Green Lancaster’s Leadership and Sustainability Trip to Switzerland

Green Lancaster team in Switzerland

At the beginning of July, Green Lancaster ran the first ever Sustainability and Leadership trip to Switzerland in collaboration with Global Experiences. 12 students benefited from this unique opportunity and got to develop their skills, knowledge and experience for navigating (and leading) on the challenges proposed by the climate and ecological emergency agenda.

Green Lancaster Manager Darren Axe organised an action-packed week to explore the themes of leadership and sustainable development within an Alpine environment, assisted by Green Lancaster Assistant Lea Rüegg.

Setting off from Lancaster, the group travelled entirely by public transport to Lausanne and throughout Switzerland. The journey took students through London and Paris, showcasing sustainable international travel.

The trip included workshops held at Université de Lausanne (UNIL) and delivered by Green Lancaster, as well as excursions to discover and showcase the cultural and environmental setting of a European Alpine country. The workshops covered themes such as the Anthropocene, Earth systems, planetary boundaries, leadership styles, the history of environmentalism, agents of change, as well as climate change and biodiversity loss challenges specific to the Alpine environment. The theory was then put into a very real context as part of visits to Lausanne city centre, Lavaux vineyards (UNESCO World Heritage) and alpine meadows at Les Pléiades. To finish off the week, the group hiked from La Breya to Cabane d’Orny, a typical Alpine mountain hut set at 2826m above sea level overlooking glaciers and mountain peaks of the Mont Blanc range. We stayed overnight before making the descent back down to Champex Lac.

Student feedback was very high and some of them share their reflections on this opportunity:

“I cannot emphasise enough how highly engaging, educational and inspirational Green Lancaster’s Sustainability and Leadership programme in Switzerland was. It was an amazing experience meeting like-minded people from all different backgrounds, to share ideas and make unforgettable memories together.” - Scott Baker

“I felt that this trip offered me not only a trip I will never forget, but also a trip that allowed me to grow as a person and motivate me further to become increasingly sustainable in an academic and social sense. As someone from a Criminological course background, to experience these changing landscapes as a result from the human impacts has really taught me how to consider what I can do to promote changes that mitigate negative changes in my field.” - Katie Craddock

Thank you to Global Experiences and Université de Lausanne (UNIL) for working with us to make this possible. And we loved learning about UNIL’s thorough ecological transition strategy.

Finally, thank you to all the wonderful and passionate students who took part in the trip. We hope you feel inspired to be active change agents for sustainability! We have no doubts you will make fantastic sustainability leaders.

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Why not join us on the Switzerland trip next year?

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