Cornwall was at the heart of change over the weekend during the G7 Summit, and while world leaders were assembling at Carbis Bay our community was coming together for a People's Assembly down the road in Newquay.
Together, the People's Assembly produced a list of 7 actions we can all take immediately to build a better future for all of us:
1| The time is now, make a change today!
Take an action that you wouldn’t normally and do rather than talk. When you do talk, try and speak to new people and break out of the habit of speaking to people you're familiar with - seek a story you haven't heard yet.
"The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” Albert Einstein. Radicalise your routine and see what you discover.
2| Everyone is an influencer
– how are you building new networks and impacting positively on your circles?
Have a conversation with someone you haven’t spoken to before. The more we can understand the world as seen through each others' lenses the more we can focus on how to come together and impact things that make a difference in all of our lives.
The only person you can control in this world is yourself, act in a way that makes you feel proud, be kind gladly and watch the ripples of positivity radiate into your personal, school and work networks.
3| Approach changes with positivity
Change can be difficult, because it not only requires forming new habits, but questioning our former self.
The way we are living and consuming is not sustainable, and change is necessary. It’s up to you to decide how you approach the change, embrace the chance to build better with a smile.
"Let go of the guilt... the truth is this doesn’t help, fear doesn’t help... as a individual I can talk about what we should do, but I should act first. Activists don’t have to be a saint, but everyone should be an activist, otherwise you’re a bystander. Just go for it!" Cyrill Gutsch CEO/Founder Parley for the Oceans (speaking from the G7 Fringe Seaspiracy Q&A live from CSpace).
4| Champion difference
We can be what we can see; how are you making difference more visible in your work and personal life? Be an ally and a bridge-builder wherever you go, it's up to all of us to create a culture of belonging and make people feel part of the crew.
Humans are social creatures, and a feeling of connectedness is vital to our well-being. Inclusion is a powerful thing and when we feel part of a network we seek to protect it. Build a diverse network of people that care, be a platform for others to use their voice, and explore difference openly - it's not always about finding commonality, it's also about singing about the differences.
It's going to take a truly global community to change the world, the power is in your hands - it all starts with "hello".
5| Curiosity is key
An open mind and an inquisitive spirit can lead to great adventures - and it can also lead to some startling discoveries.
In the Peoples' Assembly, Matthew Thomson from The Hive helped us discover how Cornwall has been connected to global trade for thousands of years whilst here in 2021 Lindsey Hall CEO of Real Ideas discussed the impact of Cornwall now, and from this question we discovered a curious and surprising way we can even make Netflix and chill into a greener pastime:
"We asked the Seaspiracy ocean activists if there was one thing people can do. Some of it was what you can expect - plant based diets and so on - but you should also think about what you buy, how we bank and even how we consume content online. Amazons data centres are the second biggest polluters after aeroplanes. Downloading rather than streaming can make a real difference to the carbon footprint of digital entertainment."
6| Build new positive habits
It takes at least 21 days to form a new habit, that's 5% of a year. Start now and make a lasting change for the 95%!
Why not make eating consciously one of your goals for 2021? Every meal we eat has an environmental cost - be an activist from your kitchen table and choose sustainable produce, ditch the plastic and buy loose fruit and veg (locally where possible), and transition to more (or all) plant-based meals.
"All of us can move away from eating fish, it’s a privilege to consume wildlife - and it’s a disruptive privilege." Ali Tabrizi Director of Seaspiracy (speaking from the G7 Fringe Seaspiracy Q&A live from CSpace).
7| Pocket power – spend consciously.
Global markets are influenced every day by the way we spend. What we buy and where we buy it. Vote with your money, and send a signal that you hold value in local economies and business that cares about the world. Even better - why not swap or buy second hand and break the grip of fast fashion and next day delivery on our daily lives.
Real Ideas is championing a #thinkbigshopsmall approach across our campus - join us monthly at Ocean Studios and CSpace for opportunities to purchase from local makers, sustainable start-ups and small business. Find out when the next small biz pop up is happening near you on our What's-On page.
Want to shop more sustainably online? Here's a handy guide from The Guardian on how to avoid buying from Amazon.