West of England 2015
In May we were pleased to return to UWE and run our biggest Your Green Future event yet!
At the event school students from across South Gloucestershire and Bristol got to scrutinise future innovations, as businesses went head to head in a bid to win the student ‘Dragon’s’ fictional £1m investment.
Those up against each other included Airbus with their electric aeroplane technology, Hewlett Packard’s dense and energy-efficient Moonshot server system, and Mott Macdonald’s plan for a foot bridge which would be lit using Pavegen tiles (these use kinetic energy from footsteps to generate electricity).
Following their investment the students offered the businesses suggestions on how they could improve their ideas.
This was just one of 6 activities for school students at the Your Green Future event, which took place on the 19th and 20th May 2015 at the University of the West of England, in their Department of Architecture and the Built Environment.
Across the two days over 440 students, from 15 local secondary schools, had the chance to work alongside 34 businesses and 16 university students in a series of creative challenges which addressed businesses’ real life sustainability issues.
This included students working with architects and planners to develop ideas which would enable future mega cities to grow food more locally. Concepts included turning disused mines into underground mushroom farms and a tiered cake-stand-inspired tall building for growing vegetables, with light loving plants such as tomatoes and strawberries grown nearest the top.
“A wonderful opportunity to reconnect with the youth of today; to inspire and be inspired.” Skansa
In another activity students went head to head pitching innovative product ideas in the Future Retail Awards. The teams of students had worked with businesses, including Wyke Farms, River Cottage and the Better Food Company, to develop everyday items into products fit for 2025. Competition was tough with each team voting for the most sustainable entry, in terms of people, planet and profit.
Winning products included a cheddar cheese, locally produced in a zero waste system and delivered to your door by solar powered drones, and a wetsuit that uses your kinetic energy to charge a battery which dries your wetsuit before you take it off.
“I really enjoyed being part of the event, it was fantastic to see so many young people engaged with sustainability and the environment, it was brilliant.” Better Food Company
In other activities students worked with organisations such as Glastonbury Festivals, Ecotricity and University Hospitals Bristol to came up with creative solutions for real- life waste and energy issues. Students also visited a Career Pathways Exhibition, where they could talk to local businesses and further education providers about sustainability related jobs and qualifications.
It has been fantastic to see such a positive response from all participants, including 97% of students enjoying the event! In the below brochure you can find out about what the students experienced and what they thought about it. It also explores how the event gives back to the local businesses who support it: