- Midlands Engine Young People’s Green Growth Assembly took place on Friday 11 March at East Midlands Conference Centre in Nottingham
- Showcasing a group of Green Growth Champions aged 15-19, who are working with Midlands Engine partners to help shape a cleaner, greener, more sustainable future
- Assembly follows the publication of Midlands Engine’s Ten Point Plan for Green Growth which sets out crucial actions to help accelerate the region’s path to net-zero
Designed to showcase the ambition, creativity, and passion of young people in the Midlands to shape a greener, cleaner, and more prosperous future, the Midlands Engine Young People’s Green Growth Assembly, took place on Friday 11 March 2022 in Nottingham and was attended by over 100 business and public sector leaders, and a group of Green Growth Champions aged 15-19.
It was an opportunity to hear directly from the region’s young people, to discuss some of society’s most pressing challenges together, and to inspire and inform influential figures from across the Midlands to take action. To end the event, each business representative had the opportunity to submit a pledge card detailing how their organisation will commit to reducing its environmental impact.
Working directly with Midlands Engine, the Green Growth Champions developed the programme for the event and led a series of interactive and thought-provoking sessions themed around green growth and sustainability, including:
- The importance of nature’s recovery
Exploring the impact that nature’s recovery means in the Midlands
- Clean green infrastructure and places
The impact and importance of spaces and places in which we live and work in the Midlands, including key issues and developments on energy and transportation in the region
- Green opportunities
The importance of innovation in sustainable supply chain productions and consumption
With an influential audience of Midlands Engine partners, including universities, government bodies, businesses and environmental organisations, the Assembly was a prominent platform for young people to influence the green growth ambitions of the Midlands.
The event also provided an opportunity for local businesses and organisations to showcase how they are already prioritising sustainability and green growth in practice. Attendees included Worcester Bosch, displaying the first-ever 100% hydrogen boiler prototype in the UK, and Intelligent Energy, showcasing its hydrogen fuel cell-powered drone.
Discussing the event, Sir John Peace, Chairman, Midlands Engine, said: “Our region is already at the forefront of delivering world-leading low carbon innovation. The Midlands Engine Young People’s Green Growth Assembly has demonstrated the huge appetite, of our Midlands Engine partners and our region’s young people, to go even further and take steps right now to shape a greener, cleaner and better future.
“The Assembly has been a wonderful opportunity to hear directly from the future of our region – our future workforce, our future parents and carers, our future business owners, our future leaders. It’s our responsibility to give them the best chance to deal with the challenges we all face as a global community.
“Here in the Midlands, we’ve worked together – Midlands Engine partners from right across our region, from the public and private sector, from industry, from our universities – to create our Ten Point Plan for Green Growth. The discussions we’ve had here today will be essential to inform how we mobilise and deliver this plan – a vital milestone in our region’s journey to net zero.”
In the run-up to the event, the Green Growth Champions had the opportunity to work closely with Casey Bailey, a Birmingham-born writer, performer and educator committed to making a positive impact and inciting change within the community. Fostering creativity throughout the process, Casey was even inspired by the Green Growth Champions to create a rap based on the group’s priorities, which premiered at the event.
Discussing his involvement, Birmingham Poet Laureate, Casey Bailey, said: “It was a fantastic opportunity to be able to talk to these young people and learn more about their vision for the future. Having heard their ideas and thoughts, I can see that it’s vital that we listen to the next generation – and that’s exactly what this assembly is all about.”
Speaking at the event, Lewis Bilby, 17, Green Growth Champion from Erewash, said: “As young people, it can sometimes be difficult to get our voices heard. We need wider awareness from businesses and key figures to the importance of the views of young people as future leaders. Our future relies on decisions made now, and it is a great honour as a young person to be a part of the conversation happening today.”
Speaking at the event, Green Growth Champion Dinah Tartaglia, 15 years old, from Sutton Coldfield, said: “I was eager to get involved in the Young People’s Green Growth Assembly as soon as I heard about this opportunity. I’ve always been a strong believer in the importance of gradually reforming society to become more and more environmentally friendly. I’m passionate about helping and developing my local area, and I think it’s very important first to get as many young people involved as possible (considering we will face more of the impacts through our lives) and secondly to show that sustainability is not a hindrance, but can come alongside and further propel growth, both in the Midlands and the whole world.”
The event follows the publication of the industry-led Ten Point Plan for Green Growth in the Midlands Engine, which sets out actions to help safeguard the environment for future generations. The plan has the potential to deliver a 36% reduction in CO2 emissions from current regional levels, while also creating 196,000 high-value, high-skill jobs to boost productivity and generate a further £24.2 billion GVA for the region’s economy by 2041.
The Midlands Engine Hydrogen Technology Strategy will also form an integral part of the region’s journey to net zero. Centred around plans for a Midlands Hydrogen Technologies Valley, it has the potential to create or safeguard 167,000 jobs, provide £10bn GVA to the Midlands and UK economy, and reduce CO2 emissions in the region by 29%.