At A Climate To Thrive’s recent Summit-in which Dennis presented on climate psychology-keynote speaker Josh Castonguay from Green Mountain Power spoke about the future of energy. His inspiring talk discussed current advances of alternative energy, electrification, and the changing ways we produce and deliver energy. In particular, Josh spoke a lot about distributed energy. The notion of this is that instead of having one centralized model of power creation and transmission (everything flowing from one primary source-think an inverted pyramid), we have a series of microgrids (power emerging and dispersing from many sources-think of a spider web). This system yields more independence, efficiency and resilience. Our traditional model of relying on a central source from which all power stems means that when power is lost, everyone suffers even if your area wasn’t affected (ie, if the tip of the pyramid falls. everything else falls as well).

In short, the idea of distributed energy is really about decentralization. This is one of the 10 Principles of the EcoPsychology Initiative (EPI). Whether it’s leadership (top-down), energy (centralized), or our food system (most of our food comes from a few locations), our culture has been very consolidated.  This has had its benefits, but has also yielded many of the power structures we need to change. And yet, things are changing and it’s not just about how we create and distribute energy. The roots of the internet are inherently about decentralization. Recent articles about the future of super computers and bitcoin suggest this trend is only continuing.  Current knowledge maintains that effective leadership involves empowering employees on all levels of an organization and not just the top; the rise of the local feed movement speaks to a yearning for a different model of food production. Decentralization for individuals involves listening to and acting on the intelligence of our hearts and intuition.

At EPI, we aim to offer programming that empowers all people and parts of ourselves. The very changes we need and want in society will come from the engagement of the masses and not a select few. We hope to do our part to offer strength, support and resilience as our part of being on the web.