Green Youth Day: It’s Our Future

It’s my future and I have a responsibility for it

What I do has an impact worldwide and in my community

I can help to change the world

I want to send a message to the world

The first official Bristol 2015 summit is focused on young people and environmental issues. Led by an advisory group of young people, the day will address issues identified by the group as important to them and their friends. Subjects covered include the science of climate change; protecting wildlife and the oceans; human rights; the clothes we wear; equality; how to campaign successfully; and why questioning the establishment is essential.

In addition to passionate and inspirational talks, films and demonstrations – from people who have helped campaign and change Bristol and the world – the day will include practical examples of how to make what we own last longer; meet-the-speaker sessions; smaller group discussions and presentations; and a chance to vote on a major prize.

The event is open to all young people under the age of 25.


Why Come?

We want to hear young people’s views; get young people debating and arguing; promote learning about the environment; and most of all learn from young people so that Bristol 2015 can take their message to the world.

This is one of a series of major conferences, debates, events taking place as part of Bristol 2015. Others look at business and the environment; leadership; the future city; fair trade; food; active citizens. Further details are at


Event and Booking Details

The day includes food and refreshments and support with travel is provided.

Attendance at the day is free but must be booked by schools in advance. To register your interest send an email with the age and size of the group to

Undergraduate students are also eligible to attend. Please contact Zoe to register.



The speakers include:

Marcus Brigstocke (Host)

Marcus Brigstocke is a comedian, writer and broadcaster. He began his comedy career at the University of Bristol, where he studied Drama, and won BBC New Comedian of the Year in 1996. He now regularly appears live and on TV, film and radio. Marcus is an active campaigner for environmental awareness and action. In 2007 and 2008 he travelled to the Arctic with the Cape Farewell project. He worked with a team of scientists to discover the pace of climate change, and to discuss its impact and how it might be addressed.


Laura Bates

Why Equality is Part of Being Green

Laura Bates is the founder of the Everyday Sexism Project, a website which exists to catalogue instances of sexism experienced by women on a day-to-day basis. Laura is also a contributor to the Women Under Siege project, a New York-based organisation working against the use of rape as a tool of war in conflict zones worldwide. She was named one of the Huffington Post’s ‘Most inspirational women of 2012’ and a Woman of the Year 2013 by Cosmopolitan and the Sunday Times. The Sunday Times, Observer and Guardian have all named her one of the leading figures of the “New Generation of Feminists”.


Alice Bell

Hope and Climate Change

Alice Bell is a freelance writer and researcher who specialises in the politics of science, technology and the environment. She reports on climate change for the Road to Paris website, is a science policy blogger for the Guardian, has a monthly column in Popular Science UK, is contributing editor for New Humanist and has written for the Observer, BBC, Times, Times Higher, Al Jazeera, China Dialogue, Research Fortnight and more. Alice has lectured in science media and policy and spent several years working at the Science Museum.


Laurens de Groot

Protecting the Oceans and Animals

Environmental campaigner Laurens de Groot is co-founder of the ShadowView Foundation, a charity which develops technologies such as drones for use in environmental and conservation operations. Between 2007 and 2012 Laurens was a member of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, an international organisation protecting marine wildlife. Before working with Sea Shepherd, he was a detective for the Dutch police, specialising in organised crime and environmental pollution.


Max Wakefield

Let’s all Look at the Energy We Use

Demand Energy Equality is an organisation dedicated to increasing energy literacy, reducing energy demand and working with others to ensure equality of energy access. They are working for systemic change in the way energy is produced, controlled and used, and aim to inspire people to take an interest in how they get access to their energy. Demand Energy Equality has a vision of a society in which there is equality of access to secure and ecologically sound energy resources for all.


George Ferguson, Mayor of Bristol

George Ferguson, past President of the Royal Institute of British Architects, was co-founder of Ferguson Mann Architects in 1979 and founded the national UK-wide network of practices, Acanthus, in 1986. He has a wide variety of experience in architectural, master-planning and regeneration projects, including his own mould-breaking Tobacco Factory mixed-use project and nationally acclaimed theatre. A co-founder of the Academy of Urbanism, he writes, broadcasts and lectures extensively on the environment, planning and architectural matters at home and abroad. He declared his intention to stand as an independent candidate in the Bristol mayoral election prior to the city-wide referendum held on 3 May 2012. He subsequently became the first independent mayor to lead a major city in Britain and was officially sworn in on 19 November 2012.


Georgia Gould

Why We Should not Underestimate Britain’s Youth

Photo: Andy Hall

Georgia Gould is a Labour Party Councillor for Kentish Town ward in the London Borough of Camden. Elected when she was 24, she has spent the last two years as the borough's Children's Champion, leading projects on youth unemployment, educational attainment and young people's civic engagement. Previously she worked at the Tony Blair Faith Foundation after graduating from St Catherine's College Oxford. Her book, Wasted: How Misunderstanding Young Britain Threatens Our Future, argues that young people in Britain have the aspirations, the creativity and the will to answer the many challenges we face. We should trust young people with the future of the UK.


Integrate Bristol

How We Changed the World from Bristol

Integrate Bristol is a charity formed to help with the integration of young people and children who have arrived from other countries and cultures. Integrate Bristol aims to give young people a voice, a platform for expressing their views and ideas, and runs projects that help young people develop their skills so that they can participate in society. Integrate Bristol promotes gender equality and campaigns against all forms of Violence and Abuse Against Women and Girls (VAAWG). Their tireless campaigning to end female genital mutilation (FGM) has given them national recognition, and they are supported by Malala Yousafzai and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.


Emmanuel Jal

From Child Soldier to Musician and Environmentalist Activist

In the early 1980s, at the age of seven, Emmanuel Jal was taken from his family home and sent to fight with the rebel army in Sudan’s bloody civil war. For nearly five years, he was a child soldier, put into battle carrying an AK-47 that was taller than he was. By the time he was 13 he was a veteran of two civil wars. Emmanuel eventually escaped, and to help ease the pain of what he had experienced, he started singing. He is now an international hip-hop star and political activist, working with charities that tackle poverty and child warfare across Africa.


Owen Jones

Why Everyone Should Question the Establishment

Owen Jones is a columnist, commentator and author. Owen’s first book, the international bestseller Chavs was long-listed for the Guardian First Book Award and chosen as one of the New York Times top 10 non-fiction books of 2011. In 2013 he received the Young Writer of the Year prize at the Political Book Award. In The Establishment (2014) Owen argued how, in claiming to work on our behalf, the people at the top are doing precisely the opposite – and it is time they were challenged.


Arthur Kay

Making Energy from Old Coffee Beans

Arthur Kay is the co-founder and CEO of bio-bean, which he started with Benjamin Harriman in 2012. bio-bean is an award-winning green energy company which recycles coffee grounds into advanced biofuels. The biofuels are then sold to businesses in London and used for powering buildings and transport. bio-bean aims to tackle two global concerns: the need to establish responsible waste collection, and the desire to achieve clean, cheap energy production.


Michaela Musilova

Life in Extreme Environments

Michaela Musilova is an astrobiologist. Her primary interest is in extremophiles; organisms that live in extreme environments, such as deserts, deep sea vents and glaciers. They are significant to industry and medical research, since their enzymes are stable and functional over a wide range of physical and chemical conditions. These features also make them very important to the study of life in the Universe. In January 2014 Michaela was selected as one of six UK analogue astronauts to conduct an astronauts-on-Mars simulation expedition at the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS). Michaela is currently working as a PhD research student at the University of Bristol.


The Restart Project

Janet Gunter and Ugo Vallauri

The Restart Project is a London-based social enterprise that encourages and empowers people to use their electronics longer in order to reduce waste; electronic waste is one of the fastest growing waste streams in the UK. Through community and workplace events the Restart Project help people to learn and share repair and maintenance skills, creating opportunities to extend the lifespan of electronics and electrical equipment. The project has been recognised by, among others, the Nominet Trust 100, the London Sustainable Development Commission, and the Transition Network.


Bristol Green Capital Digital Challenge

All participants in the day will also have the opportunity to judge a competition for a £10,000 prize. Bristol Green Capital Digital Challenge will announce the winners of the £50,000 competition live on stage for the best game/app/website based around one of 5 green challenges; food, transport, energy, resources and nature. The audience will participate in a vote for the People’s Choice Award of £10,000. Six short-listed teams from the hack weekend, taking place 6-8 February at Bristol’s Watershed, will present their software in 3-minute pitches live on stage. Expert industry judges including Siobhan Reddy, Studio Director at Medial Molecule, the creators of Little Big Planet, will announce the winners. Will the judges and the youth audience vote for the same winning team? You will need to be there to find out!


Please note this programme is subject to change.

Final speakers and timetable will be sent to all registered participants.

A Bristol 2015 initiative in association with Bristol Cultural Development Partnership and Bristol Festival of Ideas.

Registration: 09.00-10.00

Sessions: 10.00-16.00


Colston Street

Event type

  • Talks & Debates
  • Family & Young People
  • Workshops & Education

Event organiser

Festival of Ideas

See also

Green Capital Digital Challenge


Bristol map showing Cabot, Clifton and Clifton East
Cabot, Clifton and Clifton East