It warms my heart to see so much support and interest in solarpunk! I know a lot of people are wondering how they can contribute, and hopefully this answers most questions.
Firstly, I think everyone has something they can contribute–even simply listening and sharing is a HUGE help for solarpunk as a whole. Arts, design, fashion, architecture, engineering, farming, forestry, pharmaceuticals, medicine, travel/transit, fiction/nonfiction writing, industry, politics, education… whatever you work with, whatever your passions or hobbies are, you have something to contribute.
Solarpunk does not just mean solar-powered, in the same way Steampunk does not only refer to steam power.
It means looking towards a brighter future, for all of us sharing this Earth. It means seeing the options we’ve been shown for the future (post apoc trash or corporate dystopias) and saying “I refuse to accept this”.
Solarpunk is our present day -punk genre. It has the ability to spread and enact true change, if we nurture it enough.
And in that vein, to answer the question “What can I do?” We can break down solarpunk into three branches (for now):
Diversity: celebrating our differences, being empathetic, understanding and sharing multiple perspectives. Diversity in our sociopolitical lives as well as diversity for our ecosystems and economies.
Accessibility: advancement in technology cannot truly help humanity if certain classes or countries cannot access them. Disabilities (physical and mental) must be accounted for when we redesign cities for people; we must ensure everyone can get around them.
Sustainability: our current for-profit system is killing us and the beautiful creatures we share our planet with. We are wardens of Earth; we are here to protect and nurture it. Production based on need not profit, and de-industrialized agriculture. Communities should be able to function independently from the whole, in terms of necessities (food, water, power, shelter).
Along with these branches, I believe there are three other movements that will inevitably intersect with Solarpunk, if they haven’t already.
Permaculture: bringing back ancient/indigenous/sensible farming practices that we lost or considered “primitive”. Agroforestry, crop rotation, urban/vertical farming are good places to start.
Right-To-Repair: in response to companies like Apple denying our ability to maintain our own devices, there is a large movement dedicated to repairing tech in order to elongate their life cycle and prevent further waste. Why buy a phone every two years, when we could upgrade one continuously over ten?
Afrofuturism: Africa is finally beginning to get back on its feet after the imperialist Rape of Africa era. African Americans are strengthening their voices and cultural ties in this Eurocentric digital age. I cannot properly do this movement justice; it isn’t my voice that should be telling you. Supporting and uplifting the voices within this movement is crucial to not only Solarpunk, but to the wider goal of harmony and reparation.
The most important facet of Solarpunk is perspective: not everything will work for everyone, and listening to marginalized people is absolutely essential to growing our movement.