Call for Papers — Digital Energy Futures International Symposium: Energy, Automation, Anticipation

The Emerging Tech Research Lab and the Digital Energy Futures project are now accepting papers for our 2023 Digital Energy Futures International Symposium: Energy, Automation, Anticipation.

We live in unprecedented and unpredictable times. How might we engage with the sites and experiences of the everyday in the present and in possible futures to understand, and anticipate, energy futures in a world where climate change, pandemics, and new uses of emerging technologies are part of how we live? What do possible energy futures look like when we centre people, other species, environment, and place? How might we refigure an agenda for energy social science that accounts for everyday life as a generative site of hope and trust in future energy technologies and systems? How do we shift the ground for debate in a context where technical and economic forecasting and foresighting dominates in the energy industry, foregrounding rational and techno-solutionist assumptions that overemphasise the role of emerging automated technologies and systems in determining future everyday living?

An emerging field of social science, humanities, and design research is rethinking possible futures through empirically, conceptually, and methodologically-grounded work. Researchers have proposed new insights, foresights, forecasts, scenarios, and speculations about how the future may unfold in relation to people’s everyday lives, for distributed energy generation, and emerging technologies such as electric vehicles and increased automation of household appliances. This symposium advances this agenda by inviting contributions that place everyday life (and the people, other species, things, processes, and sites that constitute it) at the centre of energy futures, to think through how these can be anticipated, disrupted, and realised.

The symposium will bring together leading researchers working at the forefront of energy futures with an interest in anticipating and speculating on the future everyday lives, routines, hopes, anxieties, and expectations of people in diverse contexts and climates.

Methodological, empirical and/or theoretical contributions are invited that contribute to future-focused energy social science.

We invite submissions that respond to one or more of the following themes, in the context of energy futures:

  • Innovative methodologies and/or theories for foresighting and forecasting future demand that foreground everyday perspectives and concerns.
  • Future conceptualisations of people, citizens, publics, consumers, customers, prosumers, and households.
  • The role of digital and automated technologies, and emerging energy technologies, in shaping people’s everyday futures.
  • Transferrable methodologies for understanding and anticipating emerging futures (to/from other sectors and disciplines).
  • Research and theorisation on inter-species collaboration and intersection with people-focused futures, and/or on non-human and more-than-human everyday futures.
  • Empirical research into the values, ethics, practices, routines, and expectations that people envisage for their future lives.
  • Speculation on how energy markets, demand response and/or community-focused energy initiatives and infrastructure will intersect with future everyday life.
  • Differentiated and diverse futures that foreground the experiences of underrepresented, vulnerable or minority groups, households, and people - including culturally-specific definitions and inclusion of emerging technologies.
  • Exploration of gender, race, class or other socio-demographic characteristics that shape the everyday present and possible futures.

A Special Issue journal based on this event is planned and participants will be expected to submit their papers for consideration.


  • 2 day symposium (single-stream program)
  • Dates: 20-21 February, 2023
  • Location: Monash University, Melbourne, Australia

This is a closed in-person event, prioritising in-depth and intimate conversations with a small group of Australian and international academics working on energy futures. The program will include a symposium dinner and public networking event with the energy industry showcasing work from the Digital Energy Futures project.


A limited pool of funds is available to support travel and accommodation expenses for some participants. Travel support for ECRs and PhD candidates will be prioritised. Please indicate if required.

Project team and symposium conveners: 

Yolande Strengers, Sarah Pink, Kari Dahlgren, Fareed Kaviani, Hannah Korsmeyer, Larissa Nicholls, and Rex Martin.

Coordinated and supported by Caitlin Cronin

Please contact Caitlin at if you have any further questions.

The Digital Energy Futures project is a partnership between the Emerging Technologies Research Lab at Monash University, the Australian Research Council, Ausgrid, AusNet Services, and Energy Consumers Australia Limited.

Follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn at #digitalenergyfutures

Visit our website at Digital Energy Futures - Emerging Technologies Research Lab