On Friday 15th March we invited some of the participants from our study to our world cafe event at the Institute for Advanced Legal Studies.
The World Cafe concept (sometimes referred to as a ‘knowledge cafe’) is a method for information sharing in groups of all sizes, backgrounds, and generations. Our key aims were to allow our participants to share, listen, focus and connect with the ultimate objective of working towards collective action in addressing the complex problems which our research has identified so far.
Our cafe ‘tables’ were organised around the themes of our research: access to justice, vulnerability and energy policy and hosted by our team: Naomi, Chris, Rachel & Marine. We invited our participants to share their views on each of our topics within the structure of some larger pre-defined questions. We ensured that each conversation built upon the previous discussing which had taken place.
At the very end of the discussion, we offered summaries from each table on what had been discussed which helped us to draw some conclusions and highlight points of divergence. We will be following up the word cafe with a workshop report and policy brief, to be released soon!
We were also grateful to have Marilyn Smith from EnAct present to us. She discussed the social challenges of energy and shared some important insights about engaging with vulnerable people. In particular she discussed the importance of how to communicate with/question people on their situations and the success that EnAct have had with simply asking people to share their energy stories. Indeed, the themes of language and communication were raised throughout the day and were recognised as especially significant given the potential stigma associated with energy poverty.
Thank you to all our participants who joined us, sharing their invaluable insights and experiences from the field. We look forward to sharing our results with everyone soon!