East Sussex County Council wanted to organise an event for secondary schools in the borough, in collaboration with partners in France. The event would focus on the way in which schools could reduce their carbon footprint, looking at changing the behaviour of students and processes of the schools themselves. It was hoped that the international dimension would replicate the need to international cooperation in the real world.
How we approached it
We worked with the directly elected East Sussex Youth Cabinet to plan the event, ensuring it was genuinely youth-led from the start. Schools were also invited to create and submit their own videos highlighting the steps that they were already taking to address the problem. Over 100 people attended the conference which split into workshops focusing issues such as sustainable travel and waste. We also used our innovative Electronic Insight System to allow participants to vote on issues in real time using handheld voting devices.
Students, Youth Cabinet members, teachers, senior officers and Councillors voted at the end of the day to agree on a number of pledges to take away from the conference. These included:
- A strategy to increase renewable energy use in schools
- A county-wide ‘switch off’ day
- A carbon target within schools