Faculty for 2017


Isabel Carlisle – Regenerative Design, Wayfinding, Commoning and the art of curating social change. Course leader and facilitator 

Following a long career in the art world (in art publishing; as an art critic for The Times; and exhibitions curator at the Royal Academy of Arts in London) Isabel set up and directed the Festival of Muslim Cultures that took place across Britain throughout 2006. Over 120 events in almost every art form brought audiences into contact with the Muslim world in order to build bridges of understanding. After that Isabel became a Creative Consultant to the University of the Arts in London and developed education strategies for sustainability with schools in the east end of London. In 2010 Isabel moved to Totnes and became Education Coordinator for Transition Network, as well as a Trustee of Transition Town Totnes. Together with seven young adults she designed One Year in Transition which launched in September 2012. She is a co-founder of the Community Chartering Network and of The Bioregional Learning Centre for South Devon. Her own experience of putting herself on the line as a change agent has shaped the design of One Year in Transition.


Rob Hopkins – Telling stories about social change, and the importance of imagination

Rob is co-founder of both Transition Town Totnes and Transition Network. He is a serial blogger, author of The Power of Just Doing Stuff and tweets as @robintransition. He previously wrote The Transition Handbook and The Transition Companion, and was awarded a PhD by the University of Plymouth and more recently Honorary Doctorates by the University of the West of England and the University of Namur. In 2012 he was voted one of the Independent’s top 100 environmentalists and one of ‘Britain’s 50 New Radicals’.
He has appeared on BBC Radio 4’s ‘Four Thought’ and on ‘A Good Read’, appears in the French film phenomenon ‘Demain’ (‘Tomorrow’), has spoken at TED Global once, and at 3 TEDx events. He is an Ashoka Fellow, a keen gardener and one of the founders of New Lion Brewery in Totnes and a Director of Totnes Community Development Society, the group behind Atmos Totnes, a very ambitious community-led development project. He is currently writing a book about imagination, you can find out more here.


Sophy Banks – Inner Transition and the psychology of change

In 2006 Sophy helped to set up the first “Heart and Soul” group of the newly forming Transition Town Totnes project, the first experiment in a movement which thousands of communities globally have tried in some from. Working at the centre of the movement for the next ten years, she trained people around the world in the model and process of the Transition movement. Her core focus was to bring the wisdom and practice of many inner traditions to combine with the practical outer activities of Transition, creating a deeper and more transformative whole.. Sophy has backgrounds in science, psychotherapy and family constellations, as well as playing a lot of football with other women in East London in her youth. After stepping out of Transition a year ago she has been teaching, facilitating and composting along with her vegetable patch.


Chris Nichols – Action Research, the Art of Invitation, and systems change

Chris specialises in getting organisations to see the world differently and in stretching the imagination of leaders to see new possibilities. He uses action inquiry and a range of artful ways of exploring to invite people and teams into new adventures, and underpins his work with the discipline and rigour of having spent ten years running a major MSc programme in sustainability and responsible leadership. Chris has lots of organisational, business and innovation experience to bring, having worked for Price Waterhouse, having been a New York investment banker and having been Professor of Practice in Systems Transformation at a leading business school. Chris is a writer and poet, grower and artist. He moves between the worlds of business and art, deep ecology and the boardroom, “shapeshifting” to help worlds to meet in enticing and game changing ways. Chris co-founded www.gameshift.co.uk the juicy and successful collaborative hub for systems change.


James Wood – Community development, Action Enquiry, Way of Council and course facilitator

James has a Master’s Degree in “Corporate Social Accountability, and Sustainable Policies” from Simon Fraser University (Vancouver, Canada), and a Community Economic Development BA. He has over 15 years’ experience in senior and directorial positions, working with governments, charities, and educational organizations. With each organization he works with, he captures its vision, and collaboratively creates a strategy for the most creative and effective way forward. He also builds relationships between diverse stakeholder groups, and engages these relationships to facilitate collaborative decision-making and planning processes. James’ leadership support promotes dynamically egalitarian environments, where authority is distributed throughout the whole. James also facilitates explorations of the “Healthy Masculine” – open to all genders – as a source of community wellbeing.


David Young – Elder, writer, storyteller

The path to fulfillment is not a straight line, something David knows well from his years of work in radical publishing, running a modern furniture workshop, making independent television documentaries, script editing, and writing prime time television drama. The work of creating television drama involves a great deal of collaboration and mentoring, most importantly the recognition that any new story comes from many sources. Film making, like any social project, is a mixture of long term planning and short term improvising. The script, both actual and metaphoric, has to change when confronted with the business of making it concrete. As well as his professional training David has studied with Jon Young’s Art of Mentoring and Martin Shaw’s School of Myth, developing his skills and appreciation for nature connection and story telling, along with the awareness that we should all spend much more time outside. For the past seven years his storytelling – often outdoors – has been part of his practice, alongside his writing.

1YT Advisors

peteyPete Yeo (Elder/Mentor and Benefactor)

From Devon, Pete has a long held passion for plants and their inter-relationships. Nature has been his greatest teacher and has fostered in him an eye for patterns and connections; this he has taken into his philanthropic efforts over the past 15 years, itself the result of a family legacy. He’s currently re-focusing his energies on re-imagining so-called ‘weedy’ plants and the wider vegetal realm, whilst also remaining an Ambassador for Devon Community Foundation, sitting on the advisory panel for Dartington School for Social Entrepreneurs, and volunteering for a local organic market garden and a ferry operation across the River Torridge.




Hannah Fenton (1YT Graduate, 2013)

Hannah is Manager of Good Food Oxford, a network of 130 organisations working together for a healthier, fairer and more sustainable food system for Oxford. She is also Operations Manager of the Oxford Real Farming Conference, an annual gathering of the UK’s sustainable food and farming movements. She is Treasurer of East Oxford Farmers’ & Community Market and is also a Director of her partner’s local apple juice business, Tiddly Pommes. Hannah was part of the first cohort of 1YT in 2012-13 when she was first trying to make a living doing what she really believed in. 1YT led her back to an early love, food. Since then she has developed that love into a clear purpose drawing on her skills in professional development, network and conferencing management.


robhRob Holtom (1YT Graduate, 2014)
Robert is a writer and narrative coach. He runs workshops in storytelling for a range of organisations including universities, charities and campaigns. He writes many forms of fiction and blogs at www.humanconditioned.com. He did 1YT from 2013-14 and it gave him the space to continue to explore his passions whilst introducing him to the world of storytelling. It was an invaluable experience and helped get him to where he is today.



af-circle Alex Froede (1YT Graduate, 2016)
Alex worked in international development in Africa and in a climate change policy unit in Bonn, Germany, before taking a year out and moving to Totnes, Devon. Since graduating from 1YT he chooses to offer facilitation and group development for non-profit organisations such as social services, Transition groups and education centres in his home town of Bonn. In particular he facilitates team and strategy development processes and supports change agents in these organisations to make a difference with their work.



julia-circleJulia Oertli (1YT Graduate, 2016)

Julia completed 1YT in the summer of 2016. Her learnings from the course have since shaped her work as community builder with purpose-driven entrepreneurs in Islington, London. She currently works as Community Lead for the London Impact Hub in its new Old Street location. Julia loves deep philosophical conversations and is passionate about how we can, in small ways every day, help each other reach into the treasures of our human potential and connect it to a collective purpose. As a side project, she also supports a group of academics in finding ways to share their knowledge with a wider audience in ways that are relevant, accessible and engaging.



Henry Owen (Trustee and Co-chair, Transition Network)

Henry Owen is an Oxford-based community activist who is currently studying for an MSc. in Environmental Change and Management. Henry has been involved with many community action groups around Oxford, and founded Project Soup, a community micro-funding dinners project. Henry is a Transition Network Trustee and Co-Chair.



Erica Dellner (1YT Graduate, 2016)

Erica is driven by connection, the importance of creating space to imagine possibilities and believes deeply in everyday creativity, that we are all artists moulding our worlds. She has worked in the arts for over 10 years with festivals and artists producing and delivering artistic live projects and programmes. During 1YT she stepped back and began creating new contexts and alternative ways of working. Following the year, she went to southern Italy to develop an artistic residency programme in a once abandoned cinema and is now working in collaboration to produce a long-term multi-artist project that has the human experience at its core.

Click on the image below to watch a short video about One Year in Transition:

Erica and Vivian chopping wood V3Rainbow flower copy