The Integrity of Process: Is Inner Transition Sufficient?


  • Clare Power


The Transition movement is based on the notion that peak oil, climate change and the precarious economic situation cause the greatest potential disruptions to human society and therefore require a pre-emptive response. As such its focus is on proactively creating a future in local communities that meets people‘s psychological and physical needs rather than reacting to the crises that seem imminent. This paper draws on research into the Transition movement in the Australian context that considers the role of inner Transition which is one of the features that differentiates Transition from other movements for change. However, inner Transition has tended to be marginalised in the movement, because ultimately, action oriented outcomes take precedence over the often difficult work associated with group dynamics and relational experiences associated with inner Transition, even though they can affect the carriage and outcomes of activities and projects. The privileging of outer over inner Transition and action over process is a reflection of broader society’s grappling with the human dynamics inherent in any process of change. Where such concerns are unproblematised, this raises questions about the extent to which movements replicate existing paradigms and structures or take a prefigurative approach and challenge and re-imagine them in their practice.