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The Vision


Transition Lab teaches people realistic ways to become entrepreneurs as we build a more just, fun, and beautiful world. By meeting most of our basic needs through creative relationships instead of money, we find opportunities to develop our gifts and build sustainable economic models for our future. 

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The Vision


Transition Lab teaches people realistic ways to become entrepreneurs as we build a more just, fun, and beautiful world. By meeting most of our basic needs through creative relationships instead of money, we find opportunities to develop our gifts and build sustainable economic models for our future. 

Transition Lab brings people together from around the world to learn the skills that Will empower them to create economic and cultural models of the future. While in the program, We study, practice, and refine ways to grow our own food, create affordable housing, build community resilience, do what we love for our Lives, and in the process discover who we deeply are. 

The program started in Montrose Colorado in 2010 when my wife and I began exchanging rent in our guest bedroom for cooking and gardening. We got a personal chef and gardener, and our friend Evan worked 15 hours a week doing what he enjoyed. He also was able to work a full time job and pay off his debt while living with us. This arrangement created affordable housing, abundant local food, and an opportunity for all of us to meet our needs in ways that none of us could have afforded with cash. 

Since then we have created 12 "Skilled Residences" throughout our community with students who have exchanged rent for work they love. From providing eldercare, volunteering at the food bank, working on political campaigns, and planting several new gardens we have built community resilience from the ground up. Our graduates include folks in their 40's and 50's who are tired of the corporate rat race and looking for more meaning in their lives. We also host college kids who want to find realistic solutions to our world's problems. Finally, we have helped several students just get back on their feet after they were stuck in debt working for an an economy that didn't serve them. 

There is no secret practice, spiritual teaching, or technology that Transition Lab is using which isn't being applied elsewhere. What makes our program unique is our combination of ideas into a systemic approach that has made new ways of living economically viable and socially feasible. Students attend our programs for the unique opportunity of being surrounded by others who have the courage to try to build a better world, gaining the skills to replicate these models anywhere, and being mentored by teachers with decades of experience. 

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Working as a Community


To Meet Our Basic Needs, We Develop Creative Relationships by Using Our Most Valuable Resource: Ourselves. 

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Working as a Community


To Meet Our Basic Needs, We Develop Creative Relationships by Using Our Most Valuable Resource: Ourselves. 

One of the key differences between Transition Lab and other organizations dedicated to creating change is our radically grassroots approach. There is no better way to build community than by giving a student and a host the opportunity and responsibility of working together to meet one another's basic needs. A Skilled Resident relationship intrinsically asks us to work on the things that we care about and that we are the most skilled to take on. It also requires us to become more proactive, compassionate, and creative people as we start on projects and build more diverse relationships. This is both the most challenging and transformative thing that we do because the very way we choose to live either makes our relationship success or fail. Multiply the effect of this increase in personal responsibility and innovative creativity in households and across a community, and we can start to build a community that takes care of itself and addresses it's own problems in all aspects of our lives. 

One way to think about how Transition Lab works is to describe it as Neo-Tribalism. Tribal cultures work because of the complex web of relationships where members contribute their skills and gifts to the survival of the group, while the tribe returns the favor by providing an incredibly diverse support structure. However, Transition Lab, like tribes can only support those who contribute their gifts to the well being of the tribe itself. The journey of participating at Transition Lab is a departure from our hyper-individualized culture, and nurtures a level of personal and group responsibility rarely seen in our society. 


For Housing, we exchange 10 hours of work a week for use of guest bedrooms.

For Food, we trade our labor at organic farms for a share of their produce. 

For Instruction, we receive guidance from friends and neighbors who are already meeting basic needs through relationship. 

For Community, we rely on each other to support, develop, and encourage our gifts. 

For Our Lives, we wake up every day excited to do what we love. 


Nobody is going to build a more beautiful world for us, but we can do it ourselves with the means and resources already abundantly available. Working together to meet our collective needs, we rekindle the most valuable resource available to all of us: A deep understanding and practice of living as a community. Because we model and teach the skills to develop community anywhere in the world, our models are viable, replicable, and accessible for everybody. 

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Bringing Our Gifts to Life


Our experiences at Transition Lab allow us to become seeds of a new story for a more beautiful world.

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Bringing Our Gifts to Life


Our experiences at Transition Lab allow us to become seeds of a new story for a more beautiful world.

What does it take to bring our gifts to life and sustain them? 


Many of the success stories at Transition Lab start with a common struggle: The challenge of identifying, nurturing, and making a living with our gifts. Unfortunately, the world we live in offers us few tools to do so. Think about it: we all put up with difficult landlords, bosses, and co-workers, doing work we don't really love just to get by.  Wouldn't you rather find ways to do what you truly love and be sustained by your love of life? 

If we can create models which are supported by creative relationships, then we can develop our gifts and support meaningful livelihoods indefinitely. Maintaining healthy relationships is the most difficult work we do at Transition Lab, but it is good work and it is the only thing that will deeply transform our lives, our communities, and our world.   

 

Above is an image of one of our success stories: Jake Hanson has a passion for designing gardens and growing food. He build this edible permaculture garden in exchange for rent from his host. To read about this and other stories of students bringing their gifts to life, please visit our story telling page. 

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Starting is Simple


Transition Lab is a model where you can get started right now, making positive changes in the world and powering your good work with resources that exist in abundance. No more dreaming about a better future. Co-create it with us.

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Starting is Simple


Transition Lab is a model where you can get started right now, making positive changes in the world and powering your good work with resources that exist in abundance. No more dreaming about a better future. Co-create it with us.

“After twenty years of looking, I consider the Transition Lab to be something rare and unique, an enterprise of brilliant design that promises to achieve remarkable results on a wide front." 

-DANIEL QUINN, AUTHOR OF ISHMAEL AND BEYOND CIVILIZATION

“This is Brilliant- a Great tool for unlocking/sharing local skills and engaging young people”

-ROB HOPKINS, FOUNDER OF THE TRANSITION MOVEMENT

“Developing low-carbon local businesses is essential for our future. Early adopters in this arena, like Transition Lab, will be tasked with breaking new ground and creating models for the rest of us to follow.”

-CAROLYNE STAYTON, DIRECTOR OF TRANSITION US. 

“Transition Lab is on the leading edge of creating both the educational and business models of the future.”

-JAMES BRANSCOME, FORMER MANAGING DIRECTOR OF STANDARD & POOR'S 

 "My experience at Transition Lab continues to inform how I think about Everything in the World." 

-Malcolm Salovaara, TRANSITION LAB '14