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news | 10 July 2022

Climate Action at Wadham

Climate action leaders (written by Rebecca, Assistant Course Director)

‘We can no longer let the people in power decide what hope is. Hope is not passive. Hope is not blah, blah, blah. (…) Hope is taking action. And hope always comes from the people’, said climate activist Greta Thunberg in 2021.

In their second week at Wadham College, this is exactly what our hopeful Young Leaders did – they took action by coming up with proposals meant to address various effects of the current global warming crisis.

As part of their extensive preparation, they learnt about empowerment, prevention, mitigation, positive psychology and how to put their passions and values to good use in terms of project design. There was inspiration to be found in the ground-breaking work done by Leane de Laigue, the week’s guest speaker and Climate Outreach representative. Debating and pitching a creative idea were other leadership skills that the students effectively practised during this period.

After Monday’s Town Hall presentation session, the culmination of their efforts, the students were duly rewarded with prizes for the Best Presentation, Best Presenter and Most Ingenious Idea. But what ultimately proved an even greater reward was coming to the realisation that they themselves can bring about change so as to combat climate change.

An appreciation of the world is what motivates a leader to preserve it, and travel plays a crucial role here. Planned trips to an Oxford museum and London proved enlightening in this respect.

Formal Dinner was another highlight of the week, with Young Leaders looking smart for the special occasion. The candle-lit tables, courteous butler service and fine food served in the 400-year-old Dining Hall made a long-lasting impression on everyone.

Sports activities such as dodgeball and fun games (Pictionary, story creation) made for welcome diversions so that our leaders could feel reinvigorated after a hard day’s work.

Finally, there’s nothing like a superhero film to catalyse young minds into action. ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’s message of never losing hope was just what the students needed before putting forward their proposals for climate action and leading the way to a better world for us all.