Support continued civic action and youth participation

The collective action of young people helps to raise the profile on important issues and empowers others to get involved. The skills students learn outside of the classroom are equally, or in many cases, even more important than what they learn inside the classroom. It's great to see these students taking an active role and participating in democractic engagement, and their advocacy is pushing the public, media and lawmakers to take notice. 

It would be great to see more workshops and events ask students for their opinions and what changes they want to see. The ideas and thoughts shared in the videos highlights how having diverse perspectives makes for a richer conversation. A collective platform for students to have conversations with other students, across their local schools and areas, would also build networking, communication and debate skills. Furthermore, finding out what additional climate/environmental information students want to learn or advocate for can help build curriculum plans and enrich students' education.

Engaged citizens is what drives change - and young people are leading the way. 

Why the contribution is important

Young people (and in fact all of us) are facing much uncertainty in the future, including climate and environmental issues, economic issues and societal change. Their voices are important as the decisions made today will affect their tomorrow.

by lauren on September 01, 2020 at 01:01PM

Current Rating

Average rating: 5.0
Based on: 5 votes


  • Posted by Voiceofreason September 01, 2020 at 20:04

    "The collective action of young people" = skiving off school. Any kid would opt to slope off to a day out as opposed to doing "double maths". Youngsters are not "engaged", they're simply taking advantage of a soft option.

    "Engagement" could easily be tested by making virtue signalling events only available outside school time and qualifying participation by demonstrating commitment by, say, detoxing from internet usage for a week.

    This would soon see how many youth actually give a toss!
  • Posted by EdinPandJ November 11, 2020 at 16:49

    It is crucial to forefront the voices of young people as they will be most affected by climate change moving forwards. They have also been instrumental in driving concern for climate change and the environment into the mainstream consciousness in recent years; they deserve credit for this and it is only fair that their voices continue to be heard and properly listened to.
  • Posted by sandyboyd November 19, 2020 at 00:00

    Young people absolutely have to remain centre of the debate as it is only through their action and dedication have we seen a rapid change in the conversation and it is because of the "bunking off school" that this is even happening.

    Although centering youth voices is important we must also centre those being effected right now by climate change! People are already suffering and we need to bring their voices into the conversation and let them remind us of the real world impact our lifestyles and our emissions has caused.

    Also to the person who made a comment saying that young people don't give a toss, you obviously don't understand how much work goes into organising an event to the scale that young people have. The risk assessments alone took a week. And believe it or not but young people care about their education, we are under constant pressure to not mess up our exams and we know that missing school will have an impact on our learning but we do it because the school strike for climate movement has done more to forward this debate then anything in the last 30 years!
  • Posted by Voiceofreason November 20, 2020 at 10:27

    "the school strike for climate movement has done more to forward this debate then anything in the last 30 years!"

    Nah, the skive-alonga-teechir movement only has any traction thanks to our current politicians' obsession with focus groups and "who shouts loudest".
  • Posted by Mmunro49 January 13, 2021 at 14:31

    I agree with you, Lauren. Young people have gone off to seek answers in the real world to the crucial questions affecting planet Earth:) Their action should be mirrored in the community, the classroom and the governing authorities.

    The Curriculum for Excellence should be supporting young people in the discussion.

    Climate Change is our collective issue, it demands a response from everyone from every diverse culture. Clear collective action can only come from sharing ideas across cultures, schools, authorities and countries.

    The intention of this website is to do just that:

    ‘That's why we have created Edinburgh Talks Climate, to inform us what local action and engagement could make a real difference in encouraging people to make real changes to their everyday lives.

    Your views and ideas from this site will also help shape the content our Sustainability Strategy, which is set for public consultation in Spring 2021.’

    Take part in the conversation today:

    Look through the Challenges and existing ideas
    Use the ‘Search and Filter’ tool to find specific topics
    Register to add a rating or comment to an existing idea
    Add new ideas
    Please be aware that posts and comments which don't meet our moderation policy will be deleted.

    HOWEVER. It’s really tricky to feel supported on a website that very few people add ideas to. That allows negative chat of a Twitter style when they themselves agree the debate needs to be hopeful. That offers no response to each positive viewpoint expressed. That finally could end up as a lot of statistics rolled out about what people want that do and not describe anything as hopeful and useful as your first excellent comments.

    Let’s hope this time the few excellent comments that have been posted ARE listened to and DO become part of the content of their Sustainability Strategy in spring 2021:)

    In the meantime if anyone is reading this, there is a HUGE need to create more uptake of ideas which move us more quickly and creatively towards a future which benefits Edinburgh citizens and the planet. Read Lauren’s idea and design a better platform for us all:)
  • Posted by Voiceofreason January 13, 2021 at 16:09

    "Let’s hope this time the few excellent comments that have been posted ARE listened to and DO become part of the content of their Sustainability Strategy in spring 2021" - why should that be the case if they are not representative of the views of the whole population?
  • Posted by Charlotte_CEC January 13, 2021 at 16:52

    @Voiceofreason - in response to your observation above about the comments on Edinburgh Talks Climate not necessarily being representative of the views of all citizens, the Council is aware of this and this is why the site is not the only way in which we have been getting people's views/ feedback on climate change and sustainability in Edinburgh.

    As well as this website, over the past year we have also run a public consultation (also called Edinburgh Talks Climate) on climate change and sustainability, hosted a Youth Summit which was attended by pupils from 8 different secondary schools across the city, featured questions on climate in the Council Tenant survey, run four focus groups as well as co-hosted online events with partners. All of these have been aimed at getting an understanding of the views and experiences of diverse groups in Edinburgh to help inform our work on climate change.
  • Posted by Voiceofreason January 14, 2021 at 16:04

    This comment has been removed by a moderator.

  • Posted by Mmunro49 January 15, 2021 at 11:17

    Yes, Charlotte I did take part in the Consultation and saw a few of the videos made by I think it was James Gillespie’s. It’s great to see that there are more successful ways of opening up discussion:)

    How do you think we can open up the debate on this platform in order to achieve more constructive ideas from a wealth of perspective?

    I appreciate the weekly focus but how many people are on your register? Perhaps a different platform would help? It’s always difficult dealing with negative input. I think the statistics from the conference helped to put these in a place but somehow negative posts and lack of proper feedback have dried up the motivation here. And motivation is everything:)

     Introduce far more vegetarian and vegan optionsinto workplace.
     One of the suggestions from the conference that could totally be used in Council workplaces/ schools with whole communities discussing the whys and wherefores.

    “The climate issue can't be tackled in isolation to other sustainable measures needed in terms of social and economic development.”

    Sometimes it would be great if we could see for ourselves the Council’s commitment, not just to short term goals but to long term ones which are perhaps impossible through lack of finance or staid policies. Is there not a need to be more flexible and realistic? But it’s all out there, and, on the whole becoming more and more affordable as prototypes and trials for what is essentially a new science are slowly put in place.

    Change is so hard, particularly when attempting to do so within a prescribed system. Let’s shoot for the stars as, in my opinion, we are all aware, if not doing basic actions. Work out plans for the micro hubs, the smaller solar panels that fit any roof, plant 70 000 trees a year!, add Climate Change policy to CCofE, vire money into sustainable futures and lead by example.

    Pie in the sky? Or reality in 10 years time?
  • Posted by Mmunro49 January 22, 2021 at 14:57

    The real issue here, or in any political discussion, is how do we allow people a genuine voice in the debating and choice of actions, be it climate Change or anything else.

    Max Rashbrooke in his TED talk‘3 Ways to upgrade democracy’ suggests that we take 100 disparate individuals (locals) who discuss relevant issues, whilst placing their own bias to the side and being privy to experts help. Together they come up with creative answers to difficult questions (similar to the Ancient Greek Polis). These answers are then put to the people who vote on the changes.

    Apparently in Taiwan they used this form of democracy to decide whether Uber was a good idea or not.

    With updated systems of democracy we can allow complex decisions to be made by the people for the people, with limited influence of bias and access to a plethora of creative answers that no one individual or corrupt or ignorant process could ever hope to achieve.

    Surely climate change deserves to be discussed/ understood in a much bigger way than just, ok what do you think??? I believe people are truly fed up with lip service for everything at every level of government. Climate Change is important as we must find solutions to change and must bring people with us. Significant updates of how we develop the right answers to the problems we face while bringing people on board are CRUCIAL. That requires a significant change in the usual procedures.

    100 diverse citizens of the locale. Access to as much research as possible. Deliberate structured debate. Mass decision making based on practical, possible answers. Everyone involved. Everyone responsible.
  • Posted by Voiceofreason January 25, 2021 at 14:41

    This comment has been removed by a moderator.

Log in or register to add comments and rate ideas