Outputs of the Twitter conference on Social Innovation for energy alternatives 2050, #SCENE2050

The Twitter conference on Social Innovation for energy alternatives 2050, #SCENE2050, took place on 17th May 2019 and it was organised by SIMRA partners at Oulu University.

The #SCENE2050 Twitter conference had a potencial reach of 15K, 32K reads and 145 Tweets used the hashtag.

Find below all the tweets shared by the lecturers:

#SCENE2050 To start the conference, a keynote on social innovation from Simo Sarkki (@SarkkiSimo) (docent on anthropology of environmental governance at University of Oulu (@UniOulu) and member of SIMRA (@simra_eu)

“SIMRA definition of social innovation and examples related to energy production, governance and revitalization of post-industrial sites”

1/10 SIMRA project (http://www.simra-h2020.eu) seeks to advance understanding of social innovation in agriculture, forestry and rural development, and find ways to boost them, particularly in marginalised rural areas across Europe. #SCENE2050

 2/10 SIMRA social innovation: “reconfigurations of social practices, in response to societal challenges, which seeks to enhance outcomes on societal well-being and necessarily includes the engagement of civil society actors (Nijnik et al. 2019: http://bit.ly/2VG6eLc . #SCENE2050

 3/10 Social innovation definition Figure (Secco et al. SIMRA, D 4.2 p. 87 http://bit.ly/30il09w ). The different aspects of the figure are explained below and enriched by examples from energy production, energy governance and revitalization of post-industrial sites #SCENE2050


4/10 Trigger: Social innovations are motivated by positive (e.g. available policy support for grassroots initiatives) or negative triggers (e.g. unsustainable energy production, problems in democracy on energy governance, polluted sites), and aim to meet social needs. #SCENE2050

 5/10 Agents: Social innovation emerges when civil society actors come together for common cause, have ideas, willingness and capacity to act. The actors start to prepare for change and set up processes to initiate change. #SCENE2050.

 6/10 Reconfiguring of 1) networks (e.g. between citizens, policy, science and business) 2) governance arrangements (e.g. associations, foundations, cooperatives), and 3) attitudes (e.g. on social and environmental responsibility and equity). #SCENE2050

 7/10 Outputs: concrete results of the collective action (community owned energy production, novel structures and processes for enhancing bottom-up decision-making, new uses of post-industrial sites for community benefit). #SCENE2050

 8/10 Outcomes: impacts that occur in longer term and derive from the outputs. Figure below outlines some examples of impacts. #SCENE2050.

9/10 Learning processes: social innovators learn from the processes they have initiated and may design new social innovation processes to better meet social needs and ease societal challenges. #SCENE2050

 10/10 Mainstreaming: Civil society actors have shown to be capable of delivering “micro-solutions” to a range of environmental and social challenges. When such micro-solutions have potential for upscaling and replication, sustainability transformations can occur. #SCENE2050

#SCENE2050 Dr. Nico B.P. Polman @NicoPolman is as senior researcher @WUR responsible for investigations regarding responsible for investigations regarding agricultural economics, innovative business models for nature inclusive farming, social innovation, and rural development. Nico is part of SIMRA Project.

 Community based energy production: Dutch case

 1/8 The Dutch energy transition requires commitment, ideas, and social innovations at different levels of the Dutch society. #SCENE2050

 2/8 In 2007, a group of citizens from the Island of Texel developed the idea for an energy cooperative. Their idea was adopted by others. In 2019, a community-based Virtual Power Plant (Interreg cVPP) is a bottom-up model that helps organize production & distribution. #SCENE2050

 3/8 Energy cooperatives are growing in number: #SCENE2050

4/8 Also: several local initiatives fail because they did not consider social aspects and there was insufficient public support in society (e.g. Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research, 2019). #SCENE2050

5/8 It is about self-organization where social practices change and in which technology allows to overcome existing barriers because it is easier to offer services or to gather capital (reduce transaction costs). #SCENE2050

 6/8 Decentralized energy production has consequences for energy markets (see Hoppe et al., 2016). Local governments are facing a complex environment with different actors, and with few means to control or to influence processes in order to serve the public interest. #SCENE2050

 7/8 It is therefore not just a question of fundamental changes of the design of the (physical) energy supply, but also in terms of (social) usage practices, market structure, legal frameworks and cultural attitudes (see van der Linden and Akkerboom, 2018). #SCENE2050

 8/8 There is an policy option to support different transition pathways. For instance, one could follow existing living environments, cultural values or landscapes. An alternative would be to develop new landscapes where wind and solar energy production are central. #SCENE2050

#SCENE2050 @bill_slee a semi-retired social scientist, active gardener, cricketer and hillwalker interested in community power and empowerment. He is immersed in community action in the village he mostly only slept in for the previous 30 years when formal work ruled his life. He is a member of SIMRA.

 #SCENE2050 “A tale of two community turbines” Bill Slee @bill_slee @plymuni @aberdeenuni @uniofglos @JamesHuttonInst

 1/10 Scotland: a devolved government since 1999 with strong commitment to community development and renewable energy. But two strands of policy not well joined up. Community Energy Scotland works to better connect these strands. Two cases show progress. #SCENE2050 @OuluTc

 2/10 Braemar Aberdeenshire 2009: 400 people in national park village with record of successful community projects. Community energy ideas are moving forward in Scotland. Ruins of a former water-powered sawmill nearby. Could it be revitalised as a community-owned site? #SCENE2050

3/10 Huntly, Aberdeenshire 2009: a former textile town of 4000 people needing revitalisation, Several commercial wind farms nearby. Municipal money started a town revitalisation project, which morphed into a community development trust (seehttp://bit.ly/2JJM1N8). #SCENE2050

 4/10 Braemar: 2010-11 first feasibility study suggested no-go for hydropower project. Time to give up? No. Check it out. Use skills of retired engineers and accountants; try another consultant engineer. A viable project? Bank lenders back off. Another crisis unfolds! #SCENE2050

 5/10 Huntly: talk to the big energy players; maybe share their profits. Success. But new chair of the development trust wants more; they want their own wind turbine. The trust gets some land next to a wind farm. Town planners are fussy so turbine proposal falters. #SCENE2050

 6/10 2015 Braemar crowd-source €900,000 and form Community Benefit Society (a co-op) to run project. 2015 Huntly creates subsidiary of the development trust and borrows €1.3 million from banks to fund and run project. Community Energy Scotland supports both projects. #SCENE2050

 7/10 Both projects are now generating. Braemar must repay lenders (most live nearby) and distributes €7.5k to local causes. Huntly must pay bank interest but has 10 times more to spend on community projects. Both projects good for energy policy but impact on CO2 small #SCENE2050


8/10 Which best supports rural development? The Community Benefit Society mostly rewards shareholders with a bit for the community. After bank interest, all Huntly’s income supports community development projects. Huntly wins clearly on rural development outcomes. #SCENE2050

 9/10 Who/what made it happen? Sheer bloody-minded determination by key people in both places. Leadership! Obstacles had to be overcome: unhelpful banks avoided; planners challenged. New ways found to achieve positive outcomes. Key intermediaries helped hugely. #SCENE2050

 10/10 Does community energy help the energy transition? A little. Does it empower rural communities? Yes, quite a lot. Are there significant returns for the community? Yes, but institutional form makes a huge difference to spend in the now-energised communities. #SCENE2050


#SCENE2050 @jankunnas, an environmental/economic historian & ecological economist with research interest in anything that spins or burns. He is open for collaborations and looking for work or funding anywhere.

 “Visual barriers for renewable energy” Jan Kunnas @jankunnas

 1/10 I will present some thoughts from a research plan on how to reduce the negative impact of wind farms on the landscape and thus improve their social acceptance. I am open to any suggestions and proposals for co-operation. #Scene2050

2/10 The relative importance of visual impacts will increase as wind is estimated to be a cheaper source of electricity than fossil fuels within a few years. https://www.irena.org/publications/2018/Jan/Renewable-power-generation-costs-in-2017

 3/10 Simultaneously the pursuit of cost efficiency leads to an increase in the size of wind turbines; When the rotor diameter doubles, the power is quadrupled. Slower rotation would though create less disturbing flicker  https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-01-24/wind-turbines-bigger-than-jumbo-jets-seen-growing-even-larger

 4/10 Unfortunately there is generally a trade-off between energy yield and visibility of wind turbines, so we cannot hide them either. #Scene2050

5/10 At best, the scenic impacts of wind power construction can be neutral or modest, and even contribute additional value to the environment. To achieve this we need detailed information on how people value different landscapes and see wind turbines in them. #Scene2050


6/10 Perhaps we could even educate the general population to love them. The Whitlee Windfarm in Scotland near Glasgow, with its visiting centre and bicycle tracks has even been turned into tourism attraction. #Scene2050

7/10 It is also about expectations and right placement.Windturbines seen in the background is perhaps not the main visual problem for the mermaid in Copenhagen. It is perhaps also what a tourist expects to see considering Denmark’s reputation in windenergy. #Scene2050

8/10 Social acceptance can be increased by stakeholder participation already in the planning stage and if the local population benefits from the wind power parks through job creation or ownership of the wind turbines. (Good example in previous presentation.) #Scene2050

 9/10 We might not consider power plants running on fossil fuels with their high smokestacks to carry pollution away beautiful, but we are accustomed to them. Furthermore, much of their environmental impacts are outsourced to the global atmosphere. #Scene2050

10/10 By 2050, we are accustomed to wind power as their number increases. With good planning considering local expectations and landscape, we have learnt to love them. New form of renewable energy cause opposition & coal plants are turned to museums of past ignorance #Scene2050


#SCENE2050 Tiina Äikäs @tiina_aikas, a postdoctoral researcher @OuluArchaeology @UniOulu. Her research interests include industrial heritage, public archaeology, and uses & meanings of heritage

 #SCENE2050 “Preserve, protect & use: Heritagization and revitalization of post-industrial sawmill sites in Oulu region” @UniOulu @OuluArchaeology @tiina_aikas

 1/10 With the title “Preserve, protect & use: Heritagization and revitalization of post-industrial sawmill sites in Oulu region” I ask: Are industrial sites heritage? Should they be protected? How are they used? Is there a contradiction between preserving and using?

2/10 #Heritagization is a process where the memories, meanings, and ways of use connected to a place shape people’s understanding of the place as heritage. Thus, a personal connection and interaction with the site often become central aspects. #Varjakka #SCENE2050


3/10 In #Martinniemi a factory pipe was torn down in November 2017 because it was considered a safety hazard. Before that it had been a place of #UrbanExploring #UE and pipe climbing but also a local landmark and part of local identity. #SCENE2050


 4/10 The pipe connected people to their industrial past and memories of that past. It was a place of local pride and local heritage. And an inspiration for artists. Hence providing a contrast to towns where industrial past is kept silent and even shamed, @HKMelaranta #scene2050 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yo_5oLAqwuE

5/10 In #Pateniemi the transgenerational industrial legacy is strengthened by the school curriculum. The local school is collecting oral histories and involving students to make presentations of local history. In 2018, we organized an excavation for the students. #SCENE2050

 6/10 At #Varjakka island some houses are renovated whereas others are witnesses of the time passing. Here one ponders should something be preserved by not preserving. What is the value of heritage that has been allowed to change, break down – have a life of their own? #SCENE2050

7/10Varjakka has been referred to as a ghost island where the time has stopped with potential for legend tripping, @EerikaKK. In contrast, Pateniemi is a place of active urban development, destroying the old but advertising with the industrial landscapes and memories #SCENE2050

 8/10 The question of preserving or demolishing was also raised concerning the barge remains in Pateniemi. There was discussion whether they should be used as recreation rooms or environmental art and at the same time they were referred as unaesthetic and safety hazards #SCENE2050

9/10 Virtual reality and augmented reality can enliven also places where industrial remains are not easily interpreted such as the house remains in Varjakka mainland where @TaikaBox plans a VR museum in cooperation with the researchers @OuluArchaeology. #VR #AR #SCENE2050


 10/10 Post-industrial sites can become a resource if re-interpreted as industrial heritage. As heritage, abandoned industrial sites can serve as anchor points for preserving and boosting local identity, local pride, and a sense of belonging. #SCENE2050 https://puruajaporua.wordpress.com


#SCENE2050 @TanjaRiekkinen, a second year PhD Student in History at University of Oulu @UniOulu. Her research project is Sociotechnical Imaginaries of Oil in Finland from 1950 to 1973.

 “Visioning the Future: Scenes from the 1950s, 1960s and 2050” @TanjaRiekkinen @UniOulu

1/10. At the moment, we are living in the future which was imagined, articulated and propagated in the past societies. Understanding past visions of the future may help outlining new visions of the future and cultivating more inclusive #socialinnovation’s. #SCENE2050 #boldmaker

2/10. First part of this presentation covers thoughts and practices concerning energy consumption in the 1950s, 1960s&1970s Finland. In the 2. part I will present thoughts on how people could enhance knowledge production regarding sustainable use of energy in 2050. #SCENE2050

3/10. SCENE1950s – Different parties presented their perceptions on the energy future. For example, Polttoainekomitea [Fuel Committee] expressed that the growth of the use of coal, coke and fuel oil was “normal” because fossil fuels were “cheap and easy to use”. #SCENE2050

4/10. SCENE1950s – To get petroleum products eventually to the hands of consumers, various technical devices are required. In addition to oil companies, Fuel Committee presented a vision of the need to build new oil storages and invest in transport equipment. #SCENE2050

 5/10. SCENE1950s&1960s – Advertisements spread messages and images of comfortable, modern lifestyles which included eg. oil heating and a variety of motor vehicles. Judging from the growing numbers of cars, increasing freedom of movement met the needs of people. #SCENE2050

 6/10. SCENE1960s&1970s – Visions of lifestyles based on the increasing use of fossil fuels was widely accepted both locally and globally. The share of fossil fuels and peat in total energy consumption in Finland grew from 45 % in 1960 to 78 % in 1976. #SCENE2050



7/10. SCENE2050– In Finland, an important #socialinnovation has been the establishment of #envhum centers which are increasing our knowledge of the human-environment relationships, inspired by, eg., OSEH & @CarsonCenter https://1u.fi/mApqU  https://bit.ly/2HtxORU  #SCENE2050

8/10. SCENE2050 – To enhance the sustainable way of life and human #wellbeing simultaneously, there are environmental classes available for children and art schools and museums which focus on environmental issues. #SCENE2050

9/10. While visioning sustainable futures it might prove useful to familiarize oneself with the concept of sociotechnical imaginaries: https://1u.fi/TjEFC  https://1u.fi/O5gSu  #SCENE2050 #STS #ScienceandTechnologyStudies @SJasanoff

10/10. According to previous research (#sociotechnicalimaginaries) and my current study future visioning might prove to be a powerful tool especially if crucial institutions decide to speak for the visions and act accordingly. Thank you for your attention! #SCENE2050

#SCENE2050 Esa Ruuskanen @ruuskanenep a Senior Research Fellow and the person responsible for the minor in the Environmental Humanities @UniOulu. His research interests include energy history and human-peatland relationships.

 “The role of innovations in Finnish climate and energy strategies of the 2000s and 2010s” @ruuskanenep @UniOulu

Welcome to #SCENE2050 . I’ll be talking about the role of innovations in Finnish climate and energy strategies of the 2000s and 2010s. My sources include Finnish Climate and Energy Strategies, two examples below. #envhist #energy #climate #innovation 1/10

Finnish Governments started to write Climate and Energy Strategies at the turn of 1990s and 2000s. The strategies introduced the key pillars of Finnish long-term climate and energy policies. #SCENE2050 2/10 Background data on energy consumption below the Tweets 2, 3 and 4.

How were innovations understood in general? Innovations played a crucial role in the strategies to meet the set goals. However, innovations were mostly understood in a very conventional manner. Innovations implied new technologies or technological processes. #SCENE2050 3/10

Examples of conventionally understood innovations: energy saving technologies (2001, 2005, 2008), CHP technologies (2005), biofuel technologies (2005) and cleantech (2013, 2017). “Finland has excellent chance of becoming a top country of cleantech…” (2013) #SCENE2050 4/10

Not only were innovations expected to support emissions reduction, but also to promote trade and industry. Energy technology had been key part of industrial policy since the 1970s. Finnish boiler companies had made a break through esp. in CHP technology. #SCENE2050

 Esp. Climate and Energy Strategies of 2001, 2005, 2008 and 2013 were conventional top-down approaches. They did not introduce or consider bottom-up social innovations. Sipilä Cabinet tried to incorporate new angles into the Climate and Energy Strategy (2017). #SCENE2050 6/10

 Sipilä Cabinet’s Climate and Energy Strategy: “Key drivers of change are associated with technology development, decentralised and renewable energy production, digitalisation, urbanisation and the consumer’s more important role.” (2017) #SCENE2050 7/10

 The Strategy of 2017 looked at issues that are central to the emergence of social innovations, but did not employ the term social innovation. The focus was mainly on technological development and the co-development of energy technologies and ICT technologies. #SCENE2050 8/10

 For decades, energy policies aimed at promoting technology development. In the next decades, policies should also promote the cultivation of social innovations to increase inclusive practices and to engage all citizens in the co-creation of sustainable societies. #SCENE2050 9/10

 To sum up, technological innovations and social innovations should not be viewed separately, but as co-evolving processes. The environmental humanities can analyse and shed light on values, practices and notions that are at the heart of these processes. #SCENE2050 10/10

 SCENE2050 @SarkkiSimo docent on “anthropology of environmental governance” at University of Oulu @UniOulu

 #SCENE2050 ”Social innovation in energy governance: Case of Noidanlukko opposing nuclear power in Pyhäjoki, Finland”. @SarkkiSimo @OuluTc


 1/10 Rationale: civil society should be engaged in energy transitions for enhancing democracy, but also because it can provide potentially novel solutions by facilitating “Social Innovations in Energy Transitions” (Sustainability: http://bit.ly/2E8PCRm ). #SCENE2050

 2/10 Challenges: nuclear power has been uncritically defined as the best means to further overall good for the society neglecting civil society concerns in Pyhäjoki Finland (Strauss 2011: http://bit.ly/2VyISXG ; Laihonen 2016: http://bit.ly/2JCNCnX ). #SCENE2050

 3/10 Marginalizing effects: while the nuclear project is assumed to create economic boost to Pyhäjoki region it has polarized the local community, created the social and political marginalization of opponents of nuclear power, and led to conflicts. #SCENE2050

 4/10 Contested process of Pyhäjoki nuclear power plant project: NGOs and concerned citizens have been disappointed to the lack of ability to influence. A simplified timeline below, with the focus on recent social innovation: Noidanlukko cooperative. #SCENE2050


5/10 Noidanlukko (http://bit.ly/2YrhAzA ) combines activism, art, science and journalism and manages the on-site Information Center Hanhikivi to oppose nuclear power in Pyhäjoki. Noidanlukko was examined in the project http://www.simra-h2020.eu/  #SCENE2050

 6/10 SIMRA results found that Noidanlukko social innovation idea could be scaled out (applied in other contexts), scaled up (model used in larger governance levels) and scaled deep (the change of values and cultures) (Moore et al. 2015: http://bit.ly/2HkaG9L ) #SCENE2050

 7/10 Scaling out: combining on-site local presence, with international networks of activists, NGOs, artists and scientists. This recognizes concerns of marginalized local people and utilizes the strengths of global environmental agendas. #SCENE2050

 8/10 Scaling up: connecting civil society networks to global boundary organizations (e.g. IPCC; IPBES) (see fig by Morin et al. 2016: http://bit.ly/2JrZYzZ ). Or possibilities for yet non-existing civil society led multi-level boundary organizations can be explored. “SCENE2050

9/10 Scaling deep: relates to enhancing public deliberations by maintaining alternatives for energy production in societal discussions. See alternative scenarios pictured by great transition initiative at: http://bit.ly/2HiGsnu . #SCENE2050

10/10 Surprise: The UN slogan “leaving no one behind” (http://bit.ly/30m7qlo ), is mainstreamed to energy production efficiently and implemented across sectors. This creates global momentum for grassroots initiatives and empowerment of civil society. #SCENE2050

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