The Green Capital Change Maker award has been devised to recognise the contributions of UoB and UWE students to Bristol’s year as European Green Capital and beyond. Adam Barnett, an undergraduate student in Philosophy, is one of our Green Capital Change Makers and told us about their experiences…
During the 2015 Bristol Green Capital year, I founded the Bristol University Friends of the Earth group. This involved the logistics of setting up the society - collecting signatures and support, liaising with the Student Union, other FoE groups and administrative tasks. The committee organised workshops, talks, film screenings, panel discussions, fundraising events and awareness-raising campaigns on campus. We also had a strong presence in promoting and participating in the Bristol Climate March and COP21. I’m particularly proud of the series of talks hosted on the intersection of environmental and social issues. Topics have included a post-colonial arctic’, climate change refugees, environmental economics, gender and climate change, and race and environmental campaigning.
My work has been very beneficial for enhancing both my personal skills and experience. I feel more confident in public speaking and hosting events, and reaching out to different groups to forge inter-group links and co-operation on events and campaigning. Co-operative campaigning is extremely important as much larger audience is reached, and there are many more voices at the table to add ideas! My experiences have increased my ability to understand and actualise what I specifically want to see happen. Rather than just generally ‘helping with environmental issues’, I have approached the issues that matter to me most and gain resolutions.
As a result, I have been accepted on the postgraduate course ‘Climate Change” History, Culture Society’ at Kings College, which specialises in cultural attitudes towards the environment and the human-nature link. I would recommend to other students to get as much practical experience within their field of interest, as this creates opportunities for progression and advancement. There was no society existing with the same general goals as Friends of the Earth - so I created it! To have the initiative to create something out of nothing, and have tangible positive effects, is both hugely personally satisfying, but also very attractive to future employers!
Are you a Green Capital Change Maker too?
If you have done 7 hours of work on social, economic or environmental sustainability then you can claim a Green Capital Change Maker award recognising your efforts. The awards are open to all students- full time, part time, undergraduate and postgraduate.
This could be a volunteer project, research dissertation, paid employment, anything- as long as it is relevant to sustainability, it qualifies. You need to have shared your action too, a social media post being a great way of doing so.
It is an exciting year for Bristol – if you have contributed, get it recognised!