How Will You Reboot the Future?
An Interview with Rebecca Dove, Programme Director
28 10 2021
How Will You Reboot the Future?

Reboot the Future - "a small foundation with a big ambition, works with young people at scale through the provision of inspirational educational resources and online campaigns. They help them to name and frame their concerns, their values, and their visions for a more equitable, sustainable future, informed by the Golden Rule." For more information about How Will You Reboot the Future? please visit their website and follow them on social media: @futurereboot @globaldimension

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Can you describe your upcoming campaign, ‘How Will You Reboot the Future?” Why is this campaign timely?

How Will You Reboot the Future? is a new campaign to ignite young people’s sense of optimism, tap into their imagination and creativity, and inspire them with positive and personal ways of engaging in climate action in the run up to the UN Climate Conference in November (COP-26).

The campaign is born out of collaboration between Reboot the Future, veteran campaigner and environmentalist Jonathon Porritt, a team of talented professionals from across the UK’s creative industries, and developed with young climate activists.

We wanted to use COVID-19 as the launchpad for young people to both imagine and take action towards a more positive future. Anxiety and uncertainty over the coronavirus crisis has consumed young people around the globe, but they are still expressing a hope for a more equal, caring, and understanding world. As we hopefully start to emerge from the worst of the pandemic, we wanted to give students and teachers the space to engage with the challenge of rebooting the future in a positive and hopeful way.

The campaign goes live on our teacher platform, Global Dimension, on Wednesday 21st April with the release of Jonathon Porritt’s new e-book (Rise Up to Reboot the Future), 5 short ‘Rise Up’ films, a set of accompanying teaching resources, and social media campaign. In July, we will invite young people to express their visions of the future through a creative call to action, showcased online in the run-up to COP-26 in Glasgow.

Why is it so important to ignite 14-18 year old students’ sense of optimism regarding their engagement in climate action?

At the moment, climate change education isn’t compulsory in UK schools, and this can be daunting for teachers who want to teach students about it but don’t necessarily feel equipped. In a recent survey carried out by Teach the Future, they found that 44% of secondary school teachers say that climate change is never or rarely mentioned in their schools, despite 91% of these teachers feeling concerned about climate change.

Secondary schools in particular find it hard to integrate climate change into a packed curriculum that is heavily focused around exams. Yet it’s these age-groups (14-18 years) who are most worried about the climate crisis and the impact it’ll have on their futures, and likewise are often at a stage in their lives when they’re realising their own sense of agency and capacity to create change. 2019 saw huge numbers of young people in this age bracket feeling energised and empowered to demand action around climate change, but the COVID-19 pandemic put a halt to much of this. We want to reconnect young people with the energy of 2019, and inspire them to take action.

We know that teachers are under immense pressure in the return to school and have had very challenging years. Our campaign is designed for non-experts, to be used flexibly, and easily slots into any gaps in the timetable – from tutor group time, to citizenship lessons, to assemblies - involving five engaging and uplifting short films (5 mins each).

Whilst the first phase of the campaign in April and May is targeted at 14-18 years old, the creative call to action will invite all children and young people to take part, from 5-25 years old. We want to capture a huge depth and variety of young people’s visions of the future at this critical moment in time where we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic and head towards COP-26, the most important global climate change event.

How does Jonathon Porritt’s book ‘Rise Up to Reboot the Future’ complement the upcoming campaign?

We have been delighted to collaborate so closely with Jonathan Porritt CBE, one of the UK’s most distinguished environmentalists. Jonathan wrote an e-book specifically for this campaign, Rise Up to Reboot the Future, which has provided the inspiration for everything else. Set in 2025, and told through the eyes of three young people, Rise Up to Reboot the Future tells the story of ‘the great transformation’, of five years that upended each and every one of the orthodoxies on which the established world order depended up until the COVID- 19 crisis.

We worked with a fantastic creative team to adapt Jonathon’s book into a series of five, interconnected short films titled ‘Rise Up’, told through the eyes of five diverse young people including Lahari’s Story, the story of a young Indian woman whose experience of air pollution and asthma is relayed through a series of Tik-Toks; Erin’s story, a young British woman whose relationship to her grandfather is shown against the slow yet inexorable erosion of the Norfolk coastline; and Jamal’s story, the video diary of a budding chef whose personal relationship to food and its wider consequences are relayed against a bustling Inner London.

How have Reboot the Future and #LearningPlanet worked together to advance common learning goals and how do you see this collaboration evolving in the future?

The core principle underpinning Reboot the Future is a modern-day version of the Golden Rule (Treat others and the planet as you would wish to be treated) which is wholly aligned with the #LearningPlanet’s mission.

We were really excited to be a partner of the #LearningPlanet Festival in January 2021, where we relaunched our teacher platform, Global Dimension, for UN International Day of Education. This included running an event during the Festival with globally renowned climate scientist, Johan Rockstrom, focused around helping educators support climate action during lockdown.

We are thrilled that #LearningPlanet is one of the core partners for How Will You Reboot the Future? bringing visibility and awareness of the campaign to its huge networks of educational stakeholders and communities.

Global Dimension is the UK’s leading platform for Global Learning, supporting a community of 15,000 teachers to bring global perspectives like climate breakdown, migration and democracy into the classroom. Global Learning plays a vital role in sustainability, social justice, and building a better future, and it is a key element of the UN's Sustainable Development Goal 4 on Education, Target 4.7. We look forward to finding new ways to collaborate in the pursuit of education that fosters respect, well-being and fulfillment to oneself, others and the planet.

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