Alberta Real Estate Foundation Announces Support of the EFL

By March 23, 2016Latest News

The Energy Futures Lab is very pleased to announce the support of the Alberta Real Estate Foundation (AREF).  AREF’s Board of Governors has approved a grant of two hundred and fifty thousand dollars ($250,000.00) to foster community engagement with a focus on energy literacy across Alberta. This is a bold commitment by AREF toward co-creating the province’s energy future as part of the Foundation’s 25th anniversary.

“We want people to really understand where their energy comes from, and to understand what it means to talk about renewables and innovation. We have to get beyond an  “Us vs. Them” argument and a commitment to energy literacy is going to be a big part of getting us there.”

Cheryl De Paoli, Executive Director, Alberta Real Estate Foundation

“This is an important conversation to have in the province and it affects all Albertans.” The AREF Board of Governors states. “The Board is pleased that the Energy Futures Lab is representing a microcosm of Alberta as a whole by engaging industry, government, academia, non-for-profit and First Nations to achieve a robust and constructive conversation.”

Cheryl De Paoli, AREF’s Executive Director, and an EFL Steering Committee Member for the past year, adds, “We want people to really understand where their energy comes from, and to understand what it means to talk about renewables and innovation. We have to get beyond an  “Us vs. Them” argument and a commitment to energy literacy is going to be a big part of getting us there.”

The grant is made under the Foundation’s new Community Innovation funding stream which supports projects, practices and ideas that encourage experimentation with the goal of creating new ways of realizing community potential and character within Alberta.

AREF’s funding is to support the Energy Futures Lab’s public engagement commitment to share more broadly EFL Fellowship discussions, prototyping and new innovations with communities across Alberta.

“Our grant to the Energy Futures Lab is AREF’s commitment to Alberta’s innovative spirit.” Cheryl De Paoli states, “We have a history of incredible ingenuity in getting oil and gas out of the ground and to market. And this spirit will be critical in setting ourselves on a path to move beyond oil and gas, and to position Alberta as a global energy leader now and into the future.”

One of the major opportunities to engage Albertans in shaping their energy future is the Newtonian Shift game which Cheryl De Paoli introduced to the Energy Future Lab’s Design Team.  The Newtonian Shift is an immersive simulation game that condenses 20 years of energy transition into a single day. Players take on one of a variety of roles within an outdated and inefficient energy system and collaborate in order to create the energy system of the future or risk being left behind.

Over the coming year, with thanks to the support of AREF, a series of game sessions will be hosted in communities across Alberta. The first two of these will be held in Calgary on Thursday, April 7 and Edmonton on Thursday, April 14.

Several of the EFL Fellows have already played the Newtonian Shift and were extremely positive about the experience:

“Fascinating game. It forces you to think through how a bunch of different players can interact on the scale of an entire energy system.” – Matt Beck, Coordinator of Sustainability and Innovation, Husky Energy Inc.

“The game brought new insights and was an excellent visualization of how linked and complex some changes can be.” – Gerardo Marquez, Project Manager, Alberta Electricity System Operator

“I went in with fairly high hopes and they were more than exceeded.” – Imre Szeman, Co-Director, Petrocultures Research Group

The Energy Futures Lab is very excited to be partnering with Alberta Real Estate Foundation to bring the game and the Lab to a wider audience. We are proud to be the recipient of substantial grant from an organization with which we share values such as collaboration, innovation, continuous learning, respect, accountability and sustainability. We look forward to mobilizing communities across the province to take an active role in shaping their energy future.

____

The Alberta Real Estate Foundation supports real estate related initiatives that enhance the industry and benefit the people of Alberta. The Foundation’s revenues come from the interest earned on public money deposited in real estate brokers’ pooled trust accounts.

Learn more at www.aref.ab.ca.