Climate Challenge Cup innovation showcase and awards

No one can fight climate change alone. That is why the Climate Challenge Cup is celebrating civic research partnerships in the UK and US, where organisations are working collaboratively to tackle climate change.

This international competition is delivered by the research organisation, social investor and community practitioner, The Young Foundation, in the UK, and by MetroLab Network, a civic research and innovation collaborative, in the US.

We are delighted to invite you to an evening of inspiration, networking, and celebration at COP26.

Join us to discuss climate action and hear about innovative and scalable projects that are helping communities become more resilient to the effects of climate change, from wildfires to extreme flooding. You’ll also hear from partnerships helping cities achieve their net zero targets.

The event will culminate in an award ceremony, with an expert panel of judges including:
Dr. Emily Reichert, CEO of Greentown Labs
Daze Aghaji, Young UK Climate Justice Activist
Nicola Yates OBE, CEO of the Connected Places Catapult
Dr Atyia Martin, CEO and Founder of All Aces, Inc
Professor Alex Halliday, Director of the Earth Institute and Founding Dean of the Columbia Climate School

The Climate Challenge Cup is supported by the UK’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy with grant funding, and by the City of Glasgow, as well as the UK’s Science and Innovation Network, Innovate UK, The University of Glasgow and Vertigo Ventures.

Find out more on www.climatechallengecup.com


ClimateScience Olympiad 21 award ceremony with Jane Goodall | $10,000 prize for young climate solvers

Over 12,000 brilliant youth from all continents took part in the 2021 ClimateScience Olympiad to find solutions to climate change. Today, along with exciting keynotes from Dr. Jane Goodall and Dr. Renate Christ (fmr. Director of the IPCC), the three winning teams will be announced and receive their share of ClimateScience’s $10,000 prize pool.

ClimateScience (www.ClimateScience.org) is a global charity providing educational resources on solutions to climate change to millions of people worldwide via children’s books, teaching resources for schools, competitions like the ClimateScience Olympiad (https://climatescience.org/olympiad/), social media (https://www.instagram.com/climate_science/) , and animated videos on TV. All this is possible thanks to our incredible team of over 1,000 volunteers in over 30 countries.


‘State of Earth’ Question Time

Building on the success of previous events held at the Birdfair festival at Rutland Wildlife Reserve in East Anglia, the ‘State of the Earth’ Question Time event will be chaired by Born Free Policy Advisor and Wildlife Advocate Dominic Dyer and will be based on the format of the BBC current affairs programme, with questions for the speaker panel being led by the audience.

Speakers include:

  • Deborah Meaden – Businesswoman and investor
  • Nada Farhoud – Environment Editor Daily Mirror
  • Craig Bennett – CEO Wildlife Trusts
  • Pen Farthing – CEO Nowzad
  • Will Travers OBE – Executive President Born Free

Younger Speakers:

  • James Miller – Writer film maker and campaigner
  • Bella Lack – Author campaigner and Youth Ambassador Born Free

The key focus of the event will be the importance of habitat, wildlife protection and animal welfare at home and abroad in a rapidly changing world where we face a growing climate emergency.

Key issues for discussion will include:

  • Population growth and growing demands on worlds natural resources leading to destruction of wildlife and habitats
  • Growing impact of climate change on natural world at home and aboard
  • The role of the media, broadcasters, writers, and film makers in promoting awareness of the threats to the natural world
  • The growing importance of animal welfare and recognition of animal suffering because of human actions
  • How can public pressure lead to political change when it comes to protecting wildlife, animals and the natural world
  • The growing threat from industrial livestock, farming and food production to the natural world
  • How can a younger generation be motivated to stand up for wildlife and the natural world
  • The role of education and science in nature conservation
  • The negative impact of the hunting and shooting industry on our native wildlife and landscapes at home & aboard
  • Is wildlife tourism sustainable or does it ultimately pose a threat to the natural world
  • The need to tackle wildlife crime at home as well as abroad
  • The growing threat to wildlife and landscapes from a huge increase in house building and major civil engineering projects like HS2
  • The new generation of environment campaigners and their impact (Greta Thunberg, School Climate Strikes, Extinction Rebellion)

The speaker panel for the event will bring together influencers, thought leaders and campaigners from business, journalism, wildlife conservation and animal welfare across the age generations.



The Ashden Awards 2021: celebrating bold and brilliant climate pioneers

This year the annual Ashden Awards celebration will tell visitors to the Glasgow COP and a global online audience the inspiring stories of climate champions from around the world. Champions whose exciting initiatives can fire us towards a low-carbon future.

At 6pm on 4 November, the nine 2021 Award winners will be announced, and we will premiere a film highlighting and celebrating their personal journeys.

Join us in the Green Zone cinema or online to see ground-breaking initiatives in the forests and fields of Africa and India, among refugee camps brimming with energy and entrepreneurship, and in towns and cities up and down the UK. Hear what it takes to become a true climate champion – and how the world can boost these initiatives, and many others like them.

From clean and affordable energy to new jobs and green skills, Ashden Award winners show the awesome potential of climate action. So reserve your tickets now or register online for a whirlwind tour of wonder and inspiration.

From rainforests to renewables: The 2021 Ashden Awards are:
Humanitarian Energy
supported by the Linbury Trust; Alan and Babette Sainsbury Charitable Fund and a public appeal
Natural Climate Solutions
supported by the UK Government Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Energy Access Innovation
supported by the UK Government Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Cooling in Informal Settlements
supported by Clean Cooling Collaborative/ClimateWorks Foundation
Energy Access Skills
supported by The Ashden Trust
Regenerative Agriculture
supported by The DOEN Foundation
UK Climate Innovation
supported by Impax Asset Management
UK Green Skills
supported by Garfield Weston Foundation
UK Green Communities
supported by Esmée Fairbairn Foundation


Voices Of The Land by Listening to the Land Pilgrimage for Nature & Friends

On September 4, 2021, a group of ordinary people set off on a 500 mile pilgrimage from London to Glasgow, on a mission to rediscover their roots and inspire multitudes to slow down, connect with nature and articulate their love for the living world. This pilgrimage has caused a ripple effect and inspired people to walk all around the world.

The event will feature a short documentary of this epic journey along the Spine of Albion in the UK and will showcase indigenous and re-indigenised people from around the world who are connecting to the earth and to one another to stand up for all we are about to lose; supported by letter readings and followed by soundbites from indigenous people and other groups who walked their land around the globe.

Speakers: representatives of indigenous and re-indigenised pilgrims from the UK and around the world, Listening to the Land – Pilgrimage for Nature co-founders Jolie Booth and Anna Lehmann, Kay Michael director of Letters to the Earth; Nick Lunch director of Insight Share and representatives of Still Moving and Wisdom Keepers


Minga Indígena Declaration Letter for COP26 Leaders

Minga Indígena, a civil society organization born in the Andes, brings Indigenous leaders—youth and elders— from all over the world. At COP26 they will present the first chapter of the docu-series “Aprendiendo a Ser Humanos. Learning To Be Human” produced alongside The Allianza, which features thirteen elders and protectors of the most iconic territories of the world sharing wisdom that is crucial to buffer extreme weather events across regions, with the intention of inspiring others. Three indigenous youth will then read and hand in a collective Letter to members of the IPCC and of the COP26 Presidency as well as the Champion, with a special request that their petitions be included in climate negotiations. The event will be followed by a press conference.

Minga Indigena, una organización de la sociedad civil gestada en los Andes, trae a la COP26 a líderes indígenas, jóvenes y ancianos, de todo el mundo. En este espacio presentará el primer capítulo del docu-serie producido junto con La Allianza “Aprendiendo a ser Humano” donde líderes indígenas mayores y jóvenes protectores de los territorios más emblemáticos del mundo comparten su sabiduría para evitar eventos climáticos extremos en las principales regiones del mundo, con la intención de inspirar a nuevos guardianes. Luego, tres jóvenes leerán y entregarán una Carta colectiva a los miembros del IPCC y de la Presidencia de la COP26 así como al Champion, con la solicitud especial de que sus peticiones se incluyan en las negociaciones. El evento será seguido por una conferencia de prensa.


People make transport: communities enabling greener travel

How can diverse voices, enthusiasm and creativity be harnessed to achieve low-carbon transport systems and behaviours in local communities? Join us for an interactive, inspirational session on getting the social side of sustainable transport right.

Transport emissions are rising faster globally than any other sector. While a shift to cleaner vehicles is important, it will take decades to take effect. To achieve meaningful change quickly, we must shift reliance away from private cars, making public and community transport, walking, cycling and shared mobility the ‘natural choice’. Research shows the social side of this change is vital: creating place-based solutions, integrating low-carbon modes, and encouraging and enabling sustainable transport behaviours.

The Sustainable Transport Alliance is the UK’s leading partnership of NGOs advocating for healthy, low carbon transport. This session will draw on our networks to showcase practical examples and insights on how local initiatives can engage and empower communities to achieve climate-safe, inclusive, healthy transport systems and behaviours.

Our panel of government, academic, industry and community experts will look at what broader policy and funding support is required to facilitate these initiatives; share expertise on building trust and making change last; and consider the wider impact on climate goals and additional benefits for health, wellbeing and sustainable development. These lessons are adaptable to any local context.

This event will include colourful examples that paint an inspiring picture of pathways to clean, green, equitable travel. Our panel of experts will engage in a lively debate, taking questions and comments from the audience to relate our experiences to other locations globally, sharing ideas, thinking and positivity around what we have to gain from cleaner transport.

Our thanks to Transport Scotland and Go-Ahead Group, a leading provider of passenger transport, for their support of this event.



Red River Poetry: Listening to a Polluted River

A poetry performance of poems written for the AHRC-funded Red River: Listening to a Polluted project, plus films and sound-art works made for the project. Ideas explored include: what does it mean to restore a natural habitat? To what state do we restore it?

One of the key points of the focus of the Red River project is to explore the relationship between existing landscape aesthetics and biodiversity: paradoxically the ugly, damaged places along the banks of the Red River are the most bio-diverse. How do we protect these and enhance their complexity through engaging local communities in reevaluating the importance of these places through creative writing and other creative practices?

As a consequence of the global pandemic and its relationship to the climate crisis it has become more important than ever to recognise the importance of the restorative powers of nature on our doorstep. It will appeal to anyone interested in poetry and the way in which language can reframe and reevaluate our relationship to nature as being part of it and not apart from it.


Women leaders transforming street design

The way we travel around our towns and cities is changing. Reducing motor use and increasing walking, wheeling and cycling is key to reducing carbon emissions.

Living Streets, the UK charity for everyday walking, is bringing together women from across the globe to showcase how changes to street infrastructure can change travel behaviours in a positive way for the environment, our health and local economies.

Too often women, children, older and disabled people are excluded from designing and planning our public spaces. If we want urban worlds that are liveable, healthier and better, then we need to include more diverse groups in their development. The panellists will discuss their approach to putting a more equitable society at the heart of their work.

Susan Claris (Vice President, Living Streets and Associate Director, Arup) will Chair the session. The panel will include:

  • Carly Gilbert-Patrick, Team Leader for Active Mobility, Digitalisation & Mode Integration, UN Environment Programme (live from Kenya)
  • Leslie Kern, Urbanist and author of Feminist City (live from Canada)
  • Cllr Anna Richardson, City Convener for Sustainability & Carbon Reduction, Glasgow (in person)
  • Janet Sanz, Deputy Mayor, Barcelona (live from Spain).

A facilitated panel discussion about what lessons can be learned and how their positive examples can be adapted worldwide will follow the panellists’ presentations.


The North West Presents: Talking about my Generation

The planet is facing an existential crisis. Cities across the world are wringing their hands in morbid concern. But rarely does the action match the rhetoric.

The North West of England is different.

It is a region with innovation and change in its DNA. From the industrial revolution of the 1800’s to the cultural revolution of the 1960’s, from Andre Geim to John Lennon, this is a place which drives change through action.

Our response to the Climate Crisis follows this same path.

A response which is about doing things not just talking about them. About knowing that there is no silver bullet, but that progress is more important than perfection.

But too often the path to progress is pitched as an inter-generational battle. The unchanging Old v The progressive Young.

This is far from the case.

Hosted by Paul Mason, broadcaster and journalist ‘Talking About Our Generation’ will bring North West Metro Mayors, Steve Rotheram and Andy Burnham together with the innovators who have driven change over the past generation and those who are set to take on that mantle in the crucial decades to come.

Open and honest, these conversations offer a chance for reflection and curiosity, to remember what has been achieved and what is still in the ‘too hard to do’ pile.
They will break down the idea that the crisis we face is born from a generational divide and show it as a shared human endeavour.

This is the moment when together we must lay the foundations of a new world.

For the young people of the North West this is not a nice to have, This is our Climate Future.

This is an Essential Revolution.


Speeding up the transport revolution

Join key global voices in policy, industry and civil society in a lively session organised by global movement Count Us In.

Road transport contributes to 75% of the global emissions associated with transportation. It is a big driver of climate change and early deaths due to air pollution. Yet, many exciting clean, fossil-free, technologies are already available and economically feasible.

What’s missing? Ambitious policies, investment, incentives and high-level actions to drive the adoption of clean energy solutions, faster. This event aims to send a message to policy makers: Step on the accelerator to bid the combustion engine farewell!


Migrant Justice = Climate Justice

Good Chance and guests explore the joint issues of migrant justice and climate justice in this special event.

The climate crisis is forcing people to move, and it will force millions more to move in the future. The issue of safe passage is an urgent one.

Little Amal, a young refugee and 3.5m high puppet, has just completed a remarkable 8000km journey – The Walk, produced by Good Chance Theatre in association with Handspring Puppet Company.

Along the way, Amal met with refugees like her, many affected directly by the consequences of the climate crisis. As borders are raised, how should we respond to this growing need to move to find safety?

In the heart of COP26, Good Chance Theatre will chair a discussion with:

  • Onjali Rauf, author of Sunday Times bestselling children’s book, The Boy at the Back of the Class, and founder and CEO of Making Herstory and O’s Refugee Aid Team
  • Kim Bryan, Director of Communications at international climate organisation 350.org
  • Josie Naughton, CEO of global refugee support organisation Choose Love
  • A Connect4Climate young leader discussing the outcomes of the recent Pre-COP26 Youth4Climate summit
  • A panellist from The Global Youth Climate Inquiry, an initiative of One Young World, Mishcon de Reya LLP and the Democracy and Culture Foundation

Together they will explore the intersections of climate, migration and the urgent need to shape new narratives for our changing future.

In partnership with 350.org, Choose Love, Connect4Climate – World Bank Group, One Young World, Mishcon de Reya LLP, Democracy and Culture Foundation



Tagore and the Environment

Join Dr Bashabi Fraser CBE for this insight into the wisdom of Rabindranath Tagore.

Tagore was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature but he was also an environmentalist with a global perspective. Rabindranath and his circle’s ecological consciousness is as relevant today as ever. His legacy can be seen in current sustainability policies. His spirit is alive in all voices calling for climate justice and urgent reform.

‘We may become powerful by knowledge, but we attain fullness by sympathy. The highest education is that which does not merely give us information but makes our life in harmony with all existence.’
-Rabindranath Tagore, ‘My School’

Bashabi Fraser is also an award winning poet with a global vision. This is an event to refresh and nourish our minds and spirits, from one of Scotland’s finest academics and co-founder of the Scottish Centre for Tagore Studies (ScoTs). Followed by audience discussion.

The event is hosted by the Junor Gallery, which had a presence in the heart of St Andrews, Scotland from 2017 to 2020 and is now online. Its open door policy with its focus on art and poetry, discussion and debate honours the vital role of culture in reflecting on our experience and effecting social change.


Arctic Free

“Arctic Free”, a visually stunning multimedia presentation, reveals the urgency to safeguard the Arctic Ocean in its entirety for the sake of our collective survival. Presented by the international nonprofit Parvati Foundation, it features beautiful footage with testimonials by scientists, youth and luminaries about the importance of the ocean.


National Youth Theatre’s ‘On The Edge’ performance

On The Edge: young people aged 18-26 from the National Youth Theatre of Great Britain’s national network present a creative exploration of young people’s eco-anxiety in the face of climate uncertainty through a performance of spoken word, poetry, music and short film.

National Youth Theatre (NYT) is enabling the voices of young people from marginalised communities to be heard in this international setting, building their agency to manage the competing challenges of flood risk, high socio-economic deprivation and unemployment, and to develop youth-led solutions to help them build resilience in their communities and adapt to climate change.

“On The Edge” incorporates the double meaning of young people’s eco-anxiety and of coastal communities, both their marginalisation and their ability to look outwards (to the sea and the windfarms located there) to where the solutions may be found, with an emphasis on green recovery jobs.

On The Edge will be led by Adeola Yemitan, NYT Member, Actor, Writer & winner of the 2021 Samsung Spotlight competition for young performers; Paul Roseby OBE, NYT’s Chief Executive & Artistic Director; and Professor Briony McDonagh, Professor of Environmental Humanities at the University of Hull’s Energy & Environment Institute.

On the Edge is a crucial part of MELT, NYT’s major three year programme launched in 2020 to platform the voices of young people on climate change. MELT is working with climate scientists, academics and the renewable energy sector to provide creative provocation and outputs. With the University of Hull’s Energy & Environment Institute, we are addressing flood risk (through the AHRC funded research programme, Risky Cities, led by Professor Briony McDonagh) and community impact; and the needs and skills gap of the renewables sector to diversify and build awareness of sustainable energy employment opportunities for young people. MELT is supported by an Industry Advisory Panel that includes Jane Cooper of Ørsted; Melanie Onn of RenewableUK, and Danielle Lane of Vattenfall.