JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion)
At ΔE+ we recognize that there are a diversity of ideas and perspectives on the best paths forward to ensure a sustainable and just future, and that engaging this diversity will strengthen our ability to address global challenges. We acknowledge existing and ongoing damage due to colonialism, racism, gender bias, etc. and that existing power dynamics often perpetuate these damages and we strive to uphold marginalized voices, both internally within our group and externally.
In our research, working with local, regional, and international communities and stakeholders, we work to build capacity so communities are able to use their own skills to address challenges in the way that works best for their specific context and situation. We want to learn from, and not speak for, these communities.
Although we are often brought in as experts on energy modelling we acknowledge we are not experts in all aspects of any given communities’ challenges and opportunities. However, we keep learning by applying JEDI in our practices, not only our papers and policy outcomes, but also our research approach. Among these are projects on United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Community Engagement for applying equity and justice in energy modeling scholarship.
As we continue to build our own skills and knowledge, we will continue to be open to others’ ideas, challenges and opportunities, and work with them to determine the best choices for them. We are developing processes that will help us identify and address JEDI implications of our research early on in new projects to help us communicate about the implications of different choices. Therefore, we evaluate our research in terms of their relevance to JEDI as well as its impacts on it, keeping in mind how they can affect energy justice.
Our focus on JEDI is not only limited to our research but also our work as a team. In our group we work to ensure that everyone in the group, no matter their position or experience, has the opportunity to provide comment and ask questions. This includes senior members of the group waiting to provide comments and ask questions until others have had a chance to express their views, providing accommodation to group members as needed to ensure everyone can meet their full potential, and welcoming group members no matter their gender, race, etc.
We support and encourage our researchers to engage globally through exchanges/visiting scholars programs (both incoming and outgoing) to broaden our perspectives and we work with external stakeholders to build models to address their specific challenges and questions. To make our research accessible we try to, where possible, publish in open journals. To support stakeholders in their decision making we distill key findings into short policy briefs that are more publicly accessible than our research papers, and provide these briefs directly to relevant stakeholders. Stakeholders here include group of people who socially, culturally or economically do not fit in the majority or mainstream.
When we recruit new members to our research group we do our best to ensure that job descriptions and language are gender, ability and background neutral so as to encourage a wide range of people to apply for our open positions. When we interview prospective group members, we follow a set of standard questions and rate each candidate on their skills and knowledge rather than looking for a candidate that fits our ‘culture’. This helps avoid bias in ranking and rating candidates, though we acknowledge that this is an imperfect process and that checking our assumptions is continually needed.
Our research involves investigating challenging issues relating to climate, energy, and the environment. It’s important for communities to be empowered to make effective decisions and policy. We strive to support effective decision making by exploring the trade-offs of these decisions, to help build a better world for everyone.