Renewable Energy & Beyond: Transitioning to a Renewable Society

Sunday, February 12, 2017 - 13:30 to 15:00


The transition to renewable energy is essential, though not enough in itself to create a sustainable society. Why? And what do we need to do, individually and collectively, to create such a society? 

Join us in conversation with a panel of prominent guests, featuring globally renowned energy expert, Richard Heinberg, online from the USA. He’ll join Rescope Project Energy, Systems and Society Fellow, Josh Floyd, and energy and psychology researcher, Dr Andrea Bunting. Hosted by Rescope Project Director, Anthony James.

Fossil fuels have been central to the evolution of industrial society. We now know we need to replace them with renewable energy as quickly as possible to avoid catastrophic climate change and myriad other consequences. Like an egg seeking to replace its yolk, this is no simple task for industrial society, and has no precedent. We are not just looking at switching energy sources, but switching to a new kind of society. What is this society? And how can we get there as smoothly as possible?

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Richard Heinberg is regarded as one of the world’s foremost advocates for a shift away from our current reliance on fossil fuels. 

He is Senior Fellow of the Post Carbon Institute, has authored scores of essays and articles, and appeared in many film and television documentaries, including Leonardo DiCaprio’s 11th Hour. He is a recipient of the M. King Hubbert Award for Excellence in Energy Education, and in 2012 was appointed to His Majesty the King of Bhutan’s International Expert Working Group for the New Development Paradigm initiative.

Richard’s animations Don’t Worry, Drive On, Who Killed Economic Growth? and 300 Years of Fossil Fuels in 300 Seconds (winner of a YouTubes’s/DoGooder Video of the Year Award) have been viewed by nearly two million people.


Dr Andrea Bunting is a sustainable energy educator, consultant and researcher. Born in the brown coal fields of Victoria Andrea worked as a mechanical engineer before moving into engineering education. After undertaking a doctorate focusing on wind energy she and a colleague developed the Masters of Sustainable Energy at RMIT University. 

Andrea left engineering education in 2011 to study the psychological barriers to climate action. Today she spends her time as a grassroots climate activist and is involved with several climate groups. She is particularly interested in the everyday denial about the severity of climate change. 


Josh Floyd is a researcher, speaker and consultant in energy, systems and societal futures. Josh started out as a mechanical engineer in the extractive metallurgy industry before moving into environmental education. He worked with Frank Fisher, developing and teaching the units Principles of Sustainability and Energy for the Future at Swinburne University's National Center for Sustainability. 

He is now the Rescope Project's Energy, Systems & Society Fellow, a Founding Partner with the Centre for Australian Foresight, and a member of the Editorial Board for the journal Futures. His writing has appeared in publications locally and overseas, including The Conversation, The Epoch Times, Energy Post, The Age and a range of journals and magazines. 


Presented in conjunction with the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute, Ecocity World Summit, and the 2017 National Sustainable Living Festival.



Sustainability Festival, Birrarung Marr