Task Groups

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”

Helen Keller

As a member organisation, it’s our role to bring people together to work on key areas of interest. Together we form task groups, joining forces around a common issue, theme or goal. Task outcomes vary – from conducting research, create a new project or to organise a series of workshops – why go it alone when we can help you put together a team of like minded professionals?

Task groups begin with a clear set of objectives, have a set time scale and can be a short one off project, or a longer-term project and can focus on a range of goals, or just one.

Read on to see what task groups are currently running – you can join any if you’re interested. And if you don’t see one that covers your area of interest then get in touch to discuss setting up a new one. To discuss your idea – no matter how big or small – please get in touch.

Colleges & Universities Task Group

To advance LfS in colleges and universities, LfS Scotland works in partnership with the Scottish branch of the Environmental Association of Universities and Colleges (EAUC). One of the main ways we work together is by supporting the EAUC-Scotland Topic Support Networks and by putting on joint events. To find our more about EAUC-Scotland please click here, and to find out more about the Topic Support Networks please click here.

Further Education

This is an ongoing networking group which meets twice yearly as one of EAUC’s Topic Support Networks to share practices on methods, research and projects, to assist college students to make informed decisions on the social, economic, cultural and environmental problems we face in the 21st century, for the benefit of both themselves and others, now and in the future, and to act upon these decisions. If you have any queries about this task group, please get in touch.

This work builds on the Scottish Colleges’ Education for Sustainable Development Initiative managed by Environmental Association of Universities and Colleges (EAUC) in January 2013. The Initiative was completed in November 2014 and a final report is available on request.

Higher Education

This is an ongoing networking group which meets twice yearly as one of EAUC’s Topic Support Networks to share practices on methods, research and projects. This group aims to help individuals/academic staff in universities develop the attitudes, skills and knowledge they need to assist students to make informed decisions on the social, economic, cultural and environmental problems we face in the 21st century, for the benefit of both themselves and others, now and in the future, and to act upon these decisions. If you have any queries about this task group, please get in touch.

Communities Task Group

This group was set up as a direct request from members at our AGM, to look at ways of embedding learning for sustainability and methods for advancing the UN Sustainable Development Goals in communities and across community education.

The first meeting in September 2017 was buzzing with ideas and energy and a first event was quickly organised jointly with the SDGs task group. Read notes from the first meeting here.

Taking Action on the UN Sustainable Development Goals across Communities & Schools Event

So keen was the Communities task group to get mobilised and into action, that a joint event was organised two months after the first meeting!

Taking Action on the SDGs across Communities & Schools was a bustling and energised day of talks, workshops, networking and lots of positive plans. You can read Rehema White’s full event report here and access all other notes and presentations here.

What next?

After such a quick turnaround from meeting to event, the group will be meeting soon to discuss the direction of the task group.

The group is always looking for new, energetic members. If you’re interested in communities, learning for sustainability and / or the UN SDGs then why not join the group? Email Abi Cornwall to get things moving.

Don’t forget to sign up as a member to receive emails about learning for sustainability in the community news.

Curating Heritage for Sustainable Communities Task Group

Task group convenor: Ullrich Kockel, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh

Detailed information on the progress of this task group will be added to this portal soon. You can read the initial plans for the task group here.

LfS in Schools Task Group

LfS Implementation Group, tasked with driving forward the 31 recommendations of the Learning for Sustainability Report (2012) on embedding LfS in school education, was established and began work 2014.  The group was convened by the Scottish Government, with secretariat support from LfS Scotland, and reported to Scottish Ministers.  

Information on the work of the LfS Implementation Group is posted on the Scottish Government website and both LfS Scotland and Education Scotland regularly updated on the work of the group. Vision 2030 +, the Learning for Sustainability National Implementation Group’s concluding report  was published in 2016,  setting out a Vision for Learning for Sustainability in Scotland’s schools to 2030 and beyond. The report establishes convergence between LfS and the 2015 UN Sustainable Development Goals as a direction for further policy development to 2030 (the 15-year period of the SDGs).

Our work with schools continues in many different ways – most recently with our work with the British Council and University of Edinburgh, delivering LfS: Connecting Classrooms courses to teachers and educators from 2015. If you would like to suggest a new project or opportunity to work with LfS in schools, please get in touch.

Nature Connection (0-25 years) Task Group

This task group has been set up to develop research activities on the level of connections to nature for children and young people in Scotland (0 – 25 years).

Key objectives: To understand what activities enhance connection to nature Identify possible links with factors that impact sustainability Inform policy and practice to enhance nature connection Share how we measure connection Actions

A new group, with a new convenor (Lesley Totten) is looking to refresh its key objectives and will be meeting in January 2019 to discuss new plans and approaches.

Sustainable Development Goals Task Group

A vibrant task group, set up by enthusiastic LfS Scotland members who are interested in driving forward the UN SDGs in Scotland and incorporating them into their practice. This task group co-hosted an event in 2017 with the Communities Task Group and a meeting will be organised for Spring 2018 to refocus attention. If you would like more information on this task group please contact Betsy King

Initial Aims:

  • To influence policy through advocating for learning as a fundamental aspect of the SDGs, in Scotland and beyond
  • To raise awareness and understanding of the scope of learning within the SDGs (within and across formal, informal and non-formal contexts)
  • To engage and represent members; and partner with other organisations and individuals in Scotland and UK; and collaborate with relevant international partners (UNESCO, UN RCEs) to help deliver on GAP and the SDGs
  • To contribute to monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of the SDGs in Scotland and beyond

Initial Responses: 

  • Policy: Respond to UK Environmental Audit Committee consultation; Engage with DfiD following up contacts already made
  • Engagement: Collaborate with submission of SUII bid
  • Awareness: Raise awareness with members and others on SDGs through a workshop which in turn further defines the ToR of the task group

Intended Outcomes

  • Stronger policy in support of the SDs, seeing them as a holistic mechanism to pursue sustainable development rather than a tick box exercise using existing strategies.
  • Recognition of the scope and necessity of learning to inform and underpin implementation of the SDGs.
  • Increased awareness amongst LfS Scotland members and others to enable them to work effectively as partners within the collaborations possible to achieve the SDGs. Stronger monitoring and evaluation of SDGs especially SDG 3.
  • Pathways to research on SDGs.