Jennie Stephens will present via Skype on the societal value of encouraging more women and people of color to participate in the renewable energy transition at College of the Atlantic on May 30. PHOTO COURTESY OF COLLEGE OF THE ATLANTIC

Stephens to talk about ‘energy democracy’

BAR HARBOR –– Jennie Stephens will discuss via Skype the concept of “energy democracy” and the how it can help close the gender and racial gaps present in the scientific disciplines as part of the Seminar on Climate Change Speaker Series at College of the Atlantic’s McCormick Lecture Hall on Tuesday, May 30, from 2:40-4 p.m.

“The energy democracy movement is emerging in response to growing concerns about socio-economic and racial inequities, the powerful influence of conventional fossil fuel energy companies on politics and policy, and the negative impacts of climate change,” said Stephens. She went on to explain that “As the energy sector transitions from fossil fuel dominated systems toward more diverse and distributed sustainable renewable-based systems, new opportunities for a more inclusive energy workforce are emerging.”

Her presentation will explore and connect gender diversity and energy democracy to demonstrate the synergistic potential of more holistic and inclusive approaches to facilitating energy system change. By explicitly connecting policy issues that are generally dealt with independently, energy democracy framing provides a social, political and cultural context that supports integrated consideration of inclusive and more equitable energy systems.

Stephens is the Dean’s Professor of Sustainability Science and Policy at Northeastern University’s School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs. She holds a doctorate from Caltech in environmental science and engineering. Stephens is the author of the book “Smart Grid (R)Evolution: Electric Power Struggles,” and she is currently focusing her work on calling for policies that connect social justice and economic equity with energy, climate and environment.

The Seminar on Climate Change Speaker Series aims to create positive discussion and planning for climate change by fostering common discourse across disciplines and breaking down barriers to understanding. The talks, which include experts from the fields of earth science, food systems, history, public policy, anthropology and energy, take place in McCormick Lecture Hall and are free and open to the public. Each presentation includes a question-and-answer period.


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