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AISB event Bulletin Item

CALL FOR ABSTRACTS: 1st Workshop on Modelling Social Energy Practices, No 18th-19th 2013, Centre for Research in Social Simulation, University of Surrey, Guildford, UK

Consumer behaviour is key to the impact that society has on the environment (Jackson T., 2005. 
Motivating Sustainable Consumption - a review of evidence on consumer behaviour and behavioural 
change. Sustainable Development Research Network, p. iii).

Changing consumer behaviour is key to moving towards low carbon energy systems. It is therefore 
important to understand how to shape behaviour in line with new environmental policies. To date, 
many theories of consumer behaviour neglect the social embedding of consumers and their habits, 
as well as the availability of technologies, and are therefore insufficient to account for 
behavioural change. In recent years social practice theory has received attention as a promising 
approach for the study of consumption as it is able to address some of the shortcomings of 
traditional theories. A new way of approaching these issues is to develop computational models 
of social practices.  Such models might be especially helpful in illuminating the mechanisms 
underlying the emergence and diffusion of social practices.

We invite contributions from all research disciplines that:

            describe computational models that have been inspired by social practice theory, or
            present theories of household energy demand in computational form, or
            examine the value of quantitative or qualitative models of social energy-related practices.

The workshop aims to provide a meeting point for researchers interested in social (energy) 
practices with the aim of facilitating future interactions and research. There will therefore 
be ample time for discussion as well as for presentations.

The workshop is supported by WholeSEM (Whole System Energy Modelling), a new RCUK funded 
collaboration between UCL, Surrey, Imperial and Cambridge that aims to understand:

            How energy demand co-evolves with changes in practice, supply, and policy
            How the endogenous, uncertain, and path dependent process of technological change will impact future energy systems
            How the energy supply-demand system can be optimised over multiple energy vectors and infrastructures
            What are the major future physical and economic interactions and stresses between the energy system and the broader environment.

If you wish to make a presentation at the workshop, please send an abstract (500 words or less) 
to Nigel Gilbert by 1 October 2013.  If you wish to participate, but 
without making a presentation, please send a brief (200 words) account of why you are interested 
in attending together with a brief CV to the same address by October 15. 

There is nominal charge of 30 for registration.  This includes the cost of refreshments, lunch 
on the two days and the workshop dinner.  Those selected to make a presentation at the workshop 
will be reimbursed for their travel and provided with accommodation. Other participants will need 
to fund their own travel and accommodation.

Important dates

1 October: Deadline for abstracts
15 October: Decisions on acceptance of abstracts
15 October: Deadline for applications for participation
18-19 November: Workshop

Applications should be made using the web form at:

Enquiries about local arrangements should be made to the CRESS Manager, Lu Yang .

Enquiries about the WholeSEM project should be made to the WholeSEM Centre Manager, Liz Milner