Environmental futures

We all want a green future. But who is we? And what green future are we talking about? These questions are explored by ITU’s Technologies in Practice (TiP) research group and the strategic research area Energy Futures in their seminar series: Environmental Futures.

Denmark aims to turn into a green nation, which means there’s already a political discourse suggesting that “we” as citizens or workers in the country should work towards a green future. For studying and researching this subject it makes sense to ask how these green futures are imagined and produced. This includes all kinds of environmental technologies and all kinds of environmental data practices used to represent the past and reflect on what the futures could look like. In short, the Environmental Futures seminar series creates a space for state of the art research discussions on how environmental futures are imagined, practised and contested.

The seminar series involves scholars who engage in environmental studies within, and around, the interdisciplinary field of Science and Technology Studies. We are in contact with universities across the globe, including, amongst others, the universities of Lancaster, Melbourne, Tallinn, Bayreuth and the Natural History Museum of Berlin.

The value this seminar creates is to think outside of the box. Not just about the desired future that current policy makers commit to, but also how to position these futures in relation to alternative futures.

It is also interesting to think about how studying environmental reality making with STS helps to push forward the research on Technologies in Practice. We want to learn something about the cases in the environmental futures, but we also want to use this research to rethink some of our analytical instruments and methods.

The series is designed as a space for an academic conversation that allows imagining new, critical and generative possibilities of thinking about environmental futures. We consider a research-led reflexivity about imagining and constructing futures as of principal strategic interest for societal and economic decision-making. That is so for only if you have an understanding of how environmental futures are made, how they are imagined and what (desired or undesired) effects they could lead to, you can spell out what qualifies your decision as good.

Powered by such reflexive and questioning conversations, we imagine the new space of the seminar series as a place for discussing future research projects and collaborations between ITU and other universities, partners in social movements and industry.

Follow our conversations at #EnvironmentalFutures on Twitter

This seminar series is facilitated by ITU’s assistant professor Ingmar Lippert


List of seminars so far

  • Repower, Reuse and Reshape – some first considerations on shifting landscapes of energy in Africa with Uli Beisel, Dept. of Anthropology; Bayreuth University
    31st of October 2014, 1-2:30pm.
  • Future Environmental and Energy Realities: Imaginaries in higher education programme websites on 27th November 2014, 1-2pm @ 3A01 with Annie Thuesen, research assistant and Ingmar Lippert, assistant professor Technologies in Practice Research Group, IT University of Copenhagen
  • Marketing Nature 12 Dec 2014 with Patrick Bigger, Dept. of Geography, University of Kentucky; Heather Anne Swanson, Dept. of Anthropology, Aarhus University; Brit Winthereik, Techologies in Practice research group, ITU
  • There might be a wasp in my soup: dodgy organisms in rapid biodiversity assessments [16 Jan 2015, 10:30-12] with Tahani Nadim (Natural History Museum, Berlin/CSISP, London) on dodgy numbers, data and meta-barcoding in biodiversity sciences
  • Studying hydrosocial relations: towards understanding water in the Anthropocene [3 Mar 2015, 15:00-16:00] with Franz Krause (Tallinn University) on the simultaneous relevance in water management and hydro(logical) practices of managing the water and managing with water – hydrology in practice reappears as ‘hydrosocially relating’.
  • Who’s Unreflexive Now? Lessons from Climate Change Politics in Australia on 21st September 2015 @ Room 3A08, 12:30noon with Darrin Durant (Melbourne)
  • EnergyScapes: Making Air, Land, and Sea Environments on 23rd September 2015 @ Room 3A08, 9am with Lucy Suchman (Lancaster) and David Turnbull (Melbourne)
  • Unpacking the multiple temporalities of urban mobilities for configuring low-carbon futures on 11th November 2015 @ Room 3A08, 12noon with Katerina Psarikidou (Lancaster)
  • The Future of Mobility an Environmental Futures Public Lecture – by Günter Getzinger (Graz/Klagenfurt) on October 28, 2016 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM @ Room 2A52
  • The politics of urban climate risks: theoretical and empirical lessons from Ulrich Beck’s methodological cosmopolitanism – by Anders Blok (Copenhagen University) on November 20, 2017 15:00–16:30 @ Room 3A08.
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