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Community renewable energy has been widely advocated as a mode of implementation of sustainable energy technologies that contrast in various ways from those of public or…
Community renewable energy has been widely advocated as a mode of implementation of sustainable energy technologies that contrast in various ways from those of public or private sector utilities (Walker & Cass, 2007). Community energy projects have been established in many countries around the world, including various parts of Europe (DTI, 2004; Lauber, 2004; Madlener, 2007), the United States (Hoffman & High-Pippert, 2005, 2009), Australia (Moloney, Horne, & Fien, 2010) and Japan (Maruyama, Nishikido, & Iida, 2007), forming part of a more distributed rather than centralised pattern of energy generation. For Seyfang and Smith (2007) they potentially represent examples of ‘grassroots innovation’, forms of niche-based social experimentation with wider significance for the emergence of forms of transition towards sustainable socio-technical systems (Smith, 2007).
As the first decade of the 21st century drew to a close, the threats associated with economic crises, social inequalities, and human-induced environmental change focused…
As the first decade of the 21st century drew to a close, the threats associated with economic crises, social inequalities, and human-induced environmental change focused unprecedented attention on global development trajectories. While questions about how the nature and impact of economic growth should be managed have long featured in environmentalist thought, the stark conditions created a new policy landscape of opportunity for alternative development strategies. National governments around the globe began to disseminate policy statements calling for ‘green growth’ and some, for example the United States, even developed stimulus packages aimed at restructuring economies towards a low carbon future. At the same time international non-governmental organisations such as the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) have developed entire initiatives focused on shaping what has come to be termed the ‘green economy’ (UNEP, 2011). Even large multinational corporations, such as Shell and their dialogues mechanism, are engaging with green economy discourses. New partnerships are emerging across governance sectors with Microsoft Corp and UNEP signing an agreement in 2009 to share knowledge collaboratively around green economy issues. In the United States, the BlueGreen Alliance is consolidating activity of labour unions and environmental organisations in order to maximise the number and quality of jobs in the green economy. With such a broad spectrum of actors and interests involved, it is unsurprising that there is no one agreed vision for a green economy. Some argue for development scenarios that promote reduced or no-growth pathways (Scott-Cato, 2009), others see the current crises creating innovation opportunities for new growth in different areas through processes of ‘creative destruction’ (Florida, 2010).
Social Work education has seen some changes since my first paper on how The Archers could be used to enhance a student's understanding of service user experiences…
Social Work education has seen some changes since my first paper on how The Archers could be used to enhance a student's understanding of service user experiences (Burrows, 2016). Social Work students still, however, need to understand the difficulties that their future service users may experience; learning is developed through lectures, seminars and workshops, and most of all through practice experience, but a real challenge for educators is how to show students the constant lived reality of families and communities who have complex difficulties. A visit to a household only gives a snapshot of their life, and service users may be guarded in their behaviour during a professional visit. My original paper considered the educational value of the ‘fly-on-the-wall’ perspective of The Archers, in catching unguarded moments and drawing attention to issues in the community. From the impact of rural poverty and unaffordable housing, through issues of mental health, hospital discharge, to adult survivors of child sexual abuse and the tangled webs of modern slavery, these issues will resonate with any social worker, in Adult, Children and Families or Mental Health fields. These are not just issues in a rural setting; professionals in more urban settings will recognise these as things the families and individuals they work with must deal with from time to time.