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Inspiring Sustainable Lifestyles

Sustainability has been very prominent on the MACE course up until now. Generally, due to the fragile state of the world’s climate, this is a word that is in high-rotation. Most people are deeply concerned about the world and want to preserve it for future generations. Some people deny that climate change even exists.  

As part of the Experiencing the Creative Industries module, we have to choose a brief from the D&AD Young Blood competition to submit an entry. There were 19 briefs to choose from. After going through all of them I felt there was one that struck a chord with me. The Connect 4 Climate and World Bank Group brief on inspiring meaningful behaviour change towards a more sustainable lifestyle was my choice.

In our Mapping the Creative Economy module we learnt about the UN’s sustainable goals website. The first two goals are reducing poverty and reducing inequality. This has been on my mind throughout our discussions on sustainability and lifestyle change to preserve the earth’s climate. Whether it’s transport, recycling or the clothes you buy, without disposable income, it is very difficult to change your lifestyle to benefit the environment. While sustainability gathers pace, most sustainable options are currently more expensive than other options available to everyone.

I considered examples from my country, South Africa. The most used form of public transport is mini-bus taxis. These run on diesel and petrol. In time there could be electric powered minibuses but currently there are no alternatives. Many people in rural areas get free clothing from churches, community programmes or family members. There are no options for upcycling clothing or choosing more sustainable options when it comes to clothing consumption.  Waste management and recycling are similarly challenging. Even if households in a community make a conscious effort to manage their waste sustainably, the waste management services offered by the municipality might not be sustainable. As Harvard Business Review (2019) observed, often people have the intention of living more sustainably but often do not live out this intention. Connect4Climate’s aims to change this behaviour with this campaign.

Connect4Climate is an organisation started by the World Bank Group. According to the strategy page on the Connect4Climate website, their main objectives are to grow awareness about climate change, while encouraging commitment from the public and private sector, as well as policy makers to be more proactive; and building coalitions for future advocacy efforts. They do this through initiatives which include fashion, film, music, sport and youth programmes.

The entry submission for the brief requires either a two minute video presentation or an 8 jpeg presentation of my idea. Before I can start putting my idea together, there are a number of things I need to think about. Firstly, I need to find out about what options exist to people in under-privileged areas of South Africa. I need to research what options are available in townships and rural areas of South Africa. Secondly, I will also need a strong understanding of what the judges are looking for with regards to the brief. I will also need to develop some of my own ‘soft’ skills such as resilience, decisiveness and my objectivity. The most challenging part of the brief is to figure out a way for people’s contributions to living more sustainable lives to be noticeable and tangible to them.

This is an exciting assignment that will provide good practice for research and understanding the needs of a client. The research will be key in putting together an entry submission for the specific brief I chose. The results of the research will need to be combined with my own creativity and insight to create an entry that will be noticed by the judges. This is the beginning of an interesting and challenging assignment.

References –

Connect4Climate (2020) Initiatives. Available at: https://www.connect4climate.org/initiatives (Accessed: 13 January 2020).

Connect4Climate (2020) Strategy. Available at:  https://www.connect4climate.org/about/strategy (Accessed: 13 January 2020).

Harvard Business Review (2019) The Elusive Green Consumer. Available athttps://hbr.org/2019/07/the-elusive-green-consumer (Accessed: 13 January 2020)

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Published by fortysomethingrebirth

I am a South African from Jo'burg. I love football, music (mainly from the Caribbean) and design. I am currently studying a Masters of Managing in the Creative Economy at Kingston University in London.

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