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SHAPE Sustainability Impact Projects launches for 2024!

Kedijah Eaves-O'Connor
February 15, 2024

SHAPE Impact Projects is a collaborative initiative between the British Academy and Students Organising for Sustainability (SOS-UK) which uses an applied learning ‘living laboratory’ model to demonstrate the importance of the arts, humanities and social sciences in tackling sustainability challenges.

Over 50 students from University of Lancaster, University College London (UCL), University of Bedfordshire, University of Wolverhampton and University of Exeter (Cornwall) joint with Falmouth University have been selected to take part. The virtual launch of the project on 6th February saw SOS-UK, the British Academy and guest speakers outline the context and expectations of the project as well as providing the opportunity for the student project leaders to ask questions and meet each other in one place.

Over the next few months, participating students will work in small groups to problem-solve a range of real-world local sustainability challenges posed by their institutions and local organisations, utilising a multi- and inter-disciplinary ‘living laboratory’ approach. Each of the participating institutions, as well as their local communities, will serve as testbeds for the students’ ideas, enabling an understanding of the real-world impact of their disciplines in a practical way.

Student project leaders will have the opportunity to network with students from other universities and receive training and support from SOS-UK to develop their projects and develop transferable professional and academic skills. Support will combine online workshops and local in-person activities. The project concludes in June 2024, where groups will present their findings and recommendations from Early Career Researchers and other institutional leads at an in-person conference.