We aspire to the inspiration for the creation of projects such as CERN:
“Visionary scientists identified the need for a world-class physics research facility that today unites scientists from around the world.”
We need this scale of cooperation and further. To begin with we need the same level of expertise that led to the construction of the Hadron collider and the ISS. We understand this is a significant undertaking that will be costly. We aim to remain as independent as possible, sourcing funds from The Giving Pledge members, foundations, benefactors and also crowdfunding for local projects which share our values.
Aside from organising scientists, engineers and volunteers to restore ecological balance, we aim for our in-house outputs to be open source and patent free. We also aim to be politically neutral. We are open to working with governments, but we will not be lobbying government like traditional environmental NGOs.
Phase 1: Immediate objectives
• Lobby Universities UK to declare climate emergency and support academics willing to join Transition Lab.
• Define our core working groups (E.g. ecological restoration, climate change mitigation, climate change adaptation, renewable energy scaling, electric transport scaling, economic transition).
• Seek technology partnerships to implement the placement/fellowship system.
• Build models for how our plans might impact current efforts.
• Fellowship and sabbatical programs beginning with scientists, economists and engineers to work directly with companies working on climate change mitigation and ecological restoration.
Phase 2: Medium term objectives
• Work on scaling issues for renewable energy (e.g. super-grid construction, battery technology).
• Create or assist with creating patent-free technology.
• Internship and certification schemes for year 10/11 and gap year students to support the above green programs in addition to existing government citizen service initiatives.
• Explore a voluntary global citizen service for transition and adaptation (Flood defense, placement schemes within renewable sector).
Outreach and communication: a key part of the mission
We will create a direct pathway for any outputs to reach individuals, communities, local NGO and voluntary groups and local authorities. A major part of the lab will be public engagement. We want to make ourselves highly communicative using all the latest forms of media (traditional and new media) to actively reach out and engage with the world. We have a highly trained social media expert already retained to join the lab.
Where we need support
1. Commitments from scientists, universities and research bodies
Academic support and pledges for voluntary hours to work with NGOs or businesses on the front lines of transition (Renewable energy sector, battery technology, ecological restoration).
2. Advisory board and working group leads
We need a small core group of academics to form the advisory boards and identify the key working groups the Transition Lab should focus on.
3. Communication production team
We need a team of creative people who form the outreach interface between scientists, engineers, NGOs, local governance, local communities and the general public.
The scale of this project ranges from a handful of schools and green businesses, to the millions. We need suggestions for funding sources and assistance with grant writing.
What else can you do?
• Spread the work about this initiative, and lobby your university to support the Transition Lab.
• Lobby the research councils and NGOs to support us.
• Encourage your colleagues to support and join us.
• Pledge your time to work with scientists with one of our working groups.
• Take a working sabbatical or paid leave and join an existing project that would benefit from your expertise.
We strongly believe we have created an original and unique way of addressing the crisis we face, by simply getting started and not waiting for government policy. This is the level of urgency we face. Many people are coming around to this way of thinking. Please join us, pass this message along to those who might be interested and let’s make a real difference.
“We cannot be radical enough in dealing with this issue”
David Attenborough, July 2019
Founding Steering Committee
Prof Mark Maslin, UCL, Professor of Climatology
Prof Jon Crowcroft, University of Cambridge/Turing Institute, Cambridge Computer Lab
Prof William J. Ripple, Distinguished Professor of Ecology at Oregon State University
Prof Joy Carter, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Winchester
Prof David Humphreys, Professor of Environmental Policy, Open University
Prof Paul Chatterton, Professor of Urban Futures in the School of Geography, University of Leeds
Dr James McKay, University of Leeds
Dr Alison Green, Co-founder of Transition Lab.
Mr Richard Dent, Climate and environmental campaign consultant, media producer, Co-founder of Transition Lab.
Mr Richard Dent: Co-director, communications strategy
Dr Alison Green: Co-director, Academic outreach, curriculum development