Solar Tomorrows Project Lesson Plan

Solar Tomorrows

Solar Tomorrows was inspired by a simple question: what would a world powered entirely by solar energy look like? This ques­tion is partly about the materiality of solar energy—about where people will choose to put all the solar panels needed to power the global economy. But it’s more fundamentally about how people will rearrange their lives, values, relationships, markets, and politics around photovoltaic technolo­gies. The political theorist and historian Timothy Mitchell argues that our current societies are carbon democracies, societies wrapped around—and shaped by—the technologies, systems, and logics of oil. What will it be like, instead, to live in the photon societies of the future?


At the heart of Solar Tomorrows lies the imaginative productivity of the narrative hackathon. Solar Tomorrows narrative hackathons bring together writers, artists, engineers, and social scientists to imagine, create, and explore technically grounded, inspiring visions of future worlds made possible by solar energy. Unique to this methodology is its commitment to people-centered stories rather than technological hype. What kinds of worlds, teams ask, might people create for themselves in a variety of possible post-carbon futures? What kinds of struggles will those worlds be born out of? Who will win, and who might lose, in the process? What will life, work, and play be like, powered by the diurnal patterns of sunlight, rather than the 24/7/365 realities of worlds fueled by coal and oil?

Most importantly, informed by solarpunk sensibilities, Solar Tomorrows takes a comparative approach to the design of energy futures, reminding us that the future is open, that societies powered by solar energy can be designed in many different ways, and that those design choices matter for social justice.


Through the Solar Tomorrows project, we have published two volumes of short science fiction, essays, and art exploring how expanding solar energy will transform our communities, economies, and cultures. In 2019, we published The Weight of Light with support from the National Science Foundation and in partnership with the Quantum Energy and Sustainable Solar Technologies research center at Arizona State University. We followed that up in 2021 with Cities of Light, produced in collaboration with the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

Solar Tomorrows Project Lesson Plan

For Grades 9-12 Created by Annie Holub INTRODUCTION For Teachers  This Solar Tomorrows Project was designed by Annie Holub over the summer of 2023 as part of the Solar Tomorrows Fellowship at

A Slice of Life in 2050: A Sci-Fi Documentary Discussion about Possible Solar-Powered Futures

Just before the COVID-19 pandemic hit North America in 2020, the Center for Science and Imagination and Center for Energy and Society at Arizona State University convened a collection of

Solar Tomorrows Fellowship

The Solar Tomorrows Fellowship reaches educators and learners of all ages throughout Arizona through educational materials about solar technologies and choices, clean-energy transitions, and issues of energy equity and justice.

The Future of Energy Ownership

Clark A. Miller Energy Democracies for Sustainable Futures

Redesigning Political Economy: The Promise and Peril of a Green New Deal for Energy

Clark A. Miller The Green New Deal and the Future of Work

Life After Carbon Imagining the City of the Future

Clark Miller Event – Video

Cities of Light: How Will Solar Energy Transform Urban Futures?

Clark A. Miller Event – video

Building Solar Cities Rethinking How Cities Get Their Power

Clark A. Miller Event – video


 by The Weight of Light and Cities of Light collaborator Andrew Dana Hudson, in the anthology Phase Change: Imagining Energy Futures (2022)

Solar Futures: an Interview with ASU’s Joey Eschrich & Clark Miller

Solarpunk Futures podcast

Cities of Light: A Collection of Solar Futures

A collection of science fiction stories, art, and essays exploring how the transition to solar energy will transform cities; catalyze revolutions in politics, governance, and culture; and create diverse futures for human communities.

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Imagining and Designing Low-Carbon Futures

video lecture at University of Oklahoma, by Clark A. Miller, coeditor of The Weight of Light and Cities of Light

The Weight of Light: A Collection of Solar Futures

A collection of science fiction stories, art, and essays exploring human futures powered by solar energy, with an upbeat, solarpunk twist. What will it be like to live in the photon societies of tomorrow? How will a transition to clean, plentiful energy transform our values, markets, and politics?

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