The Carbon Neutral University Network (Sheffield) has recently published Changing Systems, Not Just Lightbulbs – Building Pathways to Zero Carbon in Higher Education: a guide to what works. The guide starts from the question, How can our universities develop a leading role in building a low carbon society in the UK?
The guide aims to help people in any position at higher education institution – students, staff members and senior leaders – to build low carbon initiatives. The focus is on using HE as ‘living laboratories’, and the authors examine how systems thinking can lay the foundations for effective change. Approaches to building a strong culture of prototyping are explored and illustrated with case studies.
Tim Allen, Sustainability Coordinator at the University of Sheffield Students’ Union, tells us:
“I have made great use of the “Changing Systems, Not Just Lightbulbs” guide recently, in the context of: A) Supporting students with a campaign to switch the University to a renewable electricity supply, and B) When planning how to give an inspiring presentation about climate justice to the student officers who lead my students’ union. For A), the chapter about “Engaging with University Management” has been helpful in getting my head around how to advise students on the interpersonal side of this challenging campaign. For B), the chapter on “Strategic Thinking – the roles of senior leaders” and in particular “Chapter 10 – Key Action Points” were great prompts to put me into the shoes of the student leaders of the organisation, as they operate (and lobby) at that higher strategic level.”
The guide is available here together with resources including videos of the keynote presentations which informed the case we present. These resources include practical tools for enhancing engagement. Printed copies of the guide are available – enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.