Outcomes of the WEAthens 2014 Conference

From 3 -7 November 2014, the Wind Empowerment association hosted its second global conference on small wind for rural development, which was supported by the WISIONS initiative. The event was hosted at the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA) in Greece and brought together actors from 17 different countries in Latin America, Africa, Asia and Europe.

The aim of the event was to stimulate international exchange between these actors and to foster future collaborations that have the potential to make locally manufactured small wind turbines a more viable technology for sustainable rural electrification. The programme consisted of panel presentations and discussions, small group sessions, laboratory demonstrations, practical workshops, field trips (e.g. to NTUA’s test site in Rafinas) and more.

Wind Empowerment acts as both a central knowledge bank and a facilitator of direct connections between its members. The conference participants finally had the chance to meet each other in person and the conference was considered to be a great success. The combination of structured panel presentations with guided small group sessions within the working groups proved a highly effective tool for participants to build lasting relationships by gaining a better understanding of the needs of the Southern partners and of the skills and resources available to the Northern partners. This also allowed direct South/South links to develop, sharing lessons learned and promoting future collaboration between Southern partners.

What is more, structuring the conference in this way enabled participants to develop personal relationships with their fellow group members and to experience a sense of belonging to a group with a real shared goal. The roadmap of actions provides a concrete pathway to achieving this goal, which is specific, measurable, achievable and time-bound.

Wind Empowerment have also recently relaunched their website, which you can find here: Wind Empowerment

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