Changing the debate: schools climate conference summary

Posted in: Comment, News and Updates

I went to the school climate conference yesterday organised by the Green Schools Project, School 21, and WE (and by UCL).  It was designed "to provide rigorous knowledge, skills and motivation to allow young people to change the debate in their schools and local communities".  It was a great day with a very receptive audience.

I gave a brief summing up at the end of the day.  Here are my 7 take back messages:


To change the Debate – Communication is key

This involves Talking – Listening – Arguing – Thinking – Being curious – and changing your mind where necessary


it’s not just about climate – there’s an ecological emergency as well 

There’s biodiversity,  species and habitat loss – Air and water pollution  – Industrial agriculture – We need to remember that we depend on nature for everything


Be a pest – at home and at school 

But be a good pest – Be persuasive not angry –  Be constructive and patient – Schools, homes and communities need your help to change their ingrained habits


Hope is powerful – so don’t be a pessimist – or an optimist

See the issues we face as challenges not drama – Believe you can make a difference working with others – Because you can


It won’t be straightforward – it never is

There’ll be twists, turns, progress, and set backs – But we can learn from these


At heart it’s about how we live – and how we will come to live

It’s about the decisions we make every day – and about what government and companies  (universities and schools) do as well


These concerns emerged in the 1970s – but they’re much more serious now

But the possibility of change is the highest it’s ever been – Because we know more now and awareness is high – and young people are now involved


This was well received and the young people immediately took to the streets – that is, they went home.  I'll have more to say about the structure of what was a well-thought our day next week.

Posted in: Comment, News and Updates


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