Saturday, April 23, 2016

London South Bank Uni Alumna of the Month!

Alumna of the month – March 2016

Shan Oakes
MSc Education for Sustainability, 2007

Robert Humphreys
Shan Oakes campaigns tirelessly for the Green Party on issues of social and ecological justice. She also runs an eco-holiday house in York which promotes sustainable living.

“I first became worried about human effects on the planet when I was 8 years old and read about animal extinctions.”

Shan went into teaching to help children understand their environment and what they could do about it. She progressed onto roles in Local Education Authorities and then moved to Uganda with her husband who was working with a University in Kampala. Whilst living abroad, Shan collaborated with the Forum of Education NGOs, ActionAid Uganda and the Department for International Development.

Living in Uganda exposed her to the limits of the UK education system, so she co-founded Voice International which challenges the western model of education. Shan decided to enrol on the MSc Education for Sustainability to triangulate her conclusions with those of her peers: “The course validated my experience in East Africa, where there was no refuse collection and intermittent power and water supplies.” 

Moving into politics allowed Shan to address wider sustainability issues more directly: “I have been a European, parliamentary and local candidate for the Green Party. I do a lot of campaigning, petitioning and speaking in schools with a focus on the big issues like climate change, globalisation and resource depletion.” 

As an active campaigner, Shan recommends that students follow their heart and put their efforts into their passions: “Money is useful, but only in moderation. If we all decided to work towards a better world, we would get there.”

Developed in collaboration with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), Oxfam and the EU, the MSc Education for Sustainability draws on the expertise of environmental and development NGOs as well as academic and educational communities. It provides personal and professional development for anyone involved in communicating sustainability, whatever the context.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Canvassing in Boroughbridge today

You have to like people to be a politician!  Most people are very polite and friendly but one or two can be a bit of a challenge, especially if they say they don't mind fracking or removing support from people with disabilities...Anyway,  two people said they had enjoyed getting stuff off their chests, so I felt I'd been of some use... The very worst experience of today was the elderly woman who opened her door, heard I was standing for the Green Party, refused my leaflet and one on fracking and said, "I'm a conservative" as she closed it in my face.  Refusal to engage at all gets me close to tears