20-20, foresight is a blank. It’s not stupidity, it’s a matter of perspective and self-organizing perception.

    Technology can be the bane of these efforts, but keeping things as simple as possible helps.

    2--I'd like to see somewhere on the site a brief description of 'why this site is different from other organizing efforts that didn't work, and what in particular it's taken from the best of what has been done.’” That would give me a lot of motivation to focus more on out of other priorities I have in my life.

    2a don’t assume I”m not already doing something, actively, to change the world, to move to the new paradigm. Some of the language assumes that I’m not doing X because I’m afraid. That may be true in part, but it’s nicer to have the things I _AM_ already doing in spite of their non-comfortability acknowledged as valid. It’s less disruptive and conduces to clarity.

    3--I have other resources, little-known and underutilized, for carrying out and managing a project, and I'd be glad to share them if you want.

    4--Lastly, "become a contributor" is emphasized a bit sooner and more than seems necessary or beneficial. Put your expenses out there on the site--be explicit about what you need, and people will rise to the occasion and derive great satisfaction from meeting your need. Askf or what you really need, don’t under-ask; ask for a healthy amount of money r other resources that can support you in comfort so you can do your job. But don’t focus on the money as a primary thing, or even asking for alternative currency contributions. Emphasize the "take action" part of how people can contribute (as you, Nicole, did in our conversation). Also, instead of "become a contributor" you might label it something like "what the Transition organization needs to do its job.”

    5—for things that your site doesn’t need to reinvent the wheel on, might you partner with other websites or web communities?

    I think it's a pretty great thing you're attempting here; I certainly think the part of your work where you went to Twin Oaks and connected deeply and authentically with other people is of genuine value. I

    I hope this is helpful. My two cents, take what you like and leave the rest.

    In community,


    Official response from started

    Regarding 2. We actually have that already in the FAQ section have you checked that section out? Here is the specifc FAQ for your point: For 2a can you give specific links to the pages and phrases you are referencing? 3. Can you provide that info in a Google doc and send it to the Contact Us page or your Point Person?

  • Usability and redundancy

    Hey Nicole and John,

    Joshua here from Twin Oaks/Communities Conference. It was great to meet you and I appreciate the focus and dedication you’re exercising in the work you’re doing. It looks like a promising contribution to the global efforts and an improvement over some past platforms.

    I'm just sharing some initial impressions about your site from having spent many 2 hours with it, and perhaps these things are not relevant or questions get answered later on, but the impressions are fresh and I may not visit the site again, the future is unknown. I share this also because I've seen many of these kinds of things come and mostly go, for a while, and have a sense of a larger vision that matches yours, I believe.

    1. website usability--if you haven't read Paul Krugman's _Don't Make Me Think_, it's worth reading. It points out how much can get lost in the layout of a website. There are a few places on the site where I felt I got lost or frustrated, and started to give up on exploring the website. I will try to be more specific if I can remember, but you may need to do an actual usability test to really find these places--that is, have a naive subject use the site while you observe and see what they click on.

    I may have been an unusual case since you, Nicole, told me to go to "take action" first, so I had a weird experience of sharing all of my list of skills and knowledge without much idea of what was going to happen with the information. But that was a pretty good place to start.

    Another thing that had my energy go down was a separate page of "about" and "our mission"--I would want just one page I can clearly start with that's the introduction to everything.

    I was really, really, really, really glad that you said you'd talked with _multiple_ people who had decades of experience in the fields they worked in, and that you were going to get it right this time. A list of groups that seem, on the face of it, not to have gotten it right or not to have had much momentum, despite being wonderful in their insight, intent, and potential:'s new global connector project (I lost momentum with that after a few months); (never heard from anyone on it); or something like that (managed to connect with only one gardener who was too rigid to work with); meetup (the permaculture community and the food forest in Boston have ceased having work days or community pot lucks or gatherings of peers and just have classes now) and the old practice of throwing a block party to get neighbors together (it rained, hardly anyone came, maybe it will lead to something down the road but it was not making much of a difference. I am pretty tired and burned out with all of this. I need to be selfish and take care of myself at this point in whatever else I do. Being at Twin Oaks fed me. Being on often feeds me. Being on sites that attempt to link people for organizing—so far not so much. So--I hope that what you've learned from these other people's experience is really going to make things better. So far, the jury’s out. I haven't heard from anyone on asking me to share a skill or inviting me to a pot luck or anything (it’s been a week—my attention span is pretty short), and I do live in Granola Central--Somerville, MA—so, as I said, I’m not blown away yet, but jury’s still out.


    Official response from started

    Thanks for the resources will look into them more in depth as part of my teamwork. You need to work through the phases on Your Action Plan ( before you get more engaged with any BUDs or local projects. We are still in the process of migrating our large network over from Facebook to here. With The Transition you can only expect to get something out of it if you put something in, we are based off of Stone Soup principles 9 so you will only see change in your personal life and circumstances if you become part of the change you wish to see!

  • Jukebox suggestions

    Heal the world - Child Prodigy

    Hidden Ones - Missy Higgins

    Official response from incomplete

    Please provide lyrics as well with Jukebox suggestions.

  • contribution

    Is pay pal the only way to contribute monthly donation?

    Official response from completed

    At this time virtually online yes. However, some Contributors do send check or cash in the mail. If you are interested in this method please speak to your Point Person for further details.

  • On this page: I get kicked off by clicking on the links inside the paragraph: recruiting, trained activists,

    Official response from completed

    Both the Recruiting and Trained Activists pages are Contributors( only page so you would need to be a member to see them. See also: &

  • Grantcoin cryptocurrency that supports Basic Income

    Official response from started

    We tried to work with GrantCoin, but they didn't want to actually do anything; they expected us to do all the work to go through with an integration that would allow users to use the GrantCoin currency to obtain membership.


    Additional Comment from Transition Team Member:

    If you would like for us to be able to accept Grancoin (which is now called Manna through Hedge for Humanity) please write them directly ([email protected]) and request that they finish the work Jon started. The more people who submit a request the more this becomes a priority to them. Thanks- Nicole Bienfang, Transition Team Seed

  • Micro Job Site Project Lead, Volunteer/Consultant- The Transition Team

    The Transition is in need of a project leader for a Micro-Job site that we would like to have for our supporters to utilize.  We were thinking of using the software that is here, however, we are open to alternatives.  We expect this project to take around 80 hours to setup and continuous support for 1 year as our supporters learn how to use the software.  The requirements of this position include the following:

    • Able to communicate effectively with the The Transition team
    • Knowledge of setting up and configuring complex web applications
    • Can put together a schedule and follow through with it
    • Can commit to supporting the software, which includes bug fixes or other issues that may arise, for up to 1 year

    Please do not apply if you only have book or internet knowledge and have no prior experience in actually setting up and configuring complex web applications. You will be expected to have a portfolio of your work and references. To get more information and apply please contact The Transition Team Seed: Nicole Bienfang

  • Jon Norcross' TOCC Trip Report 2016


    At 5:30pm I arrived at Twin Oaks and met up with Hawyna, Sky and Nicole at ZK.  After dinner, Nicole and I found out where I would be staying which was in Tai-Chi and I got myself situated for the evening.  We then had a discussion in Tai-Chi with some of the members and guests who had come for the conference.


    Early in the morning, I found Pam and worked on the Garden shift.  We picked corn, went on break for 15 minutes and then picked peppers and roma tomatoes.  Afterwards, we went to ZK for lunch where I learned that there was going to be an open community discussion with Reynaldo leading it.  Unfortunately there weren’t very many members that actually attended this one and we just jumped from topic to topic with no real central theme.

    The purpose of the meetings was to allow for more face-to-face interaction between community members instead of just relying on responses from people on the O&I board.  The O&I board stands for Opinions and Ideas which has just a number of clipboards with various papers for proposals or information.  For example, one of the proposals was to change the over-quota system to be setup as a percentage refund of the over-quota time spent in each area so that managers wouldn’t need to be so tight with their hour budget with people working over-time.

    After the meeting Nicole and I went to the parking area for the conference.  I checked in and setup camp for the weekend.  After I was setup, I went to the main registration tent to sign up for work shifts.  I ended up signing up for the same shifts Nicole did which was MOOP (Matter out of place) patrol.  This task involves picking things up that are left lying around like trash, dirty dishes, clothes etc.  Since I didn’t attend the Twin Oaks tour last year, I made it my first priority this time around. 

    The tour walked us through the main areas of Twin Oaks and was led by Adder.  The main areas include the Woodshop and Storage area, the Tupelo music room, ZK, the garden fields, Oneida and Tai-Chi.  The woodshop is where they keep all of the wood working tools and include various saws and drills for cutting lumber and making hammock slats.  The storage area is where they keep all of the supplies for their various businesses such as hammocks and Tofu.  The Tupelo music room is where the members occasionally meetup to play songs and there are a few bands and groups that practice and sometimes go out to perform for money.  ZK is the main dining area which has plenty of tables and a full commercial kitchen.  The garden fields is where all the vegetables are grown which this time of year included corn, okra, peppers, roma tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, beets and romaine lettuce.  Oneida is the main office of Twin Oaks where they handle calls and it also has a kitchen for the residents of the surrounding buildings.  Tai-Chi is one of the residential buildings next to Oneida and also contains the hammock shop.

    After dinner Nicole and I attended the evening session.  During this session Paxus led an opening activity which consisted of if you really knew me and declaring what you wished you could be appreciated for and ended with thoughts on how people felt about the things that were mentioned.  Alieda and Liywana gave a talk about the black movement such as black lives matter and what they were doing with it.



    After introductions at the opening circle, all of the communities were each given a minute or two in order to introduce themselves further to the group for the Meet the Communities session.  Nicole gave the introduction for The Transition, but then she was too busy dealing with the silent auction to actually participate in meet the communities so I had to talk about The Transition by myself. 
    There weren’t a lot of people that came by to talk to me about The Transition this year which I suspect was caused by both Nicole not being with me so they may not have known that I am working with Nicole on The Transition and there were a lot of communities that were here this year.  There didn’t seem to be that many people who were looking for a community.  This session continued until lunch.

    After lunch, everyone broke out into separate workshops.  I attended Consensus 201: Levels of agreement.  The original person who was supposed to do the workshop did not attend so Marty from Shannon Farms led the workshop instead.  The workshop mostly focused on blocks and how they function in Consensus.  The two main points that I took away were “the sunset clause” and “the continuum”.  The sunset clause is a clause that tells when the proposal must end.  This is really useful in consensus because it allows for bringing forth something that may be unpopular, but if it’s known that the proposal will only be in effect for 2 weeks then those who are opposing it may be willing to try it out for that length of time.  The continuum is an activity to gauge where people currently feel on a proposal so that the participants can see where everyone lies on a line and then try to convince them to go one way or the other.

    During the second half of the afternoon new workshops were put on and I decided to attend "Creating a Participatory Culture".  This workshop was put on by a team that was part of Agile Learning Center which is a group of people who run “Free Schools”.  These are schools for children where the children get to decide what they want to learn and how the school should be run while the teachers act more as facilitators to keep everything running smoothly. 

    The main topic was the Community Mastery Board which tracks all of the cultural norms for their schools.  The board is broken into 4 segments: Awareness, Implementation, Practice and Mastery.  The way it works is someone will notice something (could be good or bad), as an example we used “there are ants in the living room”, which was added to the board on a sticky note.  Next during the weekly 15 minute meeting you would quickly go through all the items on the board.  For every item under the Awareness section you would come up with an Implementation that will potentially fix the awareness that was raised.  So for the ants in the living room, the implementation might be to not eat in the living room anymore.  After this is tried for a week or so it would be revisited in the next meeting and if everyone was following it then the sticky note would move under the practice section.  Once the item has been under the practice section for a few months and everyone was following it without really thinking about it then it would move under mastery.  Every new member that joins the school would then agree to follow all the items on the board which would explicitly state the cultural norms.

    After the workshops, there was dinner and then the dance party at ZK. 



    Sunday morning, I attended the Role of IC’s in a New Paradigm.  I was originally considering going to Boundaries: Truth, Needs, Attachment, but I met Jack the previous day during meet the communities and he was running the Role of IC’s in a New Paradigm which seemed related to what we wanted to do with The Transition so I attended this one instead.  The first part of the discussion focused on what we thought the Role of IC’s would be.  The second part of the discussion was broken into groups where we further discussed what IC’s could start to do to bring in the New Paradigm.   The most interesting thing that I got out of this workshop was a lot of websites that are potentially trying to do the same thing as The Transition.

    There was then an organization session for the open spaces followed by lunch.  After lunch, I attended the Future is Now workshop which I found wasn’t very useful.  We spent the first 20 minutes of the workshop just waiting for people to show up followed by 10 minutes of meditation and then we went around the whole circle and stated what we thought the keys to the future are.  This was followed by a brief talk about the Peace Pentagon Hub which is fairly similar to The Transition, but with a focus on Activism instead of Intentional Communities.  The discussion then went back around the room where people gave their input about what was said.  Then we broke into groups to answer 3 different questions:

    1)      What are you working on now?

    2)      How can we support you?

    3)      If this group were to start a new project to build a better future, what would it be?


    After this open session, we had a meeting between the various projects that we thought were doing similar things such as The Transition, Pentagon Peace Hub, Infinite Trees Project and a virtual currency platform.  The Pentagon Peace Hub is a network of people who are interested in doing Activism.  The Infinite Trees Project is a network of contacts with various people in order to make things happen.  The virtual currency platform is a project that Eric was working on with one of his friends in order to have a platform where people could go to buy and sell mostly artwork, songs and written content.  We agreed to have a meeting later in the month or at the beginning of next month to figure out how we would work together and what could be done.




    Monday was split into two sessions, the first session was about Ecovillages and the second session was about Freedom Songs.  During the first session, we got a briefing on what Ecovillages were and we were shown a short clip that showed how many ecovillages there are across the world.  Ecovillages have a focus on being ecologically sustainable.  After the briefing, they handed out cards with various items that are related to ecovillages such as Systems Design, Recycling Materials and Respecting Elders.  We placed the cards on the ground such that similar items were next to each other and then we placed a brown leaf on the card that we felt we had mastered and we placed a green leaf on the ones we wanted to learn more about.  We had a fairly diverse group so almost every card had a leaf of some kind on it and we discussed a bit about why people chose their cards.  During the second session, Alieda and Liywana talked about the history of the freedom songs and we sang them.

    After dinner, Reynaldo invited me to sing karaoke in the Bijou.  So Nicole and I joined them later that evening to do so and there were roughly 12 people there.


    Official end of conference was on Monday so this day begins my stay as a guest (not a visitor) at Twin Oaks.  A guest is a person who is temporarily staying at Twin Oaks and that person needs to be hosted by a member of the community.  A visitor is someone who is staying for a three week period in order to become a full member.

    In the morning, I helped clean up and organize the conference site such that like objects were put next to each other in the main conference area.  Afterwards, Nicole and I went for lunch.  We then attempted to figure out where I would be staying, but in the meantime we helped Valerie clean up rooms for new members that were just joining this week.  While cleaning up Paxus came by and we eventually sorted out that I would be staying in his room for the duration of my stay.  I then gathered all my belongings and also retrieved some clothes from Commie Clothes.  There wasn’t much of anything else going on for the day so I spent 3 hours or so reading through the issues up on the O&I board.  A lot of the discussion was about the Tofu hut and how people didn’t like working in there due to the dangerous work conditions and the amount of effort involved in the labor.  There was also a discussion about over-quota and how mangers are hoarding their labor hours instead of giving them out to people who want to work over-time in their area.


    I was up early today in order to attend the morning garden shift.  We started by picking corn, removing row covers, harvesting tomatoes and then finished with weeding beets and hoeing beds.  During lunch, there was another Open Community Discussion where the discussion focused on the over-quota system and how it was preventing people from doing work in the community.  The main issue seemed to be that there were people who wanted to work over-quota, but couldn’t do so because managers were not allowing their hours to be used.  Managers have only so many hours that they can give out for the entire year so they need to use them wisely so as to not run out before the year ends.  The proposal was to allow a refund based on a percentage of the time that was over-quota from each area the person worked in during the week so that managers could more freely give out those hours as they would receive some of those hours back at the week’s end.

    After lunch, I met up with Pam and discussed the issue she was having with her computer and offered to assist her later that night.  I then attended an afternoon garden shift where we continued to clear weeds from the beets and I also stayed a bit extra with Finch in order to continue our discussion from lunch about the over-quota system.  After dinner, I met back up with Pam and went through some of the issues she was mentioning and offered her my advice.  Unfortunately the internet went down while I was helping her so I didn’t get a chance to download and install all the items I had suggested.  The rest of the evening was spent reading books up in Tai-Chi.




    Today was the day we decided to head over to Shannon Farms for the day.  When we arrived, we met up with Marty and he gave us a tour of Shannon Farms and he talked about how the farm is setup into clusters of buildings.  There are 3-9 houses in each cluster and currently 8 clusters in total.  Membership seemed to be fairly fluid where you visit and need to get 1/3 of the group to agree to let you join.  From there, you can stay as a provisional member for 6 months and afterwards, you need to get 2/3 of the group to agree to let you stay as a full member.  The land is made of mostly wooded area on steep slopes, but there were some open spaces for grazing as well as a community garden.  Marty continued the tour and showed us the small lake they had as well as some of the more interesting buildings like a geodesic dome.  We then met up with Virginia and we had lunch and talked about The Transition and asked them a number of questions from our supporters.  After lunch, Marty took us to see Dan and he talked about all of the passive solar heating that he had created in order to keep his house warm in the winter.  He discussed various items such as solar greenhouse areas where the hot air was then pushed in-ward, adobe bricks and straw/clay mixed insulation.  Dan then took us around to some of the other houses where they were doing similar things and also showed us one place that was built of stone and was set into the ground.  After, Dan finished his little tour we walked back over to Marty’s house and we said goodbye and left.  We then went to Charlottesville and ate at Taste of India for the evening.



    In the morning, I worked the garden shift again and during lunch, there was another Open Community Discussion to which I only attended half of because I wasn’t aware until later that they moved it over to apple tree in order for it to be a bit more of a private discussion.  This discussion focused on how to handle inter-personal issues.  After lunch, I found out that Paxus had signed me up for work shifts without telling me.  Luckily Brenda found me in ZK and took me down to the hammocks shop where we loaded hammocks into a van and took them over to the warehouse and unloaded them.  We then took some items out of the warehouse and loaded those into the van and Brenda had me put hooks into bags which they use for their hammocks.  After working on that for a while, a man named Wizard came by and asked me to start the Tofu Box Making shift early.  During this shift we stamped cardboard tofu boxes with the sell by date and added stickers for the type of tofu that would be in each one.  We then built the boxes and stacked them together.  They would later be filled with tofu and sent out to their customers.  After that shift, I went back to ZK and played Magic with Gloria and she invited me to play magic with them later that evening.  After dinner, we met back up in ZK and I played a free for all game with Rowen, Willow, Gloria and Sky.  The game was fantastic and at one point I had a 50/50 shot at winning, but unfortunately the wrong card was selected and Rowen ended up winning instead, though it was very close as Rowen only had 2 life left.



    Nicole and I were up early along with Bill in order to attend the Heritage Harvest Festival which was a fair that was going on near the Piedmont Community College on top of Monticello.  I spent the morning assisting in running the Southern Exposure Seed Exchange booth which is the full name of the business that Acorn runs.  The booth allowed people to sample a number of different tomatoes and peppers so I spent most of my time stabbing pieces of peppers with toothpicks for everyone to sample.  Around lunch time, I was able to walk around and check out the other booths which were selling various products like granolas, chocolate, cheeses, ciders, salsa, alcohol, seeds and farming items.  As we were at Monticello, I took some time to listen to the men who recounted what it was like for the slaves that were living there.

    After dinner, I tried to find some people who were going to play Ultimate Frisbee as listed on their board, but unfortunately when I went out to the field there wasn’t anyone there so I spent some time hanging outside of Tai-Chi and eventually entered the visitor’s social gathering.  Afterwards, we went down to ZK where Sky put on another dance party.



     I departed from Twin Oaks early in the morning for my long drive back home.

  • Home Foundation Expert,Volunteer/Consultant-The Transition Team

    A  Home Foundation Expert's role covers all aspects of creating a foundation for a home or building structure. This is a Volunteer/Consultant position. This person will be expected to meet all requirements of being a Transition Team member if their desire is to become a full time Transition Team member. The Home Foundation Expert will assess the needs of our Contributors, and help and create new content regarding different types of foundations. Their duties include, but aren't limited to, the following:

    Writing and editing content (in Step-by-Step Format)

    Designing home foundations

    Determining technical requirements

    Updating The Transition Team on new techniques

    Creating back up files

    Providing high quality photos and or video to demonstrate construction

    Currently the team is interested in the following styles of foundations:

    • Rubble Trench
    • Urbanite
    • Gravel Bags
    • Poured Concrete
    • Block Stem Walls
    • Concrete Pier

    Please do not apply if you only have book or internet knowledge and have no prior experience in actually building. You will be expected to have a portfolio of your work and references.

    To get more information and apply please contact The Transition Team Seed: Nicole Bienfang

Jon Norcross
Jon Norcross 3062BB
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