The best way to #ShakeUpTheSystem is by cooperation. No matter the situation, as long as we all work together to empower each other and share the stories of our narrative, we can make a change. The place to start is to listen to one another, to share our stories and take inspiration from everyone’s words.
Recently Hawkwood had the fortune of being able to curate, create and host its flagship online conference the Climate Action Lab – now in its fourth edition since we launched the first prototype in Feb 2020. Our theme was “YES to change” and the intention was to challenge the narrative of separation. Often we hear “what are we prepared to give up?” but that was in the past. Our goal was to spread the word about what we can say “Yes” to in our effort to build a better future. The event only improved by the response from those attending.
During this lab, we asked for attendees to write down ten-point plans for their climate action aims, inspired by the diverse talks and speakers. We then asked them to submit as part of a competition with the intention of encouraging participation. One of the best things we can do with the struggle of the climate crisis is to empower each other, and with the ten-point plans, we are doing exactly that.
All of the team gathered together to review the responses and decide on what #MovedUs. We found all the responses inspiring, and that they covered a range of subjects. Some were personable, alive and connected immediately with a personal impact on nature, while others considered the professional business-like impact of our actions. All of the plans were equally valid, which made judging a winner that much harder.
Choosing a winner for the ten point plan competition was close. Each plan had so much optimism and inspiration to give that it was almost impossible to choose. In the end we chose two winners because of their different approaches, though we could easily have selected any.
We were touched by “Involve my 12 year old Grandaughter and her friends” – Mary’s commitment to involve her community, and in particular the younger generations, is exactly what we need to #ShakeUpTheSystem.
Between the wonderfully creative layout and the warm contents, Mary’s plan had a wealth of #inclusivity. It included concern and consideration for both #humanandnonhuman and clear #actionableactions. It was well structured and detailed, which appealed to some fondness of numbers…. #threethings too hard to give up.
Joint 1st Place Winner – Mary Jean
1. Food: Increase the proportion of food purchased/consumed that is organic
2. “Make do and Mend”: Be creative in mending and upcycling clothes and household items instead of buying new
3. Biodiversity: Make our garden more wildlife friendly
4. Water: Less time in the shower, less wasted in the kitchen, and more rainwater harvested in the garden
5. Plastic Packaging: Make a pledge to stop buying/find alternatives for 3 products that are particularly hard to give up
6. Communication: Talk about why I have stopped flying – without “preaching.”
7. Involving Young People: Involve my 12-year-old granddaughter and her friends in making homemade toiletries, upcycling old clothes, etc
8. Campaigning: Write one letter a fortnight on a specific issue eg. to MP, Prime Minister, newspapers, supermarkets, pension providers, etc
9. Community: Get out of my comfort zone by joining/ learning/sharing with the others in the community e.g: joining a climate action network
10. “Walk Cheerfully”: Look after my own and family members’ mental, emotional and spiritual health by celebrating life and nature, changing seasons, the landscape and the garden
We were inspired by “Keep discussing these topics” among many other parts of Gary’s plan. The combination between how he’s already been active and the further changes he can make inspires us to take strength from the steps we’ve already taken.
As a person working in a large climate contributor, the oil industry, he shows with a clear mission for change. Gary’s actions made running the lab so nourishing for us, for the people he’d touched, and for whoever those actions had touched!
Joint 1st Place Winner – Gary Turner
I pledge to…
1. Design clarity of networks that I wish to be part of and leverage e.g XR, CCC, Hawkwood, DE-RE-AIM etc
2. “Live the future we wish to create”- Miriam ℅ Hawkwood. What am I learning and embodying to live the future I wish to create?
- Change pension funds
- Change banking institution
- More local growing
3. Share more systemic/connected articles (chemicals/consumption/planet) e.g. biodiversity loss (bees) link to agrochemicals link to chemicals link to food
4. Investigate and understand the local place in much more detail. What was the history, who were the people, what domination existed, and has that really changed? What in-place regeneration can we contribute to IN PLACE
5. What does giving life mean to me personally? How much life do my actions and life give vs take based on my personal / in-place situation?
Home: Keep discussing these topics with Jackie, and change some of our ways around:
- Walking to shops more
- Reducing food waste
- Growing our own vegetables
- Reducing consumption (re-use and prolong life)
- Only buy new occasionally and from recycled / organic sources that do not harm life
- Reduce meat intake drastically, move towards a vegetarian diet progressively
Reduce and eradicate soft drinks and their packaging impact
- Put boundaries in place for essential travel only – what does that mean? 2 x ExPo p/a and nothing else
- Take the train wherever possible, within the UK and to the continent
- Actively seek to influence the dialogue we are having with customers and suppliers alike around the sustainability agenda
- Keep championing the centring of Global South communities in work, my own business and at all times
6. Use art to bring my messaging and becoming to life i.e poetry, clarinet etc
- The use of poetry is increasing
7. Use of some of the below insights with senior leaders at my workplace-> reference them in media shares/activists
- Shared updates with Reg Syn team and Chief Sustainability officer
8. Activism is really making an impact; school strikes, XR etc (“the space into which that conversation is landing has opened up”) – Pauline Crawford
Motivate colleagues at the workplace to step up/organise -> same across the industry – #solidarity DE-RE-AIM Gatherings proposed
9. Invite CCC/ circles to debate the new proposed Ecocide law, take accountability for bringing it up in our organisations/clients, and bring it back into our circle
- Made suggestions to the 5 closest people in my industry network to explore some more challenging topics
10. Design The Immersive Connection Lab (with PTHR and for my cross-sector, cross-functional industry)
- Also what can be alongside retreats
My 10 Point Plan
by Alison Grant
1. Consider the non-human in every decision I take
2. Have conversations without agenda to change structures at a local level, “weaving an ecology of conversations” Get curious about my discomfort when engaging with different opinions
3. Make my garden an ARK Garden and spread the ARK conversation around my area and the Communal Gardens Committee in the city of Edinburgh. Engage as necessary using my skills as a Landscape Architect/ Artist
4. Discuss at a board meeting the creation of a Youth Shadow board at the Edinburgh Printmaking Studio
5. Always use my Artistic practice to reawaken people to their place in their ecosystem. With a particular reference to my current project 11,000 miles around Scotland’s Coasts
6. Change to ethical banking
7. Change to a renewable energy supplier
8. Look at energy efficiency more at home
9. Don’t buy new
10. Shop seasonal and without plastics wherever possible
11. Eat no farmed fish or meat that is not grass-fed
My 10 Point Plan
By Clare Snowdon
1. Imagine and write down my new story – how life can be & what does living in the right relationship look like?
2. Get 100 people back into connection with nature through nature connection sessions
3. Make time each week to connect with nature with my children
4. Encourage my community towards Nature-Connected. Neighbourhoods – sharing our gardens with wildlife and people who don’t have gardens
5. Amplify the voices of indigenous and other drowned-out groups
6. Reduce processed food & plastic food packaging at home
7. Start a food garden
8. Explore my bioregion
9. Work to protect the rights of activists – both right to protest and the rights of activists protecting rainforests etc
10. Reduce my heating bill by 10% this year by increasing insulation and reduction of use
My 10 Point Plan
by Kieran Mccarthy
With focus on regenerative action at individual, work, community and ecosystem levels.
1. Commitment to 100% vegan diet.
2. Cycle instead of using car whenever possible – especially short journeys.
3. Reduce energy consumption by buying local produce, growing own food, fitting draft excluders on doors and windows of my house.
4. Budget for solar panel installations on my house within next 3 years to produce 100% of our household energy supply and contribute to green energy resources.
5. Create wild areas in garden for ecosystem regeneration, along with no dig growing of food.
6. Create 10 point action with colleagues at work to consider environment impacts of our organisation and support regeneration at community level. Also to raise awareness among colleagues and our service users.
7. Connect with Global South biodiversity initiatives. For example Green Hope Foundation, Sadhana Forest Project (in India, Kenya, Haiti).
8. Join my local Climate Action Network – and participate!
9. Learning from Indigenous wisdom through reading, supporting indigenous biodiversity campaigns.
10. Go deeper with my own embodied connection with nature and explore this with others. e.g. bring my daily mindfulness meditation into woodland and other nature spaces, and offer as a regular activity with others.