On the evening of Wed 26 May 21, the Tacitus 2021 speaker, Dr Kirsten Dunlop (CEO of EIT Climate-KIC) kindly hosted an online debate on the topic of Climate Change and Innovation. The participants (students with accompanying teachers) were drawn from Christ’s Hospital School, City of London Freemen’s School, London Academy of Excellence, Totteridge Academy and William Perkin School. The event was structured as a 90 minute, interactive webinar, with a plenary session defining the goals and objectives of the conference, two break-out sessions, feedback and conclusions.
Master Sue Algeo began the event by welcoming attendees and introducing Dr Dunlop, who outlined the climate change challenges ahead and reminded us that we were all global citizens who could/should make individual contributions to positive change. She suggested to students that “innovation was the key to enabling communal benefit” and reminded them that there were already great career opportunities in the leadership of climate change.
During the first break-out session, students were randomly put into six breakout rooms, with each room asked to consider a question or provocation, with a representative from each room feeding back results to the overall group. This was followed by the second break-out session, with students choosing to attend one of five themed discussions, moderated by Dr Dunlop and members of her team. These included topics as diverse as Urban Planning, Re-thinking Finance, Supporting Startups and Climate Change Storytelling. In her concluding remarks to the students Dr Dunlop posed a final provocation, “Do you know how many degrees rise in temperature will derive from your pension investments?”.
Master Sue Algeo and then Michael Larsen concluded the conference by thanking the students for attending, and Dr Dunlop and her team for what was by any definition a brilliant, thought-provoking event.