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  • 1.
    Briggs, Sarah Jayne
    et al.
    Keele Univ, GBR.
    Robinson, Zoe P.
    Keele Univ, GBR.
    Hadley, Rachel Louise
    Keele Students Union, GBR.
    Laycock Pedersen, Rebecca
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    The importance of university, students and students' union partnerships in student-led projects: A case study2019In: International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, ISSN 1467-6370, E-ISSN 1758-6739, Vol. 20, no 8, p. 1409-1427Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose This paper aims to explore a single-institution case study of partnership working between students, the University and Students' Union, through four student-led sustainability projects. The paper analyses the role and value of these partnerships and provides advice for other institutions on effective partnership working between these stakeholders. Design/methodology/approach A single case study of partnership working with multiple embedded units of analysis (four projects) is presented based on reflections of practitioners involved in the projects who have different roles within the University and Students' Union. Findings The longevity and effectiveness of student-led projects, and disciplinary-breadth of students engaged, can be enhanced by greater collaboration with, and integration into, University and Students' Union systems. Partnership working between different stakeholders is key to overcoming challenges and the success of student-led projects, helped by key staff "enablers". These projects provide myriad learning opportunities for developing change agency skills, even where projects are relatively short-lived and could be seen as failures in terms of longevity. Originality/value This paper draws together the experiences and reflections of four practitioners with different roles within the University and Students' Union across four different projects and provides advice to generate student-led sustainability projects which have longevity and impact for wider student populations and future generations of cohorts.

  • 2.
    Laycock Pedersen, Rebecca
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    Robinson, Zoe P.
    Keele University, GBR.
    Surman, Emma
    Keele University, GBR.
    Understanding Transience and Participation in University Student-Led Food Gardens2019In: Sustainability, ISSN 2071-1050, E-ISSN 2071-1050, Vol. 11, no 10, article id 2788Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In an increasingly mobile world, transience is becoming the norm. Sustainable community food initiatives, therefore, must organise to withstand high turnover of volunteers. Using a case study of the United Kingdom’s National Union of Students’ food growing scheme in universities, this paper aims to map the causes and effects of short-term, irregular, and low participation using a causal loop diagram to understand how to mitigate their negative impacts and improve participation. Data was gathered through interviews, workshops, photovoice, a fishbowl discussion, and a reflective diary. We found three amplifying feedback loops increasing short-term, irregular and low participation, their causes, and their impacts. These feedback loops were precariously buffered by a continuous in-flow of new potential participants each academic year. We also found that the stakeholders of these gardens conceptualised time akin to both temporary and permanent organisations, and these differing conceptualisations were a source of tension. Furthermore, although ‘organisational amnesia’ was a problem, the gardens were still learningful spaces. We recommend both upstream and downstream solutions are implemented to buffer the impacts of transience and suggest that university and students’ union staff could play a crucial and subtle supporting role.

  • 3.
    Pedersen, Rebecca Laycock
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    Lam, David P. M.
    Leuphana Univ, DEU.
    Comment on 'The climate mitigation gap: education and government recommendations miss the most effective individual actions'2018In: Environmental Research Letters, ISSN 1748-9326, E-ISSN 1748-9326, Vol. 13, no 6, article id 068001Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Wynes and Nicholas (2017a Environ. Res. Lett. 12 1-9) recently published an article that reviewed academic and grey literature to identify the most impactful individual actions for reducing carbon emissions in developed countries, identifying having 'one fewer child' as by far the most impactful action. This action was recommended with little context considering its controversial nature. We argue that there are three issue-areas that Wynes and Nicholas should have engaged with to improve the clarity of their recommendations and reduced the potential for misunderstanding, which are (1) the extent to which individual actions in one's private life can address climate change in relation to collective actions and actions in the professional sphere (2) the role of overconsumption in driving climate change and (3) the extent to which family planning is a human right. We also suggest that engagement with these issue-areas are a step towards a better practice in academic writing on population as an environmental issue.

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