Establishing a Sociotechnical Approach to Fusion Energy Development

Program Areas – Responsible Innovation, Complex Socio-technical Systems, Education and Engagement

Project Objectives & Background:

No energy technology is perfectly equitable, and the deployment of any new technology – energy related or otherwise – entails a multidimensional, differential, and dynamic distribution of benefits and burdens in society. As such, this project – a joint effort between the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, and Arizona State University CSPO – is a preliminary exploration into societally informed sociotechnical development approaches for fusion energy systems. Evidence-based community engagement is vital for the sustainable development and deployment of fusion technologies sensitive to benefit and burden distributions. Utilizing and adapting elements of CSPO’s Participatory Technology Assessment open-framing methodology, the overall end goal is to inform the development of a design framework that centers energy equity and environmental justice that can extend to other clean energy technologies. The project will also serve as a foundation and compass for the development of larger scale research projects on the societally informed sociotechnical design of energy systems.



This project is supported through seed funding from the University of Wisconsin-Madison Grainger Institute for Engineering.

Meet the Project Team

Principal Investigators

Additional Team Members