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Perspectives from the past to inform the present: Using insights from oral histories in informing just transitions 
Sarah Kilpeläinen (Tampere University)
aimee ambrose (Sheffield Hallam University)
Julie Sze
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Navigating Conflict, Governance, and Activism
Room 3
Monday 19 August, -, -
Time zone: Europe/Helsinki
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Short Abstract:

Decarbonising societies requires transitions in multiple sectors. Transitions not only have technological implications but are also deeply personal and linked to wider societal transformations. This panel explores the value of oral histories in facilitating current and future just transitions.

Long Abstract:

The need to transition away from fossil fuel-based systems to low carbon systems is crucial for achieving a carbon neutral society. These transitions affect multiple sectors, including heating, mobility, energy, water, and the sharing economy and are not purely technical but also have profound social, spatial, and cultural implications.

The current transitions are not unprecedented, and this panel aims to open up discussion about the use and value of oral history approaches in just transitions. Oral history methods provide a unique perspective on the experiences, perceptions, and practices of people who have witnessed or participated in past transitions. Oral histories can shed light on the factors that shaped choices and practices, the impacts of transitions on different communities including changes in lifestyle, spatial arrangements, everyday practices and meaning, social interactions within the community, as well as challenges and opportunities associated with these transitions. Furthermore, they can offer insights into what we can learn from past transitions for future just transitions.

This proposed panel explores questions such as how individuals experience and make sense of past transitions they have experienced how different cultural and social factors shape the adoption and use of new behaviours and practices, and what oral histories can reveal about the ways in which individuals respond to past transitions. The panel will also explore how this information can be used to inform current and future policy and planning.

By examining these complex issues, the panel aims to contribute to a more nuanced and holistic understanding of just transitions.

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Monday 19 August, 2024, -
Session 2 Monday 19 August, 2024, -