21 Mar 2007
Does it bother you that politics is so unimaginative, dreary and adult’? Do you feel powerless, angry at the lack of concern for global warming? If the answer is yes, then read on.
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Does it bother you that politics is so unimaginative, dreary and adult’? Do you feel powerless, angry or bored by the lack of concern for global warming? If the answer is yes, then read on.
Media organisations are a little like teenagers. They exist on a diet of visual stimuli, otherwise known as eye candy’. They feed off wacky’ ideas and catchy slogans, all of which young people produce in abundance. Why wait until you are old and the ice caps have all melted before you feel qualified enough to communicate your concerns about climate change? There is no longer any excuse, because DEFRA ñ the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, recently launched their Climate Change Communication Initiative, which enables young people to take action by offering skills, advice and training, in order to change public attitudes.
Positive News was delighted to be invited to run a series of workshops for young people in the West Midlands as part of an incentive organised by WMnet, who are an online education consortium providing for schools within the West Midlands area. WMnet secured funding from DEFRA to initiate a project called Young People’s Climate Change Messages. They set up five days of workshops run by media and communications experts from CatcherMedia, Envision, Peace Child International, Friends of the Earth and Herefordshire College of Art and Design.
Students who attended were given the unique opportunity to make films and animations, edit podcasts, build websites, design posters and logos, and compose catchy campaign literature.
Campaign ideas and slogans from the Positive News workshops on print media included: a Climate Catwalk presenting Sustainable Style, Global Glamour and Extreme Weather collections, designed by young people with help from famous fashion designers; a Formula 1 car race promoting bio-diesel as the fuel of the future, to drive away climate chaos; a James Bond movie with a plot based on saving the whole world from climate catastrophe and a mobile re-vegucation unit in the shape of a giant marrow, to educate people about food miles.
Margaret Danby, project manager of WMnet’s climate change curriculum programme’ said: ‘Young people need motivation and skills to communicate their ideas. We wanted to expose them to different approaches to enrich the debate and reach new audiences. We’re empowering young people to make a difference.’ Ed Scrivens of Bridgnorth Endowed School agreed. ‘It was such a creative event for everyone,’ he said.
For examples of young people’s climate change messages: www.wmnet.org.uk
or to get involved contact: www.climatechallenge.gov.uk
Campaign ideas can be entered into a competition to win funding and support
Pupils from Bridgnorth Endowed School show off their poster of ideas
Photo ©: Rosie Sanders
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