Energy sources and systems shape the societies they power. The Just Powers research initiative, led by Dr. Sheena Wilson, is organized around the idea that a power shift—both literally in terms of energy transition and figuratively in terms of social justice—provides a necessary fulcrum around which to mobilize feminist and decolonial politics in the interest of economically, socially, politically, and technologically just futures. How does energy transition provide this opportunity? 1) Energy transition is a first critical step in decarbonizing the environment. 2) Energy transition is a material problem that we can address and imagine incrementally. 3) Just as our current petroculture has been shaped by oil, so too will our futures be shaped around new energy systems and the networks of power that develop around them.
Based at the University of Alberta on Treaty Six Territory, Just Powers is an interdisciplinary and community-engaged network of researchers and research projects located across Canada, focused on climate justice issues, specifically socially just energy transition and equitable futures for all. Funded by the Future Energy Systems’ Canada First Research Excellence Fund (CFREF), a Tri-Council SSHRC Insight grant, the Francophone Secretariat of Alberta, and the Kule Institute for Advanced Studies (KIAS), the Just Powers research initiatives include the nine major projects currently featured on the website, with more in development. The number of projects and collaborators continues to grow, as our research model enables us to respond to actions as they arise on the ground. Just Powers officially launched in March 2018 at the Edmonton-hosted Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Dates, times, and locations for the numerous past and upcoming presentations by the Just Powers research team are available here.
Each of the projects under the banner of Just Powers is co-lead by stellar colleagues from the University of Alberta and other universities across Canada. Our team also includes researchers and partners from a growing list of community organizations. Read more about the Just Powers project co-leads, our research collaborators, and our dynamic team of graduate students here.