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WORKSHOP: CRITICAL MINERALS FOR CLEAN ENERGY TECHNOLOGIES

New clean-energy technologies have one big challenge: they require substantial amounts of materials and metals – lithium and nickel for batteries, rare earth elements for permanent magnets in turbines and motors, copper and aluminium for electricity networks. Where will they be sourced, and how can the mining be managed? Dr Sue Struthers of Skapa Mining Services, based in Burray, outlines the challenge and opens a discussion.

WORKSHOP: TACKLING ENERGY POVERTY

It’s a huge problem for Orkney, with around one-third of households experiencing fuel poverty. One in five is in extreme fuel poverty – double the Scottish average. The Islands Centre for Net Zero has been established as part of the Islands Growth Deal to tackle the challenges of climate change and energy transition, and its Transition Lab has the responsibility of assessing the problems, to help us all navigate through; and it’s been working on fuel poverty. A citizens’ jury meets today to assess its progress so far, and you are invited to sit in and watch their deliberations. ..

WORKSHOP: ISLANDS OF PROGRAMMERS?

There’s a worldwide shortage of programmers – with benefits in pay and conditions for those with the skills, and the opportunity to work from home or anywhere else with an internet connection. What’s holding back the development of programmers? How early should you start to learn the skills? Or indeed how late can you do so? Maria Bell of Meromorphic in Shetland joins ABC of Orkney-based Kyloe Partners to see if they can come up with answers. ..

WORKSHOP: POSTCARDS FROM 2121

Prof. Susan Krumdieck takes Heriot-University’s time machine almost a century forwards, to explore the world of the future, and send back observations and pictures. Will it have changed as much as our own world has changed since the 1920s? How will the people of the future have coped with the challenges that we have bequeathed to them? Her memo pad for what to look for in 2121 has five words – Lobster, Boat, Fisherman, House, Dinner. ..

WORKSHOP: AN ISLAND ANGLE FOR AI?

Industrial developments have traditionally drawn people to urban centres; but digital technology has gone the other way, opening up more and more that can be done in islands and remote rural areas. It happened with computers, the internet and online meetings – could there be some special aspect of AI that gives it a particularly good angle for an island community? ..

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