Designing and facilitating an energy transition futuring workshop.
This project was a collaborative piece of work between Tristan, Bjorn Sturmberg, Brad Riley, First Nations Clean Energy and Mitchell Whitelaw. The purpose was to collaboratively design and facilitate two workshops as part of the Uncharted Territory festival at Questacon and a third workshop as part of Science Week. The theme of the workshops is energy transition and the intention was for the design of the workshop to connect back to ANU research and be beneficial for future research and engagement.
Opportunity for Futures
The workshop design responds to the question How do we transition equitable energy systems to ‘there’ (some futural scenario) from ‘here’ (Australia today)? Its design recognises the importance of bring people along on the transition to sustainable energy futures, including First Nations energy justice. The project is deeply grounded in our practice focus on advancing just transitions towards more sustainable and socially responsible ecological, socio-economic, and political paradigms.
The idea of just transitions has its roots in the trade union movement a just transition originally focussed on the interventions necessary to protect workers as an economy shifts towards combating the climate crisis. The clearest example of this is the potential to transition workers from the fossil fuel industry into the renewable energy industry. This concept has been pushed further in recent years to refer to an equitable and fair shift towards sustainable practices. These are in the form of climate resilient policies and systems that underpin efforts towards climate action. Just transitions are about benefiting the community to ensure any hardships are eased and that any transitions are fair and equitable as we face the climate crisis.
Our approach to this project, works towards our goal of breaking down complex topics such as decoloniality, wicked problems, and just transitions, into absorbable knowledge and actionable steps.
Tristan and the team took a playful approach to the workshop design, including its visual identity to create the workshop: EnergiZine: Nurturing Energy Transitions. This sits in contrast to the serious nature of climate change and just transitions but is designed to make use of an exaggerated absurd wellness experience as a metaphoric hook. It is being used as are mnemonic learning hook to reinforce and foster knowledge about energy systems choices and propositions. Ultimately, the metaphor is about care. A prompt for people to deeply care for transitions in the same way people care for wellness. By helping people tell imaginative stories of alternative futures (design fictions), metaphors are useful to assist people in their storytelling journey. Creative artefacts (zines) are used within the workshop to captivate, increase engagement and create conversational conversational pieces for people and their peers when they leave the workshop, helping the ideas of energy transitions to spread.