SolariseCon 2022

Posted on Mon 30 May 2022 in misc • 4 min read

SolariseCon 2022 Poster SolariseCon 2022 Poster CC-BY-SA 4.0 Commando Jugendstil

We've just wrapped up the first edition of SolariseCon 2022, our free and online conference. It was

A day of global conversation on Solarpunk, an activist movement and a subgenre of speculative fiction in which humanity has addressed climate change and made progress towards creating a more sustainable and equitable world. It spanned four panels of writers, activists, makers, academics and artists will share their expertise, experiences and perspectives on Solarpunk.

The event was streamed on YouTube and PeerTube with several watching parties around the world, including the Politecnico di Torino in Italy and Fishing Fortress Science Fiction College in Chongqing, China. We had 383 guests registered via our Eventbrite page!

Connecting perspectives

I'm really happy that our conference allowed experts from very different specializations to meet: not only writers and filmmakers, but also scientists, educators, activists and innovators. We were able to discuss both the fictional aspects of Solarpunk and its narratives, as well as very real problems that we're facing right now - and how we could include them in the stories we're creating. I hope this allows us to broaden our perspectives and work closer, especially with organizations such as Appropedia - the sustainability wiki, Global Innovation Gathering and the Internet of Production, which are working towards building a Solarpunk world right now!


Real Solarpunk Technology

[YouTube] [PeerTube]

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic,” so says Arthur C. Clarke. Magic is seductive, and it’s tempting to believe that technology will solve all our issues. However, we are only beginning to realise that we are also capable of committing technological self-harm—starting with algorithms we don’t understand. How can we work towards a Solarpunk future where we co-exist with technology without creating a technocracy? The answers may already be here. Our international panellists will showcase how to think about technology differently based on true stories from their communities.

  • Star Ngei (they/them) Maker / Activist / Educator, Kenya / Poland
  • Martin Restrepo (he/him) Innovator / Activist / Educator, Brazil
  • Barbara Schack (she/her) Internet of Production Coordinator / Activist, Denmark
  • Moderated by: Steph Troeth (she/her) Design researcher & SFF writer, UK

Empowering Future Communities

[YouTube] [PeerTube]

Solarpunk imagery tends to conjure up visions of solar panels and wind farms, but this only showcases large-scale projects. What does the path towards a fossil-fuel free future look like? How might we consider decentralisation of power, in quite literal terms? Could we—and should we—consider pathways to facilitate energy-independence and autonomy at a community level?

  • Prof. Joshua Pearce (he/him) Professor of Sustainable Innovation & Writer, Canada
  • Emilio Velis (he/him) Director of Appropedia, El Salvador
  • Sophie Paul (she/her) Director of Reading Hydro, United Kingdom
  • Moderated by: Francesco Verso (he/him) Sci-Fi Writer / Editor, Italy

Is Solarpunk Just Another Style?


An attempt to visualise an alternative future inevitably takes us down the route of aesthetics — what could this new future look like? How would we dress if we were part of this future? What would be our new identifying symbols? A quick image search would yield cityscapes that are lush with green, some with hints of photovoltaic means of energy generation, and a few scattered wind turbines. How accurate are these images in depicting Solarpunk as a movement? And is “solarpunk fashion” actually an oxymoron?

  • Guglielmo (he/him) & Laura (she/her) from Commando Jugendstil, Solarpunk Creative Collective, UK / Italy
  • Joao "q1r0z" Queiroz (he/him) Amazon Futurism Artist, Brazil
  • Dustin Jacobus (he/him) Artist & Design Engineer, Belgium
  • Moderated by: Pawel Ngei (he/them) Hacker / Activist, Poland

What’s Holding Us Back from a Better Tomorrow?


Our society resembles stories we like to tell; we revere a good hero—a singular person to champion a cause, someone to symbolise our aspirations. And if someone goes on a mission or conquest, or comes up with a new startup idea, we call them an “entrepreneur” or a “hero” — they become a genius even if these terms perpetuate inequality or the myth of the “great man. We worship them even when their ideas do not benefit the many. But true change is rarely the work of one person. Change happens when communities form and work together towards a common cause. How can we change our narratives so we move from a hero-obsessed cyberpunk present, to a collective solarpunk future?

  • Roberto Zamora (he/him) & Juan Pablo Zamora (he/him) eco film-makers, Chile / Germany
  • Phoebe Wagner (she/her) Writer & Editor of Eco & Speculative Fiction, US
  • L.X. Beckett (they/them) Queer Sci-Fi Writer, Canada
  • Moderated by: Steph Troeth (she/her) Design researcher & SFF writer, UK

Thank you

I'd like to thank everyone who helped organize this conference, especially Francesco Verso, Steph Troeth, Guglielmo and Laura from Commando Jugendstil, Martin Restrepo and Star Ngei! It was absolutely great and I'm looking forward to another edition next year :)