To celebrate Earth Day Warwick Enterprise (part of the Warwick Innovation District) wanted to share what we’ve been doing to encourage the next generation to be more environmentally focused, creative and of course innovative.
As a Foundation Fellow of Warwick Institute of Engagement Warwick Enterprise has made a commitment to support outreach and knowledge exchange activities – we have delivered multiple initiatives over COP26, and more recently the ‘Slice of Science’ event (designed to bring together generations of women in science), celebrating Amazing Women month, Coventry City of Culture.
Debbie Smith (Enterprise Development Officer, Warwick Enterprise) worked with Nikita Asnani (current Warwick Masters student from Humantarian Engineeering with Sustainability) to co-create a fun and engaging sustainability focused session, where families could get involved with various activities all focused on sustainability, creativity, and innovation.
Nikita shares her experience of leading the delivery of this event here:
I walked into room OC1.06, on that Sunday morning feeling excited and hopeful. Here’s the top 3 highlights of the day.
The Sustainability Doughnut Station: Although I walked out of the Rootes grocery store, feeling a tad bit disappointed that there were no Krispy Kreme’s for the little munchkins, I was compensated with far more sustainability doughnuts at the end of the workshop! The aim of this station was to introduce little kids to the concept of a circular, or ‘doughnut’ economy, without the use of any technical jargon.
‘Design your own Sustainability Superhero’ Station: The aim of sustainability superheroes was to inspire families that superheroes can be everyday people such as neighbours, teachers, friends, and vendors at the local market – they need not always be princesses and avengers clad in green.
Painting upcycled plant pots and old T-shirts: From geometric patterns to pebbles and passion flowers, I got to see how inventive kids can get with their pots and tees!
All in all, the 3 stations were designed to tap into young people’s creative confidence in a manner that educates, inspires and enables a future generation of sustainability champions.
As an economist and now engineer in training, I have always been taught to appreciate quantitative impact- numbers and forecasts that help us pitch our sustainability projects to experts, revealing its latent potential. But here’s 5 Cs I learned about creating and measuring impact, from this fun-filled workshop during Slice of Science, that I facilitated as part of the Amazing Women Series on the 13th of March:
- (Use) Colour: Truth be told, there is a little Picasso and Greta in every one of us. And there was no one better than this bunch of 3–12-year-olds to remind me of that!
- (Tap into) Creativity: I was in complete awe of a 5-year-old painting strawberries on her doughnut because to her a more sustainable world is one where we eat more fruits! @KrispyKreme where are those ‘emerging sustainable doughnut chef’ contracts at?!
- (Build on) Community: I heard the way parents and grandparents spoke to their younger ones, wowing at every masterful stroke on their superheroes and doughnuts as though they were Picasso, cheering them at every pot painted for the garden, T-shirt upcycled for their dolls, and encouraging every new piece of information successfully trumped.
- (Foster healthy) Competition: I included a giveaway of Amazon vouchers as part of the competition on the best designed sustainability doughnut and superhero!
- Conversations: ‘Did you know cheese has average food miles of 1362?!’ Conversations on and between tables matter-they’re exactly what help to turn tables when it comes to changing behaviors so they’re more sustainable.
Sustainability is not a magic wand, even if a green one! It is the sum of twisted alleys, and hidden gems, curious minds, and young hearts. Like a game of snakes and ladders, sustainability is like a Salsa dance-at times you come forward, climbing ladders and reaching new heights, at other times you go backwards after being bit by failure (a snake).
The journey is an iterative process wherein each failure will teach you to change your outlook – most of all it will teach you to keep learning, keep climbing, and BE KIND TO YOURSELF.
Sustainability Competition Winner: Katharine, aged 6.
To learn more about Warwick Enterprise click here: https://warwickinnovationdistrict.com/warwick-enterprise/
Earth Day is an annual event on 22nd April to demonstrate support for environmental protection. More here: https://www.earthday.org/earth-day-2022/