Building Thriving, Resilient Communities

Guide 3: Taking Steps Toward Resilience: Practical Projects

photo: (cc) by-nc-sa Transition US

photo: (cc) by-nc-sa Transition US

Ready to team up with neighbors? Guide #3 provides ideas, guidelines, and best practices for mobilizing your community to use less energy and become more resilient—from relocalizing your food, energy, and economic systems, to creating a culture of compassion and service.


  • Guide to Going Local from BALLE and Center for a New American Dream offers tips, videos, and resources on how to strengthen the local economy in your town through buying local, highlighting new entrepreneurs, instilling local pride, investing locally, and more.
  • Guide to Sharing from Center for a New American Dream and Shareable explains how to create a sharing economy, using tips, videos, and resources to explain everything from starting a tool library to organizing a solar cooperative, from holding a clothing swap to launching a time bank.
  • How to Start a Timebank webinar from Center for a New American Dream explores how to start up a time bank and skill exchange in your community, featuring speakers from successful time banks around the country.
  • How to Start a Tool Library webinar from Center for a New American Dream explores how to start up a new tool library in your community, featuring speakers from successful tool libraries around the country. Topics included obtaining funding, finding a location, tracking tools, navigating through legal issues, and more.
  • Reconomy project by Transition Network offers a framework for strengthening local economy—emphasizing leadership and visioning, transforming existing enterprises, and starting new enterprises.
  • Think Outside the Boss Manual from Sustainable Economies Law Center is a legal guide to creating worker-owned enterprises. Topics include forming a new cooperative entity, converting an existing entity into a cooperative, financing, employment law, and more.


  • Community Renewable Energy Webinar from Sustainable Economies Law Center discusses the legal barriers, policy opportunities, and steps to creating a new energy future.
  • How to Start a Solar Co-op webinar from Center for a New American Dream features community solar experts from Community Power Network and SunCommon on how everyday people can work with neighbors to bring solar energy to their community. Topics included solar cooperatives, bulk purchasing, group net metering, and more.
  • Power from the People webinar from Post Carbon Institute, Transition US, and Chelsea Green with community clean power experts from Piedmont Biofuels and Co-op Power explores what it takes to conceptualize and organize a community-scale clean energy project, focusing on biofuels.


  • How to Host a Permablitz by Shareable and the Permablitz Network is a guide to working with friends, neighbors, and volunteers to transform your home into a homestead and food forest – similar to the concept of barn-raising.
  • How to Start a Seed Library webinar from Center for a New American Dream features experts from around the country on starting a seed lending program at your public library. Topics include funding models, obtaining starter seeds, patron orientation, and more.
  • Rebuilding the Foodshed webinar from Post Carbon Institute, Transition US, and Chelsea Green with author Philip Ackerman-Leist discusses how to redesign our food system to be just, sustainable, and resilient, highlighting communities that have succeeded in rebuilding their local foodsheds.
  • Start Your Own Food Rescue is a guide to starting a bike-powered gleaning program to reduce hunger and food waste in your community, produced by Boulder Food Rescue.
  • Your Community Garden: Tips for Success from Environmental Change-Makers provides an overview of how to launch and maintain a successful community garden, with a focus on working with churches to house the garden.

Community & Society

  • Compassion Games, started by Compassionate Seattle and organized by the Compassionate Action Network, is a designated week in September when community members perform acts of service—either organized projects or random acts of kindness—to heal, inspire, and build just and happier communities.
  • How to Start a Babysitting Co-op webinar from Center for a New American Dream explores different types of babysitting co-ops, how they work, and tips on how to successfully start your own co-op from scratch.
  • Summer of Solutions is a summer-long program by Grand Aspirations that brings together young people in communities across the US to develop self-sustaining projects that address social justice, economic instability, and environmental sustainability; have a direct impact the on their communities; and serve as models for others to build on.
  • Transition Streets, developed by Transition Network, is a program for forming small, social groups of friends, neighbors and colleagues and helping them take effective, practical, money-saving, and carbon-reducing steps. It includes a workbook that helps individuals and families build Practical Action Plans to improve household energy efficiency, minimize water use, reduce waste, explore local food options, and more.