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Utilising Policy to Improve Climate Crisis Education across the Scottish Education System

Posted by Sonya Peres

Summary
SAGES are offering a unique opportunity for a short-term Internship with the Students Organising for Sustainability (SOS-UK) specifically working on the Teach the Future campaign, a student and pupil-led campaign lobbying Government to repurpose the education system for the climate emergency. The intern will research education policy to feed into meetings with Members of Scottish Parliament and to write consultation responses on behalf of Teach the Future Scotland. Teach the Future Scotland’s Asks have been embedded into the election manifestos of both the Scottish National Party and the Scottish Green Party and consequently, there may be other objectives/areas of policy research as part of the role depending on the results of the May 6th election.

Background

Aims and Objectives
The role of the SAGES intern will be to support researching policy education policy and sustainability to advance Education for Sustainable Development across Scotland.

The primary objective are as follows:

Objective 1: Research policy surrounding each Teach the Future Scotland Asks ahead of meetings with civil servants and councils.

Objective 2: Research policy surrounding Teach the Future Scotland Asks to improve and update/improve Asks following Scottish Parliamentary Elections.

Objective 3: Research policy relevant to Teach the Future Scotland Asks to respond to consultations on behalf of Teach the Future.

Timeframe
Teach the Future Scotland will be working with Scottish Government in the lead up to COP26 to implement Asks. There will normally be around 1-2 meetings with MSPs or civil servants a month and around 2 consultations a month.

Person specifications
Please note – the applicant must be a member of SAGES (If you attend a SAGES Institution*, you are eligible to become a SAGES member).
We are looking for an Early Career Researcher or SAGES Graduate student:
• Either working towards, or has recently completed a PhD
• Knowledge and/or experience of working with education policy
• Knowledge and/or experience sustainability policy
• Strong research and synthesis skills.
• Strong communications skills (written and verbal)
• Independent worker who can plan their own workload and is confident in their ability to deliver a well written report.
• DBS or PVG check

How to apply
To apply, please provide a one-page cover letter detailing why you are the right person for this Policy Internship as well as a CV (2 pages maximum) to Laura Scotland at the University of Edinburgh. Please include one reference that you are happy for us to contact, should you be successful.

Questions can be directed to sonya@teachthefuture.uk Sonya at Teach the Future.

*SAGES Partner Institutions: Universities of Aberdeen, Abertay, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, St Andrews, Stirling, SAMS UHI, SUERC, UWS and the British Geological Survey, Scotland.

Deadline: 16th June 2021.

Maximising the potential of renewable energy: problem solving for the RED WoLF project

Posted by Rachel

The RED WoLF summer school will take place entirely online from June – August 2021, where small groups will develop impactful projects, research or initiatives addressing real-world challenges faced by the RED WoLF project, which is maximising the potential of renewable energy and smart renewables.

Students will be presented challenges by the RED WoLF project partners, and other key stakeholders and then will be assigned in small interdisciplinary groups to a challenge stream based on academic discipline, experience and interests. Students will be invited to join a number of online workshops and seminars to equip them with the necessary skills and knowledge to problem-solve their assigned challenge, before working independently and in groups to address the challenges over the 9-week programme.

We are expecting the time commitment for students to be around 1 day per week, with very few set hours so it is manageable around other commitments. In August, student groups will write up and present their findings, results and recommendations back to the challenge setters and other relevant stakeholders and receive feedback.

Through taking part, you will develop and demonstrate transferable professional and academic skills and apply them to challenges which are addressing the climate emergency. You will also earn a digital badge. Whilst we expect the majority of students to take part in an extra-curricular capacity, we can aim to meet academic requirements if you are able to claim academic credit for placements such as this as part of your course. Please talk to your supervisor and get in touch with us to discuss more.

Applications are open now for students from all disciplines in North-West Europe (UK, Ireland, France, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland). Apply here (deadline 7 May): bit.ly/redwolfschool

Employment, family and sustainability

Posted by Catherine

Neuroscience has demonstrated that the relationships we experience, particularly early in life, have a significant impact on our future life outcomes. Recent ONS data has also confirmed that when family and key relationships are working well, they are the leading factor supporting our resilience through tough times. Our research, has highlighted the key role employers and organisations play in influencing whether families of all forms, thrive or not. The Brundtland Commission defined sustainability as actions that take account of impact on current as well as future generations and we want to strengthen the understanding, commitment and inspiration of employers and corporations to shift the dial on this key issue.

We are currently confirming budget available and are open to discussing the best ways to deliver this opportunity and attract someone who will be the right fit. We are currently in discussion with other potential partners which is likely to result in this brief being finetuned.

The objectives of our overall project are:
1. To scale an urgent and national-level on family as a central part of organisational sustainability practice
2. To partner with 2-3 leading entrepreneurs to further develop their learning, practice and tools to inspire wider system change, inclusive of diverse and dynamic families
3. To partner with leading sustainability and employment groups to scale conversation and action and embed this within their ongoing support to organisations
4. To share learning with government professional bodies to influence future regulation and good practice

We are open to other ideas; our thinking is that this colleague would work with us to develop the following outputs:
- creation of a business case template to support organisational champions to get traction on family as an ESG issue
- creation of 2-3 simple organisational self-assessment tools and processes which inform meaningful organisational improvement
- meaningful and accessible metrics that align with existing ESG frameworks
- strong partnerships with key sustainability organisations (as a result of high quality work and relationship building)
- recommendations for inclusion in influencing activities with investment activists, professional bodies and government consultations on future employment and ESG

We are a micro organisation which works remotely and part-time as business as usual. We have a system of annualised TOIL and flexible working. Employees provide their own equipment. There are many opportunities to learn and develop through the organisation and role including access to some external training and networking opportunities. There will be an expectation of strong planning, problem-solving ability, active listening and relationship building skills. Since we are breaking new ground and influencing from a low starting position, it will be important that candidates are both resilient, self-aware and communicative. We are an inclusive organisation with a strong commitment for all families -whatever their make up or circumstances- to thrive.