Stories of Change: Energy in the past, present and future

Project: Research council

Project Details


The project aims to help to revive stalled public and political conversations about energy by looking in a fresh way at its past, present and future. It draws on history, literature, social and policy research and the arts to encourage a more imaginative approach to energy choices. Many people are disengaged or actively hostile to decarbonisation. The project seeks to make space to work through areas of concern and explore elements of a collective vision. It has three objectives:
1.To listen to and give a platform to more diverse, often unheard, voices
2.To mobilise change through research and the arts
3.To innovate in use of digital media

Key findings

The project is working with 3 communities: 1. policymakers in London; 2. an industrial community in the Midlands; 3. a former mining community in South Wales. It is co-organising events with them and gathering digital narratives. It is currently presenting these on blogs, and will be curating them on a web platform as part of a public resource on energy system change. It is producing non-academic essays for web and print dissemination as well as academic outputs. It is placing oral narratives of energy system change in historical and cultural context, and presenting findings at conferences and workshops. It is training young researchers in interview and writing techniques.

Work by Prof Axel Goodbody and Dr Bradon Smith (University of Bath) has included engaging with artists at an event in Oxford, providing skills training for young people in London and bringing them together with climate policy experts, organising a public lecture in Bristol, presenting academic analyses at AHRC workshops, and posting blogs and material on Audio Boom and Storify.
Effective start/end date1/07/1430/06/17

Collaborative partners

  • University of Bath
  • University of Birmingham
  • University of Exeter
  • University of Sheffield
  • University of South Wales
  • Open University (lead)


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