Review Panel Report: cleantech

Background

In fall 2012, Richard Labelle of the Aylmer Group and Meg Barker of Asc-IST embarked on a production of a 4-part series of on-line, interactive webinars and workshops. The topic was on climate change and clean technology (“cleantech”, otherwise called “sustainable technologies”).

The “Climate Change and Cleantech” (CCCT) workshops and webinars are based on material originally developed and delivered in 2011 by Mr. Labelle over a 2.5 day period, to policy-makers and analysts in the Asia Pacific region. The on-line production platform provided by Asc-IST for innovation, science and technology workshops and initiatives was launched in 2009 and, following pilot workshops and international field tests, was ready for business.

In the winter/spring of 2013, the developers organized a peer review of the product.  An on-line Review Panel was recruited which comprised internationally experienced experts, consulting professionals and a scholarly dimension to critique the workshop series. As a whole, the Panel had knowledge and a practical track record in international development and the global and ethical dimensions of climate change and clean technologies. In addition, some members of the Review Panel were experienced users of on-line videoconferencing and other applications, whereas others were new to this application of information and communication technologies (ICTs) for on-line collaboration.

Critique: workshop series on cleantech

Overall, the Review Panel considered the recorded webinars of the “Climate Change and Cleantech” series a rich compendium of valuable information on a range of climate change as well as broad environment and sustainability related issues, in particular the application of cleantech to reduce emissions and assist in mitigation.  The workshop series would be useful for any group needing a briefing or quick learning on the latest information relevant to climate change, cleantech and sustainable energy.

The Review Panel noted that the CCCT series examined the international scene rather than the Canadian context. This emphasis is due to the origin of the workshop, initially prepared for international client groups. The workshop was designed for public policy makers and analysts, in its original form. In fact it can be adjusted to the needs of specific client groups on their request. That said, the focus on the international scene is quite intentional. The sources of the challenge are global, and many of the opportunities for climate action involve pursuit of world markets by business, and global collaboration.

Some Reviewers felt that the CCCT series overemphasized the role of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) to mitigate climate change. Other Reviewers were pleased with the discussion on technical options and business responses to climate change, including emerging and significant roles for ICTs. In fact, they believed there is room for even more such content, depending on the needs and specializations of client groups.

Some Reviewers regard the term Green Growth as an oxymoron. Growth is not compatible with the greening of the planet, according to this perspective. Mr. Labelle’s view is that we need to achieve a sustainable economy with the strategies, policy instruments and behaviour changes to achieve that state. For example the sustainable economy will require investment in low carbon energy infrastructure that meets acceptable standards along social, environmental and economic lines. Such investment and infrastructure will also require enhanced energy management (i.e more energy efficiency and energy conservation), renewable energy and other technological solutions and practices.

In conclusion, the Review Panel was supportive of the workshop and the message it conveys. Some members stated that they accomplished significant learning about cleantech, and how to participate in on-line workshops. In particular, the Review Panel enjoyed meeting one another from remote locations and sharing their expertise in a peer-peer manner.

For more information, on this workshop series or how you can make your own series, contact us.

Oct 24th, 2014

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