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Join us at the Student Sustainability Summit 2021!

Grace Corn
November 2, 2021

Calling all student activists, student officers, and students’ union and college/university staff!

Returning for its 8th year, the Student Sustainability Summit brings people passionate about sustainability together for workshops, talks and panel discussions with some of the UK’s top environmental and social justice activists from youth campaigns, students' unions and national environmental organisations leading the climate movement across the UK.

The Summit will provide you with the opportunity to connect with others in the student climate movement, collectively think about and discuss youth climate action post COP26, the pandemic, and Brexit, and develop practical skills and knowledge in community organising, campaign planning, liberation and sustainability, and so much more.

For the second time the Summit is being held online over 2 days, and is merging with the Student Eats Conference. Sessions will run from 10am-5pm each day. Each ticket provides access for one individual to attend both days for just £25!

The Summit is open to all students over the age of 16, as well as officers and staff from students’ unions and colleges/universities.

If you cannot afford the registration fee, please contact us at hello@sos-uk.org and we will see what we can do.

Buy your tickets now

Download a PDF version of the agenda

Day 1 – Monday 22nd November, 10.30am-5pm

10:30-11:00am

Larissa Kennedy, NUS & SOS-UK president

Welcome and opening keynote from NUS & SOS-UK president, Larissa Kennedy

Larissa has been active in the student movement since they were 16 years old and has organised against sexual violence, marched against student fees and is a member of the Black student’s campaign. Larissa wants to build a movement that stretches across the whole of the UK, across students’ and trade unions across the world.

11:00-12:00pm

The finance system, inequality and the climate crisis -what can we do? In this session, we'll explore the issues with the current financial system, how it's driving social inequality and the climate crisis, and how we, as students and young people, can organise for change - on our campuses and beyond- with Invest for Change.

Anxiety to Agency Classroom- with Force of Nature. A crash-course in tackling eco-anxiety, mobilising mindsets and understanding barriers to taking action. The session to help you to: understand your climate emotions; identify how the stories you subscribe to facilitate or block action; and find the power in your feelings.

12:00-12:45

LUNCH

12:45-13:30

What's next for the student sustainability movement post COP26 and beyond? With the landscape shifting, how do we build campaign momentum, collective care and global solidarity and push for a better path forward? Join Larissa Kennedy (NUS & SOS-UK president), Alisa Koester (President of Aberdeen University Students Association) and Phoebe Hanson (climate activist from MockCOP) to discuss this.

13:30-14:15

How to create change through what we eat. In SOS-UK's most recent 2021 survey of over 1200 students, 78% said they would be willing to change their diet to reduce their environmental impact. What does this mean and what needs to change so students can eat more equitably and sustainably? Join SOS-UK's Food and Farming team and Ruth Westcott of Sustain (Climate and Nature Emergency and Sustainable Fish Cities Co-ordinator).

Student and staff solidarity in campaigning for decarbonisation and decolonisation. UCU are calling for colleges and universities to decarbonise and decolonise by 2030. Join this session led by Marianne Quick to explore student/staff solidarity and means of collective action on campus.

Marianne is a Bargaining & Negotiations official for UCU responsible for the union's  Climate & Sustainability brief. Working with SOS-UK UCU has developed the GND for Colleges and Universities which places staff and student solidarity and climate justice at the heart of a bargaining framework for branches.

14:15:14:30

BREAK

14:30-15:15

Campaign skill share. More information coming soon.

15:15-15:30

BREAK

15:30-16:30

The 3D's: Democratise, decarbonise and decolonise for climate justice education. This workshop will give students, staff and officers an overview of climate justice, and how this links to the concepts of "democratising" as a process for engaging all of society and transforming learning, and “decarbonising" and “decolonising” as the structural and systemic roots of the human induced climate crisis. We will explore examples of climate injustice, and how this often intersects with issues like race, gender, class and indigeneity. We will also look at examples of when sustainability actions and initiatives have not taken an intersectional approach and the impact of this. There will be discussions on how we can avoid this in education for a transformational approach to create sustainability activities that recognise and work to challenge the harmful legacies of colonialism and imperialism.

Do you have a say in the investment system? Yes, you do! ShareAction works to build a world where the investment system serves our planet and its people.

The investment system has a huge impact on the world around us, and we see this impact every day. From the climate crisis, to unfair working conditions and ill health, investors like pension schemes and insurance providers, and the companies they fund, perpetuate but can also solve the biggest challenges we face as a society.

ShareAction is holding a training session to explain this, and just how you can become an agent for change who transforms the investment system, so that it works for people and the planet.

We’ll outline the impact of the system, how you relate to it through your pension and other savings, and how you can get involved in campaigns to change it for the better. Campaigns that are tried and tested ways of holding companies to account – the very same companies that your pension is likely invested in.

16:30-17:00

Activism skill share: Intro to climate action zine making workshop- with the Glasgow Zine Library. This workshop will contain an explanation of zines, and their history and their modern applications in activism, as well as instructions on how to make one, and how you can apply the principles to your work. Materials needed: pens, paper, scissors, glue (optional), and collage material (optional) and an idea for your zine! (optional).

Student-led skill share: Bug and bee hotel building workshop- with the University of Lincoln E.C.O Society. Join this session to learn how to make a bee/bug hotel for your garden or greenspace. Using locally sourced materials, Lincoln's E.C.O Society will show you how to make a home for critters who need a safe space out of the winter cold, which is great for boosting biodiversity. You can also spice up your garden this winter by painting/decorating your bug houses however you like! Material needed: recycled/unwanted wood, sticks, leaves, pine cones, paint, glue (hot glue gun preferable), and decorations (e.g. wooden words, bamboo sticks cut down).

17:15-18:00

Evening social: Climate quiz! This is an optional and informal chance to get to know each other and put your climate/sustainability knowledge to the test! Snacks & beverages are mandatory!

Day 2 – Tuesday 23rd November, 10.30am-5pm

10:30-11:00am

Daze Aghaji, Climate Justice Activist

Welcome and opening keynote from Daze Aghaji. Daze is a 21-year-old climate justice activist from London who centres on regenerative cultures, intersectionality, radical social justice and youth political engagement in her work. In 2019, she was the youngest candidate to stand in the European Parliamentary election. Described by The Guardian as “a ball of energy, conviction and warmth”, Daze's advocacy for racial systemic change has led her to work with many leading charities, NGOs and grassroots change-makers globally.

She has had strong ties with the climate movement Extinction Rebellion since its early days and she was a founding member of the movement youth branch. She is currently a Creative Director at Earthrise Studio, a environmentally-focused media company, as well as a consultant for a variety of NGOs, an artist in residence at Phytology, the Bethnal Green Nature reserve, and a monthly contributor to Sky TV’s Daily Climate Show.

11:00-12:00pm

What should college and university land be used for in a climate and nature emergency? Universities and colleges own over 35,000 hectares of land (approx. 65,500 football pitches), but how could this land be used to ensure that the challenges being faced around the climate, health and nature emergencies are met whilst also increasing student access to the land.

What's the relationship between sustainability and sport? However you experience sport - whether playing, attending events or following from home - sustainability is part of the game. In this workshop, football-sustainability expert Thom Rawson (Head of Sustainability at Football For Future) will lead an exploration of how sustainability interacts with your sporting experience, and ask what students can do to organise, influence and act to make sport more sustainable - and use sport as a platform for environmental and social change.

12:00-12:45

LUNCH

12:45-13:30

The emissions of war – and the involvement of educational institutions. Britain’s military-industrial sector annually emits more greenhouse gases than 60 individual countries. The US military alone has the same annual output than whole countries like Morocco, Sweden, and Switzerland, but the environmental impact of war goes far beyond just carbon footprint. Hear from our panel on why this is an issue we should care about and how our education system is driving it. Join Demilitarise Education and Malek Mayet, Universities Coordinator from the Campaign Against Arms Trade to discuss.

13:30-14:15

How can students campaign for the Green New Deal? Join this session to hear from Green New Deal Rising about the new Green New Deal Bill and explore how students can drive the GND on campus’ and get involved in organising for a GND more widely.

"We are a movement of young people from every part of the UK, fighting for the better future we all deserve and know is possible. The Green New Deal is a ten year, game – changing plan to stop climate change and build a world in which we can thrive.  We are the generation that will win the Green New Deal and we want you to join us." 

Fossil Free Careers. Find out how UK universities are propping up oil, gas and mining companies by supplying them with the next generation of talented staff. Learn how to sever recruitment pipelines into companies destroying the environment and build a student movement for a Just Transition. This will be an interactive workshop with the UK's largest student climate campaigning network: People & Planet.

"People & Planet is the largest student network in the UK campaigning for social and environmental justice. We believe that change can only be achieved by strong social and environmental justice movements that include empowered students and communities most impacted,working together in global solidarity to overcome oppressive structures. Our Fossil Free Careers campaign aims to dismantle recruitment pipelines from universities into the companies which are responsible for the climate crisis,and build a student movement for a Just Transition."

14:15:14:30

BREAK

14:30-15:15

Sustainable living skill share: Cooking sustainably on a budget workshop with Growhampton. Food hacks including being creative to avoid food waste, ways to bulk buy, forage or grow some of your own and other useful tips.

15:15-15:30

BREAK

15:30-16:30

Homes Fit for Study. It is often seen as a 'rite of passage' that students live in draughty and cold homes, having a huge impact on physical and mental health. Find out what SOS-UK is doing to support students on this, and learn some top tips for keeping your home warm and comfortable this winter!

16:30-17:00

Wellbeing skill share: Kundalini Yoga with Salma Sabour. Salma is a Kundalini Yoga Teacher and a final year PhD student at the University of Southampton working on climate change impacts on heritage. She embraced the practice of yoga first with Hatha but connected more deeply with the Kundalini knowledge and practice. She gained mental and emotional strength in difficult times through her daily Kundalini practice, especially during her PhD. Today she feels privileged to be able to share this learning with the world.

Kundalini Yoga is a yogic spiritual practice. It is meant to quiet your mind while opening your chakras so your energy can freely flow throughout your body. Chakras mean “wheel” in Sanskrit and refer to energy points in your body; they correspond to bundles of nerves, major organs, and areas of our energetic body that affect emotional and physical well-being. They are a complex and ancient energy system that originated in India from 1500 to 1000 BC. Kundalini yoga has been associated with a few different mental and physical benefits for both younger and older practitioners.  

END OF SUMMIT.

Buy your tickets now

Download a PDF version of the agenda

We are committed to making our events as accessible as possible. If you have any questions regarding accessibility, please do not hesitate to get in touch learningacademy@sos-uk.org.

If you have any queries please contact learningacademy@sos-uk.org.