The future of our planet and a more sustainable and equitable society depend on our use of energy, one of the important pillars of society’s progress. Nowadays, the role of the energy system is one of the priorities of the scientific, political, economic and social agenda, given the wide repercussions it has on the planet.
The foreseeable depletion of fossil resources and climate change as a result of greenhouse emissions have generated a series of challenges that transcend individual actors and national spheres, and thus require global research efforts towards common solutions.
We have to rethink how we manage energy, and find new and better sources. In this sense, IREC’s experience in collaborating with society allows us to Shape Energy for a Sustainable Future. This interaction allows us to channel expectations and social demands, as well as make progress in aspects such as citizen awareness, responsible energy consumption and contribute to the promotion of open dialogue between different actors (society, industry and public sector).
At IREC, we aim to have an impact and boost the energy transition our planet needs, in collaboration with society that allows a mutually beneficial relationship.
We work with leading researchers around the world, as well as with industry and public administration. Therefore, we understand that it’s crucial to engage in fruitful discussions with communities that represent the needs and opportunities of our society: learners of all ages, and people that as individuals or in their roles as entrepreneurs or managers, are confronting decisions about energy in their daily lives.
This is why we foster open dialogue and mutual learning between our team and society. Together, we have a better chance of overcoming the challenges before us.
In this regard, IREC encourages public participation and collaboration to raise new questions and co-create a new scientific culture. Some of the outreach activities that IREC takes part are:
- IREC Open Days and Mapping
- European Researchers’ Nights
- International Day of Energy Efficiency
- Workshops in the frame of the International Day of Women and the Girls in Science
- Gonano Innovation and co-creation workshop (add link to EU initiative)
In the local and national area, we participate in initiatives such as:
- Promotion of scientific vocations (Espai Jove)
- 10alamenos9 Festival
- Collaborations with some artists in the framework of the Nanocaedre activity.
Last but not least, our researchers are also frequently sharing their expertise via round table discussions and public talks at third-party events, as well as through publications and interviews in the media.
In addition to these institutionally led activities, our groups actively participate in the dissemination of the publicly funded projects that they are involved in, including the organization of events for the general public, dissemination in national and international conferences, and training sessions, among others.
Committed to public engagement
IREC is firmly committed to the promotion of an informed public that can then engage in decision-making for the future of energy. In this sense, we’ve increased the number and scope of activities in recent years and, as a result, citizen participation is now an integral component of our program.
This outreach strategy falls in line with policies set out by the relevant governing bodies of Spain and the EU. It is through these open, trans-disciplinary conversations that we are fostering more democratic science policies and building a more evidence-informed society.