Changemaker: Ellie Hopkins
The UK Youth Climate Coalition aims to create a unified youth movement in order for a more effective and coherent message to be delivered about the youth perspective on climate change and global justice, and to create a generation of young people who are equipped and empowered to campaign on issues that affect them. Powershift consisted of a series of events in London to achieve that. It was designed to break away from the usual conferences that just tell people what global warming is. Many young people know and understand what climate change is, the risks and the challenges, but don’t feel able to campaign, either through a lack of skills or support. Powershift aimed to bridge this gap by creating a conference where these skills were taught, and more importantly where they were put into practice in a situation where we could offer support and advice. What is more, in bringing together 1000 young people, Powershift aimed to get the youth voice and message heard, and to begin to create an effective and lasting youth climate movement.
The first three days were based around a conference setting which included plenary sessions, trainings, caucuses and discussions to give people the skills they would need in order to campaign effectively in their communities.
The fourth day was dedicated to entertainments and provided an opportunity to relax, talk to the other participants, build bridges and partnerships, share ideas, make friends and find out who else is campaigning in their local areas. The idea was to show that campaigning can be fun too!
The fifth day was a ‘day of action’. The day began with a flashmob. This energising and fun activity got a lot of media attention. Afterwards, there will was a Climate Challenge. This was a series of tasks around London to put the skills learnt over the previous three days into practice and to facilitate people finding their place in the youth movement. Lastly, there was a rally, which brought everyone together at the end of the day for a fun and relaxing end.