Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Energy Futures Lab (EFL)?
The Energy Futures Lab (EFL) is an Alberta-based, multi-interest collaboration designed to accelerate the development of a “fit for the future” energy system. The EFL brings together a cohort of influential leaders to address current and emerging energy challenges, and generate opportunities to identify, test and scale new initiatives and collaborations.

The EFL has established a platform that convenes diverse voices in the energy system. In our current polarized climate, the Lab has become a trusted bridge-builder, connecting innovators working in different areas of the energy system and taking advantage of their divergent perspectives. For four years, the EFL undertaking has been a deliberate, coordinated effort among leaders and influencers in Alberta to find common ground and create exemplar initiatives, showing the way for Alberta to thrive in the midst of shifts in the global energy system. The EFL is now shifting gears and moving to a new phase, referred to as EFL 2.0.

What is EFL 2.0?
EFL 2.0 is an exciting new phase that builds on the impact and success of the EFL mandate over the last four years. While EFL 2.0 will maintain the Lab’s core elements of co-creation, experimentation, and social innovation, EFL 2.0 will deepen the work in Alberta while exploring avenues to expand its impact nationally within other Canadian jurisdictions. With the support of distinguished convening partners and organizations, the EFL will:

  • Continue to support innovators in identifying, developing and pressure-testing solutions for accelerating the transition to the energy system the future requires of us;
  • Strengthen the capacity of business and government to adopt and support innovative solutions;
  • Inspire and share narratives in the public and communities that help depolarize the public conversation about energy in Canada and accelerate progress toward the shared vision developed through the EFL.

In EFL 2.0, the EFL’s convening question has evolved to: “how can we leverage our leadership position in today’s energy system to create the energy system that the future requires of us?”

What is the role of the EFL Fellowship?
Since the inception of the EFL in 2015, the collective work of two cohorts of Fellows’ has resulted in formulating the EFL’s Vision as well as shaping concrete exemplar initiatives to create the energy system that the future requires of us. In EFL 2.0, the EFL is looking for a new group of innovators and influencers to join the Fellowship, deepen the current initiatives and create new ones that will further the EFL’s vision.

Fellows have the opportunity and responsibility to deepen their understanding of diverse stakeholder perspectives and the energy system, build trust and shared knowledge and work together to refine ideas, and scale the impact of collaborative initiatives that support transition towards a resilient energy system.

Why a Fellowship?
Tackling the complexity and polarization of today’s energy challenges requires a diversity of perspectives and abilities. No single person or organization has the knowledge or capacity to create the energy system that the future requires of us. It requires a mix of perspectives, e.g. government, First Nations, industry, non-profit, community group interests, and more, and the ability to learn and experiment together on innovative practices that can act as stepping-stones towards this future.
What does it mean to be an EFL Fellow?
The EFL has a social contract that describes what it means to co-create and innovate together. This agreement stands for what we believe in as Fellows within the EFL community. By signing this agreement, new Fellows agree to join the EFL community. The social contract is a commitment to demonstrating EFL values and principles, and to contributing to accelerating progress to the energy system the future requires of us.
Why does the EFL require submission of an organizational letter of support?
Experience has demonstrated that organizational support and endorsement from senior leadership is an essential component for participant success in the EFL. It supports each Fellow to be an active and engaged participant and to get the most possible benefit from their Fellowship. The EFL Fellowship incorporates concepts of social innovation, collaboration, and systems change, which necessitates that Fellows immerse themselves in EFL learning experiences, including exploring systems change and sustainability frameworks, relevant collaborative projects, and occasionally bridging these learnings or initiatives back to their respective organizations. Your Fellow application must be supported by a brief letter of organizational support from the executive level, reflecting a commitment by the organization to formally learn about EFL concepts and outcomes and to explore possible actions and collaborative opportunities arising from the EFL.

In order to support making the case for Fellowship participation to your organization or company, below are a few tips and talking points, which you’ll likely want to customize to your organization’s specific needs, culture, and objectives:

  • Fellows support their respective organizations by gaining strategic intelligence and insights about the energy space from peers and system-sensing research;
  • Fellows are able to bring both personal and organizational goals to the Lab. Through the Lab, he/she can participate in the EFL as a way to address an organizational challenge or seize an opportunity that he/she cannot do alone;
  • Fellows are able to build on existing EFL exemplar initiatives or create their own initiatives that align with the EFL vision as well as support the respective organizational goals; and
  • Fellows can expand their personal and organizational network through the Lab and build a strategic and systems-level understanding of the energy field, its players and interrelationships.

Please refer to the question on “What is the benefit in being a Fellow?” as well.

What is the benefit in being a Fellow?
Through a series of high-calibre workshops and learning experiences built upon the latest practices in social innovation and collaboration, Fellows will receive the following benefits:

  • Develop leading-edge knowledge and skills to collaborate, lead and manage in an increasingly dynamic and complex energy environment;
  • Glean strategic intelligence and insights about the energy space from peers and system-sensing research;
  • Build a strategic and systems-level understanding of the energy field, its players and interrelationships;
  • Be part of an influential and supportive network of dynamic changemakers committed to creating positive impact and tangible outcomes;
  • Develop and enhance important relationships in an age of increased expectations for transparency and collaboration.
How much time is involved? What is the full commitment?
In order to be fully oriented to the EFL, its activities, and its social innovation concepts, Fellows are required to attend a 1.5 hour webinar and a full day 2019 Fellow Orientation workshop, scheduled for March 13 in Edmonton (in conjunction with the first Fellow workshop of 2019). In 2019, the EFL team has confirmed the following events and workshops:

Expected Attendance
Fellow Workshops

  • Mar 13 (evening) & Mar 14 8am-5pm – Edmonton (2019 Fellows must also attend the full day orientation on Mar 13 in Edmonton)
  • May 22 (evening) & May 23 8am-5pm – location TBD
  • Sept 11 (evening) & Sept 12 8am-5pm – near Calgary
  • Nov 27 (evening) & Nov 28 8am-5pm – location TBD

EFL Summit Feb 12 (full day) – Calgary

Optional, as relevant
EFL Accelerators

  • April 9 (full day) – Red Deer
  • June 19 (full day) – location TBD
  • Oct 23 (full day) – location TBD
How has the EFL built diversity into the program?
The Energy Futures Lab Fellowship forms the nucleus of the Lab, comprising about 60 of Alberta’s innovators and influencers from industry, government, non-profit organizations, First Nations, academia and community interest groups. Fellows are selected based on their merit as compared to the selection criteria, as well as consideration for the overall diversity of the group as a whole. The Fellowship is intended to reflect a broad diversity of actors and voices that play a vital role in the future of Alberta’s energy system.
How is the selection of Fellows made?
Applications will be reviewed by a subset of the EFL support team, with input from the Steering Committee and EFL Fellows. Selection of Fellows is based on the merit of each potential applicant as compared to the selection criteria, while ensuring that the EFL as a whole reflects a broad diversity of actors and voices that play a vital role in the future of Alberta’s energy system.
What is an intrapreneur? systempreneur?
Intrapreneurs are change agents who work from inside organizations to develop entrepreneurial solutions that change the nature of their organizations. Systempreneurs mobilize resources and gather stakeholders to innovate and discover solutions to wicked system-level challenges. They drive system-level change by being connectors and master collaborators.


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