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Lights Energy tree Action!

Harith Alani, Friday 15 November 2013 | Annotate
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How can we raise awareness and engagement in energy consumption? How can we support people to learn about their consumption levels and patterns? What strategies help to change energy consumption behaviour? And in what contexts are they mostly efficient?    
 
These questions were the focus of two ISave workshops which were held in KMi on November 5th and 8th. These workshops were co-organised by Lara Piccolo; a visiting researcher from the Institute of Computing at UNICAMP in Brazil, and Dr Anna De Liddo; a research associate in KMi.
 
The two workshops attracted 24 participants from KMi, to actively discuss and debate ideas for how to preserve energy around the lab. All these ideas and opinions were posted by the participants to the ISave Evidence Hub (isave.evidence-hub.net) which enables users to vote, challenge, and support ideas and debates.
 
The highlight of the event is the Energy Tree, with branches that lights up when engagement increases in the Evidence Hub, in the forms of new issues, ideas, votes and arguments created by the participants. The Tree reached full illumination when 450 new contributions were contributed during one of the workshop.
 
Beyond bringing light to the topic of energy saving, these workshops aimed to evaluate the impact of the energy tree as a physical and visual motivational element for engagement.
 
The campaign is still on-going, and over a dozen people in KMi are now equipped with smart energy monitoring devices (provided by Green Energy Options via the DecarboNet project), to help them to closely monitor their energy consumption in the home or office, and to share their reflections and experiences.
 
This work is a collaboration between DecarboNet and the Evidence Hub projects. DecarboNet is a three year, €2M, project funded by the EU to study behaviour change towards energy consumption, involving seven partners across Europe under the co-ordination of Dr Harith Alani in KMi.  The Evidence Hub, led by Prof Simon Buckingham-Shum, is a collective intelligence tool that uses a suit of visualisations and maps to capture and log ideas, questions, opinions, debates, and actors.

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