CNMN > Projects > Energy Matters Workshops (PART D): Deep Listening to Energy Accessibility with Dialogues on Energy Accessibility

Shumaila Hemani, Ph.D.

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Energy Matters Workshops (PART D): Deep Listening to Energy Accessibility with Dialogues on Energy Accessibility


The sound­scape com­pos­er, Hilde­gaard West­erkamp writes, “True recep­tive lis­ten­ing comes from an inner place of non-threat, sup­port and safe­ty. Para­dox­i­cal­ly, while a ground­ed and calm state of mind, a sense of safe­ty, peace and relax­ation are essen­tial for inspir­ing per­cep­tu­al wake­ful­ness and a will­ing­ness and desire to open our ears, nor­mal rou­tines, habits and pat­terns will be dis­rupt­ed and laid bare in such a process of lis­ten­ing; nois­es and dis­com­forts inevitably will be noticed, and all kinds of expe­ri­ences will be stirred and uncov­ered. Lis­ten­ing in fact implies a pre­pared­ness to meet the unpre­dictable. and unplanned, to wel­come the unwel­come. As such, lis­ten­ing is inher­ent­ly dis­rup­tive as it puts a wrench into the habit­u­al flows of time, and habit­u­al behav­iour of dai­ly life. ” (THE DISRUPTIVE NATURE OF LISTENING: TODAY, YESTERDAY, TOMORROW, p.45)

Is there a sin­gu­lar expe­ri­ence of ener­gy pover­ty? The experts describe ener­gy pover­ty as an ele­phant in the room being explored by peo­ple who under­stand ener­gy pover­ty from their own posi­tion­al­i­ty. Yet, despite the ambi­gu­i­ty of this term, there con­tin­ues to be a high degree of stig­ma around dis­cussing ener­gy inac­ces­si­bil­i­ty in pub­lic debates. What is usu­al­ly men­tioned in the reports is impor­tant but equal­ly so is that which is left unsaid or does not find its way into the main­stream con­ver­sa­tion. In these arts-based activ­i­ties, we will re-dis­cov­er those places of vul­ner­a­bil­i­ty that make us look at ener­gy pover­ty through a com­pas­sion­ate lens.


1) Dis­trib­ute a recent report on ener­gy inac­ces­si­bil­i­ty or a rel­e­vant top­ic and ask the par­tic­i­pants to reflect on it in advance. Exam­ple: Clean Elec­tric­i­ty report by Cana­di­an Cli­mate Insti­tute pub­lished in June 2023 (please see score sec­tion for report).


2) Involve par­tic­i­pants in a dia­logue about the report.  Use the fol­low­ing prompts as an example:

Prompt 1: What do folks think about this report?
Prompt 2: Has this report missed anything?

Prompt 3: Are the sta­tis­tics to be accept­ed as facts or is there some­thing that the report is not saying?


3) Depend­ing on the com­fort lev­el of par­tic­i­pants, go deep­er and take a more ana­lyt­i­cal and crit­i­cal stance by ask­ing a direct ques­tion where their exper­tise will be prompted.

Exam­ple 1: The report says that clean elec­tric­i­ty is cheap­er. Do you agree/disagree and why?

Exam­ple 2: Are there any oth­er ideas that are com­ing to your mind?


[Watch the video exam­ple as an iter­a­tion of this activity]

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