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Workshop on Faith, Energy and Society

Organised by the University of Cambridge’s Strategic Research Initiative for energy researchers, Energy@Cambridge in partnership with The Faraday Institute, Woolf Institute, VHI and KLICE
When Mar 03, 2017
from 10:00 AM to 05:00 PM
Where St Edmund's College (Garden Room)
Contact Name
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This workshop is part of the Energy@Cambridge’s Grand Challenge called, ‘In Search of “Good” Energy Policy’, whose aim is to identify optimal practices and principles for designing and implementing the best possible energy policies. The event is organised by Dr Jonathan Chaplin, Director of the Kirby Laing Institute (KLICE), in partnership with The Faraday Institute, Woolf Institute, and Von Hügel Institute for Critical Catholic Inquiry (VHI).

Program: The workshop will explore theological dimensions to energy and environmental policy making and engage faith-based groups within the university and beyond. The resulting papers and discussions will help inform policy makers of the ethical, cultural and social issues that underlie our current and future policies.

The main questions the workshop will address include:

1. What insights or practices from faith traditions might shed light on cultural or ideological drivers of ‘bad energy’ practices (e.g. ‘consumerism’, carbon-dependent conceptions of economic growth, resistance to lifestyle change, instrumentalist views of nature, etc.) and hindering ‘good energy’ initiatives?

 2. What insights or practices from faith traditions might be relevant to the question of the distribution of institutional and societal responsibilities that the provision and management of energy demands, i.e. the state and other tiers of political authority, industry, households, markets, civil society?

The workshop will consist of three sessions. The first two sessions are panel discussions addressing the main questions concerning cultural drivers and societal responsibilities and the contributions that faith groups might have on policy debates. The third session is a moderated discussion among representatives from faith groups and experts from industry and government intended to integrate the ideas raised in earlier sessions with the practical constraints of policy making.

Session 1: Cultural drivers of ‘bad energy policy’: insights from faith traditions

Session 2: Allocating responsibilities for ‘good energy policy’: insights from faith traditions

Session 3:  Policy applications: moderated roundtable

Confirmed contributors include:

Prof Tim Cooper (Co-Director, Centre for Industrial Energy, Materials and products, Nottingham Trent University)

Dr Ed Kessler (Director, Woolf Institute)

Dr Fazlun Khalid (Director, Islamic Foundation for Ecology and Environmental Sciences)

Dr Jeremy Kidwell (University of Birmingham)

Dr Hilary Marlow (Faraday Institute for Science and Religion and Cambridge Divinity Faculty)

Mr Gopal Patel (Director, Bhumi Project, Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies)

Dr Laszlo Zsolnai (Business Ethics Centre, Corvinus University; Buddhist Economics Research Platform)

Associates of the Cambridge University ‘In Search of “Good” Energy Policy’ project:

Dr David Good (Behavioural science)

Dr Jacqueline Lam (EPRG and Hong Kong University)

Professor David Newbery (Public policy)

Dr Jim Platts (Engineering)

Prof Michael Pollitt, Professor of Business Economics and Director, ‘In Search of “Good” Energy’ Policy (GEP)

Dr David Reiner (Political science)

Dr Sandy Skelton (Economics of consumption)

To register: please complete your details at the link below.

Places are limited. For further information contact contact 




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