Dear friends,

Back in 2014 UKYCC identified some key challenges to the community energy movement, a movement we see as one of the most promising, radical responses to climate change. In particular we were troubled by the lack of routes to participation for young people in community energy; in fact, at times it seemed hard for anyone other than former energy professionals to get involved. We were also troubled by the way that social justice and deep community engagement had dropped down the list of priorities for some community energy groups, despite the unique potential of community energy to fight fuel poverty and unite communities.

Between 2014 and 2015 UKYCC attempted to address these problems, in partnership with CSE, through the Youth Community Energy Catalysts training programme. We hoped that supporting youth leadership would be a good way to challenge community energy to be as democratic and socially just as possible. To try and promote further youth leadership, the YCEC programme offered mentoring and training to a group of 20 young people. The programme went well and everyone learnt a lot. But it was not the paradigm-shifting, self-sustaining mutual support space we had hoped to create.

These issues in community energy still stand nearly two years on. Although the movement has kept growing, it is increasingly under threat from government cuts, just like other important community services. We see it as more urgent than ever to promote the role of young people, defend community energy from further cuts and renew its focus on democracy and justice.

We’re proposing an open online call to discuss how young people involved in community energy projects might build a space to mutually empower one another to supercharge the movement. This might be through training and group troubleshooting, joint campaigns, or thinking together about new ways to do community energy. We’re not starting from square one: we all bring ideas and experience and excitement; but in terms of deciding how we want to work together, this call is a blank slate.

To get involved and join the call drop us an email at community@ukycc.org and fill in the doodle poll!

Speak soon!

UKYCC’s Community Team

Call details

How: Google Hangout. Please either put your e-mail address in Doodle’s name field or send it to us directly.

When: Please fill in this doodle to decide a time! http://doodle.com/poll/dxsyugppc5curucc

We have proposed the following agenda. Please send over additions, contentions and suggestions!

  1. Everyone introduces themselves and (briefly) their group/project
  2. Why has UKYCC convened this web chat? Why have other groups/individuals decided to join this web chat?
  3. Co-ordination spaces, training, events and resources already available
    • from organisations present (including UKYCC)
    • potential for further partnerships with trainers from CSE or elsewhere
  4. How could we collaborate?
    • what support, training etc would better empower us to achieve change through community energy?
    • how can we support one another to maximise our impact in the community energy movement
    • do we want a regular troubleshooting/mutual support/discussion space?
    • what sort of group interventions could we make in the community energy movement?
  5. Next steps
    • next meeting? in-person?

Invite anyone you like!