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Poetry resonating in the sustainable energy sector

In 2012, Regen appointed a poet in residence – Matt Harvey to work with the Regen team, members and networks.

As a result of the residency, Matt wrote a number of poems which were illustrated and published in The Element in the Room – Poems inspired by renewable energy.

There are no copies of that first edition left now, (all 1500 copes have found happy homes) …….BUT the impact of this residency endures!

Most recently Chris Pritchett at Partner at the legal firm Foot Anstey referenced Matt’s influence on the sustainable energy sector when he introduced a poem he penned for Regen’s member’s forum (If you’re not already a member, you should be!)

Here is that poem! (Thanks Chris and Matt!)

Chris Pritchett’s poem on the state of the sustainable energy sector

The Emissions reduction plan has been much reduced, it would seem

to supporting international action on climate, said the Queen,

So we’re at a crossroads, in a bit of vacuum

And our new government has some worrying new friends, I presume

Who unlike a wind farm, aren’t the biggest of fans

of climate change science And the impact of man


But here we’re an industry of pride and innovation;

With a speed of technology outstripping the nation’s

Political quagmire, and when so much is a stake

The brains will get on with it, whatever it takes


But the opportunity’s here, the prospects are golden

To be Smart and look forward, not sit around beholden to

Endless debate about “it’s this” or “it’s that”

It’s warming up, quite frankly, and that’s where we’re at


But in this job I’ve the privilege of communing

with inspiring people

And the ideas are booming

like the sound of a cannon

The starting report as the Energy revolution gains worldwide support


Decentralised, digitised, flexible markets

Peer to peer trading by electron based start-ups

And witness the speed of the battery deployment;

Grid balancing, energy security, generating employment


So many smart people doing very smart things

Cleaning the air and making us kings

of our own energy kingdom

In our streets and our homes

So much divides us, but we all charge our phones


So law makers, law shakers, disrupters and visionaries

Trendsetters, go-getters, inventers and missionaries

It’s happening now, in our cities and communities

A shared energy vision, driving progress and unities


Let’s encourage the brains and the innovative types

Get the regulatory framework revised and done right


Let’s be smart to about costs, and fair to all folk

When a couple of quid on a bill is a joke

Because the tide is shifting and I think that we oughta

Know that fivers get wet if your home’s underwater


So, my indulgency here is coming to an end;

and I look forward not backwards For my means to an end

With the climate deniers and temperature raises

Please be all green, like the snooker table BEIS is.

Renewable Futures. Art, Science and Society in the Post-Media Age Paperback – 28 Apr 2017

With this Renewable Futures volume, we begin a new series of Acoustic Space, that will focus on exploring the transformative potential of art in the post-media age.

Our book presents the research and practices that aim to invent new avenues for more sustainable and imaginative future developments.

The papers from the 1st Renewable Futures Conference selected in this volume are aimed at shaping new contact zones between traditionally separated domains art and science, academic research and independent creative practices, sustainable businesses and social engagement in the 21st century.

The first chapter highlights the role of technology, considering ‘technopolitics’ as a very profound perspective for the contextualisation of an art practice in the current phase of society.

The second chapter introduces the notion of ‘contemporary conditions’ and discusses theories and practices of ‘post-media’, ‘post-internet’ and other ‘posts’.

The third chapter looks at artistic engagement with different fields of science, ecological issues and interspecies relations, while the fourth chapter discusses yet another role which artists have been active in partaking in collecting and coding, manipulating and retransmitting processes.

The closing section includes an overview of the Fields exhibition (Riga 2014), a large-scale post-media manifestation, jointly curated by Armin Medosch, Rasa Smite and Raitis Smits.

Authors and contributors: Domenico Quaranta, Martha Buskirk, Misko Suvakovic, Dieter Daniels, Andreas Broeckmann, Geoff Cox, Jacob Lund, Ieva Astahovska, Karla Brunet, Oksana Chepelyk, Edith Doove, Gabriela Galati, Julian Hanna, Lisa Jevbratt, Normunds Kozlovs, AnneMarie Maes, Conor McGarrigle, Armin Medosch, Jennifer no.e Parker, Daniela de Paulis, Helena Sederholm, Ilva Skulte, Rasa Smite, Raitis Smits, Vygandas Vegas Simbelis, Isidora Todorovic, Polona Tratnik and Fields Exhibition artists.

Buy this book on amazon


The Futurenauts Podcast – Sailing close to the winds of change – By Mark Stevenson and Ed Gillespie

Introducing The Futurenauts! A new podcast!

Join top selling author and futurist, Mark Stevenson and leading sustainability expert, Ed Gillespie as they ask better questions to help us all imagine and build a better future. It’s not about keeping calm and carrying on, no, it’s about getting excited and doing things.

If you enjoyed the show, please:

  • Follow the Futurenauts on Twitter; and
  • leave us a review on iTunes and help us spread pragmatic optimism for the future!

Show Notes

Significant Quotes

  • Albert Einstein – “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them” [00:48]
  • Martin Luther King – “I’ve been to the mountain top” [05:20]
  • Ayn Rand – “We can evade reality, but we cannot evade the consequences of evading reality” [06:49]
  • Philip K Dick – “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away” [07:10] and [12:01]
  • Franklin D Roosevelt – “We have nothing to fear but fear itself” [07:43]
  • William Gibson – “The future is already here – it’s just not evenly distributed” [13:05]
  • Patrick McCray – “The future is politically contested terrain” [13:47]

Links Mentioned

We Do Things Differently – Stories from the Frontline of the Future –

Nick Reeves Award 2016 article in CIWEM’s The Environment magazine

Please download your copy here (and head straight to page 22-23!)


The 2016 Nick Reeves Award was presented to ecoartscotland and The Land Art Generator Initiative (LAGI) in recognition of their outstanding contribution to the field of environmental arts, including the LAGI Glasgow Design Competition.

This article by Robert Ferry and Elizabeth Monoian explores how “The great energy transition will make our cities more beautiful and more just”.

Art and the end of the world (as we know it) – A five day course at Schumacher College

Course leaders: The Dark Mountain Project – Paul Kingsnorth and Dougald Hine

Date: 20th — 24th March 2017
Location: Schumacher College, Devon, England

Booking details


‘The end of the world as we know it is not the end of the world full stop.’ 

– Uncivilisation: The Dark Mountain Manifesto

We live in a time of great unravelling.

The climate is changing, a mass extinction is under way, and our economies, cultures and technologies are changing everything. The future no longer seems to serve as a vessel for our hopes, but a shadow that we try not to think about. Much that we grew up taking for granted will not make it into the world that waits for us there.

So what does it mean to live in such a time? What can we do with this kind of knowledge? And what does art have to do with any of it?

In 2009, Paul Kingsnorth and Dougald Hine published the Dark Mountain manifesto: a call for honesty about the depth of the trouble the world is in – and for recognition of the deep cultural roots of that trouble. From a short self-published pamphlet, the Dark Mountain Project grew into a global network of writers, artists, musicians, performers and creative thinkers, many of whose work has appeared in the pages of the Dark Mountain books or on the stages of the Uncivilisation festival, Base Camp, Carrying the Fire, The Telling and other events.

At the heart of the Dark Mountain Project is the claim that the global crisis we are facing is not a crisis of politics, economics or technology, but a crisis of stories. The stories which our culture likes to tell itself about humanity’s place on Earth and its relationship to the rest of nature are like bad maps, leading us towards unmarked hazards. We have narrated ourselves to the edge of a cliff.

If this is true, what can we do about it? And what, in particular, can writers, artists and other creative workers offer in response? If we have been telling the wrong stories, how would we recognise the right ones – and how could we begin to give them a voice?

This course is open to anyone who wants to engage with these questions and is willing to bring their own creativity into play. Through a mixture of workshops, teaching sessions, creative exercises and space to explore the big issues, it aims to give writers, musicians, performers and artists of all kinds a stronger sense of their place in a time of upheaval, change and unexpected possibilities.

Bring a notebook, a clear head, a sense of excitement and a willingness to be honest. Please leave false hopes and all-encompassing solutions at home.

Booking details

How many light bulbs does it take to change an energy system?

Regen’s Arts and Energy programme supports the transition to a decentralised energy system through encouraging, inspiring and broadening the debate about our energy generation through the arts.

In 2017 we would like to see an increase in lightbulb moments across the UK as more people become aware of the necessity for drastic change to our energy system to respond to the threat of climate change.

Did you know? There is actually a whole website dedicated to lightbulb jokes?

For your entertainment this Christmas I’ve selected a few for you!

Q: How many art directors does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: Does it have to be a lightbulb?

Q: How many city planners does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A: Six – four to write an extensive study recommending a three-way 100/200/250 watt light bulb, one to write an article in the newspaper praising the study, and one to put in a 10 watt blub instead.

Q: How many consultants does it take to change a light bulb?
A: I’ll have an estimate for you a week from Monday.

Q: How many copyeditors does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
A: The last time this question was asked, it involved art directors. Is the difference intentional? Should one or the other instance be changed? It seems inconsistent.

Q: How many optimists does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A: None, they’re convinced that the power will come back on soon.

Q: How many surrealists does it take to change a light bulb?
A: Two. One to hold the giraffe and the other to fill the bathtub with brightly colored machine tools.

Q: How many Tory MP’s does it take to change a light bulb?
A: I’m sorry I can’t tell you that, the light bulb changing service has been privatised and the information you require is commercially sensitive.

Q: How many Zen masters does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A: None. Zen masters carry their own light.

And for any of you who are interested in making a calculation of the actual number of people it takes to  switch on the lights – check out this little animation from Energy 101


An energy primer to increase energy literacy! from Energy Reality

This website has an overview of basic energy concepts: net energy, energy density, embodied energy, energy slaves, and peak oil.

You can go on a tour of the energy terrain reviewing the major energy resources and their transportation methods, including conventional and unconventional oil, offshore oil, natural gas, shale gas, coal and nuclear, as well as renewables such as hydropower, geothermal, biofuels, biomass, wind and solar energy.

And you can make an examination of globalized transport for moving fuel (pipelines and powerlines), and of emerging energy technologies (including hydrogen) and micropower (small-scale distributed energy generation).