EnergiZines: 43 personal interpretations of the energy transition

Last year I had the pleasure of working with the creative team of Engaged ANU (The Australian National University), Brad Riley and the inspiring Tristan Schultz on a pretty out there engagement that we called “EnergiZine – Nurturing Energy Transitions”. We’ve just uploaded the Zines created in these workshops for all to read and be inspired by https://dev.mtchl.net/energizine/viewer/

They represent 43 members of the public’s personal takes on the energy transition story, where it comes from and where it should lead to.

This short video gives a sense of what the evenings were like https://vimeo.com/847972505

Research on effects of Amy’s Balancing Act story

In collaboration with Graham Walker of the National Centre for the Public Awareness of Science I am conducting research on how Amy’s Balancing Act influences readers’ conception of the electricity system and the transition to clean energy.

Below are a copy of the worksheets being utilised for this (one for young persons the second for adults) and the accompanying participant information sheets. This research is conducted under ANU Ethics Protocol 2023/286.

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Video insight into the EnergiZine experiences

This has been one of the most engaging – and out there – projects I’ve ever had been involved in. It was an absolute privelidge to work with Brad Riley and collaborators in the First Nations Clean Energy Network on the content, Mitchell Whitelaw and Dave Fanner from the Engaged ANU on the creative engagement, and Tristan Schultz from Relative Creative who designed the richly layered absurdist mnemonic experience.

The created Zines can be viewed here.

My speech from the events:

Let me add my respects to the Ngunnawal and Ngambri custodians of the beautiful and unceded land on which we’re gathered this evening and to all First Nations people who have cared for country since time immemorial.

The theme of tonight is wellness.

Everything you’ll be exposed to and will have to deliberate on and choose between effects your wellness and the wellness of your communities and the earth.

We don’t ever think or talk about our role at the ANU in terms of wellness, but really everything we do is in service of this goal: the wellness of individuals, communities, and the planet.

Now not everything you’ll find on these tables will assist with wellness. After all, a key part of wellness is avoiding that which makes you unwell: be that stress, junk food, pollution, etc.

And you can’t always trust what you read in wellness magazines and labels, you’ve got to critically investigate to uncover the complex interrelations and impacts of things.

This too is a vital part of our job at the ANU – to uncover and analyse that which makes people and places unwell. So keep an eye out for this tonight.

And with that, I wish you luck in nurturing, navigating, and crafting your wellness energy transition. I hope it’s as stimulating and engaging to complete as it’s been to create.

Engaged ANU event at Questacon

Immerse yourself in an absurd wellness ritual, and design your renewable energy future in the style of a wellness EnergiZine.

In this immersive journey, we embrace the strange obsession of modern culture with wellness and extend its fascination to our energy choices. Like a vibrant metabolic soup, energy systems and sub-systems interplay, offering trade-offs and options for just transitions. Through cutting, pasting, hacking, crafting, mapping, and layering, you will design your renewable energy futures in the style of a wellness EnergiZine, tailored for your own home, workplace, and community memory places. Nourishing the soul, you’ll explore renewable energy sources that nurture our planet and promote our wellbeing.

Drawing on the intelligence of Indigenous knowledge systems, you’ll develop mnemonic techniques to store your energy knowledge for later use. Guest speakers, including First Nations experts and ANU researchers, share perspectives that enrich your EnergiZine.

Join us in this remarkable experience where wellness and energy transitions intertwine. Let the workshop’s immersive atmosphere fuel your creativity and inspire conscious choices. Don’t be left in the dark. As the sun dips below the horizon, let your EnergiZine shine, illuminating a path to a sustainable energy future for ourselves and the planet we call home.

Woodford Folk Festival 2022-23

I had a wonderful time at the Woodford Folk Festival over the summer. I can now confirm that it’s no less fun with a toddler than childless! So much excitement and good vibes all around.

I gave an hour long presentation on “Watt’s in store for the energy system?” in the main festival, with special guest Prof Ian Lowe, as well as spending an hour doing some readings of Amy’s Balancing Act in the children’s festival. Both were very fun and engaging with the switched on crowds.

My slides for the adult presentation are below, together with a few pics – more on instagram

A kid’s book is bringing the energy transition into homes, schools and parliaments

The full story of the national launch of Amy’s Balancing Act is now in reneweconomy.com.au https://reneweconomy.com.au/a-kids-book-is-bringing-the-energy-transition-into-homes-schools-and-parliaments/

“The goal from the outset was to create “a great book to teach young children and old politicians about clean energy,” as Craig Reucassel put it.

In a heartening sign of how far the conversation (and politics) around the energy transition has improved in the intervening years, the resulting book – Amy’s Balancing Act – was recently launched in Federal Parliament with endorsements from across political parties.
Amy’s story contains three layered balancing acts, each of which was commented on by speakers.
– The Minister for Climate Change and Energy, Chris Bowen
– Liberal MP, Bridget Archer
– ANU VC, Prof Brian Schmidt

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Amy launched in the Parliament of Australia

Amy’s story has struck such a chord with political moment that Alicia Payne MP, the member for Canberra, hosted the national launch of Amy’s Balancing Act in Federal Parliament.

The event included an enthusiastic speech from the Minister for Climate Change and Energy, the Hon Chris Bowen, as well as an impressive upside-down reading of the book by Nobel laureate Prof Brian Schmidt AC.

Below are some of the first news articles that give more of the details.

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Story of the Week on LiSTNR platform

Amy’s story is now available (for free) as an audiobook on the LiSTNR platform https://lnkd.in/d3rCVffg
where it is currently the #StoryoftheWeek on Kinderling Kids Radio (which is a wonderful trove of stories!)

Full disclosure, the journey of creating Amy’s Balancing Act and recording the audiobook has made it very apparent to me that it’s the illustrations that make kids books. So I’ll frame the audiobook as a teaser of the beautifully illustrated book – available through my shop and all good book stores.