Our COP26 Community - RSA

Our COP26 Community

Our COP26 community

Net zero by 2050 is not enough by itself.

We need to re-think our economy, re-store nature, and re-plenish possibilities for future generations.

That requires a collective mission to re-generate. And we all have a key role to play. The time is now.

The RSA brings together people, ideas and programmes to resolve the challenges of our time. Below you’ll see examples of this in action.

Fellowship activity

Here is a snapshot of some of the inspirational work our global Fellowship were engaged in, in the lead-up to COP26. Their commitment and dedication to social impact embodies our purpose to unite people and ideas to resolve the challenges of our time.

Walk2COP, Sam Baker FRSA and Ric Casale FRSA

Over 26 days, a group of walkers completed the journey from London to Glasgow to attend COP26. Along the way, they had 500 climate conversations, attended eight events and brought together people, government and businesses. As they walked they found a shared sense of urgency and a widespread desire to take action and protect our planet.

What is it like to walk 500 miles? Why did these individuals - none of them claiming to be activists - decide to go to COP26 on foot? Watch Walk2COP26's 30-minute documentary to find out how they fared, and what they learnt along the way.

Think global, but act local. So, it's great to sit on your sofa and think that 'something should be done', but it may be a good idea to get up off your sofa and do something about it yourself. Even in a small way.

The Amazon Sacred Headwaters Initiative, Jerónimo Calderón FRSA

The Amazon Sacred Headwaters Initiative (ASHI) is an alliance created in 2017, bringing together 30 indigenous nations and their partners to permanently protect 86 million acres of highly biodiverse rainforest in the headwaters of the Amazon in Ecuador and Peru. With a shared vision to ensure ecological integrity and to protect life and its ancestral territories, the leaders of different Amazonian organizations built the alliance to cope with the increased thread on their territories and cultures. It contributes to reversing global warming and acts inspiring model for a just ecological transition for the world.

Cuckmere Community Solar, Alister Scott FRSA

Near the small station of Berwick in Sussex, a revolution in sustainable travel is starting to take shape. Members of Cuckmere Community Solar are working with specialist company Riding Sunbeams to connect solar to power trains for the first time in the UK. Riding Sunbeams' mission is to provide Britain’s rail networks with a direct supply of community-owned renewable energy. After extensive feasibility work and research, Riding Sunbeams, working with Network Rail, successfully connected the first pilot solar traction array to the railway at Aldershot station in 2019. This paves the way for the Selmeston Solar Rail Connection Project to start operations in 2022.

Low Carbon Warwickshire Network, Bob Sherman FRSA

The Harbury Energy Initiative (HEI) low carbon group was founded in 2010 with an aim of bringing together existing Warwickshire community low carbon groups to share ideas and, more importantly, stimulate new activity in communities. As well as sourcing funds to enable local projects for community buildings on insulation, LED lighting, solar panels and energy storage, it gave rise to Harbury e-Wheels and Harbury Future Energy. This initiative became the Low Carbon Warwickshire Network.

Further Fellowship activity

Across our global community there is a great deal of good practice and thought leadership on policy areas related to COP26. Below are some examples of other Fellows' activity in this area.

Jamie Plotnek FRSA, Route Zero Climate Group | Perry Walker FRSA, Voicing the air assembly | Alison Doig FRSA, Climate Action Network International & Health and Climate Network | Simone Abram FRSA, Durham Energy Institute COP26 research and activity | Andy Knott FRSA, Carbon Copy | Stephen Elstub FRSA, Evaluation of Climate Assembly UK | William S. Lerner FRSA, Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles insights | Richard Katz RFSA, Glass Futures | Bob Johnson FRSA, Vineyard Futureworks | John Reiners FRSA, Green Growth opportunities for the UK | Clare Wightman FRSA, Grapevine Global Citizen Assembly

Keen to share what you’re working on?

If as a Fellow you have a project you want to develop or have an idea you’d like to share, our online collaboration platform Wazoku allows you to create a space to do this.

The RSA shares diverse insights, perspectives and practices across our Fellowship and beyond to advance our collective understanding and impact. Views expressed by individual Fellows on their own webpages or on external sites they link to are not necessarily those of the RSA itself; we offer this space to further the potential for sharing ideas.

The RSA at COP26

Thanks to the diversity, connections, expertise and creativity of our global Fellowship, we were able to run a range of in-person and hybrid events in Scotland as part of COP26. Keep reading for more information on just some of these events:

Kick off launch event, Hosted by The Climate Action Lab and Strathclyde University Union

Fellows were invited to attend this opening event at Strathclyde University Union. They heard about programmes that the RSA brought to COP26, as well as having the opportunity to meet like-minded members of the broader community.

Climate Justice, Hosted by Walk2COP26

The Walk2COP26 team hosted policy makers, politicians, those from business, civil society and students to debate the topic of climate justice.

Journeys2COP26, Hosted by Walk2COP

After their 510 mile walk to Glasgow, the people who made the journey to COP26 on foot shared their experience and their reasons for walking to Glasgow.

Creating change together: relational systems thinking and Indigenous knowledge Hosted by the RSA in partnership with the Canadian High Commission

Melanie Goodchild explored how, faced with the urgent challenges of climate change and inequality, people from different cultures and world views can come together to make change that works for all.

Regenerative Futures: Fellows’ Breakfast at COP26, Hosted by the RSA

This breakfast gathering gave 20 Fellows the opportunity to meet with Jamie Cooke (RSA Head of Scotland) and Rebecca Ford (RSA Head of Collaboration & Learning Design) to learn about the Regenerative Futures programme and to share and discuss ideas, insights and projects that can move us towards a future where people and planet flourish.

Green Jobs – The role of business in creating a more sustainable future
Hosted by the Lord Provost of Edinburgh and in partnership with RSA Scotland and the Scottish North American Business Council

This reception offered delegates the chance to connect with each other while bringing together thinking on innovative business practices, the RSA’s research on the future of work, and learning from the Just Transition.

Sustainable Leadership for a Sustainable Planet Conference, Hosted by the Scottish Leadership Institute

A participative day of discussion and insight with Paul Polman, Andrew Winston, Judith Parke, Tomas Bjorkman and others.

Design for Planet Festival, Hosted by the Design Council, Featuring RSA Speakers

This 2-day event provided a platform for visionaries across the design sector who have been leading the way in sustainability and climate action. Josie Warden, RSA Head of Regenerative Design, gave a key-note speech about regenerative approaches to protecting people and the planet.

COP26 is over – what’s next? Hosted by RSA Scotland

As COP26 came to a close, delegates came together to explore what could happen next for the people of Scotland, and the part we can all play in building a better future.

Fellowship thinking

Regenerative Futures

Discover more about this RSA programme which explores how we can create a future where people and planet flourish hand-in-hand.

Join our sustainability network

Collaborate with others to regenerate the future