Here you will find material on what actually happened at the conference. To help find your way around, we use the original programme sequence, so you can just scroll down this page and click on items that interest you, in the order they actually took place. We managed to capture quite a lot on video, although the sound quality is erratic. We also asked contributors to submit any slides and written commentary and you will be able to access these items as well. More material is still coming in, so it’s a work in progress.

There are two ways you can watch the films. To jump to a specific speaker you can watch the film under their name, or there is also a full version of the session available at the end of each section. Not everything was successfully recorded.

Thumbnail biographies of speakers and commentators can be found here

The original book Radical Technology is referred to as RT 1.0; the conference itself is RT 2.0.

The conference was divided into four separate Events.

Event 1, Forty Years of Time Travel was a deliberate retrospective on RT 1.0, featuring original authors and their contemporaries.
Event 2, Community Energy to the Rescue? featured presentations by practitioners, and a plenary discussion.
Event 3, Is Small Still Beautiful? consisted of six workshop-style sessions on topics explored in RT 1.0.
Event 4, Visons and Re-Visions was dedicated to exploration of three contrasting scenarios for the coming century, followed by a session on the creation of appropriate metaphors and stories.

There was also several extra items, listed at the bottom of this page, most notably the Exhibition , which highlighted many key images and documents.
If this kind of material interests you, the history and origins of the conference and a range of background essays (on other pages) are also worth exploring.

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Event 1: FORTY YEARS OF TIME TRAVEL:
              Revisiting Radical Technology 1.0

The day was structured around some principal sections of RT 1.0, each including an original author, indicated in red.

The sessions lasted 50 minutes, with a chair/timekeeper, a principal Reviewer and a panel of invited commentators. The commentators were asked to deliver 5 minutes of largely extempore commentary on RT 1.0 and the remarks of the principal reviewer, but many chose to make more formal presentations, with slides. The founder of the Transition Towns movement, Rob Hopkins, was invited to comment from time to time, as a representative of the ‘next generation’ following that of the original authors.

IT and Communications

Chair: Godfrey Boyle          Reviewer: Tony Durham

Tony Durham: Review of the communications section in RT 1.0:

Presentation notes
Watch video

Richard Elen: On Free and Pirate radio:

Slide presentation
Watch video

Martin Ince: Undercurrents and other print media of the time:

Presentation notes
Watch video

Daphne Davies: The rise of the internet and social media:

Watch video

Gary Alexander: The information revolution:

Watch video
See also

Rob Hopkins and Discussion:

Watch video
See also

Plenary discussion chaired by Godfrey Boyle

Watch video

The whole discussion as one film:

Watch video

Settlements & Transport

Chair: Daphne Davies     Reviewer: Peter Harper

Peter Harper: Critical reflections on ‘autonomy’:

Slide presentation
Watch video
See also

Herbert Girardet: Ideal communities in city and country:

Watch video

Chas Ball: Transport, Car Clubs and shared mobility:

Watch video
See also

Hugh Barton: Technological naivety in envisaging settlements; the Urban Centre for Appropriate Technology:

Watch video
Slide presentation
See also

Robert and Brenda Vale: Successful examples of autonomous housing:

Slide presentation . See also  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brenda_and_Robert_Vale

The whole discussion in one film:

Watch video

Shelter

Chair: Ann MacGarry     Reviewer: Paul Jennings

Paul Jennings: Housing standards since the 70s

Watch video
See also

David Lea: Low-energy, low-rise construction:

Watch video
See also

Pat Borer: Sustainable building since 1976:

Watch video
See also

Stefan Szczelkun: Vernacular self-build architecture:

Slides at https://www.flickr.com/photos/stefan-szczelkun/albums/1551930
Watch video
See also
and

Plenary Discussion chaired by Ann MacGarry:

Watch video

The whole discussion in one film:

Watch video

Food

Chair: Paul Allen      Reviewer: Martin Ince

Martin Ince: Perspectives on the Food section of RT 1.0:

Presentation Notes
See also
Watch video

Charlie Clutterbuck. The continuing politics of food:

Slide presentation
(a href=”mmn.academia.edu/CharlieClutterbuck”> See also
Watch video

Romy Fraser: Case study of a diversified sustainable farm:

Watch video
See also

Martin Stott: Garden Organic and the legacy of Lawrence D. Hills:

See gardenorganic.org.uk
Watch video

Erik Millstone: UK food policy and food safety

Watch video
See also

Rob Hopkins and discussion

Watch video

The whole session in one film:

Watch video

Energy

Chair: Jackie Carpenter      Reviewer: Godfrey Boyle

Godfrey Boyle: Remarks on the original Energy section of RT 1.0

Watch video
See also

Sue Roaf: Rational building fabric and the first integrated solar house:

Slide presentation
Watch video
See also

John Cantor: Applications and misapplications of heat pumps:

Slide presentation
See also
Watch video

Derek Taylor: Survey of wind power large and small:

Slide presentation. See also www.altechnica.co.uk
Watch video

Preben Maegaard: The Danish contribution since the 70s:

See www.folkecenter.dk
Watch video

Jaap ‘t Hooft: Renewable energy since the 70s:

Slide presentation. See also http://www.8winds.n
Watch video

Discussion:

Watch video

The whole discussion in one film:

Watch video

Summing up: Peter Harper

Watch video

~

Event 2:
COMMUNITY ENERGY TO THE RESCUE?

This session contained contributions from diverse practitioners and experts. They show a mix of positive and negative results, including ways things can go wrong. Very much in the spirit of Radical Technology, this is warts ‘n all, not merely  propaganda.

The event was chaired and introduced by Herbert Girardet.

Sponsored by artists project earth

Herbert Girardet: The promise of community energy:

Slide presentation. See also https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herbert_Girardet

Watch video

Preben Maegaard: The rise and fall of the Danish model of renewable energy financing:

Slide presentation. See also www.folkecenter.dk

Watch video

Adam Twine: The story of the Westmill energy cooperatives:

Slide presentation. See also  http://www.westmill.coop/ 

Watch video

Wendy Stephenson: The advantages of linking with developing countries:

Slide presentation/ www.theconvergingworld.org

Watch video

Peter Head: Integrated community-level services:

See www.ecosequestrust.org

Watch video

Discussion:

Watch video

The whole discussion in one film:

Watch video

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Event 3: IS SMALL STILL BEAUTIFUL?

For this event the conference split into parallel sessions, and it was not possible to video them all. However we have tried to include presentations from the principal contributors, with slide presentations, texts or video clips where available.

General Introduction: Peter Harper:

Watch video
See also History pages on this web site.

Schumacher’s Vision:

This was the background brief:

E.F. Schumacher first used the phrase ‘small is beautiful’.  It was derived from his tireless advocacy of intermediate human- or community-scale technologies to lift the poor out of poverty. The word ‘intermediate’ suggests modest prosperity, and many have sought to design societies and lifestyles around the notions of ‘degrowth’ and voluntary simplicity to create a resilient, decentralised, low-tech culture. Is this a sustainable recipe for all of humanity, or is it too late now? Are developing societies fated to go through the same compulsive consumerism as those who went before, or are there new and saner ways to improve the quality of life?  Must this depend on advanced industrial  processes anyway? Where? Who? How? This session will look at the holistic, systems approach to technology. It will ask what are basics we need to supply for 3 billion households. Could you live at a consumption rate of 2 kW?

Simon Trace: The legacy of Fritz Schumacher today

Presentation and lecture notes
Watch video
See also

Andrew Simms: The principle of subsidiary action

Watch video
See also

Sheltering the 3 Billion:

This was the background brief:
In a few decades there will another 2-3 billion people, and they will need houses. Where will we find all the extra materials and stay within environmental limits? Is it through new advanced materials and systems, or abundant vernacular ones? Or optimum mixtures: (the ‘80:20 principle’). Shall architecture defy the climate or make use of it? Should we try to build our own dwellings? Or prefabricate buildings in factories? All the same or all different? Is it better to retrofit old buildings or start from scratch? Are space standards too high?  Can zero-emission buildings exist, and why are they not the norm? What about negative-carbon buildings? Can the building industry be trusted to deliver? How far can a building provide its own services – in energy, food, water, sanitation and waste treatment? Should it?

Pat Borer:

Slide presentation
See also

Green Growth: Contradiction or Necessity?

This was the background brief:
It is widely argued that continued economic growth is incompatible with sustainability and must be slowed and halted. In some sense this must mathematically be true, yet others argue that sustainability cannot be achieved without growth. Have the promises of ‘decoupling’ growth from environmental impacts – the celebrated ‘Factor 4’ or even ‘Factor 20’ – proved hollow or will they yet be vindicated? Are zero-energy, zero-waste and the circular economy mere slogans? Moore’s Law and ‘dematerialisation’ is widely trumpeted, and seems to apply to many emerging technologies for example in genetics, ICT and nano-materials.  But while it is sometimes claimed we have reached ‘peak stuff’, human beings remain the same size and so do meals, houses, roads, cars and hospitals.   astounding new processes and materials. Could this lead to decentralised production processes under local control, as the industrial tradition of Radical Technology always claimed? Can innovation be directed? Should it be? Should some directions be abandoned, at least temporarily?   Can we counter remaining problems with emergency ‘plan B’ technologies such as carbon sequestration or geoengineering processes or should these be simply forbidden? Who decides?

Gary Alexander

Watch video

Joe Ravetz – Slide Presentation

Watch video
See

See also

Live More, Move Less

This was the background brief:
City life has its own fierce logic because distances are shorter, services shared and interactions more frequent and intense. It is not going to go away.   But why are cities so often ugly and depressing? One reason is the car: Cities and towns were sacrificed to private vehicles and made over in one generation, between the 50s and the 80s. At the time it was thought to be highly progressive, but we live with the consequences. Yet it is now hard to imagine alternatives, although many exist.  Very slowly the possibility of replacing private vehicles with many other transport systems, is dawning on us. The visions of historic urbanists return to haunt and inspire us. Yet many utopian experiments have disappointed – the intentional communities, the eco-villages, the transition towns with their simplified and decentralised technologies. Why? Have stage-set experiments such as Poundbury been any more successful?  Is a rebalancing of city and country in prospect, if the city hinterlands will now be required for land-intensive food and energy supplies? Is the city region now the key unit?  Will we spend more time in our distinctive neighbourhoods, and less travelling for relief and escape?

Hugh Barton: Essay

Ian Hogan

Feeding people is Easy – Or Is it?

This was the background brief:
A decade ago Colin Tudge demonstrated that in principle it was easy to create plenty of nutritious food for everybody, but not with the prevailing dietary trends, in particular the growing consumption of livestock products. Can we save the farm animals and still feed everyone, while leaving enough land for wildlife, ‘ecosystem services’, biomass crops and carbon sequestration?  Should research be accelerated on cultured meat, and dairy products? Can a healthy diet also a be sustainable diet? Should the UK be a net exporter of food? Should land be shared with nature or intensified to leave nature alone?  Can the organic vision coexist with that of hyper-mechanised precision agriculture, hydroponics and direct genetic control? How is the unsustainable nitrogen burden to be reduced and still maintain yields?  Yields per hectare are greater with smaller units, so should farming be decentralised? What role for smallholdings, market gardens, allotments and domestic production? Should the UK produce its own food or buy cheaper from abroad? Who owns the land and who should? Are supermarkets here to stay?

Erik Millstone

See
and especially

Tara Garnett

Slide presentation
See also

The Power to Change

The background brief was:
Of all the factors that most threaten the planet’s equilibrium, the principal energy technologies are in a class of their own.   There is no question but they have to be changed, but there is equally no question that we can now manage without artificial energy in (by historical standards) large amounts. How much do we really need? Could a truly modern society be run on 2 kW per head, as has been proposed? Could this be achieved by technology alone, or will it involve changes of habit and lifestyle?  Arguments about energy tend to start with demand versus supply, but supply preferences often reflect deep underlying values and political leanings. The late David Mackay presented several contrasting low-emission energy scenarios and many more are imaginable. The ‘global carbon budget window’ is closing and we probably have less than thirty years to bring about a more or less complete decarbonisation of the energy system. Is it time now to put aside historical animosities and discuss the most realistic options? All the bêtes noires will be there: nuclear energy, tidal barrages, carbon capture and storage, biomass, international supergrids, expensive energy, onshore and offshore wind power, domestic vs commercial PV, PV versus solar thermal technologies, community vs state versus commercial financing, an all-electricity system or mixed gas and electricity –etc. They each deserve a respectful hearing.

Sue Roaf:

Slide presentation

Jackie Carpenter:

Slide presentation
See also
Video interview
See also

The whole discussion in one film:

Watch video

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Event 4: VISIONS AND RE-VISIONS

Peter Harper: Three schools of thought:

Slide presentation

Watch video

Joe Ravetz:  Scenario methodologies:

Watch video

A surprise-free innovation scenario – Ian Roderick:

…a pathway in which fairly free innovation unfolds fast enough to cope with emerging problems. It is where most of society is, most of academia and most of the money. It’s also the most likely.  It assumes that there will not be uncontrollable discontinuities of the Limits to Growth type, but a long slow series of containable problems, many of which can be modelled and anticipated. Innovation and investment is very vigorous and optimistic. Globalised market forces are accepted as inevitable, and there might well be a tendency for technically advanced regions and polities to separate from the rest.
Slide presentation
Watch video

A low-tech decentralist scenario – David King:

… a deliberate degrowth or ‘energy descent’ scenario emphasising resilience rather than efficiency. It captures the many neo-Luddite strands in thinking about technology and seeks a stable, relatively low-tech, decentralised sustainable condition. Perhaps this is what we should have been doing since the seventies, and what we should do in the 22nd century, and is the best hope of avoiding major discontinuities. It also represents the survivalist or ‘collapsist’ tradition, which asks what are the best ways to maintain key technologies through dark times. It would have to ask what is the minimum level of industrial production necessary, and what, where, how this would be organised.
Read Essay
Watch video
See also
and

A rapid-transition scenario – Paul Allen:

…assumes that major discontinuities are inevitable given the present trajectory, and sets out the conditions necessary to prevent them without sacrificing the essentials of ‘modernity’. It is a proactive, massive, rapid transformation with no technological holds barred at the outset.  Several studies have demonstrated the technical feasibility of such a deliberate transformation, and they can be surprisingly attractive.  It is of course unlikely, although there might be an extremely rapid emergency version of it if there is an unmistakable ‘signal’ event that aligns and galvanises global policymaking.
Slide presentation. See also  http://zerocarbonbritain.com/
Watch video

Stories of Change narratives & stories approach to energy and resources – Joe Smith:

storiesofchange.ac.uk:
Watch video

Final discussion chaired by Peter Harper:

Watch video

Whole session in one film:

Watch video

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Extra lunchtime events

Doing the Numbers: Critiques of Fluffy RT:  Nick Grant. John Cantor, Paul Jennings, others
See observations by Nick Grant

Really Radical Technology: The Lucas Aerospace Story: Mike Hales, Dave Elliott.
Trips in the Riversimple Hydrogen car: Hugo Spowers.
See also

Songs and Stories of the Anthropocene: Rut Blomqvist.
See

Whatever happened to the mystical and occult aspects of RT 1.0?
Richard Elen, Godfrey Boyle.
See Richard Elen’s remarks

OTHER EXTRAS:

Some of the tweets during the conference https://twitter.com/hashtag/rtrevisited
An interview with Jackie Carpenter:
Watch video
Comments from participants:

A thoughful essay from David Saunders
here

THE EXHIBITION

Coloured CCC frame

The Conference Exhibition consisted of images and documents related to Rt 1.0. It is difficult to reproduce such material on a web site, but we shall gradually paste materials in.

So far we have the following;

The Early Work of the Anarchist Artist Cliff Harper

here

Cliff Harper’s cartoon story New Times

here

A short annotated list of Inspirational Documents

Image result for whole earth catalog 1968

here


Photographs (coming soon)