Fifth Energy and Society Conference

Energy transition: Does the mountain give birth to a mouse?
10 febbraio 2021
11 febbraio 2021
12 febbraio 2021
10 - 12 February 2021
Segreteria Dipartimento di Sociologia Ricerca Sociale
Via Verdi, 26 - 38122 Trento
+39 0461 281322 - 281428


Portineria del Dipartimento di Sociologia e Ricerca Sociale
Via Verdi, 26 I - 38122 Trento
tel. +39 0461 281300
portineria.sociologia [at]

Due to the global outbreak of COVID-19, Energy & Society 2021 will be held online, via Zoom platform.

The conference is organized in cooperation with ESA RN 12, ISA RN 24, and the Urban Europe Research Alliance (UERA).

Accepted contributors: For technical reasons we kindly ask you to re-register and re-submit your abstract. However, you will not go through the selection process again as you are already eligible. We are sorry for the inconvenience this may cause you.

We aim to bring together researchers interested in the social dimensions of energy, to exchange insightful ideas and create opportunities for collaboration. We invite contributions from across the social sciences and interdisciplinary research teams working on energy and society issues. 

Description and Themes

The theme of the conference calls into question how discourses about energy transition have been put into practice. As the “world’s hunger for energy” still appears to be increasing, the transition to clean sources of energy will need to be “revolutionary”, requiring the transformation of forms of social organization (Davidson and Gross, 2018). And yet, what is actually changing? And what impacts is the pandemic and its economic effects having on energy transition?

This theme is intended to spark debate and discussion, and with this reflexive approach and sociological lenses, we encourage the submission of abstracts on a wide variety of topics including but not limited to the following:

  • Theories, concepts and methods in social science research on energy and environmental sociology
  • Local capacities, responsibilities and strategies in energy governance 
  • Public engagement
  • Energy governance and policies
  • Transition strategies: From grid interconnection to sharing and sufficiency
  • Justice and vulnerability
  • Dynamics and patterns of energy consumption and prosumption
  • Smart meters, smart appliances, smart grids, smart places
  • Green economy, circular economy
  • Narratives, discourses, and visions of the future
  • Energy-water-food nexus
  • Energy citizenship

In thematic sessions each presenter will have around 20 minutes for presentation and discussion with peers. 

Additionally you can send in abstracts to the following workshops/special sessions that have been proposed by different authors following a pre- call for workshop proposals. Interactive workshops are encouraged, thus discussion should be based on short inputs, and actively involve participants. The full list of accepted workshops and descriptions of content and format are available on the conference website. 
Abstracts can be submitted to the following workshops/special sessions:

  • Dominated, ignored and belittled? Gender, justice and women in the energy transition (Mary Greene, Anne Schiffer)
  • Tailored participation of different target groups in inter and transdisciplinary research projects: what for, when and how to design participation processes? (Rainer Kuhn, Ricarda Schmidt-Scheele, Sarah-Kristina Wist)
  • COMETS Workshop - Collective Action as driver of Social Innovation for the Energy Transition (Osman Arrobbio, Winston Gilcrease, Dario Padovan, Alessandro Sciullo, Valeria Jana Schwanitz)
  • The Changing Landscape: Energy Power, Dependence, and the Grand Energy Transition in post-Soviet Eurasia (Morena Skalamera)
  • Implementing energy communities in European countries (Nathalie Ortar Grégoire Wallenborn)
  • When technological fix is not enough: industry, professionals and citizens in the energy transition. (Dario Minervini, Ivano Scotti)
  • Who is transforming what in electricity transitions: seeking identity and control in turbulent environments (Gerhard Fuchs)
  • The heating transition, still on the back burner? (Tineke van der Schoor, Henny van der Windt)
  • Constructing, exploring and conceptualising ‘energy democracy’ from below (Elisabet Rasch, Michiel Köhne)
  • The Role of Constructing Social Change in Achieving Sustainable Energy Justice Transition in Europe and the Mediterranean (Carmit Lubanov)
  • Renewable energy landscapes. Technical knowledge and social innovation (Bruno Zanon)
  • Special UERA Smart Cities and Energy Session (UERA Working Group on Smart Cities and Energy)

For detailed information on the Workshops, see the download section "Fifth E-S Workshops details"

Please check with the organisers of workshops regarding the length of presentation and indicate the workshop/special session on your abstract. 

We also encourage the submission of abstracts for poster presentations. Poster presenters will be given time in a plenary session for a 3 minutes short presentation and posters will be displayed throughout the conference.

Confirmed keynote speakers are:

  • Giorgio Osti – University of Padua, Italy
  • Jason Chilvers – University of East Anglia and UK Energy Research Centre, United Kingdom
  • Júlia Seixas – New University of Lisbon, Portugal

The conference will also include a Meet the Author Session with Raymond Murphy titled: The Fossil-Fuelled Climate Crisis: Foresight or Discounting Danger (you can find the abstract in the Download section on the right side of this web-page)

Besides plenary sessions with keynote speakers, thematic sessions, the workshops/special sessions listed above and posters, the conference will also include the following interactive workshops:

  • Energy justice (EJ) as a multidimensional concept – the „old” and new perspectives for sociological research (Katarzyna Iwińska, Aleksandra Lis, Krzysztof Mączka, in cooperation with: Krzysztof Niedziałkowski, Marianna Strzeleck)
  • How to navigate new waters... Plan and develop your career in the field of Energy-SSH (Tadeusz Rudek, Aleksandra Wagner, Chris Foulds, Sarah Royston, Rosie Robison)
  • Increasing the understanding on the Food-Water-Energy Nexus across disciplines – does participatory modelling help? (Monika Heyder, Pia Laborgne)
  • Deep decarbonization and wide societal changes – identifying and sharing matters of concern through embodied interaction (Marius Korsnes, Giulia Sonetti)
  • Sustainable Energy Transition Lab: Integrating geographical, social and political aspects in future energy models (Diana Süsser, Johan Lilliestam, Hannes Gaschnig)

Deadlines - Rules - Fees

  • from July 22 till October 31, 2020: Abstracts submission deadline
  • from October 31 till November 15, 2020: Selection process
  • November 16, 2020:  Authors will be informed whether or not their abstract is accepted
  • from January 7 till February 8, 2021: Payment of the registration fees

The Abstract submission is now closed

Registration - Fees - Payment


The registration is closed

Online Fees

  • Member of ESA RN12 - Student and PhD (not enrolled at UniTrento) € 40,00
  • Standard fee - € 50,00
  • Enrolled at UniTrento - fees exempted


The fees must be paid starting January 7 till February 8, 2021.
reminder email with all the needed instructions will be sent to all registerd participants on January 3, 2021
Note: Presenters must finalize the payment not later than January 29, 2021

Scientific committee

Natalia Magnani, Giorgio Osti, Pia Laborgne, Ana Horta, Aleksandra Wagner, Alena Bleicher, Sophie Némoz, Matthias Gross, Cigdem Adem, Françoise Bartiaux, Catherine Butler, Luísa Schmidt, Michael Ornetzeder, Maria Świątkiewicz-Mośny


For further information please contact: energy-society-srs [at]


application/pdfProgram 5th Energy and Society2021_v3(PDF | 711 KB)
application/pdfWorkshops_5th Energy and Society2021_v2(PDF | 2 MB)
application/pdfRaymond Murphy abstract(PDF | 42 KB)
application/mswordModulo Enti Pubblici Ita(DOC | 110 KB)
application/pdfEnergy&Society_prof Osti(PDF | 721 KB)
application/pdfChilvers keynote E&S 11.2.2021(PDF | 2 MB)
application/pdfJ_Seixas - Energy&Society(PDF | 5 MB)
application/pdfMurphy_The Fossil-Fuelled Climate Crisis(PDF | 580 KB)