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Energy Futures Lab logo

Call for Creative Writers

We invite you to be part of a working session with Energy Futures Lab (EFL) as a story writer. The story you create will help EFL plan for the future of its work in the context of possible 2040 futures for Canada’s energy system.

The session will be held in Banff on March 17 and 18, 2020. You will receive $700 as compensation for your work as well as having your travel, food and accommodations covered.

This funding will be in the form of a grant from Calgary Arts Development and be paid post-event.

Overview
  • EFL brings together a diverse coalition of innovators and leading organizations to work together to advance solutions for a bold and transformative vision for our energy future. The EFL is a charitable initiative, operated by a registered charity.
  • Though it works on specific initiatives that address technical and policy challenges, one of the EFL’s goals is to inspire and share narratives that help depolarize the public conversation about energy in Canada and accelerate progress toward a more “fit for the future” energy system.
  • The EFL Summit is an annual gathering of the community and will involve approximately 100 people.
  • The March 2020 EFL Summit will include an exploration of alternative possible scenarios about the future of energy (in the year 2040) in a process called “strategic foresight,” facilitated by Overlap Associates.
  • For more information on the Energy Futures Lab, visit energyfutureslab.com.
Foresight and Your Role as a Creative Writer

Foresight is a process that explores possibilities and looks for options. It is a practice that allows us to create alternate, vivid future scenarios to help us navigate and guide our decision-making process. The part of the foresight process that we find many people struggle with is in imagining alternate futures. This is where your role comes in as a creative writer.

Overlap will coach you on how to contribute during the foresight activities, but we’re counting on you to make creative decisions about how to express these co-created scenarios. Your role will primarily include:

  • Listen and take notes of a table discussion around what an alternate future looks like.
  • Produce the first draft of a short narrative or text that illuminates and describes an alternate future. The story should give texture and tangibility to the future scenario.
  • The draft should be a minimum of 500 words and must be completed by the end of the session.
  • Ideally, you will have an interest in science fiction or have a future-thinking mindset and be able to write narrative fiction.

To give you a taste of the activity, participants might respond to prompts about Canada in 2040 such as these:

  • What does Canada look like? What has changed? What has stayed the same?
  • What do technologies look like? In what ways are people using technologies?
  • How are certain people and groups doing in this world?
  • How are values shifting? What’s important to people? What tensions exist?
Details
  • The summit is held at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity.
  • We will pay each creative writer $700 for their time and work for the full length of the session outlined above.
  • Meals and refreshments will be provided.
  • Writers will be reimbursed for all travel expenses within Alberta. All other expenses will not be reimbursed.
  • Please bring what you need to be able to take point-form notes and to create a written story on-site in a non-studio conference-room setting. We will need to have the story in a digital format (e.g. Microsoft Word, Google Document, plain text etc.).
  • You will retain the copyright of what you create, but we’re asking you to share the work you produce under a Creative Commons license, CC-BY, so that Energy Futures Lab and Overlap Associates can use and adapt it for this and future projects, with credit to you.
Express of Interest & RSVP

Please let us know if you are interested and available (or if you have any questions) for this opportunity by
contacting Peter Faloon at pfaloon@naturalstep.ca from the Energy Futures Lab no later than January 31, 2020.

Also, please include the following information if possible:

  • Your name
  • Your location or “home-base”
  • Your preferred contact information
  • A brief writing sample

NOTE: RSVPs will be reviewed by Natural Step and Overlap to select authors for this initiative depending on the number of writers who apply to participate.

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