Terminology FAQ

What are "Benchmarks"?


Benchmarks are arrived at and used -via The Scientific Method- to empirically define efficiency ratings for resources as well as defining Environmental Limits. They are also used as criteria to certify a Transitional Community or Hybrid Co-op Business as an official The Transition Transitional Community or Hybrid Co-op Business as a means to keep our Contributors happy, safe and secure.

What are Ephemeralization Projects?


First, to understand Ephemeralization projects one must understand what Ephemeralization means. Ephemeralization is a term coined by R. Buckminster "Bucky" Fuller. It is the ability of technological advancement to do "more and more with less and less until eventually you can do everything with nothing". 

It is The Transition's desire to allocate resources to projects that can do the most good with as little resources as possible. To do so we ask that our Contributors propose an Ephemeralization Project in order for all of our Contributors to review and give feedback on the feasibility or the improvements that need to be made to the plan before resources are given. Once approval of the concept is given and all concerns are addressed it will then:

  1. Be shared in The Transition's e-mail newsletters as a means to collect tangible items the project needs
  2. Posted in the Classifieds if it needs tangible goods or skill sets
  3. Be forwarded to TIN persons to see if they will commit to the project
  4. Be added to The Cooking Pot if it needs financing
  5. If it succeeds in raising half of its financial goal in The Cooking Pot it will be given a matching financial gift from The Transition
  6. Be showcased on Transition Tuesdays and or our blog that features updates within The Transition Inter-Community Network, so our Contributors can see the progress all of us are making all over the world

What Do You Mean When You Use the Term "Community"?


The Transition uses the same definition for community as our forebears that came before us. We mean a commonly understood commitment between people to look out for each other; to come to each other's assistance in times of need (both personal and political); to think together about the way the world works and what needs to be done about it; and to insist with each other that we take decisive actions. You will notice that we did not say community consists of a group of people living in a house or houses together or living in a farm in the country...But, "community" is broader than that and it is not limited to communal living. It can occur among workers in a factory, among neighbors, among individuals or families living in apartments or houses by themselves. For organizational purposes The Transition refers to these types of "communities" as BUDs.


Source: Building Social Change Communities

Contributors: Peter Woodrow, Susanne Terry, The Training/ Action Affinity Group of Movement for a New Society

Suggested Reading: Building Social Change Communities

What Do You Mean When You Use the Term "Transitional Community"?


A Transitional Community is similar to the term Community, but is slightly different in that it goes a little bit further. Transitional Communities consist of a BUD or multiple BUDs that are part of a cooperative arrangement in which people are living in a dwelling or multiple clustered dwellings together. Their goal is to grow and create neighborhoods or villages of compatibility with inter-familial relationships, more self-sufficiency, and economically benefitual ways of life.They do so with the intention of living and supporting all of those that are part of that Transitional Community and communally share items and resources to eliminate costs. They may even co-own community Hybrid Co-op businesses.

What Does "Crunch!" or "Crunch Time" Mean?


BUDs in The Transition Inter-Community Network can respond to requests from other BUDs, Intentional Communities, Co-ops etc. for help during times of crises (particularly crucial points of a direct action campaign, for aid with financial difficulties, or for assistance in resolving internal conflicts). Crunch! calls may come from far away BUDs, Intentional Communities, Co-ops etc. 

What Does It Mean to Be a "Contributor" of The Transition?

The Transition website is not just offering "free material"- our team and fellow Contributors are investing in YOU! We want you to invest in yourself, first with time by being a Supporter. We know if you like what you see here on the site, you will follow through with the steps outlined in Your Action Plan. Once you see real results you will break free from the consumer mindset this current system has reinforced and start being a producer who invests more time and Contributes financially as well. Contributors know that a site like this deserves people who take action right away or are wise enough to step-aside so others can make cultural shift happen without them, if they are not ready for change. Active users on this site know that with all that is going on in the world there is no time to waste. Many of the techniques and methods shared on this site have worked for hundreds of thousands of people. This is not material based on theory, but time-tested "in the trenches" life experiences that span the course of decades. People who are prone to arguing for their limitations when it comes to completing tasks found in the Action Plan, are better off working on their own personal beliefs and development rather than participating on websites like this one. No goal can be reached with a mind that is not ready to reach it, and a heart that has no passion for it.


Anyone can talk a "big game" about what they’re going to do. A Contributor is someone who was once a Supporter, but wants to become more proactive and is assisting with a monthly contribution to be used as pooled funds to help The Transition grow, create and implement programs that in turn create social change. 

All Contributors should actively be following and participating with their own Your Action Plan page.



What Does Intentional Community (IC) Mean?


Intentional Communities (aka ICs) are formed when people choose to live with or near enough to each other to carry out a shared lifestyle, within a shared culture and with a common purpose. Most intentional Communities share land or housing or live in adjacent properties, though a few are non-residential. Most govern themselves with some form of participatory democracy, such as Consensus decision-making, super-majority voting, or majority-rule voting. Relatively few (usually spiritual or religious communities) are governed by a spiritual or religious leader or a group of leaders.

The common purpose of Communities vary widely, The Transition is trying to unify them to move in the same direction to help create a more resilient future for all of humanity. Ecovillages, for example are Intentional Communities which model and demonstrate ecologically sustainable lifestyles. They can be urban or rural.

Sources: The Findhorn Book of Community Living, Finding Community: How to Join an Ecovillage or Intentional Community

Contributors: Bill Metcalf, Diana Leafe Christian

Recommended Reading: Finding Community: How to Join an Ecovillage or Intentional Community

What Does It Mean to Be a Cultural Creative?


Cultural Creatives are people who value environmentally sustainable living, co-operation, and a sense of Community (and perhaps have a spiritual practice)- but may not know much about Ecovillages or Intentional Communities and would enjoy learning more.



Sources:  Finding Community: How to Join an Ecovillage or Intentional Community

Contributors: Diana Leafe Christian

Recommended Books: Finding Community: How to Join an Ecovillage or Intentional Community

What Does It Mean to be a "Seed" or "Seed Person" of a BUD?


A "Seed" or "Seed Person" is one of two things or possibly both:

  1. They are the founder of the BUD
  2. They are the spokesperson and point of contact for that BUD

Not everyone who creates or founds a BUD is outgoing or likes to speak in public settings therefore the BUD might select someone other than the founder of the group to act as a spokesperson or point of contact  for them.

What Does It Mean to Be a "Supporter" of The Transition?

Here at The Transition we're on a Mission to make a better world!

We believe the time has come for those of us who identify as:





-Social Change Leaders

-Eco Warriors




-Social Entrepreneurs


to join hearts and minds into a diverse but united movement. The Transition is not a revolution, it is an evolution. We work towards discovering the root causes of the major issues we face today and propose alternatives for them. The Transition seeks to unite people who are willing to take action towards enhancing and protecting all life and our environment for future generations. Our purpose is to construct real solutions by providing the support space and resources our website users need to be more effective in the work they do via our online and offline community’s collective knowledge and common heritage of the Earth’s resources.We are collectively working for fundamental change of the political and economic institutions of society to achieve a just, and humane world. By doing so we improve the quality of life for all, not just a select few. We recognize that our current social design contributes to the unnecessary human suffering many experience in their daily lives, meanwhile we have the technical ability and resources that can help us surpass our present conditions, if we unify and work together. Our intention is to bring together those who follow a compass set with the same values so we can reach our mutual goals faster. 



A supporter is an umbrella term for someone who supports The Transition’s Mission (consciously or unconsciously- they might not even be aware that our organization exists), but is not taking an active role by joining our online/offline community or doing Your Action Plan. They may use free resources off the website (www.thetransition.org), but do not have a paid Contributorship

Will you be a part of the change you wish to see in the world? Become a Contributor today!

What Does "Right Livelihood" Mean?


A basic first step in the pursuit of right livelihood is to look at ways to reduce expenses, either by conserving resources or by reducing consumption-improving efficiency, buying better-made products that last longer, developing renewable technologies (such as solar), sharing, reusing, recycling, rationing, repairing, improvising, and doing without.

Perhaps the most powerful choice we can make to reduce expenses is to change our attitudes to realize that we can live comfortably well with considerably less, that we can reject the pervasive and often subliminal message of advertisers to "buy, buy, buy"... that we won't be modern enough, beautiful enough, rich enough, or normal enough unless we use their particular dish soap, deodorant, designer clothes, alcohol, automobiles, insurance, or investment, program. 


Sources: 'Making a Living?' A Curious Concept-Article

Contributors: Geoph Kozeny

Recommended Reading: Communities Magazine Issue #94


What Does Using "Stone Soup Principles" Mean?

To understand Stone Soup Principles you must first come to know of the story Stone Soup. Stone Soup is an old folk story in which hungry strangers trick the local people of a town to share their food. The story is usually told as a lesson in cooperation, especially amid scarcity. In varying traditions, the stone has been replaced with other common inedible objects, and therefore the fable is also known as button soupwood soup,nail soup, and axe soup.

"Once upon a time, somewhere in Eastern Europe, there was a great famine. People jealously hoarded whatever food they could find, hiding it even from their friends and neighbors. One day, a peddler drove his wagon into the village, sold a few of his wares, and began asking questions as if he planned to stay for the night. "There's not a bite to eat in the whole province," he was told. "Better keep moving on." "Oh, I have everything I need," he said. "in fact, I was thinking of making some stone soup to share with all of you." He pulled an iron cauldron from his wagon, filled it with water, and built a fire under it. Then, with great ceremony, he drew an ordinary-looking stone from a velvet bag and dropped it into the water. By now, hearing the rumor of food, most of the villagers had come to the square or watched from their windows in curiosity. As the peddler sniffed the "broth" and licked his lips in anticipation, hunger began to overcome their skepticism. "Ahh," the peddler said to himself rather loudly, "I do like a tasty stone soup." The peddler recalled another time when he had enjoyed stone soup with some friends. "One of them happened to have some carrots to add to the pot, and Oh how it sweetened the broth," he exclaimed. "I may have a carrot or two," said one of the villagers. He went and fetched some from his home and put them in the pot. Others in the village soon began to recall their favorite soups. As they did, the few items tucked away in their cupboards came to mind. One after another they were off. They returned with some potatoes, onions, salt beef and so on until there was indeed a delicious meal for all. From that day on, long after the famine had ended, they reminisced about the finest soup they had ever eaten. The End"

This story celebrates the importance of engaging and organizing resources for the common good. It's amazing what can be achieved when people are inspired and motivated to bring their resources together. 



The Transition carries the following values:

  1. Collaboration
  2. Cooperation
  3. Community
  4. Compassion

These values are the basis of our conduct on and offline and are demonstrated in the story of Stone Soup.



Source: Wikipedia


Recommended Reading: Wikipedia

What Does the Term "Communalistic" Mean?


Having a communalistic mindset means to be deeply concerned about the quality of community life and an advocate for Community living. This mentality encourages communal ownership and cooperation.

What is Communalism?

COMMUNALism is not to be confused with thw word COMMUNism.


Communalism within the context of our organization The Transition, is a system of government according to which each Transitional Community is  highly localized independent state and The Transition  is merely a federation of such states. Those who participate in communalism practice the principles of communal ownership.

Suggested Reading: Dictionary.comWikipedia

What is Egalitarianism?


Egalitarianism is a trend of thought that favors equality for all people. Egalitarian doctrines maintain that all humans are equal in fundamental worth or social status. The Transition advocates egalitarianism based on justice not just equality.

To illustrate this concept imagine cookies have been made for everyone.

If everyone was treated equally only, the cookies would be all the same kind like chocolate chip and distributed to everyone in equal number.

Now in comparison if the situation was treated justly the number of people wanting cookies would be considered as well as the needs of those who want them. So in this scenario multiple types of cookies might be made because:

  • someone is allergic to nuts
  • someone is diabetic
  • someone is on a diet and only wants to eat one

You see it makes no sense to make cookies for people who will not eat them. It is also not nice to force people to eat cookies they do not want, like, or are allergic to or can harm them in any way. So in a just egalitarian world (the one we are creating) people's needs and the demand is considered before taking the actions necessary to bring it to fruition.

To further explain this concept of Just Egalitarianism please refer to this popular internet meme:


What is "Formal Consensus"?

Many groups regularly use diverse discussion techniques learned from practitioners in the field of Conflict Resolution. Although this website does include several techniques, The Transition uses a structure based in part off of the structure used in Formal Consensus.


Formal Consensus is a structure that creates a separation between the identification and the resolution of concerns. It is a model of Decision-making based on non-hierarchical and Egalitarian structures that is cooperative and inclusive in nature. Formal Consensus has a clearly defined structure. It requires a commitment to active cooperation, disciplined speaking and listening, and respect for the contributions of every member. Likewise, every person has the responsibility to actively participate as a creative individual within the structure.

This structure is presented in levels of cycles. 

1st Level

All participants are given an opportunity to express opinions, including concerns, but group time is not spent resolving problems. Some decisions can be reached after discussion at the first level. 

2nd Level

At the second level, the scope of the discussion is limited to the concerns. They are identified and publicly listed, which enables everyone to get an overall picture of the concerns. The focus of attention is on identifying the body of concerns and grouping similar ones. The group only focuses its attention on identifying concerns, still not resolving them. (Note: This requires discipline. reactive comments, even funny ones, and resolutions, even good ones, can suppress the creative ideas of others.)

3rd Level

The group explores resolutions. Here the scope is very narrow. The focus of discussion is limited to a single unresolved concern until it is resolved.

More Information:


The Rules of Formal Consensus


Consensus FAQ


The Flow of the Formal Consensus Process



Source: On Conflict & Consensus

Contributors: Amy Rothstein, C.T. Butler

Recommended Books: On Conflict on Consensus


What is "Revaluation Counseling"?


Revaluation Counseling is a form of peer counseling where people, usually in pairs, take turns being client and counselor. The purpose of the counseling is to feel and "discharge," through laughter, tears, anger,shivering, etc., painful feelings from the past that keep us from being completely alive and functioning in the present.

What is The Transition Inter-Community Network (TIN) ?


The Transition Inter-Community Network also known as TIN for short is The Transition's network of Contributors and the BUDs, Transitional Communities, and Hybrid Co-op Businesses therein.

What is Transition Tuesdays?


Transition Tuesdays is an "edutainment" (educational entertainment) show produced by The Transition with new episodes released on Tuesdays. It is used as a platform to share updates on our Transitional Communities and Hybrid Co-op Businesses progress, showcase paradigm shifting discussion and debate, provide nourishing recipes for healthy meals, as well as highlight technological advancements and techniques. Note:This project is not yet underway as of 2-27-15. If interested in participating please Contact Us.

What is a BUD?


BUD stands for Basic Unit of Decision-Making. It is an acronym and phrase coined by C.T. Butler and first made public in his book Consensus for Cities. Although, the acronym and phrase can be used to explain any type of decision making process The Transition uses it in the context of how it's Contributors organize, make decisions (predominantly via Consensus), and continue the momentum we have carrying us into a better, brighter future.

A BUD is a small group which some refer to as an affinity group which can be a temporary or an ongoing small group where people engage in study, support for personal growth, and social change work. Such a group is small enough for people in it to get to know each other well. BUDs can also take on a task or issue to focus if they choose. Should they choose to address a specific task or issue the BUD then becomes a container for that social change project and goal.  What is most important about a BUD is that the people that make up the BUD are committed to testing and developing themselves and or their social change work into a sustainable project.

A BUD is a minimum of 5 people and no more than 15. Should a BUD grow over 15 it needs to split much like cells. Those BUDs however can continue to communicate, work together and may even consider forming a Transition Community together.  Everyone who is a member of a BUD belongs to at least that one BUD,but can belong to many others. There is no structural limit to the number of BUDs one person can identify  with (but there is a physical limit). To participate in your community decision-making, you go to your local BUD meeting.

Within the context of Consensus there is never a time in a BUD when an individual needs to make a decision independent of the group. Every step is collective in nature. An individual participates by being a member of a group known as a BUD. The question before each person is not, "What do I want?", but "What do I think is in the best interest of the group of which I am a part?" This is a fundamental shift in thinking, for many.

BUDs are the entry level or smallest unit of Consensus Decision-making. Everyone who wants to participate in the Decision-making  of the Community are encouraged and expected to join or form a BUD, identify and participate in the BUD on a regular and ongoing basis. If you want to raise a concern about any issue at any level in your Community or propose a project, the place to start is with your BUD.


Inspired by: Consensus for Cities, Co.Starters Cohort Binder

Contributors: Co.StartersC.T. Butler

Suggested Reading: Consensus for Cities, Co.Starters Cohort Binder

What is a Collective?


As the BUDs do their work and the network grows, people begin to coalesce around common interests or tasks that need to get done. Such groups can become Collectives (or if they choose to participate in communal living Communities).There are a number of different kinds of Collectives-each has a structure implied by the task to be performed, but no 2 collectives function alike. The basic kinds of Collectives are:




Alternative Institutions




Community Maintenance Groups




Source: Building Social Change Communities

Contributors: Peter Woodrow

Suggested Reading: Building Social Change Communities

What is a "Communitarian"?


Also known as "Communards". Communitarians are individuals who tend to discard the atonomous perspective of living in exchange for a communal lifestyle. These types of individuals tend to be well-integrated into Communities are better able to reason and act in responsible ways than isolated individuals, but should social pressure to conform rise to high levels, may find themselves undermining their individual self.

When Someone Says "Solidarity not charity." What Does That Mean?


Charity alleviates the symptoms caused by an unjust system but doesn't challenge the root problems, and it often puts those providing the charity in a position of power OVER those who it 'helps' with benevolence or feeling good for helping out. Solidarity, on the other hand, implies that our struggles are intertwined.


Sources: Treasure City Thrift

Recommended Reading: Treasure City Thrift

What is Mutual Aid?


Mutual aid is a voluntary giving of material goods, resources, or labor to others in a shared community with the expectation that all will benefit. Mutual aid is not barter; groups and individuals give what they can or what they want to. In this way, participation in mutual aid is a way to put into practice the idea that individuals and groups can be trusted to make economic decisions that affect them and their communities.

Sources: Treasure City Thrift

Recommended Reading: Treasure City Thrift


Who is a Community Member?


A Community Member is someone who belongs to and lives in a Transitional Community. See: Transitional Community

What is a "Contributorship"?



The Transition does not have "members" to our site like some sort of elite club where people are excluded from participating. We have what we call Contributors because  they CONTRIBUTE. Contributors have more access to resources and connections because they are the ones who have stood up and said "I will take accountability for making  the change I wish to see in the world". They aren't afraid to break a sweat, get dirty, and meet new people; and The Transition rewards them by curating useful material from leading experts and material from all over the web, as a means to support their strong work ethic and perseverance.

What is a Global Egalitarian System?


A Global Egalitarian System expands on the definition of Egalitarianism. The concept works to eradicate the oppressive "isms" structures associated with the ideology of Nationalism, Sexism, Classism, Racism, Able-ism, and Adultism (the unnecessary and oppressive wielding of power over children by adults) and other similar mindsets that work to create barriers between each other as a species, on a global scale.

What is a "Home-mate"?


Home-mate is a term that those who participate in The Transition use to describe someone with whom they live. We use this term because people live in a variety of ways and using a term like "housemate" or "roommate" is not very all encompassing to the many ways our Contributors live. This term is also used because it is through our work at The Transition that we feel wherever you live it is not just a building or structure you live in, but a place that acts as your sanctuary and where you feel most comfortable. We feel "home" creates that sense of warmth and belonging when we use it in this way.

What is a Hybrid Co-op Business?


A Hybrid Co-op Business (also shortened to just Co-op Business within The Transition Inter-Community Network) is traditionally a business owned by and operated for the benefit of those using its services. Profits and earnings generated by the cooperative are distributed among the members, also known as user-owners. The Transition takes this concept further by advocating and encouraging Hybrid Co-op Businesses within The Transition Inter-Community Network to do 4 things.

  1. Provide their goods and services FREE to the Contributors who founded and are a part of the business
  2. Provide their goods and services FREE to any Contributors who are part of The Transition Inter-Community Network
  3. Only sell for monetary exchange of their goods and services when it comes to doing business with the outside public
  4. Distribute all profits and earnings to the BUD or Transitional Community that operates the business and assumes responsibility for its function

What is a Progression Session?


A Progression Session is dedicated one-on-one time a website user actively doing Your Action Plan gets with their assigned Point Person. It's a way for both parties to touch base about the progress that is being made both on an individual and organization level. During the session the Point Person verifies that the website user did all the steps for the Phase they are on correctly, answers any questions they may have and gets to know more about them and their specific project so they can help them with support, space, resources or referrals they may need. This is the time anyone who is new and interested in The Transition gets to showcase their skills, talents and desires to become more actively involved as well. Often Progression Sessions help existing organizations or projects find out how they can weave their work in with The Transition or how their founders or spokespeople can even join The Transition Team or volunteer. By actively doing Your Action Plan individuals often discover how their strengths can contribute to making The Transition's work stronger making all of our unified work gather more momentum to help us reach our mutual goals much quicker.

Ultimately those who make it to a Progression Session, leave it having a crystal clear vision of where they are and what steps they need to take next to accomplish their aspirations. With their Point Person they uncover their hidden challenges that could be sabotaging their success in:

  • Getting their project off the ground
  • Finding the team they need to make their project succeed
  • Attracting funding to support their cause
  • In reducing turnover 
  • Continuing their success long-term

Participants who have experienced a session often leave feeling renewed, energized & inspired to accomplish their goals.

What is a Social Change Network?

It is mentioned that this site acts as a social change network. What does that mean exactly?


A network is a way to encourage autonomy while providing a means of coordination for the serious struggles that lie before us in our efforts to effect major changes in our society. In a network, each unit (in The Transition's case a BUD) has the ability to decide its own direction, in communication and coordination with others.


Source: Building Social Change Communities

Contributors: Peter Woodrow, The Training/Action Affinity Group of Movement for a New Society

Recommended Reading: Building Social Change Communities

What is a Seed Team?


A "Seed" or "Seed Person" is one of two things or possibly both:

  1. They are the founder of the BUD
  2. They are the spokesperson and point of contact for that BUD

So a person who is beginning a group or what we call a BUD is a Seed Team and they remain a Seed Team until their team exceeds 4 people. Once they are at 5 they become a BUD.


See also:

What Does It Mean to be a "Seed" or "Seed Person" of a BUD?

What is a BUD?

What is a “Stone Soup” Inventory?

One of the most challenging pieces of the Transitional Community idea for a lot of people is fully pooling income. People often say things like:

“So when you talk about sharing income… what if Steve is making $50,000 per year and you’re only making $20,000?”

What that person should really be asking about is what happens when Steve is making $50,000 a year and they are staying home to clean and maintain the house, care for the children, cook the food, do the shopping, and keep on top of the accounting and not bringing in any money a year. Sharing income really isn’t that rare or radical an arrangement. It’s actually incredibly common. What’s not common is pooling income with people you are not related to by blood or marriage. What is radical about the proposal to pool income with an open and expandable group of people you are not related to or romantically involved with is the demonstration that it can be done in a radically equal way (this money belongs to everyone in the Community, no one is “giving” it to anyone). The pooling of income to provide resources that are equally available to all is also something most people are intimately familiar with in the form of government services, like the library, the park, or the roads. What’s radical about this concept here is the scope of the common economy: nearly everything that can be shared IS shared and shared fully.

 But why? Why is The Transition so passionate about taking the idea of a common economy and running with it? There are many reasons:

Just like in a marriage, individuals in a Transitional Community are not really sharing their money with each other they are sharing their labor and thus, sharing responsibility and pledging to be there for each other in good times and bad, in sickness and in health, in richness and in poorness. When people do this they begin to be able to rely upon each other, call upon each other, and access each other’s abilities and resources in a deep and unfettered way. Things that are done for each other are no longer charity or gifts as their mutual interests are bound together. This lets individuals all work to their own strengths by specializing and really throwing themselves wholly into opportunities and crises knowing that they have got a whole crew backing them up at home. The common economy means that an individual can do more of what they love and are good at and it means less times that they have to say “I’d really love to but I just don’t have the time.” It is common knowledge that cooperation and sharing is more efficient than isolated action and individual ownership. Even capitalism, famous for promoting competition and individualism, is just a way of using greed and self-interest to get people to cooperate and share. People get together in buying clubs and share housing and cars because it lowers their costs dramatically. We see this taken to an extreme at existing Egalitarian communes (like Twin Oaks Community, Acorn Community etc.)  In these types of Communities, members live comfortable modern lives at an arguably upper-middle-class level. The benefits they experience are:

  • Organic healthy meals cooked for them from scratch twice a day
  • Safe Housing
  • Healthcare
  • Transportation
  • Computers
  • Internet access
  • Home theater
  • Exercise room
  • Sauna
  • Hot tub
  • Pond
  • Personal shopper
  • Professional party planners
  • As much sick leave as they need
  • Generous vacation and extended leave policies
  • Retirement and hospice care
  • Childcare
  • Maternity and paternity leave system that puts the Scandinavians to shame
  • And the kicker: they do it all working fewer hours than national average and on an annual income around or well below the poverty line.

In the status quo individualist economy the expectation is that everyone is responsible for taking care of their needs individually and that they need to go into the market and win money for themselves to do that. If you want to act collaboratively or purchase collectively or own cooperatively then every time you need to go to extra effort and make a special system in order to pool your resources. When you switch to a common economy where all the income is shared as a default then acting collaboratively, purchasing collectively, and owning cooperatively becomes the default and if you want to buy or own anything individually you need to go to extra effort and make a special system in order to shave off some of that collective income for your individual use. Switching to a unified holistic common economy saves a ton of overhead since you no longer need to attend separate meetings to manage your worker co-op, food co-op, car co-op, childcare co-op, housing co-op, buying club, etc. nor do you need to do all the separate accounting for them. Not only can you consolidate management tasks and allow specialization within your group, you can also forgo quite a lot of accounting since you don’t need to keep track of every individual member’s input and output to each particular coop. The difficulty of managing an a la carte cooperative economy is expressed well by Oscar Wilde’s purported quip “the problem with socialism is that there just aren’t enough evenings in the week”.

The savings from cooperation and from lowering the overhead of that cooperation not only allow the members of the Transitional Community to live better lives more easily on less, it allows them to more easily reach out into the wider world with a large impact. Collectively we can maintain larger facilities for the benefit of the wider Community, donate more resources to causes we believe in, and make the time to organize, agitate, and support if we just put our heads together.


Stone Soup Inventory was named after the story of Stone Soup which is an old folk story in which hungry strangers persuade the local people of a town to share their food: which in the end  benefits the group by combining their individual resources making the whole greater than the sum of its parts. The story is usually told as a lesson in cooperation, especially amid scarcity. In varying traditions, the stone has been replaced with other common inedible objects, and therefore the fable is also known as button soup, wood soup, nail soup, and axe soup.

In bringing the moral of the story to life BUDs that take part in the transition our encouraged via Our Plan to create a "Stone Soup"  Inventory with each contributing members individual resources (this also scales up to Transitional Community, Transitional Eco-Village etc. as the group progresses through Our Plan).

For resource management and accounting these are good items to consider as additions to the group's "pot" :

  • Intellectual property
    • Systems designs, blueprints, digital designs, etc.
    • Professional skills/Services (plumbing, electrician, nutritionist, etc)
    • Legal Intellectual property (copyrights, patents, trademarks, etc.)
    • Hobby knowledge
    • Volunteer experience
    • World data/events


  • Physical property (3d printers, tools, vehicles, cookware, silverware, clothing, etc)


  • Social Resources
    • Contacts and networks
    • Representation at Associations, Clubs, and Conferences


  • Assets
    • Contributed Income
    • Savings
    • Investments
    • Donations



Sources: With Our Powers Combined...

Recommended Reading: Point A Blog

Who is a TIN Person(s)?


TIN people are Contributors belonging to The Transition Inter-Community Network. They have skill sets that they can share with others and often times may travel and stay at Transitional Communities and help out at Hybrid Co-op Businesses. They might also be sent out to aid in starting these types of new ventures as well for support of the BUD(s) that is founding them. If you are interested in becoming a TIN Person within The Transition Inter-Community Network please Contact Us to find out how.

What is a Trust?


A trust is confidence placed in a person by making that person the nominal owner of property to be held or used for the benefit of one or more others. When in written form it is a legally binding contract and commitment to those who sign it. The Transition highly recommends all BUDs create a trust so everyone understands the expectations that exist for their participation. You can view The Transition Team's Trust and use it as a guideline to design your own.

What is an Eco-village?


A human-scale, full-featured settlement, in which human activities are harmlessly integrated into the natural world in a way that is supportive of healthy human development and can be successfully continued into the indefinite future. Eco-village members tend to live as sustainably as they can, which often includes (depending on their setting) growing much of their own organic food, living in passive-solar homes, made of natural materials such as Stawbale or Cob, generating their own renewable energy, car-pooling and/or using biodiesel fuels and so on. 



Sources: Ecovillages and Sustainable CommunitiesFinding Community: How to Join an Ecovillage or Intentional Community

Contributors:  Diana Leafe Christian, Diane Gilman, Robert Gilman

Recommended Reading: Ecovillages and Sustainable Communities, Finding Community: How to Join an Ecovillage or Intentional Community

What is a Transparency Group?


A group of people willing to share intimate information about themselves with each other, who are willing to explore their histories and emotions. While transparency groups are not designed to be healing in nature, it is generally the case that these groups/practices improve the lives of those who try them.


Sources: Transparency Tools & Transparency Groups Fingerbook

Contributor: Paxus Calta-Star

Recommended Reading: Transparency Tools & Transparency Groups Fingerbook

What is the Mastermind Principle?







Inspired by: Napoleon Hill - Mastermind Principle

Contributors: Ian Houghton

Recommended Viewing:Napoleon Hill - Mastermind Principle

What Do You Mean When You Use the Term "Leadership"?


To some how The Transition defines leadership might be considered "new". We believe:

  1. It is an action anyone can take, not a position a few hold.
  2. It is about taking radical personal and social responsibility to work with others on common goals.
  3. It is the practice of values that engage diverse individuals and groups to work together effectively.

We know not everyone can lead in every context, but everyone does have the capacity to step up, take responsibility, and work with others to make progress on the issues they care about. It is evident that historically collaboration among citizens has always been core to social change.


Inspired by: Everyone Leads

Contributors: Paul Schmitz

Recommended Reading: Everyone Leads