Integrating Social Practices in Energy Models

09 October 2019
DG RTD, CDMA Building, Brussels

Integrating Social Practices in Energy Models | October 9th, 2019 | DG RTD, Brussels |

The focus group 'Integrating Social Practices in Energy Models ' forms part of the 2019 conference of the Energy Modelling Platform for Europe (EMP-E 2019): 'Modelling the implementation of A Clean Planet For All Strategy', and will take place on Wednesday, 09 October 2019, in Brussels. 

The objective of this focus group is to discuss how energy models deal with agency and social structures dynamics. The discussion will be fostered by the results of two Horizon2020 projects, MAGIC and MEDEAS, on how to study agency of individuals and institutions shaping human behaviour and social practices.

The session will be organized around three main topics (threads):

  • The challenge of modelling agency and social dynamics in energy models. What are the main problems encountered in modelling agency across levels and scales in energy models? What are the challenges of anticipating the effects of causality when considering controls over human action across different scales?
  • Methods and solutions for modelling agency and social dynamics in energy models. How agency and social dynamics are dealt with in existing models? What are the pros and cons of available methods? Can we imagine improvements or synergies among the different methods?
  • Governance implications of agency and social dynamics in energy model outcomes. What is the relation between social practices and energy uses? How are social practices and technology related in energy models? How to integrate technological and social dynamics into energy modelling outcomes? How can energy models simultaneously explore scenarios driven by social changes and scenarios driven by technological innovation? What are the political implications of considering agency and social dynamics in energy models?

Expected outcomes:

  • Identification of common challenges and problems when addressing agency and social dynamics in energy models.
  • Possible solutions for a better analysis of agency and institutional effects in energy models.
  • Suggestions for improving the policy relevance of energy modelling outcomes and avoiding the attractor of technocentric governance.

Format: Following short priming presentations on the challenges of introducing individual agency and the role of institutions defining social practices in energy models, the focus group will take the form of a world café: three twenty-minute rounds of small group conversation around three tables. Each table will be presented with a specific set of questions (primers) around one of three issues.
Contact information: Raúl Velasco Fernandez (  and Roger Samsó (


DG RTD, CDMA Building, Brussels
21 Rue du champ de Mars
BruxellesBruxelles 1050

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