Your Resourceful Future

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InterClimate Network has developed a workshop within Your Green Future (YGF) events which set out to encourage secondary students to think about their potential roles in creating a low carbon economy. Working within YGF means we are able to stimulate critical thinking about waste as a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, and young people's future part in helping UK to reduce overall GHG by 80% by 2050.  As most participants will be around 50 years old in 2050 one challenge is to think what this might mean in relation to their own peak emissions!  
 
The ICN led workshop is called 'Your Resourceful Future' and will be run three or four times per day at each of these interactive events this year: 
Solihull & Birmingham 2017; Oxfordshire 2017; West of England 2017; Powys 2017
 
The idea is for teams of students to meet with significant businesses in their area and learn about a real 'waste' resource issue being tackled by those businesses. You can see the challenges posed to the students in the West of England workshops in May 2015 in our resource section.  
 
The students find out about the part that can be played by different job roles, and how collaboration between companies can really make a difference. Serious messages permeate the session but the young people typically respond with creativity, enthusiasm and humour.  What works extremely well is having a business mentor often with a 'sustainability' job to help them develop their ideas. They have to generate and present solutions, and most importantly, calculate how much will be kept out of landfill as a result of their reducing, reusing and recycling ideas.
 
Evaluations at the end of YGF West of England in 2016 showed that 91% students enjoyed the workshop, and feedback included:
 
'It has really opened my eyes to how much we needlessly throw away'
 
'I think we should design things to be economic to start with to minimise waste'
 
Thanks to the business supporters so far this year:
Amey, Birmingham Airport, Environment Agency, Severn Wye Energy Agency, Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council, University of Warwick, West Midlands Combined Authority