Scottish Universities Insight Institute : a development from the institute for advanced studies

a development from the institute for advanced studies


Attitudes to Energy and Sustainability

Please note that this Programme finished in June 2009. All presentations and documents relating to its activities are available in the Document depository for this programme.

 Transforming Attitudes to Energy Consumption and Supply:

Enhancing Development of a Secure Low-carbon Energy Economy

February to June 2009

Developing a society and economy based on the availability of secure, affordable, low carbon energy is an aspiration widely shared across the developed world. Key to achieving this is delivering a transformation in existing attitudes and behaviours.
Individuals and organisations have complex and sometimes contradictory attitudes and behaviours in relation to energy that make it difficult to develop energy infrastructure, and achieve the changes in attitude and behaviour necessary to tackle climate change and ensure security of energy supplies.
This programme will stimulate creative and radical thinking, and develop new approaches, through a range of techniques including novel application of concepts from other disciplines, scenario analysis, and dialogue between stakeholders. 
To achieve this we are involving talented participants with a wide range of skills and backgrounds in a series of workshops that will stimulate debate, capture new ideas and develop imaginative solutions. Participants will include leading academics, government, the energy industry, NGOs, business leaders, regulators, post-graduate students and consumer organizations.
By pooling your expertise and insights with others we aim to:
  • Identify and explore attitudes and apparent contradictions in behaviour at government, business, stakeholder and consumer levels and explore how government, industry, regulators, individuals and communities could work together to transform attitudes and behaviours in order to achieve climate change targets, maintain security of energy and deliver affordable energy prices.
  • Assess the effectiveness of existing methods of influencing/changing organisational and individual behaviour and explore how the attitudinal/behavioural barriers identified might be overcome using new approaches.
A downloadable version of the programme description is available here.

Programme team

If you have a strong interest and what to know more about the outcomes of the programme, please contact the organisers: 

  • Richard Bellingham (, 
  • Peter Booth (, 
  • Ian Thomson (