BEN’s 2nd annual Energy Transition conference in November 2019 attracted a rich and diverse mix of more than 140 people from across Bristol’s civic community and representatives from local, regional and national organisations. These included our partners Community Energy England, Bristol Energy, The University of Bristol’s Inclusive Economy Initiative, Bristol City Council and the EnergyRev project from the University of Bristol.
We heard talks from guest speakers from policy, academia, local communities and activist communities. One of the key messages of the day was that we are all stronger if we speak in one voice and work together for one purpose.
This was reflected by all speakers, from academic Dan Tischer working with cities worldwide, to Mark Pepper who represented the community of Lawrence Weston. Jazz Ketibuah-Foley, Green and Black Ambassador made a plea engage interests across communities and cultures in issues that will potentially determine all our futures. Power to People’s Local Electricity Bill was co-created by local energy groups and communities of interest and aims to be a strong driver of policy change at national government level.
Our workshops (see the write-ups attached to the end of this piece) delved further into how to work together to achieve our common aim and break through common barriers. We are compiling a report that will go into this in more detail, and will help us chart a path so BEN can help to facilitate these collaborations.
BEN collected over a hundred energy pledges and we’ll be getting in touch with people to help them fulfil their pledge and to find out later in the year whether they were successful.
Our main take-away from the conference was that we all want to work more closely together, and that we can collaborate both on practical projects on the ground and provide a collective voice to advocate to regional and national government to change the policy environment to support our work.
See the blog about the conference from BEN director Robert Smart here.
Feedback was overwhelming positive with delegates enjoying the variety and knowledge of the speakers, the opportunity to network and share ideas at the workshop session and, of course, the cake!
We’ll be running one again next year so stay posted with what we’re doing here on the website or sign up to our newsletter.