Analysis: How should we bring people into SolarPunk?

Alright. This is my first go at analyzing the results of a Polis poll. Overall there were 34 participants who entered 23 comments for voting, and 573 total votes were cast. Not bad for a random idea that popped into my head one afternoon. Many thanks to everyone who participated! Let’s dig into it.


The primary goal of this exercise is to identify areas where SolarPunk proponents have consensus. To that end, let’s start by talking about things most folks seem to agree on. Here are a few examples:

Identify individual social issues within solarpunk, and connect with the people struggling with them.

Along with other actions, it is important to take part in social groups, from repair cafes to litter picking to homework clubs

By being genuinely excited and welcoming to non-western viewpoints

These are three examples entered by participants that most participants agreed with. We can consider these core to what solarpunks think is important for bringing folks into the movement. The central themes here center on meeting people where they’re currently experiencing struggle in their lives, and being welcoming and accepting of a broad range of viewpoints and backgrounds.

We also have examples of the reverse: statements made that we have consensus don’t represent our values on this topic. Two examples stand out:

We should focus on presenting a single unified theory of our desired future and how it will operate, and invite people to help design the path to reach it.

Ensuring ideology purity

Both of these statements talk about having a specific definition for what constitutes solarpunk, and using that definition to bring people onboard. I hypothesize that these points were largely rejected due to the lack of diverse understandings they represent.


There were some statements made that the participants did not agree on whether to accept or reject. These points are polarized, with some people being in favor and some being against. That doesn’t mean these ideas are bad, but it does mean that care should be taken when including them in discussions about what’s included within SolarPunk. When we encounter these topics in our discussions, let’s focus on keeping an open mind. Examples here include:

We should form a political platform, have solarpunk candidates run for office, use the existing system for recruitment.

Change begins with economics. We need to centralize our focus on reducing production and consumerism as the basis of action, and expand from there.

When we start the revolution, they’ll see that this is the way it always should have been, and join our cause.

The contention in these points seems to center around whether we should use the existing machinery of society to try to produce our better world, or if it needs to be discarded in favor of creating a new system from the ground up.


There are also some points that most people didn’t have a strong opinion on or weren’t sure about. These are good areas for us to continue discussing and developing our ideology around. Probably the best example of this is:

We should each focus on a single issue we’re passionate about and build anarchist/mutual aid groups around those issues, then federate together once each is established.

Connecting the different threads of our efforts together feels like something we need to do, but how to go about it is something we need to figure out together.


As always, you can check out the analysis and data directly from Polis. For this poll, that’s available at See you soon for another poll!