About

Social Influence and disruptive Low Carbon Innovations (SILCI)

Disruptive innovations have a particular characteristic: they offer something new and different to users, rather than incrementally improving upon what is already available. In creating new value for users, disruptive innovations shake up incumbent firms, markets, and regulations.

SILCI is interested in where low carbon innovations and disruptive innovations meet. SILCI researchers are asking: what are potentially disruptive low carbon innovations? what novel attributes do they offer users? what impact might their widespread adoption have on emissions?

Disruptive low carbon innovations are an exciting new area of innovation activity, business strategy, regulatory reform, and scientific research. The possibilities created by information and communication technologies being applied to energy system challenges is of particular importance. But other non-digital and even low-tech innovations are equally promising, across energy, buildings, transport and land use applications.

As well as identifying and characterising disruptive low carbon innovations across sectors and applications, SILCI is interested in how and why they are adopted, and so how they spread. Information exchanged through social networks, through online activity, and through physical activity in neighbourhoods influences people’s behaviour. Social influence plays an important role in diffusing innovations. But does this also apply to disruptive innovations? SILCI researchers are asking: what role does social influence play in the diffusion of disruptive low carbon innovations? can these diffusion processes be accelerated to help reduce emissions?

 

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SILCI Team members

Click on the SILCI team members below for more information.

  • Charlie Wilson
    Principal Investigator
    Charlie Wilson
    Principal Investigator

    Biography

    Dr Charlie Wilson is a Reader in Energy and Climate Change in the School of Environmental Sciences at UEA. Charlie is also an active member of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research and jointly coordinates the 'Accelerating Social Transitions' research theme. His research interests lie at the intersection between innovation, behaviour and policy in the field of energy and climate change mitigation.

     
  • Hazel Pettifor
    Senior Researcher & Project Manager
    Hazel Pettifor
    Senior Researcher & Project Manager

    Dr Hazel Pettifor is a quantitative social scientist with a PhD from the University of Essex. Hazel’s research uses household survey and consumer behaviour data to analyse where, when, how and why people behave and make choices the way they do.

  • Emma Cassar
    Researcher
    Emma Cassar
    Researcher

    Emma Cassar is a PhD researcher in the School of Environmental Sciences at UEA, and a member of the Tyndall Centre's early career researcher network. Her research interest is focused on mobility and the diffusion of low carbon innovations within the transport sector. Prior to starting her PhD, Emma worked as a scientist with an environmental consultancy in Malta. She later joined the Malta Resources Authority to work on climate change policy, focusing on aviation in the EU's emissions trading scheme.

  • Laurie Kerr
    Researcher
    Laurie Kerr
    Researcher

    Laurie Kerr is a PhD researcher in the School of Environmental Sciences at UEA, and a member of the Tyndall Centre's early career researcher network. Her research interests are centred on how people interact with smart city technologies, particularly those enabling the creation and utilisation of real–time data, and what this could mean for emissions reductions. Prior to starting her PhD, Laurie graduated from UEA with a BSc in Ecology during which she also spent a year at the Institut de Géographie Alpine in Grenoble, France. She then completed an MSc in Environment and Society Studies with a specialisation in local environmental change and sustainable cities at Radboud University in the Netherlands.

  • Mark Wilson
    Researcher
    Mark Wilson
    Researcher

    Mark Wilson is a PhD researcher in the School of Environmental Sciences at UEA, and a member of the Tyndall Centre's early career researcher network. His research interests relate to food, agriculture, and the many pressing sustainability problems facing the way food is grown, distributed, bought and consumed. Prior to starting his PhD, Mark completed an MSc in Agricultural Development from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, and he also holds a second MSc in Sustainable Development from Uppsala University in Sweden.

  • Emilie Vrain
    Senior Researcher
    Emilie Vrain
    Senior Researcher

    Emilie Vrain is an environmental social scientist with a PhD from the University of East Anglia. Emilie's research uses mixed methods, both quantitative and qualitative, to analyse social influences on innovation adoption, with a particular focus on smart home technologies.

  • Chengxiang (Tony) Zhuge
    Senior Researcher
    Chengxiang (Tony) Zhuge
    Senior Researcher

    Tony Zhuge is a computer scientist specialised in transport modelling with PhDs from the University of Cambridge and Beijing Jiaotong University. Tony's research uses an urban-scale agent-based simulation model, currently calibrated to Beijing, to analyse the impact of technology adoption and social interactions on infrastructure and the environment.