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Exploring how feasible an sustainable lifestyle is for the young people on a low income

Posted by Sue

We want to explore just how feasible an environmentally sustainable lifestyle is for the young people we work with, particularly for those on a low income and who have experienced homelessness. Are choices such as ‘organic’, ‘low carbon’ or ‘veganism’ attainable for everyone and if not, how can we help bridge the gap?

A project like this might consist of interviews with staff members and service users, research into other industries and sectors and shadowing meetings with young people.

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.

Research into economically inactive women in Devon

Posted by Alice

We work with Positive People, a programme which helps people who are out of work to build their confidence and develop their skills. Currently Positive People is not meeting the targets it has set itself for the number of women participating in the programme. We are helping them to explore why this is and how they could engage with more women across Devon. One area we are interested in is the number of women in Devon who are economically inactive as opposed to unemployed. We would like to get a better understanding of what these figures look like, why women are economically inactive and what support they might want or need. The areas of research we would propose to cover are:

Figures for economic inactivity across Devon. How do these compare for men and women and what’s the breakdown by gender and ethnicity?

How has the picture changed since the 2011 census?

Is there any evidence yet of the impact of Covid?

Draw on findings above to carry out qualitative research into women who are economically inactive in Devon:

Who are they?

Where are they?

Why are they economically inactive?

Would they like to gain any education or training?

If they would like to be in work, now or in the future, what steps do they need to take/what support do they need?

There is flexibility for students to help shape the direction of the work, so we would be happy to talk through any ideas for other related areas of research. The start date and deadline can also be flexible - we anticipate it would take around 8 to 12 weeks, depending on your schedule and availability. We will provide as much support as we can. Please feel free to get in touch with any questions.