Guest Bloggers: A Day in the Shed
Recalling a few events at Greenbelt 2012 that you might have missed, our Guest Bloggers are here to brighten up those dark post-Greenbelt months! Here’s Louisa Casson from the UKYCC, who took part in several sessions in the Youth programme…
As a 21 year old campaigner on climate change, I was lucky enough to gain entry into the Shed (a colourful tent with a strict door policy – no adults allowed) at Greenbelt on Saturday – not knowing what exactly would be through the makeshift door of the tarpaulin. I was met with a mood full of creativity, innovative thinking and happiness from the young people there, who varied from face-painted and fairy winged to iPad carrying diplomats-to-be.
What really struck me was the amazing engagement of these young people with the many varied issues surrounding global warming. Having mostly worked with over 16s before, it was fascinating for me to hear such considered opinions on why there isn’t a global legally binding deal and what technologies we could develop to lower our carbon emissions from such young voices. Some of the ideas I heard took me completely by surprise, whether by the sheer audacity of imagining what our future could look like (“if these countries will be completely flooded by 2050, why don’t we start relocating to underwater colonies?”) or the clarity with which these clued-up teenagers were articulating problems that the UN is only just getting on to now, in its 18th year of climate change talks.
Throughout the day I’d seen the Shed change from a hub of music, design, learning – finally it became a place of vigorous debate about how (and whether) young people should change the world – now. I heard inspiring stories of local action that they’re already organising in their communities, I learnt some great facts about renewable energies, and together we came on to huge questions of whether technology was a force for good or evil – perhaps such serious discussions should always be fuelled by cupcakes!
Young people, including myself, are constantly being dismissed for their idealism – but here I found savvy, confident and engaged teenagers (and even mightily impressive 10 year olds!) who weren’t afraid to share their clear sense of justice or their analysis of why something isn’t working – by supplying a constant stream of innovative alternative solutions.
Do we have to change the world now? The ideas coming from the Shed already show the mark of a big change to more open, collaborative and exciting thinking – maybe a better future is only as far away as the back of the Greenbelt garden.