Image credit: downes photography
CCC_CATAPULT a three-year international project, led by researchers in the University of the West of England, Bristol (UK) and with partners in Galway (Ireland), Tampere (Finland) and Genoa (Italy), is exploring how young people perceive and experience climate issues. The research includes both quantitative (a survey) and qualitative methods (focus groups, interviews, and narrative workshops) to explore this topic both broadly and deeply.
A crucial and distinctive aspect of this project is that the research is being developing through the ‘eyes and ears’ of young people. Young people (ages of 15-18 years) are involved longitudinally in monthly meetings that serve to guide and shape the research project. These are the CCC_CATAPULT ‘Youth Action Partnership’ (YAP) groups. The aspiration to co-productively design and research with young people serves to ensure the research outputs are appropriate and relevant to communities of young people (Lundy, McEvoy, and Byrne, 2011; Pavarini et al. 2019; Williams and Portus, 2022).
In this article we report on our recently co-written Climate Café Guide which is now published on the CCC_CATAPULT website and is based on our experience of leading youth-focused climate cafés in a more socially deprived area of Bristol (UK). The young people in the Bristol YAP had the idea to host a Climate Café as a way of raising awareness of CCC_CATAPULT, and of increasing diversity of membership in the YAP group. Several co-benefits emerged from this opportunity that served to simultaneously build young researchers’ skills in leading and delivering a community-based event, broaden their experiences allowing them to draw on these knowledges, skills, and actions in their contributions to the research project.
These young people worked with the researchers and some undergraduate students from UWE Bristol to design and run and climate café, to reflect and evaluate it, and to write the climate guide. The guide has been reviewed by sustainability experts (from UWE Bristol central services and the Student Union) who have both expressed desire and intention to utilise this guide. The guide has been shared with local education partnerships and there are plans to translate the guide into Finnish and Italian. The guide shows readers how to adapt the traditional climate café approach (Climate Cafés, 2022) for a young audience, helping to encourage climate communication and conversations among young people. There is an emphasis on collective sharing of feelings as well as taking collective actions. The guide provides an accessible route and step-by-step infographics to help people design their own climate café for young people.
Climate Cafes. (2022). Hosting Climate Cafés. [Online]. Available: https://climatecafes.org/home/hosting-climate-cafes/
Lundy, L., McEvoy, L., & Byrne, B. (2011). Working With Young Children as Co-Researchers: An Approach Informed by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Early Education and Development, 22(5), 714-736. DOI: 10.1080/10409289.2011.596463
Pavarini, G., Lorimer, J., Manzini, A., Goundrey-Smith, E., & Singh, I. (2019). Co-producing research with youth: The NeurOx young people’s advisory group model. Health Expectations, 22(4), 743-751. DOI: 10.1111/hex.12911.
Williams, S., & Portus, R. (2022). ‘Through their eyes and ears’: Creating new knowledge for climate education through co-productive practices. In N. Deutzkens, K. V. Poeck, M. Deleye, J. Læssøe, J. Lönngren, H. Lotz-Sisitka, …A. Wals (Eds.), Challenges for environmental and sustainability education research in times of climate crisis: 15TH invitational seminar on environmental & sustainability education research (137-139).