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Michelle Pressend

Alternatives to the economic rationalisation of renewable energy transition: The Tsitsikamma community renewable wind farm story

Michelle’s research interest is in re-thinking the political economy of how energy is harnessed to open collective imaginaries that respond differently to the crises facing the world, particularly related to climate change. She deploys philosophical positions, ideas and approaches across the Humanity-Nature divide to enhance our ability to undo binaries, alienation and separation, placing emphasis on multi-disciplinary methodologies and the contribution that other disciplines can make to post-humanism and the anthropocentrism debate. Her research focuses on ways to create, reclaim and defend renewable energy transitions and energy use in terms of relationships, explores what ‘energy democracy’ might look like and engages with the ecosophical articulations and ethics of sustainability. 

Michelle is a lecturer in environmental sociology and a PhD candidate in the EHS programme. She previously worked as a researcher, policy analyst and activist on environmental and socioeconomic issues, primarily within the non-governmental sector, and served in national government during the World Summit on Sustainable Development.