The Energy Cultures Conference, ‘Sustainable Energy Futures: Understanding Behaviour and Supporting Transition’ will be held on the 6th and 7th July 2016 at Mac’s Function Centre in Wellington, New Zealand, and hosted by the Energy Cultures Research Group from the University of Otago.

The energy sector is facing an uncertain future. The demands of development contrasted with the constraints of global climate change, peak oil, and resource availability underscore the need for a long-term transformation of energy systems. Yet achieving a sustainable energy future will require action and support of multiple actors across a range of scales.

The purpose of this international conference is twofold: to share findings and conceptual advances from the Energy Cultures research programme; and to invite other research perspectives on energy-related behaviour and its role in transitioning to a sustainable energy future. The conference invites a broad focus on behaviour change that includes households, businesses and governments; energy and mobility; and from single-factor to systemic change.

The program will consist of plenary and thematic sessions and discussions in plenum. The conference will bring together academics and practitioners from different disciplines, backgrounds, and sectors, to strengthen the relationship between theory and practice, and to identify mechanisms for translating research outcomes into opportunities for transition. Submission of abstracts has now closed.

TransportWhy attend?

The conference will bring together leading ‘thinkers’ and ‘doers’ from New Zealand and around the world to share their cutting-edge research into energy and mobility behaviours, behaviour change, and broader socio-technical transitions. It will provide the opportunity for scholars to share their insights with other researchers, practitioners, and policymakers.

The conference will take place over two days (Wednesday 6 and Thursday 7 July 2016) and include sessions showcasing research selected through a competitive abstract process . The first day will focus on contributions that extend theory or understanding around behaviour, behaviour change, and transition. The second day will have a stronger focus on implementation and implications for policymakers and practitioners. The conference programme is now available.

There will be four international keynote speakers across the two days, providing a range of insights into sustainable energy futures. Details of the keynote talks and speaker biographies can be found on the Keynote Speakers  page.

Following the conference the International Energy Agency Demand Side Management Programme’s (IEA-DSM) Task 24 Workshop ‘Reframing the Energy System’ is being held. This workshop is designed to help energy ‘Behaviour Changers’ from all sectors re-frame energy for the 21st century and use a human-centered energy system framework to redesign our approach to the work that we do. For further information and to register interest for the Task 24 workshop click here.

Who should attend?

The Energy Cultures Conference aims to bring together:

  • Researchers (e.g., economics, psychology, sociology, management, law, humanities, interdisciplinary)
  • Decision makers and practitioners (e.g., national and local government, utilities, businesses, entrepreneurs)
  • Influencers (e.g., community organisations, media, non-profits)

We invite participants from any discipline or sector whose work relates to the conference theme. The conference programme is now available

TimeframeSolar Panels2

18 December 2015      Deadline for submission of abstracts – NOW CLOSED
08 December 2015      Registration now open
15 February 2016         Authors will be notified of acceptance
06 March 2016             Deadline for presenters registration
18 April 2016                Preliminary programme available
15 May 2016                 Conference programme available
26 June 2016                  Conference registration closes
6-7 July 2016                 Conference

8 July 2016                    IEA DSM Task 24 Workshop: Reframing the energy System


Registration costs for the Energy Cultures conference have been subsidised by the Energy Cultures research programme, therefore the full two-day conference is just NZ$100, or $75 for one day only. This fee includes lunches and coffee breaks on both days, along with drinks and canapés on the first evening. A reduced rate of $50 is offered to students and non-waged.


The conference venue, the Mac’s Function Centre is situated in New Zealand’s capital city, Wellington. A compact city, Wellington offers opportunities to explore Te Papa (the museum of New Zealand), Zealandia (a pest-free wildlife sanctuary) or enjoy the views from the Botanic Gardens at the top of the cable car. There is a good bus network, but most city centre locations are accessible by foot. For those arriving by air, Wellington has an international airport, and frequent, low cost airport bus providing connections to the city centre.  There is also a train connecting Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city, and Wellington which offers fantastic views of the North Island country, mountains and sea scape.

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News & Enquiries

For more news sign up for our e-newsletter and twitter account @energycultures #energycultures2016.
For additional enquires please contact

Conference Committee

Conference Chair:                         Dr Janet Stephenson
Conference Co-conveners:          Dr Debbie Hopkins, Dr Rebecca Ford
Conference Manger:                     Jane Khan
Committee Members:                  Dr Ben Wooliscroft, Dr Sara Walton, Dr Michelle Scott

Register Now