• Energy Cities 2020

Energy Cities is one of the groups doing most – in a post-Greta Thunberg world – to convert Europe into a post-carbon environment. The energy transition will be a tough and sustained campaign, and any group which celebrates the potential and trends in this brave new world is necessary.

Please join us at this conference – moderated by Eugene Quinn of space and place – where new ideas will be developed and shared. We aim to create a toolbox of practical ideas which participants can take home to change behaviour in their home cities.

This event points – optimistically – to where the new green jobs will be, and introduces characters who are trying to save the world from climate catastrophe.

Many people are waiting for the government to change their lifestyle for them, instead of making this alteration themselves. This is a problem we want to confront. Green voters are some of the most hypocritical actors when it comes to climate change. They continue their high-consumption lifestyle, with regular flights, car journeys, second-homes and expensive commodities. We want to explore their lack of reflection. If green campaigners do not change their ways, who else is going to follow them? [*Green party voters are the second most-likely to fly in Germany, after CDU voters]

This year’s forum is in the Dutch city of Heerlen, part of the 300,000-strong Stadpark metropolis – near the frontier with Germany and Luxembourg – which has struggled to adapt to the loss of its coal industry. It is a symbolic place to bring together researchers, city-planners, NPOs and experts from renewable industries, to share best-practice and build a toolbox for how to persuade reluctant citizens and politicians of the urgent need for change.

Energy Cities, a transnational group of 1000 urban hubs in Europe, is pushing an ambitious energy-transition away from fossil fuels. It is run in an alternative way, using a Holacracy instead of traditional management systems. Holacracy is a method of organisational governance based on decentralized management, in which authority and decision-making are distributed through circles. Holacracy relies on collective intelligence, and avoids having an organisation under the influence of personal feelings or tempers of top managers.

Eugene has been invited to bring a more experimental approach to the forum, avoiding bureaucracy, process and boring speeches, replacing these cliches with something more modern, productive and fun. He will also DJ inspirational eco-tunes, lead a midnight-tour of the city, organise a social-dining event connecting delegates and engaged locals, and make a presentation on the role of urban walking in mobility strategy. Please join us there, for lively and important debates.

And since Eugene attends many seminars, workshops and conferences, and finds more than half of them boring and unfocused, he has developed a list of 40 things these events should not ever do. He will be sharing this with delegates, and curating a more useful, practical and outcome-focused forum.

Here is an introduction to our approach: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hSUig4i2KOk

21-23 Apr. 2021

Heerlen, Netherlands

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