Turn it Around! Youth Visions of Climate Futures

Turn it Around! Youth Visions of Climate Futures

A global socially engaged art initiative to reimagine our approach to education and our relationship with nature and the living world during this time of climate crisis

Tempe | Started on 01/06/2021

The “Turn It Around!” initiative mobilizes the power of education to turn around the environmental catastrophe. It starts with the assumption that education is directly implicated in the climate crisis and our failure to imagine alternatives. Despite efforts to promote education as key to sustainability, schools and universities continue to perpetuate the logic of human exceptionalism and prioritize education’s impact on economic growth over environmental sustainability. But education also has the power to turn this around. Our initiative aims to disrupt the status quo by radically reimagining our approach to education, and our relationship with nature and the living world.

A radical reimagination of our futures is impossible without children and youth who are often excluded from decision-making. Mobilizing the power of socially engaged art, our project is crowdsourcing youth visions of education futures in order to shift and shuffle established assumptions about the role of education in sustainability. At the center of the initiative is one of the most basic learning tools – a deck of flashcards – designed by youth for decisions-makers at all levels to challenge them to think, see, and act in new ways. This deck features cards displaying climate crisis-inspired artworks created by youth on one side, and motives, actions, and factors for policymakers to guide their decisions about climate futures on the other side. The goal is to ‘move’ politicians, policymakers, and educators into action to address the climate crisis. The website is a living repository of youth artwork, which is currently available in five languages – English, Spanish, French, Arabic, and Chinese. The deck has also been printed in English and distributed to world leaders at COP 26 and 27, as well as at UN’s Transforming Education Summit.

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Editor’s Note: All information published as submitted by the author(s). Minor edits may have been made to increase readability and understanding.