One Planet York Festival of Ideas Event – The Creativity of Sustainability
10th June 2019
Helen Graham & Phil Bixby
After an introductory presentation by Helen Graham and Phil Bixby on the approach to public engagement used on the My Castle Gateway and My York Central projects, four speakers talked about their own project and how each addresses specific One Planet principles. After each talk there was a pause for reflection and participants were asked three questions:-
- What interests you in this?
- What are the challenges – what questions does this raise for you?
- What connections or collaborations are needed to make this change happen?
Participants were asked to record their thoughts on Post-Its and these were collected…
…following the event they were individually scanned, uploaded to Flickr and tagged for ease of searching. The Flickr album can be found here, the list of all the tags here – they’re all gathered, starting with “opy”. This can be searched by simply clicking on any of the tags. More refined searches can be made by adding extra tags, so for example search for opycouncil, then in the address bar change https://www.flickr.com/photos/165399988@N08/tags/opycouncil/ to https://www.flickr.com/photos/165399988@N08/tags/opycouncil & opylegislate to find Post-Its looking at the council and legislation, or https://www.flickr.com/photos/165399988@N08/tags/opycouncil or opylegislate to find Post-Its looking at the council plus Post-Its looking at legislation.
A summary of the results
Just under 300 Post-Its were recorded. These were tagged on the basis of theme, any action which was suggested or implied, and any body type of body which was connected to the theme or action. So for example:-
Taking a look first at the most numerous tags, Wellbeing was a common issue with Social Prescribing being a common theme within it, and access to it mentioned by many.
Home Energy was also a common issue with a wide range of concerns and themes linked to it – exploring different ways of saving energy / looking at legislation for higher standards of new-build sustainability / assessing the best way to make improvements.
Collaboration was the most frequently mentioned of the actions, but noted in a variety of contexts. Collaboration with or between organised groups was frequently mentioned (especially Extinction Rebellion) but also peer-to-peer collaboration between individuals (for example community bulk buying).
Information was seen as key, with reference to shortage of information (“how do I find out about…”) and the way in which it needs to be delivered in accessible format. Linked to this, many people mentioned the giving and getting of help and the channels through which this worked, and communication.
Of the various bodies noted in connection with these issues and actions, the council was the most frequently mentioned, with specific roles in respect of policy and recycling, but also more generally as a link with other organisations.
Extinction Rebellion was also seen as a key player – in all sorts of ways but in particular in connecting and collaborating with other bodies (and at the same time concerns were voiced about a crowded field with many environmental bodies and a need to ensure avoidance of unhelpful overlaps). Indeed, a simple wish to ensure cooperation between different groups was also a key concern.
Overall, connections / collaborations were a key concern – between different groups and between issues and key players. Ways of sharing information and educating / getting buy-in were also major concerns, with a wish to carefully explore the possibilities of online platforms and new technology, tempered by a concern that such innovations (eg Uber, AirBnB) aren’t always as cuddly as they are initially portrayed, and a recognition that sometimes collective action works best where people meet, and talk.