Skip to main content Skip to navigation

IATL funding for GSD-championed student climate forum

Now in only its second year, the Warwick Climate Negotiating Forum (WCNF) 2021, launched in 2019 by GSD students, has been awarded £10,000 in grant funding by the Institute for Advanced Teaching and Learning (IATL) at the University of Warwick.

The IATL Co-creation grant supports projects developed collaboratively between staff and students, with a focus on fostering community and reimagining the future of learning at Warwick. This grant, awarded to team leaders Dr Jess Savage, Deputy Head of the School for Cross-faculty Studies; Dr Marta Guerriero, Director of Education for the School for Cross-faculty Studies; Dr Vangelis Pitidis, Research Fellow in Politics and International Studies; and Todd Olive, Economic Studies and GSD BASc graduate and current postgraduate student in GSD; recognises the unique learning opportunities offered by WCNF.

What is WCNF?

Founded to raise awareness of the complex challenges facing global leaders seeking to agree a strategy for mitigating the Climate Crisis, WCNF puts students in the shoes of major global political actors to inspire insight into the ‘realpolitik’ of global climate policymaking. Delegates assume responsibility for negotiating a series of strategic and detailed targets, covering everything from carbon pricing to deforestation, inside an actively-facilitated, co-creational environment in which real-world disputes regarding sovereignty and ideological differences can be recreated, broken down, and – at the Forum, or later, in the hearts, minds, and actions of its delegates - overcome.

This year’s Forum is run by a highly interdisciplinary team of 34 students from all corners of the University, with students from Global Sustainable Development, Liberal Arts, Economics, Philosophy, Law, PPE, PAIS, Psychology, English, Theatre and Performance Studies, Computer Science, and Modern Languages all featuring. The team is led by Todd Olive, with support from several academics including Dr Jess Savage, Dr Marta Guerriero and Dr Maria Gavris from GSD, and Dr Vangelis Pitidis, Dr Caroline Kuzemko and Dr Shahnaz Akhter from Politics and International Studies.

We spoke to Todd to find out more:

“In the run-up to Glasgow in November, there’s a huge amount of expectation on world leaders to finally get us on track for 1.5°C – the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change delivered a report warning of ‘code red for humanity’ back in August, for example, and only this week we’ve heard that Saudi Arabia, one of the world’s largest oil producers, is committing to achieving net zero emissions by 2060, along with China. Despite all of this, we’re still only on track to achieve 2.9°C.

WCNF is partially about why that is: why can’t national leaders, and those from the world of business, commit properly to tackling an urgent and serious threat not only to the way we live, here in the UK and around the world, but also to the actual lives of so many? WCNF seeks to illuminate where the clashes and disagreements prevent meaningful action to tackle the crisis – inspiring, and maybe frustrating, delegates to go back in the real world and do something about it.

That’s not possible, though, without the co-created environment that the WCNF team exists to facilitate – and with IATL’s support, we’re looking forward to 2021’s Forum making a real difference to the perspectives of our student delegates.”