Student Conference on Sustainable Futures 2017

On Friday 3rd February 2017, The University of Leeds hosted its first Student Conference on Sustainable Futures – Sustainable Perspectives on Future Challenges. The event highlighted the rich diversity of sustainability research and curricular projects, from students at all levels, across all disciplines.
With over 100 delegates and 40 student presenters representing every faculty, the day was filled with a medley of posters, talks and conversation workshops covering such topics as; using biomimicry to reduce the need for unsustainable textile dyes, integrating low carbon energy solutions for remote rural areas, analysing extinction rates in marine micro-organisms, and tackling social inequalities in accessing higher education.
To open the event Professor Tom Ward – Deputy Vice Chancellor for Student Education, delivered an inspiring introduction to the importance of embedding sustainability at Leeds and its place in everyone’s lives. He commented –
“This agenda will shape your future, be part of the sustainability society.”

Following a quick coffee and with twitter hashtags at the ready, attendees made their way to Parkinson Court where student’s posters, art pieces, and digital presentations were being displayed. It was amazing! Engineers were talking with artists, biologists  conversing with sociologists, business students debating with geographers. The room was echoing with collaborative discussions.
The exhibition was open all day, drawing in passer-bys with photos of Antarctic expeditions, videos of magnified crystals depicting Earth’s finite resources, and posters detailing some of the future global challenges we face.

A busy hour of oral presentations was next on the agenda, kicking off with sessions covering aspects of sustainability within Cities, Communication, Society, and Biodiversity. Ample time for questions from the audience allowed discussions to breathe and gave presenters an insight into the minds of non-specialists on their subject.

A vegetarian feast of locally sourced, low carbon grub provided by Great Food at Leeds, awaited the rumbling stomachs of the conference crowd. The delicious spread hit the spot and attracted hugely positive feedback (the brie and cranberry wontons went down a treat!)

Conversation sessions brought an interactive element to the day, with ‘Re(act) on Sustainability’ getting people out of their chairs and expressing the complexities of sustainable behaviors through performance art. Down the hallway, the ‘Community engagement within the curriculum’ workshop explored the benefits and challenges of sustainability in the community and peoples thoughts on how this can be expanded.

Afternoon oral sessions continued with familiar themes of Communication, and Society, but were also joined by Innovation and Technology, Food and Agriculture, and Governance and Policy. Such varying and fascinating presentations saw people struggling to decide which to attend! From the role of sustainable menstrual products for female empowerment, to present challenges in connecting Indian farmers, and exploring young consumers perceptions of fast fashion.

The awards ceremony, to celebrate the exemplary posters submitted to the conference, brought the day to a close. Head of Sustainability at the University of Leeds, Dr. Louise Ellis, gave a roundup of the fantastic work from the day and praised the diversity and delivery of student’s projects.

Professor Lisa Roberts – Deputy Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation lead the awards ceremony. Winners and highly recommended awards went to:

Most Original Concept
Highly Commended
Mary Loveday Edwards

‘The Use of Nostalgia at the Ideation Stage of Permaculture Design’
Winner
Clare Martynski

‘The Role of Performance and Live Art in Transforming World views’

Most Effective Visuals
Highly Commended
Katie Thomas

‘People and Nature In Harmony? Understanding a Consumer Ethical Dilemma’
Winner
Ana Perez
‘What We Know Affects What We Do – Exploring Fashion Sustainability and its Perception by Young Consumers’
Best Conference Poster
Highly Commended
Vishnu Sunil Kumar

‘To Tree or Not to Tree? Assessing Carbon Stock Distribution Along an Altitudinal Gradient in the Western Ghats’
Winner
Rizwana Alam 

‘The Governance of Urban Green Spaces: Challenges and a Way Forward to Sustainable Development’

Lisa concluded with a call to action to all who attended the conference, encouraging collaborative discussions, and to keep conversations in the fore regarding how research at Leeds must continue to address the key social, economic and environmental challenges of our time.

A huge thank you to all who were a part of the day. It was fantastic to see such a diverse turn out. We already looking forward to next year!

For more information on the Student Conference on Sustainable Futures, including posters and highlights of the day, please CLICK HERE

Student Conference on Sustainable Futures 2017

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In February 2017, Leeds University will be hosting its first Student Conference on Sustainable Futures. This unique opportunity, open to Leeds students at any level, from all disciplines, will showcase research, projects and creativity which aligns with the conference theme – Sustainable Perspectives on Future Challenges. This might include innovative work in carbon reduction or urban development, challenges in healthcare, social equality, policy and governance, international trade, sustainable energy, the circular economy, food security or any topic which has a positive impact in society.

The conference will consist of a poster exhibition in Parkinson Court, along with oral presentations taking place in morning and afternoon sessions. Projects which take the form of a music, dance, spoken word performance, art installation or practical demonstration will also be hosted in suitable locations throughout the day.

REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN!
For more information on the conference programme, CLICK HERE
To register to attend, CLICK HERE 

Student Conference on Sustainable Futures 2017

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Check out the Conference Report 2017

 

 

“I really liked the mix of students and staff coming together.”

                                      “It was great to see so many different, forward looking perspectives!”

“Whoever organised the food deserves a medal! x3”

                                      “Great presentations and excellent discussions. I feel inspired. Thank you!  


A huge thank you to all the student presenters and delegates who attended the conference! It was fantastic to see such a diverse turn out, and we look forward to continuing the conversations and the future conferences to come.

 

Conference FAQs

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When is the Student Sustainability Conference?
The conference will be taking place on Thursday 8th February 2018. 

Where is it taking place?
The conference is being held across Parkinson Court, Baines Wing and The Great Hall. All rooms are wheelchair accessible and will be sign posted on the day. Once submissions are confirmed, room information will be published in the delegate handbook, available on the main conference page.

Who is the conference for?
The conference is aimed at all who have an interest in sustainability and innovative ideas on how we shape an environmentally, socially and economically positive society. Students are invited to present their curricular projects or research at the conference, but we also invite non-presenting students, staff and members of the public to attend! Registration will be made live once student presenters are confirmed (early December).

What will the conference be about?
The multi-disciplinary event covers a broad spectrum of topics from biodiversity, climate change and food security to social equality, policy and economic challenges, and urban development. A delegate handbook will be produced detailing the subject areas that students research will be covering.

What are the benefits of presenting my work?

  • Verbal and visual presentation experience
  • Experience in communicating your work to a non- specialist audience
  • Chance to network, spark discussions, collaborate and broaden your insight.
  • Awards for best oral, poster and performance presentations.
  • Its free! 

I want to apply to present my work. Where do I start?
Read our entry and submission guidelines and decide on how your work would be best presented at the conference. All presenters, aside from those submitting art pieces or performances, are asked to create an academic poster, but you also have the opportunity to do a 10 minute oral presentation too! The next step is to then complete our application form and send it to sustainability@leeds.ac.uk before Midnight, Sunday 3rd December. 

How do I know if my research aligns with the conference theme?
Projects will be accepted on the basis of having some element of positive benefit to the future sustainability of society. Sustainability is a broad, cross-disciplinary subject and so the vast majority of submissions will qualify. Take a look at last year’s submissions to see how diverse projects can be. 

What format will the oral presentations take?
Students will have 10 minutes to present their work to a non-specialist audience using accompanying slides if they wish (Powerpoint, PDF, Prezi etc). This will then be followed by ten minutes of questions and discussions. Please read the entry and submission guidelines for more information.

I have never done an oral presentation before, where can I go for advice?
Take a look at Skills@Library’s useful information on presentation practice and delivery.

What is the cost to attend?
The conference is free to attend for both presenters and delegates.

Will lunch be provided?
A vegan buffet lunch will be served for all presenters and delegates on the day.