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Change Agents UK: Empowering people to have a positive impact on the world

One of our more exciting and inspirational collaborations this year has been with a fantastic charity called Change Agents UK.  This group works on developing a network of change agents; people empowered to live and work in a way that makes a positive impact on the world around them.  During the European Green Capital year, the University of Bristol's Cabot Institute has collaborated with Change Agents UK to support an EU programme called the Green Capital European Voluntary Service.

Change Agents UK coordinated the programme to host 30 young volunteers from across Europe to volunteer on activities related to Bristol European Green Capital 2015 for two months in the summer of 2015.  Cabot Institute Manager Hayley Shaw helped to form the programme around their visit during which we connected volunteers to:

  • Naomi Oreskes, a prominent climate change scientist. The Change Agents went to see her film ‘Merchants of Doubt’ and met with her beforehand.
  • Andrew Garrad, Chair of Bristol 2015 and Cabot Institute Advisory Board member with a special meeting before his Cabot Institute lecture on renewable energy.
  • Cabot Institute's Withdrawn art event by the famous artist Luke Jerram.

By helping them to connect to local activity and intellectually interesting events, the volunteers were taking part in valuable experiences to earn their Change Agents Certificate of Achievement. The Cabot Institute also sponsored Change Agents final event which celebrated their fantastic achievements with their host organisations, host families and others from the Bristol Green Capital Partnership.

This project has been really successful and has helped to contribute to the objectives of the Bristol Green Capital programme by providing enthusiastic and capable volunteers to act as Bristol Green Capital ‘change agents’ in projects across Bristol.  This has increased capacity and raised the profile of local projects that are making a positive impact on sustainability in the city.  You can find out more about the positive experiences of Change Agents in Bristol in the brilliant video made by one of the project partners, Chouette Films, below.

The programme is now over for this year and everyone has taken their wisdom earned to their home countries. The organisations are currently exploring funding opportunities to run similar programmes in the future.

If you would like to find out more about Change Agents UK, please visit their website.

Follow on Twitter @changeagentsuk

This blog has been written by Amanda Woodman-Hardy, Communications Officer at the University of Bristol's Cabot Institute.  Follow @cabotinstitute and @Enviro_Mand.
Amanda Woodman-Hardy

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