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Dulwich College Suzhou Holds First Climate Conference

November, 2015
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dulwich-suzhou-climate-conferenceThe first Dulwich Climate Conference drew to a close on 31 October after an inspiring two days for students, guests and staff at Dulwich College Suzhou. Attended by over 100 students from across the Dulwich group, the conference included charismatic guest speakers and expert led workshops, but more importantly the students led it. They listened, asked challenging questions and worked together to identify areas where they could make a real difference in terms of sustainability and impact on the environment.

Doug Allan, keynote speaker at the conference, is one of the world’s best known and respected cameramen with 8 Emmy’s and 4 BAFTA’s to his name so far. He specializes in natural history, expeditions and science documentaries in some of the wildest and most remote places on this planet from the polar zones to the upper reaches of Everest. He has worked for the BBC, Discovery, National Geographic and many others on series including The Blue Planet, Planet Earth, Life, Human Planet and Frozen Planet. Allan shared his first-hand experience from the Arctic and Antarctic, the effects of climate change on our environment and the impact it is having on our wildlife. He also showed students to look at a picture or film and think how all the elements could be been woven together to tell a powerful story. He encouraged our students to follow their dreams, not to be afraid to make mistakes, learn from them, not to be restricted by convention and the expectations of others and in that way achieve a fulfilling and rewarding life.

Also speaking at the conference were Professor Jan Bebbington and Dr Shona Russell from the University of St Andrews, both respected experts specializing in research about climate change and sustainability. They shared their thoughts and experience about how the issues of climate change and sustainability can be tackled and what is needed to make a real change in the world. They encouraged the students to understand the many aspects of this vital issue and how to convince others of the changes that need to take place.

At the conference were Fraser White, Executive and Founding Chairman of Dulwich College International (DCI), Christian Geurtler, CEO of DCI and Brian McDouall, Director of Schools at DCI. This reflected the commitment of the Dulwich group to be a more sustainable organization and their determination to empower Dulwich students to make a difference.

By the close of the conference the Dulwich students had agreed on eight commitments that they would each take back to their own colleges.

1. To remove plastic bottles and disposable containers from our schools. 2. To reuse and recycle more books and clothes as well as paper. 3. To reduce our food waste 4. Eat more sustainably: more vegetarian, meat free days, organic and grow our own food 5. Review how we travel and act more sustainably. 6. Challenge our colleges to make the buildings more efficient. 7. Get more students involved: house competitions and awards. 8. To be taught more about sustainability in the curriculum.

From these 100 hundred students attending the Climate Conference the message can be spread to another 6,000 students across Dulwich and then further still. The students now have a powerful belief that they really can change the world. 


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