1 May 2018

2050—An Energetic Odyssey: Understanding ‘Techniques of Futuring’ in the transition towards renewable energy

The ‘preview’ of the Energetic Odyssey for the national Director Generals for Energy of the 28 member states of the European Union, 3rd of February 2016.

After the Paris agreement on climate change (2015) climate change politics is no longer about raising awareness but about shaping the sustainability transition itself. It requires us to rethink the role of scientific knowledge, shifting from a tradition of “expected futures” to an approach focusing on “desirable futures” and ways to get there. In the newest publication by M. Hajer and P. Pelzer, they argue that the the sustainability transitions scholarship tends to see constructions of the future (visions, scenarios, predictions etc.) as explanans (that what explains) while constructions of the future are rarely seen as explanandum (that what should be explained).

The article introduces the concept of ‘Techniques of Futuring’ defined as practices bringing together actors around one or more imagined futures and through which actors come to share particular orientations for action, to get a grip on the actual acts of ‘futuring’. The empirical focus is on ‘2050—An Energetic Odyssey’, a process centred around an elaborate multimedia installation, introducing large scale exploitation of the North Sea for harvesting off shore wind energy taking place in 2015 and 2016. This installation, '2050 - An Energetic Odyssey' is taken as an example of a Technique of Futuring. It is used to reflect on what effective Techniques of Futuring teach us about the sustainability transition.

Read the article via this link.