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5 Highlights from the Student Sustainability Research Conference 2024

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In this article look at five highlights from this year's unforgettable conference.

This year’s Student Sustainability Research Conference (SSRC) had the biggest number of registrations and collaborations yet. We welcomed students from across the membership of Yorkshire Universities and industry professionals from across the country. Here are some of our highlights:

  1. London Collaboration

SSRC24 initiated an exciting new partnership with the London Sustainability Research Conference, organized by City University of London. This collaboration facilitated the exchange of three student presenters between the London conference in February and the Leeds conference in March.

A panel session at the conference. Four students and one member of staff are sat at the front of a lecture theatre. They are smiling and laughing.

A huge congratulations to Beckie Lait (University of York), Blessing Mucherera (University of Hull) and Kate Morris (University of Leeds) for their outstanding presentations at Imperial College London in February. 

We were delighted to welcome the following London students to the Leeds conference: Devika Prakesh (King’s College London), Pauline de Bigault de Cazanove (The London School of Economics and Political Science) and Safia Irfan, Soumya Sharma and Mehseen Ullah (University of Westminster). We look forward to further developing this connection with the London conference in the future.

  1. Networking with Industry Professionals

SSRC24 introduced a networking event which provided attendees with valuable opportunities to connect with industry professionals to help them kickstart their sustainability careers. Exhibitors from organizations including Yorkshire Humber Climate Commission, Leeds Climate Commission, and Yorkshire Wildlife Trust offered valuable insights and opportunities for engagement.

An employer's stall at the research conference. Three people sit at a stall as a conference attendee interacts with them.

Regarding the field of sustainability research, representatives from Emerald Publishing, one of the world's leading digital-first publishers, were present. This connection allowed information to be shared on funding sources and publishing opportunities, emphasizing the importance of research dissemination for real-world impact. 

  1. Celebration of the Arts

The arts played a crucial role at the SSRC24, with thought provoking installations and performances demonstrating the role of creativity in sparking dialogue, debate and envisioning solutions to sustainability challenges. 

Beckett Lecture Theatre hosted a music performance by Rane Lucido (University of Leeds). Rane’s performance was part of her research exploring ‘Creative Climate Action: Using Music to Make Sustainability Research and Education More Accessible and Engaging’.

A student strums their guitar during their music performance at the Student Sustainability Research Conference. They have long dark hair and are smiling

Rane Lucido's performance

Leeds Arts students such as Ella Watts and Florence Tuppen (Leeds Arts University) made a thought-provoking impact by showcasing their sustainable fashion designs and ideas.

Three people are dressed in red tops and pink skirts. They are posing dramatically, with the person in the middle gazing into the middle distance.

An image from Florence Tuppen's sustainable fashion installation

Nikita (Kit) Anderson (York St John University) created an interactive installation using recycled materials and natural resources that encouraged audience engagement with themes of extinction and environmental awareness. This poignant investigation into nostalgia and environmentalism underscored the power of art in communicating complex sustainability issues and inspiring positive change.

An installation piece at the conference where small tags with artwork on are hung up on a branch. A student examines one of the tag's artwork.

Nikita (Kit) Anderson's nostalgia and sustainability exploration piece

  1. Carbon Neutrality

SSRC24 demonstrated its commitment to environmental responsibility by implementing measures to minimize its carbon impact. Through initiatives such as carbon offsetting (done through the EAUC Carbon Coalition) and sustainable event management practices, the conference mitigated its environmental impact and set a precedent for future sustainability-focused events.  

  1. Inspiring Student Research

The core of SSRC24 was the presentation of research projects by students representing higher education institutions across the region and beyond. The spectrum of topics covered was outstanding. From social inequalities to solar technologies, human rights campaigning to behaviour-change through gaming, and consumer psychology to conservation ecology. This research underscored the depth and diversity of student engagement with sustainability challenges. All presentations have been recorded will be available on YouTube for broader dissemination of knowledge.

Parkinson court during the conference. The area is full of posters and stalls and students interacting with this.

In summary, the Student Sustainability Research Conference 2024 served as a platform for collaboration, innovation, and knowledge exchange in the field of sustainability. By highlighting notable achievements and fostering interdisciplinary dialogue, the conference contributed to advancing the collective effort towards a more sustainable future. See you at SSRC25!

SDG logo made up of a wheel with 17 different colours.We use the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a framework to guide our activity. The Student Sustainability Research Conference is linked to all of the SDGs.

Find out more about our impact on the SDGs.