This March the UCLU Green Economy Society (GES) was proud to cooperate with the German Association Club of Rome, the Global Marshall Plan Foundation, FÖS, DNW and FAW/n in organising the very first UK Conference Day on Sustainability. Such student led Conference Days have already been conducted in a number of German, Austrian and Swiss universities. The GES is therefore very proud to have contributed to the international expansion of this thought-provoking initiative.
We started the New Year with an exciting talk about the future potential of bioenergy from Dr Antonio Marco Pantaleo.
Dr Pantaleo is a research associate at Imperial College London, who researches in spatially explicit models and optimization tools to integrate bioenergy into urban energy systems. His interests in strategic and operational optimization of district heating and natural gas network, as well as thermo-economic assessment of biomass and natural gas based micro combined heat and power really shone throughout his interactive lecture.
For our latest event we had the absolute pleasure to host our first ever ‘Hot Topic’ event series, and boy did it go off with a bang! We had Professor Wade Allison (Pro-Nuclear supporter – Emiritus Professor of Physics at Oxford University) and Neil Crumpton (an independent avid campaigner for renewable energy, and against the new build of nuclear power plants). With 15 minutes each, both sides were raring to go, informing the audience of a wide range of scenarios and reasons for and against nuclear energy.
Good ideas do not sell themselves. With this statement Natasha Perkins began her talk on sustainable branding. Natasha is a Brand Planner at Futerra, a company that helps businesses such as LEGO, Danone and L’Oreal to unlock the value of sustainability. Her main job is to make sustainability attractive, through questions such as: What does the world you want look like?
This week, we had the pleasure of hosting Bruce Davis, the co-founder and managing director of Abundance Generation, an investment platform that allows sustainable and secure investment in the UK,. Bruce began his talk by admitting that although he had never worked in a bank, he has worked for several financial institutions and that this has inspired him to study money. He was in particular fascinated by the fact that money was always invisible until a problem arose, then it suddenly became visible. He argued that we as a society, don’t often talk about money in financial terms and often assume that we know what money is. We also often believe that money has an intrinsic value but in reality, it has no value if no social relations underpin it.
Following James Greyson’s talk that emphasized the need for systemic change in the way our economy functions, GES was pleased to welcome Professor Paul Ekins to our first seminar to discuss the prospect of a green economy.
On Thursday, October 15th UCLU Green Economy was thrilled to host James Greyson as our first guest lecturer of the year. James has over 20 years of experience in the sustainability sector- he is the founder and head of the influential Blindspot Think Tank that is advising businesses, NATO and international NGOs on complex system change. At our lecture he talked about circular economy, which he believes is a good case study of how we can create systemic change. Change which can then be used to address complex global problems.
On the 4th of March 2015, the Green Economy Society was proud to host their annual Green Business Forum. The Green Business Forum is an event, for which the Green Economy Society invites speakers from the green sector congregate for an afternoon-long panel discussion about the current issues of the global green economy. The panel speakers receive 15 minutes to present their current work and after four panel speakers the audience can engage in a 15 minutes open discussion. It is the perfect opportunity for students to meet, listen to and, interact with the leaders of today’s sustainability challenges.
On Thursday 26th of February we hosted our last guest talk of the year before our big GREEN BUSINESS FORUM! James Ford, a professor at UCL who worked for the Environment Agency, came to speak to us about what the Environment Agency does, how he came to work with them, and what their responsibilities are.