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‘Inspiring Transformational Change through Learning’: our 2022 AGM & Networking event.

Mon 16th January 2023 - Courses & Events Summaries, LfS Scotland Updates, RCE Network

Our 2022 AGM was held online on 11th January and we were delighted to welcome a wonderfully diverse range of members from across the many educational sectors that comprise the Learning for Sustainability Scotland membership.

You can view the programme for the event by clicking here.

Part One: Welcome, activity update and a moment of reflection

Our Chair, Dr Rehema White, welcomed members to the AGM with an overview of LfSS and a reminder of our Strategic Aims, before handing over to our Director, Professor Pete Higgins, who provided an overview of our activities over the past year. Details of all of our work in 2022 can be found in our Annual Report.

We then paused for a moment of reflection to remember our colleague Dr Andy Samuel; a key member of our Steering Group, who tragically lost his life in a sailing accident in September 2022. Andy was a much-valued friend as well as a colleague and is sadly missed by all at Learning for Sustainability Scotland.

Betsy King, our Development Manager, then expressed our thanks to our outgoing Steering Group, whose advice and expertise has been of vital importance in helping us to shape our strategic activity over the past three years. Our warmest thanks goes to all of them for their support over such a challenging period for everyone that saw the world adapt to the ‘new normal’ of the global COVID pandemic and its aftermath.

She also introduced the members of our new Steering Group, which will serve from January 2023 to January 2025. You can find out more about each of them here. A very warm welcome to them all and we look forward to our first Steering Group meeting with them in late February.

You can view a recording of this section of the AGM by clicking here.

Part Two: Transformational Change through Learning: member examples and sharing groups

Betsy then introduced three inspirational examples of transformational change through learning; drawn from our membership. Naomi Dixon from YouthLink Scotland shared more about the Scotland’s Young People’s Forest initiative; Keith Turner from Speyside High School shared more about how he is integrating Global Citizenship Approaches into the curriculum across the Broad General Education; and Craig Leitch from Greener Kirkcaldy shared more about how his organisation is working with the Climate Action Fife Partnership to tackle the climate emergency in Fife and tackle a myriad of social and economic – as well as ecological – issues through doing so.

These inspiring examples served as a stimulus for our next activity; where members went into breakout groups to share their own examples of good practice with each other. We also asked them to consider two key questions:

  • What does ‘Transformational Change through Learning’ look like?
  • How can LfS Scotland support collaboration to inspire a step-change in transformational learning in and across all sectors?

Each group recorded their thoughts on our Jamboard and you can view these outputs here.

You can view a recording of this section of the AGM by clicking here.

Part Three: ‘More than the Sum of the Parts: Transforming a Region through Learning for Sustainability’: Heleentje Swart, our keynote speaker

Heleentje is from our sister organisation: ‘SPARK the Movement’; which is the Regional Centre of Expertise (RCE) in Education for Sustainable Development in Fryslan (Friesland), Netherlands. She is also a programme leader in Circulair Friesland.

Her talk focused on:
‘How can partnership working make Fryslan one of Europe’s top five regions in the transition towards an
integrated circular economy and a sustainable society by 2025? Their objective is to form a well-equipped
regional learning community of educators, young people, artists, entrepreneurs and citizens from primary
schools, secondary schools, technical/vocational learning centres, (applied) universities, companies, local
government and NGOs; enabling everyone in the province to acquire the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values necessary to create a thriving future.’

It was very inspiring to hear such an impressive example of how a Learning for Sustainability-based approach is enabling joined-up strategic thinking and action on sustainability-related issues across a whole region.

Rehema then brought our AGM to a close: summarising the key themes explored during the event and sharing reflections on the discussions. She then invited participants to ‘Dream Forward’ and consider their own next steps in making Learning for Sustainability part of the everyday across their personal and professional lives: both individually and with others.

You can view a recording of this section of the AGM by clicking here, and a short video sharing more about the work of SPARK the Movement is also available here.

Our warmest thanks goes to all of the contributors who helped to make our AGM such a success, and to the many members who joined us on the day.