News Archive: 2015

We are very pleased to share that our CEO Wendy Stephenson successfully cycled from Bristol to Paris! There she joined with people from around the world who wanted to see real action on climate change at COP21. Well done Wendy! You can read about her journey on the live blog from our friends at Love The Future.

On home ground, a team of participants completed a spin bike challenge and cycled the total distance between Bristol and Paris in relays. Well done to everyone who took part and thank you for raising money for our eco-restoration project. Special thanks to the local businesses that supported the event, Pure GyminPlay GolfBeyond the Wall and GRN Sportswear

In case you didn't know, at the 2015 UN Climate Change Conference (COP21) leaders from around the world acknowledged that we need to significantly increase reforestation rates to avoid catastrophic climate change. They have called on every sector of society including the private sector as well as individuals and civil society.

The Converging World is looking to help facilitate more reforestation through its campaign ZERO2020. Look out for more information coming soon. In the meantime if you would like to read the full leaders' statement on reforestation, then please click here

 

The challenge

Cycle 240 miles in one day on spin bikes at the gym. You will be part of a team that will aim to be first past the post, win a prize and support reforestation as a legacy for Bristol Green Capital 2015!

Why?

This December the United Nations conference on climate change will take place in Paris. Known as COP21, the parties will aim to achieve universal agreement to act on climate change. Here in Bristol we have been doing great things this year as European Green Capital 2015. We want to continue this legacy of local action and work together as global citizens to restore tropical forest in India. By raising funds to plant trees we are creating a forest to absorb carbon to regulate climate. In addition, the forest will restore animal species, provide natural products and support livelihoods.

A group from Bristol is cycling to Paris to deliver the people’s manifesto, including our CEO Wendy Stephenson, who is participating in some of the events and will blog stories of inspiration.

To highlight these talks and Bristol’s role we want to play our part by raising awareness and raising money to plant trees in 2015 through our Spin Bike Pedal to Paris.

How does it work?

We are looking for people to make up 2 teams. Relays will be divided into 1 hour sessions but we hope that each participant will be able to cycle 2 hours on the bike (non-consecutive, so you can have a breather!) to really challenge yourself for a good cause.  We would love it if you could raise at least £50 sponsorship per person to take part. All funds raised will go towards planting trees to grow into a tropical forest.

Prizes

  • Going the Distance Award - a prize will be awarded to the participant who cycles the furthest within an hour.
     
  • Top Fundraiser Award – a prize will be awarded to the participant who raises the most money.
     
  • Top Team Award – a prize will be awarded to the team who rides 240 miles in the fastest time, if you are really fast then we will be challenging you to cycle on water by covering the extra miles from Portsmouth to Le Havre!

Where?

Pure Gym, Explore Lane, Millennium Square, Bristol, BS1 5TY

When?

#GivingTuesday 1st December 2015. After Black Friday and Cyber Monday comes #GivingTuesday, the global day of charitable giving. The challenge will run between 7am and 7pm.

How can I help?

You can sign up to become part of the team to get on the spin bike and help us clock up 240 miles (the distance cycled between Bristol and Paris). Or you can sponsor someone who is taking part to spur them on to keep pedalling. 

If you are interested in getting involved then we’d love to hear from you. Please complete a registration form or contact Helen at The Converging World, email helenturton@theconvergingworld.org or call 0117 927 7089.

                          

Solar power lights up the lives of orphaned girls, helps keep them safe and provides extra hours of study time to help them grow in confidence and independence. With thanks to The Marr-Munning Trust, Shambala, and Sunlit Future.

Padma is an amazing woman. Once a lawyer, she gave up her profession to rescue girls either in, or destined for the sex trade, in and around Mumbai. She started by bringing the girls home, sometimes housing more than 30 girls in her small one bedroom flat!

Recognising the need for a safe space, Padma realised she needed something more appropriate than her flat. She set about fundraising by going from door to door collecting just a few rupees at a time and eventually raised enough to buy a piece of land on which to build an orphanage.

Not daunted by how long this was taking, Padma continued to try and raise the funds to build the orphanage. One day a local builder drove past and asked her what she intended to do with the land. After explaining, the builder was so moved by Padma’s own generous spirit and the noble work that she was doing, that he offered to build the orphanage for her at his own expense.

The orphanage was ready for the girls to move into, but unfortunately when Padma would go to the slum to teach, sexual predators would climb the fence and target the girls. The lack of lighting from regular power cuts increased the risk of the events.

Inspired by Padma and disturbed by these threats to the young girls, The Converging World team worked to facilitate the installation of the solar PV system that would provide lighting along the corridors and in the bedrooms and safety lighting in the grounds.

In addition to the safer space, the lighting is available into the evening providing valuable time for study and vocational training.

Developing an education and learning new skills helps the young women grow in confidence in the hope that one day they will become more independent and integrate successfully back into society.

 “Stability of the electricity supply will allow the girls to study and be productive in the evenings, and feel safe and secure with lights on at night.” – Padma Palit

Can you support us to continue the work we do? Please consider making a one-off or regular donation.

Click here for more information about our work. 

The Marr-Munning Trust logo Shambala festival logo sunlit future logo

 

At the end of November, our CEO Wendy Stephenson will be cycling from Bristol to Paris. She will be joining a group of Bristolians, Le COP Crusaders, who are determined to make their voices heard in Paris for COP21. As European Green Capital hosts, this group of riders want to demand action against climate change and take the city’s manifesto with them (transporting it carbon free of course!). The group of riders will set off from Bristol on 26th November and arrive on the 29th to join thousands in Paris for the global climate change march.

Wendy signed up for the cycle ride with passion and determination to do something meaningful at such a critical time for COP21. As well as delivering the people’s manifesto of change, Wendy will be collecting real stories about the positive action people are taking to restore our planet. She hopes that sharing these stories will inspire hope and mobilise more action.

Wendy does have a bike but it hasn’t been used for 6 months as she’s recently chosen to walk rather than cycle to work. Now she’s understanding the full extent of the physical task of riding 240 miles over four days with very little time to train!

“I’m terrified and wondering if I have bitten off more than I can chew! But excited to part of a community that want to demonstrate positive action to reverse climate change.”

TCW is working to reduce the impacts of climate change and absorb carbon through reforestation

Will you spur Wendy on and sponsor her to pedal to Paris? All funds raised will go towards reforestation.

To sponsor Wendy on her cycle ride: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/wendyridetoparis

Darren Hall from Love The Future will be cycling with Wendy. You can make a personal pledge to act on climate change on Darren's pledge action webpage

Like The Converging World on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to see how Wendy’s training is progressing. 

Click here for more information about COP21.

TCW (The Converging World) Global Citizens Twinning Programme aims to encourage a journey of self-development and discovery for young people through environmental awareness. The course provides experience-based learning to equip young people with skills, knowledge and inspiration to act as change makers in their own communities and to live as active Global Citizens. For the last four years TCW has facilitated groups in Bristol and Mumbai to participate in a collaborative programme of work that connects young people in two communities to explore themes of global citizenship.

Between January to July 2015, two groups of young people from Ramakrishna Sarada Samiti Centre in Mumbai participated in the programme. From Bristol the Merchants’ Academy Secondary School and South Bristol Youth both took part. Developing friendships between young people in different countries builds international understanding and can motivate them to act for justice, peace and sustainable development. Each year the programme has a different environmental theme which the groups explore together. This year all activities related to the theme of the natural environment.

Over six months young people in Bristol and Mumbai learned about the importance of the natural environment, in their own location as well as globally, tasted different foods and interacted with each other using online conferencing. Team work, collaboration and new friendships contributed to the overall goal of inspiring global citizenship.

“There has been a marked improvement in the young people’s attitudes and behaviour. Mainly through how they communicate with each other and an understanding of how their actions impact on others. They are able to articulate what it means to be a good citizen and why people should not waste resources.”- Jackie Eddy, South Bristol Youth

With thanks to our funders BeyondMe, the young people who took part in the programme have increased their awareness and developed opinions on environmental issues across the planet. The interactive projects helped to demonstrate key themes in an exciting and engaging way.

BeyondMe logo“As a BeyondMe team from PwC, we recognise the importance of global citizenship. Committed to raising global awareness, our BeyondMe team are proud to support this programme which enables young people to act thoughtfully on environmental and social issues. This style of learning helps to encourage conversation and local action that can be shared with their families and the wider community.”
                           – BeyondMe team spokesperson from PwC

Thank you to our partners who provided learning experiences for our 2015 programme. Including, Bristol Zoo, University of Bristol Botanic Gardens, Knowle West Media Centre, Sarah Edwards and Saikat Ahamed.

The Global Citizen Twinning Programme responds to the idea that aspirations and local action need to be addressed from within the community. Young people can provide the energy to create change if they are stimulated, guided and encouraged at a young age. If you are interested in partnering with us to develop the programme further then please contact info@theconvergingworld.org.

Find out how Global Citizenship relates to our other programmes.

Green thinking festival goers learned about The Converging World’s environmental projects from CEO Wendy Stephenson at the 2015 Seed Festival at Hawkwood, Stroud.

We set out to educate and inspire people about our work by hearing directly from Wendy Stephenson CEO. Wendy explained to the Seed Festival audience that we are working with our partners Pitchandikulam Bio-Resource Centre at Auroville in Tamil Nadu India to restore native Tropical Dry Evergreen Forest. Since the area has been severely deforested, species are disappearing, communities are suffering and climatic conditions are changing for the worse. Wendy announced our plan to support the eco-restoration of 400,000m2 to restore flora and fauna that can sustain local people.

"Restoring degraded forests is one of the most critical activities of our time. The impact is far reaching and yet it is easy and low cost. Thanks to Joss Brooks who has been doing this for the last 40 years we plan to do much more together going forward." - Wendy Stephenson

Over at the exhibition area The Converging World’s stall showcased our latest projects. From the eco-restoration project to solar charging and raising awareness of energy consumption at a community level, through our interactive tool the TCWEnergyMap. It was great to connect and engage with new supporters offering them the opportunity to use our tools and help with eco-restoration.

As proud sponsors of the Seed Festival and Charles Eisenstein, we were thrilled to see the environmentally conscious crowd surrounded by creative ideas channelled through inspirational talks, workshops and art exhibitions. Thank you for involving us in such a remarkable green event.

If you did not attend the festival but would like to support our eco-restoration project, you can make a donation online or text TCWZ01 £1 or more to 70070. Just £1 will restore 1 square metre of native forest.

It’s festival time! We are excited to be one of the sponsors of the 2015 Seed Festival in Hawkwood, Stroud, 17th to 19th July 2015. It’s a festival of green inspiration, artistic interpretation and planting big ideas.

On Saturday 18th July our CEO, Wendy Stephenson, will be speaking in the Future Thought Hub at 1pm about The Converging World. This is a unique opportunity to learn about how we will use funds from renewable energy to support reforestation, critical to cooling the planet and for supporting the livelihoods of future generations.

If you are coming along, don’t forget to visit The Converging World’s stand at the exhibition area in the forecourt of the main house. Learn about how to use Energy Map, a tool free for communities to help understand your energy use and CO2 emissions.

Tickets for the Seed Festival are still available. Find out more here. #plantingbigideas @seedfestival

Looking forward to seeing you there! 

A green initiative is taking root on an unprecedented scale in the UK festival scene. Energy Revolution officially launches on February 19th at the Event Production Show, with over 10 major festivals in a shared effort to tackle climate change.

The aim for the industry is to take an active stance on climate change, reduce environmental impacts, and fund a 1-megawatt wind turbine within 5 years and we are delighted that we have been chosen as their partner to help them achieve this.

Audience travel often makes up 70% or more of a festival’s total carbon footprint. To tackle this impact, the initiative crowd-sources voluntary donations from festivalgoers at the point of ticket purchase, allowing them to account for their travel emissions. It then invests 100% of the donations into clean, renewable energy, replacing dirty fossil fuels with wind and solar power, to tackle climate change and create a sustainable future for everyone.

By harnessing the power of a festival community of over 200 outdoor festivals and 2 million festival-goers, the initiative could make a real difference in avoiding carbon emissions equivalent to the emissions from millions of miles of travel.

Festivals launching the initiative include Bestival, Camp Bestival, Standon Calling, Boomtown, Kendal Calling, Secret Garden Party, Wilderness, Starry Skies, Shambala Festival, and Love Saves The Day, with many others soon joining them.

Participating festivals are also tackling their carbon footprint by using renewables where possible, reducing energy consumption, and investing directly into renewable energy projects. 

Find out more from Energy Revolution.

Thank you to everyone who helped us exceed our tipping point of £50k to enable us to continue the work we have been doing. Once the Trillion Fund team have processed all your information we will be in touch with you to provide you with more details and of course you will be part of our regular updates too. It's true, the world needs more renewable energy but perhaps even more significant is that we believe in using the profits from selling green energy, for work that can deliver even more impact, such as restoring rainforests. Your gift by way of a loan will work hard for generations to come.