Are low-carbon innovations appealing?  A typology of functional, symbolic, private and public attributes

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A new paper published in Energy Research and Social Science by the SILCI team concludes low carbon innovations across four key consumer domains offer unique sources of added value over and above incumbent technologies. The paper draws on empirical research conducted by the team in Norwich.  Sixty seven people participated in a series of structured elicitation exercises, discussing and quantifying the […]

Social barriers to the adoption of smart home technologies

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Post written by Emilie Vrain A recent UK study by the SILCI team investigated the role of social networks and communication behaviours in the diffusion process of smart home technologies. An online survey with over 700 participants (adopters and non-adopters of smart heating, lighting and appliances) revealed potential social barriers to mass market adoption (shown in the image above). Results highlight the need to focus strategies on increasing non-adopters’ exposure to […]

Airline’s ticket to a fossil-free future?

Posted on Posted in Future mobility, News

Post written by Emilie Vrain Image Attribution: Harbour Air seaplane image by Pixabay reproduced under the license Creative Comms CC0. When Canadian airline ‘Harbour Air’ became the first 100% carbon neutral airline in 2007 through carbon offset payments, they didn’t want to stop there. A new partnership with MagniX who create electric motors has led to the development of what will be the […]

What happens when you meet your hero?

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Amory Lovins has been arguing the case for efficiency-led system transformation for over 40 years. His landmark paper back in 1976 challenged the orthodoxy of ever-rising energy demand, and is summarised in Wikipedia thus: “Amory Lovins coined the term ‘soft energy path’ to describe an alternative future where energy efficiency and appropriate renewable energy sources steadily replace […]

How can diverse social sciences contribute to demand-side transformation?

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Charlie Wilson travelled to Potsdam outside sunny Berlin for a symposium on how to achieve the 1.5°C climate target. The symposium brought together IPCC lead authors, scenario modelling experts, and policy stakeholders to identify integral elements of 1.5°C decarbonisation pathways and how climate policy ‘entry points’ can drive transformative change. Together with Felix Creutzig at […]

Communicating about communication

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Post written by Emilie Vrain Having spent the summer collecting and analysing data from an online survey about smart home technologies and social networks, one of our team members recently headed to Zurich, Switzerland to present some of her findings at the 4th European Conference in Social Networks. Emilie’s presentation highlights that current adopters of smart home […]

Social Butterflies

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Post written by Emilie Vrain The UK’s Behavioural Insights Team (BIT) was the first ever unit set up to generate and apply behavioural insights to inform policy and provide societal benefits. Behavioural scientists from BIT recently published a book ‘Social Butterflies: Reclaiming the positive power of social networks‘ drawing upon a wealth of cutting-edge research, popularising […]