This summer, twenty students from the University of Bath's Faculty of Humanties & Social Sciences have been given the unique opportunity to undertake courses from the One Young World Academy. This is an innovative learning experience developed by One Young World and Pearson, with Bath students some of the first to take part. We received a high number of applications so, as publicised, priority went to undergraduate and postgraduate students who had not/will not be undertaking a placement year as part of their degree in order to boost their applied experience and employability skills.
Since June, the succesful applicants have been studying one or more of the three modules:
- Reducing Carbon Emissions
- Play a Positive Role During Conflict and in Peacebuilding
- Working for a More Equal World and Workplace
We asked some of the students to tell us why they signed up for the One Young World Academy and their initial thoughts as they embark on the course.
Kate Walsh, MSci Psychology:
Whilst my area of specialty lies in psychology and mental health, when the opportunity to join the OYW Academy to diversify my thinking and improve my knowledge around sustainability, I couldn't pass it up.
After attending the introductory talk on the OYW Academy and familiarising myself with the online portal, my interest and excitement about the programme has only grown. I was unsure what to expect prior to its commencement, but I have thoroughly enjoyed the interactivity of its structure thus far, especially regarding the intermix of independent and supported development, with the latter facilitated by experts in the field. I am very much looking forward to what I can learn from the course content and leaders throughout the process, applying the knowledge I gain to my own projects!
Sifan Chen, MSc Applied Economics:
I first noticed One Young World this February on our HSS faculty’s student opportunity email, which encouraged us students to sign up for the One Young World Bath caucus 2023. It raised my interest through its ambitious topic, UN's Sustainable Development Goal, though I didn't attend due to time conflict. Thus when I knew there was a new chance in this summer, I signed in immediately and expected to be educated by the insights from experts all over the world.
The courses arrangement is quite unique. Instead of holding live courses regularly, it processes in a more flexible way and students can join in these three topics in total easily online. I'm on the way to finish the first module named Reduce Carbon Emissions, the most appealing one to me as well, also one of the focuses during last two semester’s courses. I've seen lots of materials related to this topic on the website and I hope to submit a workable project after the content element of the course and gain more in-depth understanding after that.
Isha Nagpal, MSc Applied Clinical Psychology:
Being a first-year master’s student at the University of Bath, The One Young World Academy was a new terrain for me to explore. I learnt about their mission and vision after we were informed about the opportunity of being able to take up their summer courses through the University.
I am a Clinical Psychology student at Bath from India, and I have been interested in the role that culture, gender, and other social structures play in our well-being. Lately, I have also grown interest in workplace dynamics and hope to continue my career journey in the field of Organisational Psychology and Human Resource when I return to my country. Therefore, I instantly got interested in the OYW Academy course on creating A More Equal World and Workplace. I am grateful to be given this opportunity to grow my understanding and skills through this course this summer.
As I begin this course, I have understood the importance of activating change in the workplace which can be simply defined as taking direct and clear actions to making specific positive changes. The course will be geared towards empowering me to create my own project and then find relevant solutions through certain techniques and expert mentorship. Through this project, I hope to develop skills conducive to social responsibility, problem solving and effective collaboration.
Faisal Sharif, MRes/PhD International Development (Climate Change and Energy Transitions):
I am excited to embark on my journey with the One Young World Academy. OYW has been playing its role in combating global issues such as Climate Change, Social Inequality, Poverty alleviation by offering sustainable solutions and producing young leaders for transforming the world in better and equally liveable place for all. I am thankful to University of Bath and OYW Academy to give me an opportunity to participate in a program on addressing one of the most pressing global challenges of our time - Reducing Carbon Emissions - to save the planet earth from further Global Warming beyond 2 C° and preferably 1.5 °C above pre-industrial level. The course is particularly of my interest as it is directly linked with my current research related to Climate Change and Energy Transition, at University of Bath. In the blog, I will share my thoughts on why I applied for the academy, what I hope to achieve through this experience, and my initial reflections as I begin this transformative course.
Why I Joined One Young World Academy?
Climate Change is one of the major challenges of current era, that the world has been facing. There is consensus amongst the scientific community that Greenhouse gases (GHG) particularly carbon dioxide (CO2) released by human activities and industrial process cause global warming leading to Climate Change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has stressed the world to move towards low carbon economy (LCE) for achieving carbon neutrality referred as Net Zero Emissions (NZE) before mid of this century to limit earth temperature below 1.5 °C preferably above pre-industrial level pursuant to Paris Agreement. The global energy consumption is responsible for almost 75% of total world’s annual GHG emissions therefore the decarbonization of energy system is most crucial to achieve NZE and within energy sector the heating alone contribute 50% of energy end use becoming the biggest source of GHG emissions leading to global warming. Hence the urgency of climate change and the dire need for sustainable solutions have motivated me to actively engage in initiatives that aim to reduce carbon emissions, which is also in perfect match with my current research project.
I firmly believe that as young leaders, we hold the power to drive change and shape a sustainable future by adopting sustainable production and consumption patterns at societal and individual levels. Applying for the OYW Academy was a natural choice for me as it presented a unique opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals, learn from experts in the field, and contribute meaningfully to the global effort to combat climate change.
What I Hope to Get Out of the Academy?
My primary goal in joining the OYW Academy is to expand my knowledge and gain a comprehensive understanding of effective strategies to reduce carbon emissions. I aspire to become an active part for the change, not only in my immediate community but also on a broader scale. By equipping myself with the necessary knowledge and skills, I aim to develop innovative and sustainable solutions that will contribute to a significant reduction in carbon emissions. Additionally, I hope to establish connections with fellow participants and advisors, fostering a global network of passionate change-makers who can collaborate and inspire each other to achieve greater impact.
Initial Thoughts about the Course:
As I begin this course, I am excited to explore the multifaceted dimensions of carbon emission reduction, including deployment of renewable energy sources, sustainable transportation, circular economy, and sustainable consumption patterns. I anticipate that the course will challenge my existing perspectives and encourage me to think critically and creatively about the complex issues surrounding climate change. It will enhance my collaborative, problem solving and communication skills beside entrusting me with social responsibility towards climate change.
Within the OYW Academy platform, I’ve been privileged to attend lectures from some well renowned international experts in the field. I will specifically mention two lectures, the first one was on “zero carbon, zero poverty and zero un-employment” from Professor Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Peace Laureate, social entrepreneur, and economist. The lecture provided good insight on challenges of achieving sustainable development and need of rethinking on our existing economic model for current and future generations to generate equal economic opportunities for all.
Another lecture on “Why we need to reduce carbon emissions?” with Simon Stiell, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC). In the lecture, Stiell stressed the importance of emission reductions along with current and future emission and global warming trajectories. It helped me to understand the urgency and need of decarbonization particularly deployment of renewable and low carbon energy sources to save the world biodiversity from catastrophic climate impacts and global economy from distributed effects of climate change.
Joining the OYW Academy represents an incredible opportunity for me to make a meaningful impact in the fight against climate change. Through this experience, I aim to expand my knowledge, forge valuable connections, and contribute to the global effort of reducing carbon emissions. I am eager to collaborate with fellow participants, learn from their diverse experiences, and collectively brainstorm innovative solutions that can drive significant change. I firmly believe that together, we can create a sustainable future for generations to come!
Thanks to Kate, Sifan, Isha and Faisal for sharing their thoughts so far, we'll be posting another update in August as they journey through the One Young World Academy.
For further details, please contact Emily Richards, Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences email@example.com.