We transform fragmented and polarized conversations into actionable solutions

Who are we?

We are an Alberta-based coalition of diverse innovators and leading organizations working to accelerate the transition to the energy system the future requires of us. With stakeholder insights from across the energy system, we are collaboratively developing solutions for a low-emission and socially equitable energy future.

Land Acknowledgement

The team supporting the Energy Futures Lab is committed to a continuous practice of learning and unlearning as part of our professional and personal truth and reconciliation journeys. As a remote team that convenes a Fellowship as well as other activities across the province, we gratefully acknowledge the original territories of the Siksikáwa, Îyârhe Nakodabi, Tsuut’ina Dene, Cree, Saulteaux, Nakota Sioux, and the Métis Nation of Alberta Regions 2, 3 and 4. We acknowledge and honour these peoples as the traditional custodians and keepers of the colonized lands which many now refer to as Alberta. We are deeply grateful for the lessons, teachings and experiences we have received, as well as the support, patience and friendship offered along the way.

Why we exist

A diversity of stakeholder insights and contributions is required to inspire innovative solutions for our energy future.

For years, Alberta’s energy system has been at the centre of a complex, fragmented and divisive debate. From disputes around the most strategic approaches to addressing climate change to controversies about the health and wellbeing of affected communities, energy system pressures are impacting all stakeholders. The Energy Futures Lab was created in 2015 to address polarization arising from these pressures. 

Today, as communities around the world seek solutions for a net-zero future, there is growing recognition that cross-sectoral collaboration will play a key role in addressing the complex challenges facing Canada’s energy sector. As Canadians navigate the global energy transition, we require timely solutions and spaces that support and accelerate innovation, collaboration and system wide change. The Energy Futures Lab offers just that.

How we work

We work in a way that allows us to remain nimble and responsive as the energy system evolves.

We apply social innovation practices: We look at “beyond technology” issues, drawing on social innovation approaches to address the complex and often polarizing social challenges shaping our energy landscape. 

We start with the end in mind: We “backcast” by first envisioning a successful outcome, followed by the question: “what do we need to do today to enable this success?”

We celebrate people’s unique perspectives and experiences: No single idea, person or technology can independently drive our energy transition. We encourage a diversity of perspectives, technologies and approaches to help instill resilience within our evolving energy system.

We learn by doing: We are committed to experimentation and learning, pivoting our approaches as new insights and understandings emerge.

We focus on systems thinking: We account for the interconnectedness between various components of the systems in which we work, so we can better understand how these components interact, change or evolve.