Getting young people involved in achieving SDG 11 – Sustainable Cities and Communities, means exploring how to take action at a local level in their communities.
On 24th June 2019, Ecolint La Grande Boissière Year 11 took a Flow In Action Innovation Challenge Workshop, exploring how to make their school campus sustainable.
As an end of term activity organised by Laura Italici – Head of Year 11, over 120 students from Year 11, arrived at the UN Palais des Nations in Geneva to take the challenge workshop, which I ran in collaboration with UNCTAD's Division of Investment & Enterprise (DIAE).
It was one of the hottest days of the year and with the magnificent, crystal clear view of Mont Blanc in the background, we were able to work outside, under the trees, in the gardens of the Palais, inspired by nature in the centre of the city.
I asked students to come up with ideas to make their school campus sustainable by the end of the 2020 academic year, turning SDG 11 – Sustainable Cities and Communities into reality in their community.
Having set the scene for the challenge, students split up into groups to with accompanying teacher mentors to do a rapid download.
This Flow In Action workshop was a journey from ideas download to 1-min value proposition pitch, instilling a spirit of youth entrepreneurship as well as local social impact.
The students were incredibly impressive in their creative thinking, dreaming big and with a practical understanding of how to take action when they got back to school in September.
11 groups of students came up with viable ideas that could transform the biodiversity of the site, reduce CO2 emissions, repurpose and recycle plastic, use flat-roof buildings for growing fruit and vegetables, composting food waste...and many more concepts that could become real projects.
I was evaluating the pitches with guest facilitator Siobhan McLoughlin, 2019 Ship Director of Class Afloat specialising in #blueeconomy insights; and Fiorina Mugione, Fulvia Farinelli and Jayne Winter from the UNCTAD-DIAE team, sharing their insights and expertise of innovation and entrepreneurship.
In Flow In Action Innovation Challenge Workshops, everyone’s imagination and creativity matters and new perspectives emerge as ideas are exchanged. And that is exactly what happened!
These young people demonstrated patience, perseverance and resilience in face of the logistical challenges.
With students demonstrating immense empathy and appetite for taking action, it’s clear that they have started their journey as leaders of change and as a new generation of innovators and entrepreneurs taking action for the planet.
Solution: Youth Innovation & Impact Challenge Workshop
Topic: SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities & Communities
Location: Geneva, Palais des Nations
Collaborating with: UNCTAD Division of Investment & Enterprise (DIAE)
Commissioned by: Ecolint La Grande Boissière
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