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Constructing Social Futures conference, Turku

Constructing Social Futures – Sustainability, Responsibility and Power conference took place between 12-13th of June in Turku, Finland, bringing together the foresight community. The theme was the concept of agency in action and research for futures. ‘Constructing Futures’ emphasizes opportunities and challenges related to the need for building and critically evaluating capabilities necessary for sustainable futures. This conference created a cross-disciplinary platform where participants could meet, share, and discuss new ideas concerning social futures. These two days consisted of keynote lectures, parallel sessions, participatory workshops and chaired poster session, from multidisciplinary topics.

The fist keynote presentation was held by Dr. Ivana Milojević (Metafuture) about the Power for, against, with and within: Futures studies as practice. Ivana’s set the tone for the conference with her passionate talk addressing two central questions: “Can futures studies, as a practice, make a difference?”, and “To what extent are futures being constructed through participation that reflects moral agency and leads to better futures for all?”. The second keynote presentation was given by Professor Ullrich Kockel (Heriot-Watt University Edinburgh) about the Heritage Futures: Tradition, Gain, Sustainability. The afternoon continued with 7 paralel sessions for ~15 minute presentations on topics such as Combining corporate foresight with corporate social responsibility and Citizen science, power, responsibility and foresight.

LPRC was represented by Tamas Miklovicz, who gave a presentation about the Application of foresight methods in the research of a disruptive geothermal technology (CHPM), in the session on Foresight activities and their effect on sustainability transitions. The presentation was focusing on the methodological aspect of how to make use of foresight tools for such a challenging technology. The presentation was well received and participants appreciated the robust methodology behind the CHPM roadmapping process. You can have a look at Tamas’s presentation in  the video below:

The second day continued with sessions and workshops on topics like Back to the futures we want: Envisioning and backcasting for Sustainable futures, and Utopias to combat futures by-negation, and The roles of futures studies in the negotiation of values and desired futures. The event was concluded with two keynote presentations. First Professor Keri Facer talked about All our futures? Climate change, democracy and missing public spaces. The second was given by Professor Ted Fuller On responsible futures: What can we do, what should we do?

All keynote speakers were donated a ~3 hectare peatland in Finland. Peatlands are the largest natural terrestrial carbon store, and among the most important ecosystems on Earth*, also helping us to reduce carbon footprint of the anthropocene.

You can read the Book of Abstract here and you may rediscover the event on Twitter following the #futuresconference2019.

The Futures Conference 2019 was very inspiring! Many great ideas have been shared, discussed and agreed about building a more sustainable future. After the conference, arriving home, the real question remains: are we going to plant these seeds into our everyday life to nurture a sustainable future? We all hope that we do indeed, throughout our everyday decisions.

*https://www.iucn.org/resources/issues-briefs/peatlands-and-climate-change

CHPM2030 final conference, Delft

The CHPM2030 final conference took place last week, in Delft, the Netherlands, within the framework of the EuroWorkshop “Geology and the energy transition”. The workshop was organised by the European Federation of Geologists, with the aim to provide insights on the energy transition and how it affects geosciences. During the morning session, “Policy discussed by policymakers”, speakers discussed about Geology and energy transition (Vítor Correia), The subsurface at our service (Ruud Cino), The changing role of Petroleum Geoscientists in the Energy Transition (Eilard Hoogerduijn Strating) and The R&I frontiers as envisaged by the European Technology & Innovation Platform on Deep Geothermal (Adele Manzella). In the afternoon, there were two parallel sessions. The session on “Geosciences in the energy transition” introduced projects where geoscience plays a key role in the realisation of the energy transition, while the session on CHPM2030 provided details on the final outcomes of the project.

The session on CHPM2030 included presentations by different project partners: Overview of the CHPM2030 project results (Éva Hartai, Tamás Madarász), Metal content mobilisation from deep ore bodies (Chris Rochelle), Metal recovery from geothermal fluids (Xochitl Dominguez), Salt gradient power generation by reverse electrodialysis (Joost Helsen), System integration and conceptual framework for the CHPM plant (Árni Ragnarsson) and Economic and environmental aspects of the CHPM technology (Wojtech Wertich).

The last presentation was given by Tamas Miklovicz, La Palma Research Centre, who showed the preliminary results of the CHPM roadmap. LPRC’s main contribution to the project, given its foresight capabilities, is the development of the CHPM research roadmap, focusing on 2030 and 2050 time horizons. The roadmap document will cover three layers of the technology: 1) CHPM component roadmap, providing a direct follow-up of the current technological components; 2) Preparation for future pilots, investigating how to arrive to pilot readiness level at distinct European study areas (Cornwall in the UK, Portuguese Iberian Pyrite Belt, Beius Basin and Bihor Mountains in Romania, Kristineberg, Nautanen areas in Sweden) including an European Outlook with a CHPM information platform on prospective locations; and, 3) Overall CHPM concept, investigating the future of the combination of geothermal energy with mineral extraction, using foresight methods (Horizon Scanning, Delphi survey, Visioning, Roadmapping). The roadmap is going to be published by the end of June, but until then, you can go ahead the follow the Tamas’s Roadmap Prezi slideshow below:

A fieldtrip was organised on the second day with the theme Exploring the Anthropocene, on the Sedimentary dynamics of the Dutch coast, showcasing how the current Dutch landscape was formed during the Holocene (since around 11 700 years ago) sea level rise. The workshop participants also visited many of the flood protection infrastructure – commonly known as dams – that prevent the Dutch deep lands to be flooded by groundwater, incoming rivers or the sea. The most impressive site was the Maeslantkering mobile storm surge barrier: it is an engineering marvel and one of Earth’s largest moving structures.

The CHPM2030 partners are going to meet again in Miskolc, Hungary, at the end of June, to conclude the project and wrap up the results.

CHPM2030 Roadmapping workshop, Las Palmas

LPRC organised the CHPM2030 Roadmapping Workshop in Las Palmas as a follow-up of the previous Visioning workshop, under WP6 – Roadmapping and preparation for pilots. The participants were selected from both Consortium members and external research centres and companies from the geothermal and mineral sectors.

After the introduction presentations from Tamás Madarasz: CHPM2030 State of the art, Tamás Miklovicz: WP6 context, and Marco Konrat: Roadmapping methodology, the main tasks were the validation of previously identified targets (vision), and the backcasting exercise itself. The targets are related to  two distinct time horizons: 2030 pilot level (TRL 6-7), and 2050 full scale application (TRL 8-9). The sum of the targets is the vision description, and it is formulated as the desired end-state to arrive by 2050. The proposed targets were delivered at the Visioning workshop with the use of the results from the Delphi survey, and the Horizon Scanning exercise.

In short, the Vision describes where to go (targets) and the Roadmap outlines how to get there (actions + timeline). The backcasting exercise allowed the CHPM team to investigate how to reach the goals and what actions and paths need to be taken and pursued. Whenever investigating a target, the group considered three aspects, when formulating the actions: 1) underlying research & knowledge, 2) capabilities, performance & technologies and, 3) partnership and actors. When thinking about the long term targets in 2050, “wildcards”, unexpected disruptive events that may influence reaching the vision, were also considered. The participants were split into two parallel groups for the sake of the exercise: development and exploration, and operation and market, facilitated by Tamas Miklovicz and Marco Konrat, respectively. At the last session, all participants came together and the group facilitators presented the results from the previous two sessions.

This line of activities will be only one layer of the final CHPM2030 roadmaps. This particular aspect is testing the overall concept of the cross fertilization of the geothermal and mineral industries. The second layer consists of investigating concrete areas for CHPM application and providing gaps and recommendations at four EU study areas in Sweden, UK, Portugal and Romania. The third layer is the direct followup and research plan of the current technological components of the CHPM scheme. When put together, these elements will make up the final Research Roadmap for the CHPM technology.

During the second day, the participants visited the Spanish Bank of Algae, as part of a field trip The facility provides many services, including the bank of microalgae and cyanobacteria strains, genomic DNA bank, algal biomass production for industry, production of seaweed extracts on demand for companies in the biotechnology sector, analysis of samples for the determination of algae, deposit and maintenance of strains for registration of industrial property. More than 2000 algae strains are stored in the algae bank and  many interesting research activities were presented to the group. The next stop was PLOCAN, the Oceanic Platform of the Canary Islands. The guided tour included a presentation of the ongoing activities and research of the infrastructure and a visit to the control room and laboratories with ROVs, sailbouys and submarine autonomous gliders.

The LPRC team will now take these new input and start drafting the roadmaps for the CHPM technology in the future! We will present the roadmap at the final conference in Delft, and it will be finalised later in June!

Events

“Tenth Year working towards Geothermy” GeoPlat meeting

GeoPlat is a scientific working group formed by the geothermal sector’s most relevant players in Spain, including industry. Its aim is to coordinate the joint labor of these stakeholders in order to achieve the commercial uptake of this renewable energy source in Spain in a competitive and sustainable manner.

The 19th of June Geoplat will celebrate its “Tenth Year working towards Geothermy” with a General Assembly of which LPRC will attend. During this assembly the future opportunities for the geothermal sector in Spain after the National Energy and Climate Plan, as well as European tendencies in the sectors. One of the sessions will be dedicated to the geothermal sector in the Canary Islands. LPRC is becoming a strong player in the sector in Spain after being awarded the projects CHPM2030 and CrowdThermal (starting in September).

INTERREG Atlantic Area Annual Event

INTERREG Atlantic Area Programme annual event “Blue innovation: main engine for sustainable growth in the Atlantic Area”, the focus of this event will be the contribution of the Atlantic Area programme to innovation in the maritime economy. Ariadna Ortega is attending to this event.

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