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The Vision


Transition Lab takes people on a journey to reveal their deepest gifts. Then we help each other put our gifts to work in sustainable ways. This gives us the opportunity to live fuller lives and build a more beautiful world. 

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The Vision


Transition Lab takes people on a journey to reveal their deepest gifts. Then we help each other put our gifts to work in sustainable ways. This gives us the opportunity to live fuller lives and build a more beautiful world. 

Unfortunately, we did not have enough students enrolled for the 2016 program to continue. We do expect to re-open Transition Lab however in the years to come. It is too important of an idea to disappear. Click here for more information on this decision. Otherwise, read on to check out what we've done, what we believe, and how we think our models can change the world. 

Are you looking for Deeper Knowledge of Who you are, What you are here to Offer, and How you can get started? 

Transition Lab’s curriculum brings students the experiences necessary to Figure out their place in thie World. our teachers are people who Have Spent years trying to both follow their hearts and pay the bills and want to share their strategies and insights for success. As students, This is a chance to challenge, mentor, and support one another to become your best. 

The program started in Montrose Colorado in 2010 when my wife and I had our friend Evan Lavin do 15 hours of work per week in exchange for rent in our guest bedroom.  Our friend Evan Lavin got to do what he loved, cooking and gardening, and saved money on rent. He also was able to work a full time job and pay off his debt while living with us. This arrangement created affordable housing, local food, and an opportunity for all of us to meet our needs in ways that none of us could have afforded with cash. It was also a journey that created realistic ways to meet our needs and grow as people. 

Since then, students began coming to discover ways to move forward with their lives. Some have provided eldercare, others have volunteered at the food bank, worked on political campaigns, or planted gardens throughout the community. At the same time, we have all studied how to create a more beautiful world. Not only do these journeys teach us who we are and how to become better people, it is also the way to build community resilience from the ground up. 

We have had students from various walks of life.  These have included folks in their 40's and 50's who were tired of the corporate rat race, college kids who wanted to find realistic solutions to our world's problems, and those stuck in debt and depression while working in an economy that didn't serve them. 

 


Think of Transition Lab as a personal growth accelerator that happens to make the world a better place at the same time.
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Step 1: Building ReLationships


Relationships reveal our deepest gifts as well as the shadow aspects of ourselves. We have found that using relationships to meet our basic needs is the most powerful growth accelerator in the world.    

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Step 1: Building ReLationships


Relationships reveal our deepest gifts as well as the shadow aspects of ourselves. We have found that using relationships to meet our basic needs is the most powerful growth accelerator in the world.    

Without food, the land, the seasons, and the people we surround ourselves with, there would be no meaning in our lives. In society, we practice very conventional relationships like working for money, and using that money to pay for our needs like rent and food. However, Transition Lab provides the opportunity to forge new kinds of relationship in the world. Nearly all of our students have lived in a "Skilled Resident" model where they pay for rent by working on a certain project or helping out with chores. Most students also spend part of their week working on local organic farms in exchange for food. The actual curriculum at Transition Lab only takes two days a week. We use this time to meet, talk, and do activities together that help us understand what our relationships are revealing about our gifts and who we are. The rest of the time we put what we have learned about ourselves into practice. 

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. The tribe returns the favor by providing an incredibly diverse support structure. At Transition Lab, we agree to come together to support one another as we grow. 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 instead nurtures a level of personal and group responsibility rarely seen in our society. 

When students arrive in Montrose, we introduce them to the farmers, potential hosts, and employers that they could choose (or not) to develop a relationship with while they are in the program. From there, we step back and provide support. Some students might end up camping all summer.  Some may want to start a skilled residence, or build a tiny house, while others may get a job at the pizza shop and rent a place in town. It's up to you. The only requirement is a deep commitment and openness to personal growth for whatever path you choose.


These are Ways Students Have Developed Creative Relationships:

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 Teachers and from one another.

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.  we have shown that we can do it ourselves with the means and resources already available. 

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Bringing Our Gifts to Life


Our experiences at Transition Lab allow us to become pioneers for a more beautiful world.

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Bringing Our Gifts to Life


Our experiences at Transition Lab allow us to become pioneers for a more beautiful world.

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


The students of Transition Lab share a common struggle: The challenge of identifying, nurturing, and making a living with our gifts. Unfortunately, many of the skills that would help heal the world are not the ones that provide a big paycheck. So, the biggest challenge is finding ways to both pay the bills and do what we love. The photo above is an image of one of those success stories. Jake Hanson had a passion for designing gardens and growing food. He built this edible permaculture garden in exchange for rent and is now working to start his own business in Salt Lake City. 

One of the things that makes Transition Lab unique is our ability to develop models like this to support meaningful work. To read more about other success stories, as well as why MIT thinks that our models offer the best local solution to address climate change, click here. 

 

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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 already exist. 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 already exist. No more dreaming about a better future. Co-create it with us.

"Before I came to Transition Lab, I wasn't sure there was Beauty in the World. Now I am absolutely Positive there is."

-Jake Rubenstein, Transition Lab '15

“After twenty years of looking, I consider 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 U.S. 

“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