Graphic concept: Greg Campbell :: Photo source:

We invite your creative participation in a bold new initiative: the global Sustainability Surprise Party. Its purpose is to bring the need for large-scale transformative change to the forefront of the public agenda in a way that vested interests cannot stop.

During May 2014 individuals and organisations around the world will put on thousands of blogs, conversations and events telling the truth about the need and hopeful possibilities of transitioning to a life-sustaining society. A whole system change!

The Sustainability Surprise Party (SSP) is not a political party. Its purpose is to kick-start a new wave of transformational conversations so that, as a society, we commit to becoming ecologically sustainable. Watch this short video about the Sustainability Surprise Party.


Designing for a miracle – innovative communication to accelerate the Great Transition outlines our strategy. It is a well thought out design that includes all the steps from high level aspiration to on the ground implementation.

Whole system change and the Great Transition

The good news is that there is already a huge wave of transformative change going on. Some call it The Great Transition. There are millions of groups spontaneously forming to deal with our looming environmental and social problems. Our purpose is to accelerate the Great Transition through innovative communication strategies to engage a mainstream audience.

Here is Paul Hawken describing the size of the movement in his talk at the 2006 Bioneers Conference.

People are waking up. Even mainstream global organisations such as the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the International Energy Agency all now recognise that climate Read More

We invite your creative participation

We aim to have the ideas of whole system change and the Great Transition appear ‘everywhere’, so that people become aware of it from many sources. Our deeper goal  is to have the Great Transition to a life-sustaining society supplant economic increase as the accepted goal of our times.

Success requires that a critical mass of mainstream society develops a rough idea of what is involved in actually transitioning to a sustainable society, and becomes committed to contributing to this within their sphere of influence. You can assert leadership in various ways. Read more

Transition Leaders

Transition Leaders are people who conduct structured thoughtful conversations about transformative change with people they know and with influential decision-makers. If these conversations go well (sometimes they won’t), people will come to a ‘holy shit, this is real’ moment when they get the need for whole system change. Acting as a Transition Leader may be the most effective thing you can do to contribute to the Great Transition. There are already great books – which are not read by the mainstream. Read more

Indicators of success

The Sustainability Surprise Party is the kick start for a wave of educational social change that will go on long after May 2014. How might we know if the Sustainability Surprise Party is successful? Possible metrics include:

  • The number of organisations involved.
  • The number of events that are staged.
  • The number of people conducting transformative conversations about whole system change.
  • Talk of whole system change and the Great Transition becoming prominent in sustainability and social justice communities.
  • References to the need for whole system change and the Great Transition appearing in mainstream media.

These are important stepping stones. However, what we are really after is such a huge shift in public attitudes that succeeding in the Great Transition becomes a public priority, with massive resources devoted to transitioning to an ecologically sustainable society.

We will know that we are succeeding when politicians and business leaders make environmentally and socially wise decisions, and the news is more hopeful than heartbreaking.