On February 5, 2016, over 150 people gathered at The New School in Manhattan for the 2016 New York Energy Democracy Symposium. People from a variety of sectors came together to discuss innovative approaches to Energy Democracy. Together, symposium attendees and presenters grappled with the challenges and value of moving towards a just transition to accessible renewable energy for all people in New York State.
Over the course of the day-long symposium at The New School’s Teresa J. Lang Student Center, participants heard from local groups and leaders working for energy democracy. Among the topics discussed:
- the value of racially equitable, community-focused, and just solutions for a successful transition from old to new energy economies;
- innovation in community-owned and directed renewable power options;
- how local and state agencies and utilities can work effectively with communities and how community groups and individuals can move these institutions towards more renewable and equitable solutions, and;
- the prospects for more equitable and community-driven clean and renewable energy in New York State.
The New York Energy Democracy Symposium brought together stakeholders from across New York State, including community groups and mobilizers, to state-level policymakers, and philanthropists. The panel discussions and community ignite talks showcased innovation in community-led renewable energy projects. Watch a selection of talks from the 2016 Symposium, including presentations from member organizations of the New York Energy Democracy Alliance, here:
Energy Democracy is the concept that people in communities can be decision-makers, owners, as well as consumers of clean and renewable energy. Ordinary people and community groups lead renewable or clean energy efforts, decide how they receive or own power, and have local and state agencies, and utilities that work with more transparency and in collaboration. The mode of delivery can differ. However, with energy democracy, institutions, private businesses, and agencies must then also support clean power solutions that are innovative, community-centered, and that are either owned by, or directly benefit the communities they serve.
Want to find out more? Connect and get involved:
- New York Energy Democracy Alliance
- 2016 Energy Democracy Symposium Program and Speaker Bios
- New School Blog Post about the 2016 Energy Democracy Symposium
- Join the conversation: #EDSymp2016
This event was co-sponsored by the New York Energy Democracy Alliance, The Tishman Environment and Design Center at The New School, and The Solutions Project. Funding provided by the Kresge Foundation.