February 27, 2009
For the record — and since the irregular reader might take my previous post to be somewhat, er, rude about the British Council — I had a blast on Wednesday. A bunch of International Climate Champions have this week gathered in Edinburgh for a week of workshops run by Laura and Sarah. They roped me in to do some media and journalism stuff on Wednesday, mostly (I think) to give themselves a break.
It was… interesting. It’s very hard to pitch that sort of thing, given that all one knows about the participants is that their backgrounds vary and their ages range from ‘late high school’ through to ‘recent graduate’. Hence, they span just about the fastest rate of change of knowledge one ever achieves.
So I think my workshop was perhaps a little simplistic. On the other hand, I don’t think basic journalism is rocket science, and sometimes it’s important to be reassured that the bit you need to know really isn’t any more complex than bearing in mind a couple of handy maxims.
Anyway, the really important part of Wednesday was nothing to do with me; the British Council had arranged an afternoon visit to the Scottish Parliament. 50 of us were, it transpired, too large a group for most of their rooms, so we convened in… the debating chamber. Ah, OK, that was cool. The Scottish Minister for Climate Change, Stewart Stephenson, did a cracking job of speaking little and listening lots.
The most significant aspect, however, was that the visit happened at all. When you’re 17, the idea that decision-makers are just older versions of you is completely gob-smacking. It was lovely to watch the realisation dawn on so many faces.
Climate Champions: great project. Sure, it struggles with being trapped in the sort of baroque structure favoured by any globe-spanning organisation — but that doesn’t stop it being a terrific thing to do. Finding exceptional individuals and bringing them together is rarely a bad idea.