Residents and public authorities are largely unaware of the multiple issues associated with light pollution in general, and in particular its impact on nature and human health. Many people associate light pollution with the excessive use of lighting (energy consumption), generally linking the issue with public lighting. In order to help the general public understand these nuances and raise awareness of the need to act, the Smart Light Hub will publicise the content and findings of research to the general public, businesses, public authorities and specialist research facilities. In order to do so, the partners will primarily use collective intelligence methods.
“If you want to go fast, go alone, if you want to go far, go together”
This African proverb sums up the very essence of collective intelligence : achieve more by sharing skills and expertise with others! Collective intelligence, which is extremely widespread in the animal kingdom (such as amongst ants, wolves or even fish) consists in pooling skills, knowledge, critical thinking capacities and problem-solving abilities to work towards a common goal.
This pooling exercise gives the group the power to go further, increase its creativity, be more innovative and find alternatives and/or solutions to problems of varying complexity by channelling the skills, knowledge and capabilities of the individual available towards the common good.
The University of Liège (ULiège), which is heading up operations for the awareness-raising and collective intelligence stages, will organise hybridisation and co-creation stages from 2020 onwards. These workshops will take place in a fully dedicated space, namely the Smart Light Lab, and will focus on research into lighting devices which meet the criteria outlined in the Natagora study.
Raising awareness and convincing people
The climate emergency, biodiversity emergency and the pressing need to reach Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 – all of these alarm bells act as constant reminders of the fact that we are experiencing an unprecedented environmental crisis. Fortunately, a number of solutions are out there – some of these are already available, whilst others have yet to come to light.
As such, in order to prompt an active response from citizens, politicians and industrialists, these key stakeholders must be kept informed and made aware both of the problem of light pollution and the solutions available to rectify the situation.
Workshops, specialist training sessions and even exhibitions will be organised to support this effort. Their purpose will be to create, organise and highlight tools (as explored in hybridisation and co-creation workshops), exemplary sites and resources, all aimed at helping elected representatives, technicians, architects, urban planners, developers and target audiences to become fully informed.
These awareness-raising initiatives – coupled with a widespread commitment to reducing light pollution, preserving biodiversity and, more broadly, protecting the environment – are essential for the Smart Light Hub project.