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Social Innovation And The Energiewende: Lessons And Outlooks From Germany

Social Innovation and the Energiewende: lessons and outlooks from Germany

SONNET Webinar Series

8 June 2020, 11:30-12:30 CET
Click here to register now!

The SONNET team invites you to our second webinar, this time exploring the role of social innovation in the energy transition through the example of the German Energiewende.

Meaningful energy transition requires extensive technical effort, as well as social and institutional change. Where does Germany currently stand with its own energy transition process, known as the “Energiewende”? Are social innovations part of the transformation process? How have German cities built their strategies for a sustainable energy future? And, what is the role of rural areas in the German energy transition?

Join us for our webinar to hear diverse perspectives on the Energiewende, and what stakeholders from across Europe can learn from Germany’s experience.

SONNET’s German city partner, Mannheim, will zoom in on how cities can best support social innovation for energy transition. We will discuss what incentives and tools local governments can provide to encourage energy-related sustainable social practices, and how they can contribute to transferring knowledge into action. Together with speakers from ICLEI Europe and Neuland21, we will explore what conditions are needed to enable local governments to innovate new energy solutions and how to empower small-scale energy projects taken on by local actors.


  • Carsten Rothballer (ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability)
    Carsten is a Coordinator for Sustainable Resources, Climate & Resilience at ICLEI Europe. His focus is on energy planning, integrated management, digital infrastructure, and knowledge-exchange on climate and energy issues. He works with local governments throughout Europe in the development, improvement and financing of Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plans (SECAPs), as well as on Smart City strategies, governance and solutions.
  • Agnes Schönfelder (City of Mannheim)
    Agnes is a civil engineer by training, and has been the Director of the Climate Change Strategy Department for the City of Mannheim since 2009, as well as the CEO of the Climate Action Agency Mannheim since 2019. She develops climate strategies, coordinates mitigation and adaptation projects, and serves as an expert for peer-to-peer exchange and large-scale capacity-building processes to transfer good practices at the local, European and international levels.
  • Urszula Papajak (Neuland21)
    Urszula is a Programme Director for Energy at Neuland21. She researches and applies different social innovation and digital tools to support the sustainable development of the energy transition in Europe. She is a firm believer in local governments’ vast energy innovation potential.

The webinar will be facilitated by Niklas Mischkowski, Governance and Social Innovation Officer, ICLEI Europe. Niklas works on local social innovation projects with a focus on co-creation and transdisciplinary work.

This webinar is a part of the SONNET Webinar Series “Explored: Social Innovation in Energy Transitions”, which aims to bring diverse groups together to discuss how SIEs can contribute to more sustainable energy systems in Europe. Stay tuned for updates and join us to take the conversation forward!

Click here to register today, and get ready to dive deeper into the topic of social innovation in energy transitions!

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