BiOrbic and Foróige welcomed 13 students to University College Dublin for the first Generation Glas Summer School from the 9th-11th of August! Generation Glas is an 8-month programme, combining in-person and remote workshops, lectures and pratical assignments, covering the bioeconomy, climate change, and sustainability in order to a network of empowered, young, confident and knowledgeable sustainability ambassadors.
The Summer School was opened by BiOrbic Director Professor Kevin O’Connor and Foróige Chairperson Barbara Daly. They both gave inspiration talks to the students about the importance of the sustainability, and the role of their generation for the future of the environment. This summer school is the first part of the course and involved all of the participants coming together in person to take part in several workshops in UCD as well as a visit to Airfield Estate.
On the first day, the students had a group discussion, giving their views on sustainability issues and deciding the group agreements for the summer school. After this they were given a lab tour from Raphaël Abolivier about valorisation of biomass and the work he’s doing with BiOrbic. The afternoon session started with an interactive workshop on global citizenship with Niamh Flynn from GOAL Global, followed by presentations from participants of Goal’s NextGen Youth Programme on Global Citizenship!
The second day, opened with workshop about the spread of global wealth, population and emissions. Eimear Manning from the National Youth Council of Ireland then came to UCD to give a workshop in climate change and climate justice. She facilitated some really lively dialogue amongst the students about various issues related to the climate crisis. The afternoon sessions began with an energiser game designed by the group, followed by a recap from the morning’s session where students shared opinions on what they felt about the workshops. After the students had an interactive workshop from Amanda Mathieson, BiOrbic EPE and Communications Manager, about communicating and engaging the public as well as how to design communications for specific audiences! Finally there was a wrap up and debrief before dinner and an excursion to the UCD cinema!
The third and final day was hosted out in Airfield Estate. The morning consisted of a brainstorming session with all the students. In this they discussed ideas for all the different sustainability events they will be organising as the next part of the project, as well as themes and topics they’d like to learn more about for the online sessions they’ll be having over the next few months. After this they had an explore of the gardens and learned about the urban farm, before doing a final debrief of the summer school and then heading off home.
It was a fantastic few days full of interesting discussions and workshops. All the students are well on their way to being our future sustainabilities ambassadors! There is much more to come from these students and more from the Generation Glas programme.
Huge thanks to our GG coordinator Conor Haugh, and Foróige on all their work on this. Also many thanks to all the groups who came and facilitated some fantastic workshops GOAL Global, National Youth Council of Ireland
Generation Glas is funded through the Science Foundation Ireland Discover Programme and is an initiative that draws talented young people from diverse backgrounds across Ireland and supports them in becoming ambassadors for sustainability through an extended course.