How a design studio in Leeds is helping put on climate change events

Businesses looking to take meaningful action on climate change should review their processes and ensure their staff buy into the idea of cutting down waste, according to the founder of an ethical design studio that is helping to host a meeting of climate scientists.

Wednesday, 28th October 2020, 4:45 pm
Will Saunders says “There are a lot of things that businesses can do within the confines of their own building."

Will Saunders, founder of Leeds-based Good Will Studios, is helping run Planet in Crisis, a series of events presented by Scientists Warning Europe.

Speaking to The Yorkshire Post, he said: “There are a lot of things that businesses can do within the confines of their own building.

“It’s equally as important to get their staff and team on board with a more low waste and circular type of thinking so it’s more of a mindset change.”

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“Obviously science is the science but it can be interpreted in certain ways," says Will Saunders.

The Planet in Crisis series will run online between November 1 and November 8 with further fringe events taking place beyond those dates as well.

The whole purpose of the series is to inspire science based action on climate change ahead of the COP26 climate summit of world leaders next year in Glasgow.

Mr Saunders was approached by the charity Scientists Warning Europe after successfully hosting his own event exploring what digital agencies can do to help tackle the climate emergency as part of Leeds Digital Festival earlier this year.

He said: “That was how the conversation first started. They wanted to do a series of events.

“I said I could help them put together the online platform, build a visual identity and a bit of a brand to make it stand out.

“I’ve been working with them for a couple of months as we organised the speakers, got the systems set up and now we’re at the point where we are pushing it out there and getting as many people signed up to the event as possible.”

Despite being only a few days off, Mr Saunders believes there is room for a few more speakers, especially from more diverse backgrounds.

Mr Saunders said: “We’re still calling for a few more speakers. Particularly we want women from STEM backgrounds and also people from black Asian minority ethnic backgrounds to ensure their voices and experience is heard as well.

“Obviously science is the science but it can be interpreted in certain ways. We want to make sure that we have as many voices and as many opinions so that science is used effectively and in a socially just way.”

The general public is receptive to the idea of taking action against climate change, says Mr Saunders, with broadcaster Sir David Attenborough’s push being particularly noticed.

He added: “There is an appetite for change and acting. What people generally don’t have is the know how or they think the issue is so big that they can’t do anything about it. Part of what these events are showing is yes there are things happening but these are things that you might be able to help with or spread the word.”

Each day will look at a different theme ranging from energy, short lived pollutants and nature to food, sustainable economy and population.

The events will be aimed at academics and those in leadership roles, however there are also likely to be things that interest ordinary people as well.

“It’s about giving people who are already interested a bit more information and more actionable things that they can do,” Mr Saunders said.

The purpose of the series of events is to feedback the talks and discussions to world leaders before next year’s COP26 climate summit in Glasgow.

For more information or to register for a Planet in Crisis event visit:

Top speakers to cover key topics

The Planet in Crisis will feature talks from leading scientists on climate change, says Will Saunders.

The founder of Good Will Studios added: “We’ve got a host of fantastic speakers so far over the course of the week we have focused days.

“We have a food day - talking about how food innovation can help prevent global food shortages.

“We have a day all about energy and how we can shift away from oil especially in a post-pandemic world etc.

“We have a day about the sustainable economy - talking about a shift to a more circular economy and away from a wasteful world.”