|The POTEs concept emerged simultaneously in two French regions – Franche-Comté and Bourgogne – in 2013 during the national debate on the energy transition, following the joint decision by these Regional Councils, the French energy conservation and environment agency (ADEME) and Energy Cities to use Ordinary Ecology Transition Pioneers (POTEs in French) and their initiatives to promote the debate on the ecological transition.|
The idea was also to take advantage of the buzz generated by the debate to promote-create a community of local players and boost the energy transition.
The two regions merged into one in 2016 . The new Bourgogne Franche-Comté Region aims to become energy positive by 2050 and is counting on the POTEs community to achieve this goal. Since 2017, the Regional Council and Energy Cities, in partnership with ADEME and Mr Lion, have been developing a transition management approach.
Visits to POTEs, collaborative work methods, creation of a platform and an interactive map, comparisons with other social innovation approaches … the POTEs form a lively network and are not afraid of giving free rein to creativity.
Created in the Netherlands, this innovative, practical and ambitious transition management method has been tested out locally in many European countries. To understand and accelerate the energy transition, the method focuses on pioneers – the POTEs in Bourgogne-Franche-Comté, rely on them for new ways of thinking and support them as game changers and initiators of societal transitions.
The transition management method is an exploratory and iterative (step by step) method that steers a new course. It is founded on the principle that getting pioneers to work together and helping them experiment with new dynamics has the creative and innovation power to trigger the far-reaching changes required to achieve the energy and climatic transition
But who are the POTEs? Well, POTEs are people!
Motivated by the energy to do and create, they act as private individuals, entrepreneurs, community organisations, elected representatives or citizens in all the areas of the energy and societal transition. Conveying a vision of the future, of altruism and of leadership, the enjoy collective action, inspire other people fo follow suit and are living examples of an overhaul of practices.
They make other people want to follow their example, inspire confidence and need to know that they are trusted. They want to share and to make a difference locally, they want to be game-changers…
They show the way forward and herald the energy transition.