RCE Severn - 2018

Festival Experiences for the Global Goals – The Pop Up Sustainability Village
Basic Information
Title of project : 
Festival Experiences for the Global Goals – The Pop Up Sustainability Village
Submitting RCE: 
RCE Severn
Contributing organization(s) : 
*Cheltenham Festivals* - registered charity that organises four festivals a year: Jazz, Science, Music and Literature

*Gloucester Resource Centre* – scrapstore and arts venue promoting principles of re-use through arts, education and play

*Kambe Events* – award winning sustainable events business
Focal point(s) and affiliation(s)
University of Gloucestershire
Organizational Affiliation: 
Host of RCE Severn
Language of project: 
Date of submission:
Wednesday, October 31, 2018
Additional resources: 
Project film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bwrLHbceTeA

Student film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iaTjKLS0tcs
University of Gloucestershire Sustainability Strategy
At what level is the policy operating?: 
Geographical & Education Information
United Kingdom
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire
Address of focal point institution for project: 
University of Gloucestershire, The Park, Cheltenham, GL50 2RH
Target Audience:
Socioeconomic and environmental characteristics of the area : 
Gloucestershire is a rural country in the west of England with a population of just under 1 million people. Surrounded by the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Gloucestershire has strengths in the tourism and service sectors, but a low ethnic diversity and challenges retaining a strong working age population.

Cheltenham is a spa town and the second largest urban centre in Gloucestershire. It hosts 3 of the University’s 4 campuses and is famous for its festivals of culture including jazz, science, music and literature, which bring over £5 million to the local economy each year.
Description of sustainable development challenge(s) in the area the project addresses: 
The project addresses a need for local awareness and action around the global sustainable development goals and to achieve this through education and learning projects organized with university students and staff.

Events Management students designed pop-up events addressing specific challenges under the following goals:

1. Health and Wellbeing – reducing ‘screen-time’ in children by offering practical, fun and sustainable alternative activities.

2. Sustainable Consumption and Production – raising awareness of the impact of product disposal by making biodegradable musical instruments.

3. Life on Land – highlighting deforestation and global ecosystems by planting flowers and making terrariums.

4. Life Under Water – addressing ocean plastic pollution through an interactive recycling game.

5. Sustainable Cities and Communities – engaging with local targets for green infrastructure development through a ‘cities pitch and put’ course.

6. Quality Education – aiming to advance policy and practice for sustainability as key to quality education by exploring a ‘treasure trail’ of education problems.
September, 2017 to June, 2018
The Festivals project meets 3 key needs:

1. Industry demand for responsible events professionals

The Event Design and Production module which hosts the Festivals Project is taken by final year students about to enter and influence the events industry as future events professionals. This industry is increasingly considering its impact, and looking for graduates with experience of developing innovate and sustainable events solutions. It also developed cross-professional learning by involving Performing Arts students who also study this module and learned how to apply responsible events principles to their professional arts practice.

2. Transformative curriculum experiences for sustainability

The Festivals project provided a vehicle for staff to develop their professional practice and begin embedding ESD pedagogy into the Events Management curriculum within the School of Business and Technology. The project was designed to get students to think creatively about Event Design and how events can be shaped to engage audiences with sustainability. The project was the formal assessment task for the module and the evaluation analysed the engagement and learning of all stakeholders including members of the local public.

3. Public interest

Following a major documentary TV series there is a growing interest in the public conversation around human-environmental impact and plastic pollution. Few people however are aware of the Global Goals, or the full breadth and systemic nature of sustainability. The Festivals projects meets a need to raise awareness of the global goals and practical ways people can take action locally. It provided family friendly learning opportunities aiming for high impact experiences through the setting of this busy national festival.
The project had two main aims:

Student experience – to embed ESD into the Events Management curriculum and provide hands-on experience for final year students to enable them to work collaboratively in teams and with external high profile events staff, to help them become responsible events professionals

Public engagement - to enable attendees of a major music festival to learn about the Sustainable Development Goals in a practical and creative way.

The main objectives were:

1. To enhance student understanding of the global goals and sustainability in the events industry
2. To apply events theory to design and deliver an interactive pop-up event linked to global goals
3. To boost festival audiences’ engagement with sustainability and action they can take locally
4. To model good practice and resource use in all aspects of running sustainable events
5. To raise the profile of local RCE partners and their action for the global goals
Activities and/or practices employed: 
The Festivals project was embedded in the ‘Event Design and Production’ module of the Events Management undergraduate course at the University of Gloucestershire. Students worked in teams to develop a fun and informative pop-up activity on a global goal of their choice, to deliver to families at a major local music festival.

The project developed students’ learning in sustainability through:

- Assessment – the activity formed the module assessment and focused on their understanding of the global goals and how this was translated through delivery of their pop-up events

- Partnerships - offering industry input and collaboration experience in responsible events management from Kambe Events, and practical creative workshops with the Gloucester Resource Centre

- Good practice – students were tasked with demonstrating clear grasp of sustainability impacts in the way they used resources and materials in design and delivery of the event

- Active reflection – students completed self-evaluation questionaires before, during, and at the end of the module, to assess how their sustainability/Global Goals knowledge had developed.
Size of academic audience: 
Direct impact approx 45 learners. Wider impact through internal dissemination, SDG accord report and industry award nomination.
Student experience

- 100% of students said they developed their understanding of the SDGs
- Students SDG awareness increased from 6 to 14
- Students are more confident to tackle sustainability in industry: “it’s such a big topic in the events industry so it’s nice to feel more informed when I graduate” (participating student)

Public engagement

- Over 250 children visited the pop-up events and made over 800 interactions with the activities
- Over 100 adults provided feedback, with 38% having increased their understanding of the SDGs and 34% now more confident in explaining SDGs to others

Project profile and dissemination

- Shortlisted for National Outdoor Events Association Award
- Film and marketing collateral used as case study to recruit new students to Events Management course
- Featured as case study in sector report to the UN as part of the SDG Accord
- Shared through University Festival of Learning and LIFT event reaching UK academic audiences
Lessons learned: 
A factor in the success of the positive public engagement with the pop-up events was the high quality of the activities the students designed. To develop these fun and educational family activities challenged students into new intellectual and ethical territory – exploring the global goals and making them simple and engaging for a family audience. Students benefitted from guidance via RCE Severn, with the RCE Severn Co-ordinator co-facilitating a tutorial to develop and challenge their thinking on their chosen global goals and how to communicate sustainability goals. They also benefitted from local partners such as Kambe events helping them to grapple with the practical sustainability challenges associated with delivering their activities.
Key messages: 
Students created interactive pop-up events, inspired by the Global Goals (SDGs) and delivered these to families at a major music festival.

Students increased their understanding of the SDGs 100% and learnt how to positively influence the events industry for sustainability.

Over 250 children were engaged and 38% of adult event visitors increased their understanding of the SDGs with 34% also now confident in explaining these to others.
Relationship to other RCE activities: 
The Festivals Project delivered the RCE Severn core commitment of running at least one project annually that contributes to local action for the global goals and professional development for sustainability. It helped to increase the RCE Severn visibility in the local community by operating at one of the town’s high profile national festivals that draws an international as well as UK audience. The project was also promoted and disseminated through the RCE Severn newsletter. Further legacy for the project in connection with RCE partners is that the project leader has received funding to deliver a new project that will involve local SMEs with sustainability and continue to connect the RCE with wider business development activities for sustainability in the region.
The Festivals Project was funded by the Learning Innovation for Tomorrow (LIFT) programme at the University of Gloucestershire which provides seed funds and guidance to develop ESD in the curriculum.


File Name Caption for picture Photo Credit
Image icon uog_eventstudents-0487.jpg (4.65 MB) Students with biodegradable crafts Pixel Photography
Image icon DSCN1634.JPG (1.98 MB) Life Below Water pop-up Barbara Rainbow
UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
(https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgs) and other themes of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)
SDG 3 - Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages 
SDG 4 - Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all 
SDG 7 - Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all 
SDG 8 - Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all 
SDG 9 - Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation, and foster innovation 
SDG 11 - Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable 
SDG 12 - Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns 
SDG 13 - Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts 
SDG 14 - Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development 
SDG 15 - Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification and halt and reverse land degradation, and halt biodiversity loss 
SDG 16 - Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels 
SDG 17 - Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development 
Curriculum Development 
Global Action Programme (GAP) on Education for Sustainable Development – Priority Action Areas
Priority Action Area 2 - Transforming learning and training environments 
Priority Action Area 3 - Building capacities of educators and trainers 
Priority Action Area 4 - Empowering and mobilizing youth 
Priority Action Area 5 - Accelerating sustainable solutions at local level