Net Zero Visions January Workshop Success

On January 27th we held our first Net Zero Visions workshop. It was a fantastic event, full of inspiring and informative speakers, each with a unique perspective on the climate emergency. 

We heard a moving introduction from Dr David Sergeant, who stressed the key message of the Net-Zero Visions project: a better future is still possible, but in order to create that future we must first be able to picture it. 

Picturing the future is the specialty of keynote speaker James McKay – a talented artist who, amongst many other things, creates detailed and imaginative futurescapes for communities around the UK, earning him the accolade ‘the man who draws the future’. Our Zoom audience heard his presentation on the history of human environmental impact, and saw many examples of his excellent work, aimed at inspiring their own visions for a net-zero Devon. 

The audience also heard lightening talks from our expert panel, who provided examples of the amazing possibilities involved in a net-zero future: thriving communities; clean energy; warm and efficient homes and buildings; social streets and sustainable transport, and delicious, locally-sourced food. All these were based on work that is already taking place around the county, successfully implementing the Interim Devon Carbon Plan. 

Following this, the communities also got the chance to introduce themselves to the audience. The communities involved include the ‘Five Parishes Alliance’ of Wembury, Brixton, Yealmpton, Newton Ferrers, Noss Mayo and Holbeton; Exeter, Bideford, Torbay, Plymouth, Tiverton and Ashburton. Many expressed their admiration for the amazing artwork they had seen, and their excitement at being involved in such a meaningful and interesting project.  

Finally, the Zoom audience had the pleasure of meeting each commissioned artist, who will be working to bring the six community visions to life. Their collective talents include illustration, animation, mural art, game design and the creation of augmented reality. The communities in the room heard how their visions will be realized through these dynamic and powerful mediums. The workshop closed amongst expressions of gratitude and eager anticipation, as all seemed keen to begin building their net-zero Vision. 

What’s next for the Net Zero Visions project? 

Now, each community will work on their Vision independently. During the second workshop, which will take place online on the 21st of February, the groups will have a chance to develop their Vision together with guidance available from the expert panel.  As the project develops in the next weeks and months individuals and groups across Devon will also be able to submit their own inspiring ‘Vision’ of their community as Net Zero in 2050 (or sooner!), and will be supported in doing so, gradually building up a mosaic of possible Devon futures. 

You can find the latest updates and information about the Net-Zero Visions project on the Devon Climate Emergency website, as well as our social media channels. Finally, the project leads, David Sergeant and Emma Whittaker, are always keen to hear how people are adapting the core idea, or would like to, in their own ways and in support of their own activites – so do get in touch with them!  

In case you missed it…..

Below is the recording of the January workshop for those that were unable to attend.