Energy Futures Lab Launches Fellowship to Shape Alberta's Energy Future

EDMONTON, Nov. 25, 2015 /CNW/ - The Energy Futures Lab (EFL) announces the Energy Futures Lab Fellows - 40 influencers from industry, NGOs, government, academia, and First Nations communities across Alberta, who will work together over the next three years to help accelerate the transition to a sustainable, resilient energy system. These leaders have come together because they believe that how we tackle the interconnected issues of climate change, energy security and sustainable development is key to Alberta's future prosperity.

On Sunday, Premier Rachel Notley outlined a vision in which Alberta becomes "one of the world's most progressive and forward-looking energy producers." In the wake of the Government of Alberta's historic announcement of its Climate Leadership Plan it is clear that Albertans are ready to step beyond polarized debates and be part of a constructive process to shape the future.

"The Alberta Climate Leadership policies have now clearly defined the rules of the game for many elements of the energy transition", states Chad Park, Energy Future Lab Director. "The Energy Futures Fellows are an amazing, diverse group of Albertans who will individually and collectively become key leading public voices and innovators for energy transition in the province." Underlying the Energy Futures Lab is a shared conviction that Alberta's strengths and assets in today's energy system can serve as a platform for innovation and leadership in the transition to the energy system that the future requires of us.

Designed and convened by The Natural Step Canada, the Suncor Energy Foundation, the Banff Centre, and the Pembina Institute, the EFL brings together a wide diversity of experiences and perspectives from across Alberta's energy system. The Fellows were selected based on their ability to collaborate, experiment, act as agents of change in a range of networks across the province, and for their knowledge, achievements and commitment to shaping Alberta's energy future. Anticipated outcomes include new partnerships, business models, policy and public engagement activities.

The Lab serves as a platform for ongoing experimentation and innovation that will help align and amplify existing efforts on energy transition across the province. By engaging a wide range of stakeholders and the public, the Lab will support the targets outlined in the Climate Leadership Plan including the phase-out of pollution caused by burning coal, transition to renewable energy, adaptation to carbon pricing, methane emissions reduction and remaining within the overall oil sands emission limit. This creative solution space will enable experimentation, prototyping, and scaling of new and existing initiatives to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon energy future.

Over the course of the next year, the fellows will engage in a series of workshops, learning journeys and collaborative activities that will be characterized by tough conversations that challenge basic assumptions and reveal root causes of current challenges.

Megan Zimmerman, EFL Fellow and Business Development Manager of Renewable Energy & Technology at Calgary Economic Development states, "Alberta's energy system requires us to be bold, fearless leaders; to collaborate in ways we never thought possible; to be deliberate storytellers; and be balanced while considering the climate, people, and economics." 

For the next two years, the Lab will coordinate action across a broad range of organizations and the public. Each fellow belongs to a company, community group, university, government, or not-for-profit organization. By engaging their organizations and the broader Alberta public in this important dialogue the fellows' ideas, discoveries and solutions for Alberta's future will have a ripple effect. The aim is to engage wider audiences, foster new leaders, and build a pool of collaborators and diverse stakeholders to help Alberta prepare for and shape the future.

We encourage all Albertans to follow us and join in this endeavour. To learn more and stay updated, please visit the website and register for the newsletter

SOURCE The Natural Step

For further information: Rudayna Bahubeshi, The Natural Step Canada, 613-748-3001 x 5241,

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