How can sustainable means of living and doing what you love also be what you live from?

Isabel Carlisle, founder of One Year In Transition (1YT), was recently invited to Sweden by CEMUS at Uppsala University to introduce a new model for learning in transition. Present were representants from Transition Sweden, Permaculture Sweden and several different student-driven and sustainability-oriented educational institutions including CEMUS, YIP ( and Färnebo Folkhighschool.

1YT is a 10-month long part-time programme for young adults (aged 20 to 35) who want to turn their determination for a more sustainable, Transition-aligned world into practical projects through which they can earn a living.

The model has been piloted in the UK by Transition Network, the charity that supports the growing international Transition movement of communities self-organising for resilience and well-being in a low-carbon world. Now in its second year, the programme is being shared with organisations abroad who would like to use and adapt it. The main features are its low cost, the informal but committed nature of learning, its proven success at getting young adults into work, personal development as well as practical skills, the creation of a cohort of “elders” as skills masters and personal mentors, and its connection into community.

The programme bridges the worlds of learning and work, employment and self-employment and offers a way to create livelihoods at a time of rising unemployment. Now during its second year in the UK, efforts are made and relationships are built to give away the model so it can be successfully replicated abroad. All of last year’s students are supporting themselves through the projects that they created.


Essential ingredients:

  • Up to 16 young adults who want to get into things like community organising, food growing, local eco-building, time banking, re-localising economies and re-vitalising the place where they live (often in very innovative ways)
  • Transition Training, plus inner Transition and understanding how change works
  • Story-telling for stepping into adulthood, engaging with the myths we live by
  • Project design and follow-through (social enterprise model)
  • Personal mentors and skills masters for each student, acting in an eldership role
  • Holding questions at the learning edge, through Action Enquiry
  • Engaging with local Transition groups
  • Connecting to Nature, finding meaning and purpose in work
  • Four week-long meet-ups for training, including leadership training for times of uncertainty, running a business, public speaking, permaculture, and encounters with projects as requested by the students

1YT is a programme from Transition Network led by Education Coordinator, Isabel Carlisle

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