A team of Midlands Engine ‘Green Growth Champions’, aged 15-19 have set out the four key themes that will shape this year’s Young People’s Green Growth Assembly (YPGGA) as they look to pose questions to green growth leaders across the region, paving the way for real change.
Working with Birmingham’s Poet Laureate, Casey Bailey, the Green Growth Champions developed the following themes to align with their own passions, positioning them as of top priority for Midlands’ business leaders to take on board as part of the region’s journey to net zero.
- The importance of nature’s recovery
Exploring the impact that nature’s recovery means in the Midlands
- Clean, Green Energy
The importance of energy developments in the region
- Sustainable Manufacturing
The impact of supply chains on the environment, and on young people’s lives, with an exploration of the lifecycle of a product and the consumption of society
- Green places: buildings, spaces, transport
The impact and importance of spaces and places that we live and work in the Midlands
Using these priority themes as inspiration, the Green Growth Champions have been co-designing a series of creative and thought-provoking sessions and showcases on the region’s net zero challenges and ambitions. The team will then present their ideas to an audience of universities, government bodies, businesses, industry, and environmental organisations.
The group have been working closely with Casey Bailey, who has been fostering creativity throughout the process. He has even been inspired to create his own rap based on the group’s priorities, which will be premiered at the YPGGA event on 6th December in Nottingham.
Casey Bailey, Birmingham Poet Laureate said: “It was a fantastic opportunity to be able to talk to these young people and learn more about their vision for the future. Having heard their ideas and thoughts, I can see that it’s vital that we listen to the next generation and that’s exactly what this assembly is all about. I’ve been so inspired by the team that I’ve begun writing a new piece of work that incorporates their ideas and I can’t wait to showcase the rap at the event in December.”
Hannah Vernalls (age 16 from Nottingham), Green Growth Champion, said: “A really important part of rejuvenating nature is through sustainable energy and using renewable energy sources. We thought it would be a great idea to share our passions and thoughts on sustainable energy at the assembly to make real change by talking to our region’s leaders.”
Safiyah Smitham (age 16 from Nottingham), Green Growth Champion, said: “One of the areas we are most passionate about is sustainable manufacturing and highlighting how different industries are affecting our environment. We should be thinking about the impact we each have on the environment and on the future of the planet.”
The YPGGA is an important milestone in the region’s journey to net zero - a chance for influential leaders from every part of the Midlands Engine to connect with a committed group of young people from across the Midlands and to hear what the next generation’s key priorities are for the future.