UCL Grand Challenges


Hacking the Future of Energy

Hacking the Future of Energy is a collaboration between researchers in Anthropology and the Bartlett School of Planning

GC Small Grants Placeholder Image

1 August 2018


Grant: Grand Challenges Small Grants
Year awarded: 2018-19
Amount awarded: £4,000


  • Hannah Knox, Anthropology
  • Yvonne Rydin, Bartlett School of Planning
  • Society for the Reduction of Carbon Ltd (Carbon Co-op)

The focus of this project is to develop and run a hack-lab that will address the question 'how can we make energy more equitable'? The objective of the event is to bring together policy makers, energy system engineers, software and hardware developers and those who are working to make energy infrastructures more democratic, open and fair.

The hack-lab will be designed in collaboration with Carbon Co-op as an innovative grass-roots response to current socio-technical transformations in energy infrastructures.

Our aim is for the event to be simultaneously a form of public engagement, an example of participatory action research and a means of achieving social impact for UCL research in anthropology and planning on energy and sustainable cities.

Outputs and Impacts

  • Two-day hack-lab: 'How we can make energy more equitable'
  • A prize for the winning team to develop a prototype tool or project.
  • Evaluation of the winning project
  • Public communication of the event and its outcomes, using film, social media, blog posts and specialist press coverage
  • Public engagement around implications of changing energy infrastructures for planning and people
  • A research agenda for future work in this critical space