Our Curriculum

We believe a joyful, just, healthy, democratic, and resilient utility system is possible. Strategies to transform our existing institutions and infrastructure will require a fundamental understanding of the utility history that led us to this point in time and the knowledge and skills of hundreds more activists who share the goals of utility justice in our lifetimes.

How Did the Utilities End up Like This? What Are We Going to Do About It? is designed to support collective peer-to-peer learning about the past, present, and future of the utility system and build the people power of our movement.

We believe this 12-module curriculum provides a new addition to the utility justice and energy democracy landscape about:

  • the evolution of the utility regulatory system to date,
  • core beliefs embedded into the utility system we have inherited, and
  • alternatives to the for-profit utility model that exist and continue to be developed around the world.

There is no wrong way to use this workbook. Inside are a mix of activities. Some sections are capable of being taught from one to many (teacher to student). Other sections contain exercises for discussion or reflection together. We have also included a handful of guided activities to bring in your local knowledge and familiarize you with digital research tools.

The curriculum is published under a Creative Commons license. With appropriate credit under the terms of our chosen license, you can share it: copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format, as well as adapt it: remix, transform, and build upon the material.

Download the curriculum's components

A note of gratitude
Our labor to produce this work was funded by the Energy Foundation. We are deeply grateful to Shannon Small, Gentry Higgins, and Sierra Martinez for their generous support for small teams with big ideas. We consulted many frontline energy justice leaders across the country to develop this work and this would not be possible without their wisdom and generosity. Their guidance significantly influenced this workbook’s contents, while all factual errors are solely ours.