Sunday Brunch: transition and triathlon
(Graham Horn / The Human Race triathlon - transition, CC BY-SA 2.0)

Sunday Brunch: transition and triathlon

Understanding that transition is a series of steps will be crucial in engaging stakeholders.

Sustainability transitions are a series of steps.

At school I played a lot of sport which continued when I went to university and into my twenties when I played football regularly for my employer at the time, Price Waterhouse. Then in my thirties, quite frankly I adopted a shameful disregard for my own health. As my fortieth birthday approached I found myself at the heaviest and most unfit I had ever been in my life. I decided that enough was enough and I would start hitting the gym. In order to push myself to go, I decided to put a marker in the sand, a goal to aim for, a target with a deadline: I signed up for a triathlon.

I picked a triathlon because it was well beyond my capability at the time. I had never really run further than one km in a running race, had only cycled to school and back (around three km) and effectively I couldn't swim. Or rather I could shift an awful lot of water in multiple directions for about 15 metres.

Just under nine months later and this was me, competing in the Blenheim Palace Triathlon (sprint distance) with one of my friends. I am on the front bike slightly ahead of him.

(Me at the Blenheim Palace Triathlon, 2012)

So how did I get there? It certainly wasn't overnight. I didn't flick a switch and suddenly I was a triathlete. I broke down my transition into a series of manageable steps. I needed to learn to swim properly, get my running distance up to 5 km and my cycling distance up to 20 km with speed over hills. And get my transition (no pun intended - it's how you switch between each of the three disciplines, getting out of your wetsuit etc) efficient. Those steps needed to be broken down into smaller steps. For swimming, getting my body positioning right, my breathing effective (or in my case, actually breathing at all!) and developing my 'catch'.

Getting those small steps right added up to me being able to complete that 2012 triathlon and subsequent ones leading to me eventually entering longer distance races including swimming 1.9 km - my 2010 self would have laughed hysterically at the thought of swimming that distance.

That series of steps continues. You can ALWAYS improve. So yes, whilst I am 'slightly ahead' of my friend, he is about to lap me. Yes. Lap me on a 3-lap course.

Sustainability transitions: a series of steps

Just with triathlon, the sustainability transitions are a series of steps.

If you want to read the rest and are not already a member...

Just with triathlon, the sustainability transitions are a series of steps.

Stages: To get from where we are now to where we want to be, there may be a number of intermediary stages. For example, with urban transportation, electrified mass transit and/or 20-minute neighbourhoods may be the ultimate goal, but to cater for existing car-centric urban design during that transition, mass rollout of EVs may be needed. Those steps can take many years requiring investment decisions with long payoffs.

The transition to green steel is an example of that need for stages, acting as a trailblazer for other hard to abate sectors 👇🏾

Is green steel coming of age?
A combination of factors have led to green steel reaching a tipping point where demand could accelerate. A lesson for other hard to abate sectors?

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