The conference was focused around the book Radical Technology, published in 1976, known to us in modern idiom as RT 1.0. The conference was sometimes referred to as RT 2.0.
The project was a collective effort, but the idea started a few years ago when Godfrey Boyle, founder of Undercurrents magazine –and one of the editors of RT1.0—realised there was a 40th anniversary coming up. The other original editor was Peter Harper, and he and Godfrey have remained close friends since their early collaboration. One day they were joined by another friend and contributor to RT 1.0, Chris Ryan, and the three of them started to plan this conference. They circulated various draft plans and programmes, and gradually accumulated a team of collaborators. Since the conference was to be in Bristol, most planning meetings were held there, but meetings also took place in Wales and London.
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A bit more about the initiators:
Godfrey Boyle. Godfrey Boyle was Co-editor of RT 1.0. He served as an academic at the Open University for 40years and is now Emeritus Professor of Renewable Energy at the Open University and is best known for his widely-used textbook Renewable Energy: Power for a Sustainable Future. He also wrote Living on the Sun (Calder and Boyars, 1975).
Peter Harper was co-editor of RT 1.0, and originated the term ‘alternative technology’, of which radical technology is a close cousin. He worked for thirty years at the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) in mid-Wales, and now lectures at the University of Bath. His personal web site is www.peterharper.org.
Chris Ryan is Professor of Design at the University of Melbourne, Director of the Victoria Eco-Innovation Lab, and co-founder of Ceres, the Australian equivalent of CAT.
Other participants include:
Steve Hunt, a radical historian and Librarian at the University of the West of England, author of Street Farm, a study of a 70s movement that had a strong influence on RT 1.0.
Mike Thomas, a radical film-maker and media expert, a key catalyst among the dotty academics.
Herbert Girardet, a well-known authority on sustainable cities and author of many books on related themes.
Jackie Carpenter, an engineer, former President of the Women’s Engineering Society and founder of the alternative energy organisation Energy 21.
Martin Fodor, a Green Party councillor in Bristol, a locally well-known environmentalist who was author of Bristol’s first Recycling Plan
Robin Roy. Emeritus Professor of Design and Environment at the Open University, an authority on sustainable products and production.
Wendy Stephenson, a renewable energy engineer and director the Bristol charity Converging World
Ian Roderick, Director of the Schumacher Institute for Sustainable Systems.