UWC DAY|Climate of Change

On 21st September 2019, 18 UWCs all over the world, celebrated the UWC day wiht the theme of "Climate of Change". UWC's mission is to make education a force to unite people, nations and cultures for peace and a sustainable future. UWC Day is also a day for UWCers to live UWC mission and values. Students and faculty members of UWC Changshu China devoted the day to understand and discuss the environmental, economic and social impact of the climate change in different parts of the world and what we can do to move beyond climate talk to climate action. A series of workshops and activities were designed to encourage people to be innovative in finding solutions to environmental issues and promote a sustainable life style. 

27 September 2019

The day started by a student led assembly with two incredible musical pieces and speeches by Bertha Thobias from Namibia and Zain Ahmed Usmani from Pakistan who set the tone for the day and called for everyone in the community to take one small step a day to make a change for a better world. 

 

  • UWC日同学们清晨参加湖边plogging, 边慢跑边清洁垃圾

After the assembly, community members attended workshops held on campus from plogging early in the morning, plastic recycling, Mini me, Panel discussion, introduction to aquaponic center, pledge and ribbons, art project, Design for Change workshop, swap shop to a whole day Climate Collage workshop. Through training, all the student moderators can now conduct the Climate Collage activity with a large audience beyond the UWC community and spread the crucial knowledge necessary for others to take the first step against climate change.

Climate Collage

I learned a lot as a moderator in climate collage on UWC day. In the training session that morning, trainers distributed 5 sets of cards related to climate change to our workgroup and asked us to find the cause-and-effect relationship. We had lots of discussions and I got to know the connections between forest fire, climate change, and sea-level rise, which I had never thought about before. Principal Pelham was in my group and we came up with our poster tagline "How do we get back to future ?" We believe if we want to achieve sustainable development, we need to first to get back, to live a lifestyle with less harmful impact on environment, so as to have a better future. The earth used to have its own pace in getting warmer, however, with the increasing human activities, it, among other causes, resulted in global warming. There is an urgency to address this issue. When I was guiding others to explore these connections in the afternoon, I understood these concepts even better. This is a great experience. 

——Angel Wang,China

  

Design for Change

  • Members of THINKERS team with participants of Design for Change workshop (photo cr. to Lennox Cao)

In a condensed three hour Design for Change workshop, participants were introduced to the design thinking process, a structured approach to understand problems and generate solutions. The workshop combined elements of design thinking, collaboration, communication, problem based learning, and project based learning, to improve environmental sustainability on campus. Under the guidance of facilitators from the THINEKRS team, participants also applied the design thinking process they learned to design a way to reduce resource usage on campus. Different groups focused on different topics, including use of air-conditioning, lights and water.

As one of the student leaders of THINKERS,I am forever blessed to witness the power of thinking skills amidst the 21st century workplace. Even in a short 3 hour workshop, it is incredibly humbling to see innumerable passionate future leaders grasp onto the process of design thinking, and apply it to their real life to generate empowering ideas that can potentially bring great change to the sustainability of our planet."

——Sophia Chen, China

Panel Discussion

During the panel discussion moderated by members of Eco-warriors Zhi Xing, students and faculty discussed about the concept of Climate Change, its causes and effects in different layers and fields. Things that we can really achieve as a community, as individuals but also how to create awareness of global issues regarding this matter.

 

Teachers from different countries and cultures added a really important input to the conversation in terms of how the topics of climate change and global warming are related with non-sustainable ways of living, an economic system that answers to extractivism and exploitation of both natural and human resources, historical facts that lead us to either prove the consequences of those practices or deny them through different conjunctures, looking for a link that could strongly exist (or not) with socio-political conflicts, well-being, demography and others.

 

——Marcos Felipe, Canada

   

Art Project

  • Best designed poster

Art Department organized a poster design competition with the same theme as that of UWC Day, "Climate of Change". Contestants should use computer instead of drawing on paper to design the poster. They need to use photos they took by themselves or materials they produced themselves instead of pictures downloaded online to do the design and layout by using professional software such as Photoshop and Illustrator. They are encouraged to demonstrate their understanding of the theme and combine pictures and words in the electronic poster. Through online voting by community members, Liu Nian, a DP2 student won the best poster award. She incorporated the concept of gradual warming of the earth through using rich colors to create a strong visual effect to call for the protection of our environment. 

Mini Me

Although "Mini me" as a workshop doesn't sound like it has anything to do with climate or with the environment, it was mainly a hands on workshop , as participants engaged in a design technology project, creating a paper cut super hero. The super hero should be able to save the planet from its ecological downfall. Some students designed normal civilians, some actual movie super heroes, while some others tried to sculpt themselves.

  • “超级英雄”

Through all the activities, community members engaged themselves in critical thinking of the climate of change issue. “How can we as a community make the earth livable for the future generations?” “How can we as a community improve the ongoing climatic situation?” “How can we … Some scientists believe that the damage made to the earth over the past 20 years can not be recovered. But what if it could be recovered?” “ What if we just have to ask ourselves the right questions?” “Are we the super heroes? Can we make a step to improve the climate of change?” Many questions with many answers from different perspectives, but all together for the same purpose.

  • Pledge and Ribbon
  • UWC Changshu China alumni celebrating UWC Day with UWC alumni studying at Columbia University and Barnard College
Contributed by: Diane Gloria, Cameroun, DP2; Angel Wang, China, DP1; Marcos Felipe, Canada, DP2; Sophia Chen, China, DP1