A futuristic world surrounded by greenery, rooftop gardens, hovering villages, clean energy-efficient transportation, and where the earth is not depleted by every action to make it better for humans. Instead, in this world, the technologies will be used for the greater good of the planet and all life within it.
Solarpunk a term branded in 2008, signifies an art movement that focuses on visionary of the future if humans lived in balance with nature in a sustainable and equal world.
Michelle Tulumello, a solarpunk art teacher in New York, states, “Solarpunk is the sole solution to the existential edge of climate disaster we have lined ourselves into as a species.”
She adds, “If we want to survive and maintain some of the things we care about on the earth with us, it requires a certain structural modification in our world view where we change our outlook entirely from competitive to cooperative.”
The reality of Solarpunk’s implementation :
If we look at the current conducts of the tech industry, the solarpunk ideals are far from implementation. However, many companies are paving the way for others to follow through.
Verne Global operates data center services in Iceland and is 100% renewable energy.
Tate Cantrell, the chief technology officer of Venice Global, says Iceland’s divine landscape fits ideally with solarpunk, as they use renewable energy.
Another company is Climeworks, based in Switzerland that catches carbon dioxide (CO2) immediately from the air utilizing machines powered by renewable energy or energy-from-waste.
Carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies are viewed as vital to keeping CO2 under check.
However, many companies are not aware of the Solarpunk movement nor have the knowledge to tackle climate change and protect the world.
Daniel Egger, the chief commercial officer tells that Climeswork doesn’t have much understanding about solarpunk. “It’s not that we don’t acknowledge what others are thinking, but the connection between Climeworks and solarpunk isn’t huge.”
The conflict with the movement :
Phoebe Tickell, a scientist, system designer, social entrepreneur, and co-founder of Moral Imaginations, works with organizations comprised of universities, local councils, and communities to promote the idea of a better world.
She unveils that a technique to guiding people towards this movement is the encouragement of using their imaginations and putting them into practice.
This is due to the emerging demand for employees in the industry who are creative, imaginative, and capable to adapt to a volatile, uncertain, and complicated world.
However, using art and imagination to get bigger corporations to take action isn’t sufficient. The solarpunk ethos also supports sharing knowledge and data with no discrimination and spreads it across all types of industries and hierarchies.
Ms. Tulumello believes tech-based companies are inclusive of employees that are aligned with Solarpunk’s goals. She believes worker-owned business designs are more probable to maintain their principles and dedication to sustainability and carbon neutrality.”
As for the future, there is still hope for more companies and people accepting Solarpunk and dedicating their work to its code of conduct.
The US-based Open Source Ecology is an example, which creates industrial machines, like tractors, ovens, or cement makers, that take up a large commercial cost and share its designs online for free. It strives to build an open-source economy.
Ellie Day, a software engineer and solarpunk enthusiast remarks that not aim for profit is aligned to Solarpunk’s agenda. She states, “Sure, capitalism can contribute to the technology, but people need to come before profit, always. So if tech companies can help spread the ethos of solarpunk by working with those in the space without changing what it means, I’m down with that.”
Solarpunk is received with various reactions by many large tech companies, but it persists as an untapped possibility for both inspiring innovation and delivering new ideas.
Solarpunk’s advocates express that is a very influential cultural narrative, which in the future can bring together people from all sectors towards a single goal and aim.