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SolariseCon: Seeding Solarpunk Futures

SolariseCon: Seeding Solarpunk Futures

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A day of global conversation on Solarpunk, a movement and a subgenre of speculative fiction in which humanity has addressed climate change.

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SolariseCon: Seeding Solarpunk Futures image

Join us for a timely and inspirational event: a day of global conversation on Solarpunk, an activist movement and a subgenre of speculative fiction in which humanity has addressed climate change and made progress towards creating a more sustainable and equitable world.

Four panels of writers, activists, makers, academics and artists will share their expertise, experiences and perspectives on Solarpunk.

Real Solarpunk Technology.

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic,” so says Arthur C. Clarke. Magic is seductive, and it’s tempting to believe that technology will solve all our issues. However, we are only beginning to realise that we are also capable of committing technological self-harm—starting with algorithms we don’t understand. How can we work towards a Solarpunk future where we co-exist with technology without creating a technocracy? The answers may already be here. Our international panellists will showcase how to think about technology differently based on true stories from their communities.

  • Star Ngei (they/them) Maker / Activist / Educator, Kenya / Poland
  • Martin Restrepo (he/him) Innovator / Activist / Educator, Brazil
  • Barbara Schack (she/her) Internet of Production Coordinator / Activist, Denmark

Moderated by: Steph Troeth (she/her) Design researcher & SFF writer, UK

Empowering Future Communities.

Solarpunk imagery tends to conjure up visions of solar panels and wind farms, but this only showcases large-scale projects. What does the path towards a fossil-fuel free future look like? How might we consider decentralisation of power, in quite literal terms? Could we—and should we—consider pathways to facilitate energy-independence and autonomy at a community level?

  • Prof. Joshua Pearce (he/him) Professor of Sustainable Innovation & Writer, Canada
  • Emilio Veli (he/him) Director of Appropedia, El Salvador
  • Sophie Paul (she/her) Director of Reading Hydro, United Kingdom

Moderated by: Francesco Verso (he/him) Sci-Fi Writer / Editor, Italy

Is Solarpunk Just Another Style?

An attempt to visualise an alternative future inevitably takes us down the route of aesthetics — what could this new future look like? How would we dress if we were part of this future? What would be our new identifying symbols? A quick image search would yield cityscapes that are lush with green, some with hints of photovoltaic means of energy generation, and a few scattered wind turbines. How accurate are these images in depicting Solarpunk as a movement? And is “solarpunk fashion” actually an oxymoron?

  • Guglielmo (he/him) & Laura (she/her) from Commando Jugendstil, Solarpunk Creative Collective, UK / Italy
  • Joao "q1r0z" Queiroz (he/him) Amazon Futurism Artist, Brazil
  • Dustin Jacobus (he/him) Artist & Design Engineer, Belgium

Moderated by: Pawel Ngei (he/them) Hacker / Activist, Poland

What’s Holding Us Back from a Better Tomorrow?

Our society resembles stories we like to tell; we revere a good hero—a singular person to champion a cause, someone to symbolise our aspirations. And if someone goes on a mission or conquest, or comes up with a new startup idea, we call them an “entrepreneur” or a “hero” — they become a genius even if these terms perpetuate inequality or the myth of the “great man. We worship them even when their ideas do not benefit the many. But true change is rarely the work of one person. Change happens when communities form and work together towards a common cause. How can we change our narratives so we move from a hero-obsessed cyberpunk present, to a collective solarpunk future?

  • Roberto Zamora (he/him) & Juan Pablo Zamora (he/him) eco film-makers, Chile / Germany
  • Phoebe Wagner (she/her) Writer & Editor of Eco & Speculative Fiction, US
  • L.X. Beckett (they/them) Queer Sci-Fi Writer, Canada

Moderated by: Steph Troeth (she/her) Design researcher & SFF writer, UK

You can register for this event to get all the upcoming updates!

.-= Frequently Asked Questions =-.

Platforms

We're streaming to YouTube, Facebook and PeerTube. Dedicated links will be available soon.

QnA sessions

All panels will have 30+ minutes of QnA with questions from our viewers! You'll be able to ask them via the YouTube chat.

Recording

Our conference will be recorded as a raw stream available immediately on YouTube and PeerTube. In about two to four weeks you can expect a professionally mastered versions uploaded to the same platforms. Please remember, by not coming to the live event you're missing out on the QnA sessions!

Who made the poster?

Our poster illustration and all the stream covers were made by awesome Gugielmo from Commando Jugendstil, one of our panelists! You can see his portfolio at https://cargocollective.com/mikeoloopie/Commando-Jugendstil , https://www.facebook.com/CJugendstil and contact him at commandojugendstil (at) gmail.com

.-= Our Panelists =-.

Real Solarpunk Technology

  • Barbara Schack (she/her, Denmark) - Barbara is the coordinator of the Internet of Production Alliance which brings together people from around the world to build open infrastructures enabling anyone, everywhere to participate in production. Prior to this, she led Libraries Without Borders' strategic development, including piloting innovative tools for offline access to internet-based content. She has also worked in procurement and logistics for private sector companies and NGOs.
  • Martin Restrepo (he/him, Brazil) - Martin is a Colombian innovator, based in Brazil since 2008, Co-founder of Editacuja, he was recognized by the MIT Technology Review with the Innovators Under 35 award for his work with rural communities and young people, applying innovation and technology to solve complex social problems. As a facilitator, speaker and learning designer, he has collaborated with consultancies such as Hyper Island, Abracademy, MakerBrands, Mind Factor, AAA Inovação. He has created several methodologies for transmedia, experiential and connection of learning with narratives, technologies and the real world. He has been part of the supervisory board of the Global Innovation Gathering and the editorial team of the Mozilla Internet Health Report.
  • Star Ngei (they/them, Kenya/Poland) - Star, born in Kenya, based in Poland, is an international activist and educator about open technology, privacy and digital economy. They specialise in mesh & digital technologies and their impact on societies and economics. They're a member of Global Innovation Gathering, a network of activists, inventors and educators for the Global South. For the last few years Star has been organising workshops on Global South technologies and their possible applications in Europe.

Moderated by:

  • Steph Troeth (she/her, UK) - Steph writes primarily science-fiction, and especially solarpunk. If she writes any fantasy—or indeed in any other genre—it tends to be a happy accident. An environmentalist and an open web activist for over a decade, she has been involved in solarpunk communities since 2018. Her poetic manifesto on climate change is on show at the University of Huddersfield’s Climate Action and Visual Culture digital exhibition. Her recent fiction has been published in Dreamforge and in Trenchcoats, Towers, and Trolls by World Weaver Press. She is a research specialist in human-technology interaction by day and spends her downtime growing edible flowers.

Empowering Future Communities

  • Emilio Velis (he/him, El Salvador) - Emilio Velis is an advocate for the open movement in areas of social impact such as international development and sustainability, with experience in project documentation, open hardware and appropriate technology. He is currently Executive Director of the Appropedia Foundation, Chapter Leader of Creative Commons in El Salvador, and a member of the board of the Internet Society El Salvador Chapter. He is an adjunct lecturer of an Economics course on Innovation at ESEN and of the Media and Technology for Development Proseminar for the Master of Arts in Sustainable International Development at Brandeis University.
  • Joshua Pearce (he/him, Canada) - Joshua Pearce is the Thompson Chair in Information Technology and Innovation at Western University in Canada. He runs the Free Appropriate Sustainability Technology research group. His research concentrates on the use of open source appropriate technology (OSAT) to find collaborative solutions to problems in sustainability and to reduce poverty. His is the coauthor with Lonny Grafman of To Catch the Sun, an open source book you can download for free of inspiring stories of communities coming together to harness their own solar energy, and how you can do it too!
  • Sophie Paul (she/her, UK) - Sophie Paul has a background in hydrogeology, IT, governance and strategy. Most recently she's been Chair and Operations Director of a community project building a hydropower scheme on the River Thames in the UK, whilst also campaigning on the climate crisis.

Moderated by

  • Francesco Verso (he/him, Italy) - Francesco Verso is a multiple-award Science Fiction writer and editor. He has published: Antidoti umani, e-Doll, Nexhuman, Bloodbusters, Futurespotting and I camminatori (made of The Pulldogs and No/Mad/Land). Livido and Bloodbusters – translated in English by Sally McCorry – have been published in Italy, US, UK, Chile and China. He works as editor and publisher of Future Fiction, a multicultural project publishing the best Science Fiction in translation from more than 13 languages and 35 countries, with authors like Ian McDonald, Ken Liu, Liu Cixin, Pat Cadigan, Vandana Singh, Tlotlo Tsamaase, Chen Qiufan, Xia Jia and others. He may be found at https://www.futurefiction.org/ .

Is Solarpunk Just Another Style?

  • Commando Jugendstil: Guglielmo (he/him) and Laura (she/her) (UK/Italy) - Commando Jugendstil is a solarpunk creative collective. Their projects conjugate technology and art with the idea of transforming the city in its sustainable version, while focusing on co-designing solutions with local communities, to stimulate a Just Transition that could spark from the ground up. Their work continuously crosses fiction and reality, as they believe imagination is a powerful tool to design the future. They wrote stories that have appeared in various anthologies around the world, like Glass and Gardens: Solarpunk Summers, or And Lately The Sun, they designed covers and artwork for various solarpunk publications, and they directed several project to create a solarpunk reality, like Cartoline da un Futuro Possibile in Milano, Italy, and The Town That Could Be in Reading, UK.
  • Dustin Jacobus (he/him, Belgium) - Dustin Jacobus is a Belgian artist and industrial design engineer with special interests in biomimicry, sustainable design and futurism. He started his career as an illustrator for the textile industry and worked several years as a freelance designer. In 2020 he finished his art project Universitas, in which he explores a futuristic world where creativity meets science and ecology. In his latest artwork he explores how a SolarPunk future might look like. His art appeared in several international publications. Website: www.dustinjacobus.com
  • João "Q1r0z" Queiroz (he/him, Brazil) - João Queiroz is a Brazilian artist born in the Amazonian state of Rondônia and now is based in Florianópolis. He has a graduation in Design with a focus on illustration and animation. His work combines cyberpunk and solarpunk aesthetics and indigenous motifs and patterns, inspired by Brazil’s First Nations, the Kayapó, Tukanos, Barés, Guaranis and all of the more than 300 Indigenous Peoples in the Brazilian territory. His unique work “Amazofuturismo” has gained international prominence with works for Facebook, Twitter, HP, Natura, Arizona State University, Extinction Rebellion, an invitation to exhibit in the London Science Museum, among others.

Moderated by:

  • Paweł Ngei (he/them, Poland) - Calling himself a "solarpunk hacker", Paweł is a technologist, activist and a cybersecurity / open culture educator. He focuses on promoting Solarpunk among hackers and existing open movements among eco-fiction writers. As a member of Global Innovation Gathering, he would like to share Global South perspectives in the North, which might have not heard that Solarpunk is already here, just not evenly distributed. He blogs at https://alxd.org/

What’s Holding Us Back from a Better Tomorrow?

  • Juan Pablo Zamora (he/him, Chile / Germany)- Born in Santiago de Chile in 1985. Juan Pablo is a producer, actor, writer and illustrator. He is co-founder of Fën, an eco-arts collective dedicated to create, share, and spread sustainability and awareness through zero-waste and solar-powered art. His work derives from his interests in ecology, sustainability and consciousness, aiming to build optimistic and hopeful narratives towards a brighter and better future.
  • Roberto Zamora (he/him, Chile / Germany) - Born in Santiago de Chile in 1989, Roberto Zamora is a director, screenwriter, actor, and musician. He studied Filmmaking at UNIACC, Chile, and spent an exchange year at Ryerson University, Canada. After graduating in 2013, he worked in various productions as an Art Director. In 2015, his passion for telling universal stories inspired him to travel the world, living in North America and Europe. Zamora's work, driven by environmental and social issues, led him to co-found Fën, an ecological film company based in Berlin, focusing mainly on sustainable filmmaking.
  • Phoebe Wagner (she/her, USA) - Phoebe Wagner is a writer, academic, and co-editor of Sunvault: Stories of Solarpunk & Eco-Speculation and Almanac for the Anthropocene: A Compendium of Solarpunk Futures. She is a PhD candidate at University of Nevada, Reno while teaching creative writing at Lycoming College. She tweets as @pheebs_w.
  • LX Beckett (they/them, Canada) - Toronto author and editor L.X. Beckett frittered their youth working as an actor and theater technician in Southern Alberta before deciding to make a shift into writing science fiction. Their first novella, “Freezing Rain, a Chance of Falling,” appeared in the July/August issue of the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction in 2018, and takes place in the same universe as their novels Gamechanger and Dealbreaker. Lex identifies as feminist, lesbian, genderqueer, married, and Slytherin. An insatiable consumer of kdrama, mystery and crime fiction, as well as true crime narratives, they can be found on Twitter at @LXBeckett or at the Lexicon, http://lxbeckett.com.

Moderated by:

  • Steph Troeth (she/her, UK) - Steph writes primarily science-fiction, and especially solarpunk. If she writes any fantasy—or indeed in any other genre—it tends to be a happy accident. An environmentalist and an open web activist for over a decade, she has been involved in solarpunk communities since 2018. Her poetic manifesto on climate change is on show at the University of Huddersfield’s Climate Action and Visual Culture digital exhibition. Her recent fiction has been published in Dreamforge and in Trenchcoats, Towers, and Trolls by World Weaver Press. She is a research specialist in human-technology interaction by day and spends her downtime growing edible flowers.
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