First workshop to develop joint methodologies kicks off Climate Action Heroes project

Service designers and community organisers unite for climate action in the Climate Action Heroes project.

The first Community Action Hero workshop took place on 30 July 2020 and brought together professionals from the service design and community organising fields to explore how principles of the two disciplines can be applied to boost creative leadership potential in individuals, groups and systems.

Dr Laura Santamaria, the Project Lead and Lecturer within the Institute for Design Innovation, said:

"The workshop was designed as a playful exploration using storytelling activities and artistic elements to open the conversation on how to empower both disciplines to promote diverse and inclusive ways of thinking, knowing and working in the community engagement sphere."

Sina Marleen Petersen, a current Institute for Design Innovation student and Research Assistant for the project, said:

"It was a pleasure to kick off our Community Action Hero project and discuss the space of community engagement for building Creative Leadership capacity for social change through synergy between service design and community organising! We talked about the recognition of power, roles and relationships, about affording people space to rest and engage, about how subjectivity helps to uncover what is at the root of a problem, and the legacy of community engagement as an opportunity for capacity building - and so much more."

The workshop included the likes of Dr Francesco Mazzarella (Research Fellow in Fashion and Design for Social Change at the Centre for Sustainable Fashion), Froi Legaspi (Community Organiser at CitizensUK), Ana Franca-Ferreira (Community Organiser and PhD candidate at the University of Birmingham), Julian Thompson (Strategic Designer and Founder of Rooted By Design), Bethan Mitchell (Service Designer at Snook), and many others.

About the project

The Climate Action Heroes project is led by Institute for Design Innovation academics Dr Laura Santamaria (Project Lead) and Dr Ksenija Kuzmina (Co-Investigator) and links climate action with economic regeneration. It aims to empower young people to imagine and create desirable futures for themselves and their community as they progress into adulthood. 

The project will engage with schools in some of the most deprived areas in Hackney. It aims to develop young people’s ‘creative leadership’ capacity by boosting skills which are less attended through the school curriculum. It focuses on aligning their personal aspirations with sustainability values, empowering them to envision and create policies, enterprise and environmental championship in their community.

To find out more about the Climate Action Heroes project, please visit our blog.

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It has been awarded five stars in the independent QS Stars university rating scheme, named the best university in the world for sports-related subjects in the 2020 QS World University Rankings and top in the country for its student experience in the 2018 THE Student Experience Survey.

Loughborough is in the top 10 of every national league table, being ranked 4th in the Guardian University League Table 2020, 5th in the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020 and 8th in The UK Complete University Guide 2020.

Loughborough is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in the Times Higher Education’s ‘table of tables’ and is in the top 10 in England for research intensity. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, Loughborough has been awarded seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

Specialising exclusively in postgraduate-level study, Loughborough University London is based on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and offers cutting-edge master’s and PhD degrees, as well as business collaboration, research and enterprise opportunities.

The seven specialist institutes at Loughborough University London include: Design Innovation, Digital Technologies, Diplomacy and International Governance, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, International Management, Media and Creative Industries, and Sport Business. Close industry partnerships with a wealth of leading businesses and creative organisations means teaching and learning is informed by real-life challenges and driven by true industry pressures.