Powered by the PEOPLE project: Five new »Powering the planet« videos


The PEOPLE project recently took part in the Why the World Needs Anthropologists symposium in Durham, UK. We provided a live stream of the event on the spot and, in partnership with the EASA Applied Anthropology Network, we now launched videos of all four  talks and the panel discussion! Click here and be inspired!

Powering the Planet team (Photo credit: Maria Șalaru)

Benj Sykes is the UK Country Manager in Ørsted, he co-chairs the Offshore Wind Industry Council alongside the Energy Minister and is on the Board of G+, providing Health and Safety leadership for the offshore wind sector. He asks what the rapidly accelerating roll out of new low carbon power generation means for local communities and society more widely, what the implications for society as we decarbonise our energy system to tackle climate change are – and what role could be played by social scientists.

Sophie Bouly de Lesdain is an Expert Researcher at Électricité de France and a Doctor in Social and Cultural Anthropology. In her recent research, she focuses on household energy production and consumption, decision-making, culture and technology. She shows how anthropology, overcoming stereotypes, provides insight into the issues involved in the installation of Photovoltaic by the locals.

Tanja Winther, Associate Professor at Centre for Development and the Environment (University of Oslo), is a Power Engineer (MSc) and Social Anthropologist (PhD). In her research on energy, she has worked closely with economists, psychologists, engineers and political scientists. Her work centres on the social dimensions of energy, spanning from the social and gendered impacts of introducing electricity in new contexts to sustainable energy consumption.

Veronica Strang, Executive Director of the Institute of Advanced Study (Durham University), is an environmental anthropologist whose research focuses on societies’ engagements with water. In her talk, she analyses the design and development of water infrastructure which allows us to consider cultural and scientific understandings of the agentive properties and behaviours of materials; societal desires to engineer the environment; and the social, political and human-environmental relationships manifested in the process.

The panel discussion on “Powering the Planet” and anthropology brought together all four speakers.