Inspiring Action in Young People | Speakers for Schools

The aim of the inspiring action theme is for speakers to share something they are passionate about and encourage students to create change. Speakers can aim to inspire action in areas such as: democracy, the environment, public service, human rights etc. to encourage student interest and empowerment in global or local issues. Talks are designed to be a dialogue and should welcome other views, leaving students more confident in their role in the future and inspire them to think about wider society.


The Great British Plastics Campaign

For the Great British Plastics Campaign over 30 speakers teamed up to help inspire young people to take action about plastic waste, through a series of talks and a national Plastics Challenge. Roz Savage MBE, Ocean Rower, Author and Speaker, gave an insightful and interesting perspective on plastic waste. As the first female to row solo across three oceans, Roz described the Great North Pacific Rubbish Dump, a huge gyre in the middle of the ocean which whips up plastic debris from across the world. Roz also shared the steps she takes to try and reduce plastic pollution including using a metal bottle, metal straw and canvas bag. Judith Batchelar, Head of Brand at Sainsbury’s, discussed how Sainsbury’s has signed up to the UK Plastics Pact along with the 80+ other organisations who are striving to ensure that 100% of its plastics packaging is reusable, recyclable or compostable. This campaign helped many students engage with a major global issue and inspired students to rethink their use of plastics.

Recommended outline for an inspiring action talk

  1. Why are you passionate about the subject you are speaking about e.g. democracy, activism, environmental issues and so on.
  2. What sparked your own interest?
  3. Are you an expert or a more general supporter (not everyone is an absolute expert but you can still be passionate about change)?
  4. What is the broader context and why should young people care?
  5. What is the impact on young people? Do you have any examples to demonstrate the impact students’ actions/involvement can have on a wider scale?
  6. What does the future of this topic look like?
  7. How can students get involved in the selected topic?