Upcoming session on energy access at Royal Geography Society annual conference

Our team member Dr Ankit Kumar is co organising a session with colleagues from Durham University on defining energy access at the Royal Geography Society Annual Conference 2016. The conference will be held in London from 30 August – 2 September 2016.

This session on energy access is scheduled for Thursday 01 September 2016, Session 2 (11:10 – 12:50).

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Photo: Ankit Kumar

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Auke Pols gives public lecture on Prosperity without Growth

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On 22 April 2016, World Earth Day, environmental philosopher Dr Auke Pols gave a public lecture on ‘Prosperity without Growth’ in Baambrugge for the Cursusproject Abcoude – Baambrugge. The lecture dealt with the topic of economic growth policy and its relation to sustainable development and was inspired by Tim Jackson’s report on Prosperity without Growth. First, Auke examined the relation between economic growth and well-being. The basic (ethical) idea behind this is that the more we buy and consume, the more we (apparently) satisfy our preferences. Assuming that satisfying our preferences makes us happy, the more the economy grows, the happier we become. Yet this assumption can be criticised in a number of ways. For example, for many people ‘leading a good life’ entails much more than simple preference satisfaction and often entails consuming less (e.g. dieting or giving up smoking). Also, sociological research has shown that, once people are rich enough to satisfy their basic needs, happiness is influenced much more by other factors (e.g. social security, health) than by simple GDP growth. In addition, our current policy focus on growth has led to ecological problems (e.g. climate change, biodiversity loss), social problems (e.g. rising inequality) and economical problems (e.g. our current economy is designed so that it will either grow or fall into recession, but cannot stabilise.)

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Dutch Embassy in India Interviewes Johanna Hoeffken

Our project lead Dr Johanna Hoeffken was recently interviewed by the Dutch Embassy in India.

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Dr Johanna Hoeffken

She argued that the Smart Grids in India project (DISGI) has taken some key innovative steps towards understading, developing and implementing smart grids in India. These include:

  • Forming an interdisciplinary collaboration of scientists, businesses and societal stakeholders, both in India and the Netherlands
  • Bringing together two Dutch companies, PRE and Rural Spark, and two research institutions, TU/e and TERI University, with a total of 3 post docs, an engineer, a social scientist and an ethicist
  • Conducting a long-term and close study of smart grids
  • Giving equal importance to the technology, social embedding, ethical acceptability and institutional support

Read the full interview on the Dutch embassy website.