The Citizen Actions Labs in DIALOGUES are meant to provide first-hand-knowledge on the perceptions of the participants as to energy in their daily lives. Their answers will be one source for elaborating actionable advice on how to remove barriers and create favourable conditions for deepening energy citizenship.
The Citizen Action Lab that took place in Rome changed sides. The participants were energy experts that work in the public sector, who should profit from the findings of DIALOGUES. What kind of knowledge will help them to facilitate the deepening of energy citizenship in their communities?
Climate Alliance Italy and the University of Roma Tre collaborated with the Metropolitan City of Rome in organizing a one-day Citizen Action Lab in April 2023 with energy experts in the public sector. The collaboration with the Metropolitan City of Rome, long-time member of Climate Alliance, proved instrumental for recruiting participants, a hard-to-reach group because of a heavy workload and little trust of the event being worth their time.
Under the facilitation by an expert, the participants constructed a mind-map around the concept “Energy Transition” and then worked in two groups based on the Business Model Canvas (BMC) on energy-related themes. Recurring motives that emerged from the two activities were:
Frequently participants reflected on the relationship between their own professional role, the general situation, their personal life and their state of mind. They consider a sustainable lifestyle a logical continuity of their own professional role. A recurrent motive was preoccupation and fear. “I am quite worried of having to change the current model”. “The fear of this change and also the difficulties associated”.
A second motive was a feeling of intimidation, if not helplessness in front of the complexity of the energy transition. “We are not talking about turning off the faucet when brushing one’s teeth”. “It is an inescapable, irreversible process although very difficult to achieve. “A most complicated thing for those who try to do something proactive”. Over the day many statements of this kind came up.
Policy advice to policy makers on deepening energy citizenship does not need to motivate them or “raise their awareness”. It needs to guide those who are eager to do something, e.g., by facilitating the creation of an energy community, instituting a one-stop shop for energy poverty, renewables, and climate adaptation, putting out a newsletter. It needs to reassure them that they are right to be worried and give them actionable proposals on how to reach out to the community.
Author: Maria Guerrieri, Karl-Ludwig Schibel, Cecilia Trenti (Climate Alliance Italy- CAI)
Maria Guerrieri, Karl-Ludwig Schibel, Cecilia Trenti, Climate Alliance Italy