Sustainable Energy and Participation: ENLARGE Paves the Way to More Effective and Inclusive Policies
by maxkortlander | 08 Feb, 2018
Enlarge is a project that allows people to better understand the outcomes of their decisions in participatory public processes, with a special focus on sustainable energy. In doing so, the project hopes to disseminate and create knowledge on how to implement participatory processes that can be legitimated by the involvement of citizens, stakeholders, and public administrations.
The main outcome of Enlarge will be the development of an online gamebook for public administrations, citizens, NGOs, industry, and more on how to deal with various participatory processes. The guidebook will take the form of a “choose your own adventure” book, which doesn’t aim to list recommendations or best practices, but rather to shed light on the various potential outcomes of public participation and the paths to reach these outcomes. A “one-size-fits-all” principle cannot be applied to civic participation—but by making the most out success stories and existing knowledge, we can stand on the shoulders of giants and design processes that fit our communities.
Enlarge began with defining collaborative policy-making in sustainable energy. According to the Enlarge framework, collaborative policy-making in sustainable energy refers to co-decision, co-production and co-evaluation processes carried out within initiatives focusing on energy that is produced from renewable sources in a sustainable way, consumed efficiently, and with low GHG emissions and waste load. Moving from the theory to the practice, the project searched for real life practices on these issues through a call for participatory practices regarding sustainable energy addressed to a wide range of stakeholders. After consulting with 31 groups and conducting an in-depth case study methodology, Enlarge constructed a framework of participatory practices noting the successes, obstacles, and failures in the practices they encountered.
Already, Enlarge has produced a methodological approach (PDF) based upon their findings. This document provides a ‘“path for the realization of the activities of engagement, collection, and analysis of relevant participatory practices in the sustainable energy field.” While its focus remains on sustainable energy, this matrix can be useful for anyone hoping to adopt, classify, or better understand the processes of co-design and co-creation.
Enlarge has also produced an analysis of the collected collaborative practices in sustainable energy. If you want to find more about collaborative practices in sustainable energy read, the Enlarge collection of case studies and check-out the Enlarge series of videos telling their story.
Enlarge has also hosted a debate on factors favoring/hindering social legitimacy, institutional sustainability and policy effectiveness of collaborative processes in sustainable energy with stakeholders from the EU and non-EU Member States to discuss. If you want to find out more on how to design accepted, sustainable and effective collaborative processes in sustainable energy, read and sustain the Enlarge “Manifesto for Boosting Participatory Processes in Sustainable Energy”.
Test the gamebook and help us improve it!
We are looking for communities interested in testing the “Choose Your Own Adventure” book on participation, once finalized. Their input and suggestion will edit and integrate the book for two years following the project completion, in order to have a final consolidated guide paving the way to all stakeholders who intend to set up participatory processes, in particular in sustainable energy.
If you are interested in testing the gamebook, contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org
Authors: Max Kortlander, Cristina Vasilescu, Irene Zanetti