Carbon Journey

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We’re running a one-day event at the Genting Arena on the 31st October 2016 to prepare our staff and students alike for the industrial revolution that will be required to tackle the effects of climate change. 

All year two students are expected to attend this invaluable learning experience featuring key talks from industry experts and entertainers.

Here is why you should join us for ‘The Carbon Journey’

  • Understand how climate change will impact society, business and the professions
  • Challenge your own perceptions about the science and politics of climate change
  • Learn how the world of work will change as a result
  • Identify themes, insights and strategies to use in your teaching and tutoring
  • Join 3000 Aston students in the biggest university event of its kind in the UK
  • Gain 10 academic credits by completing an additional module.
Our year two undergraduate students and our PhD students will get complimentary train travel from Birmingham New Street to Birmingham international station. Staff can claim their travel expenses back from their department in the usual way. 
In order of appearance:

  • Reeta Chakrabarti (Broadcaster)
  • Professor Alec Cameron (Vice Chancellor, Aston University)
  • Professor Graham Henderson (Interim Vice-Chancellor, Birmingham City University)
  • Professor Keith Clarke (Royal Academy of Engineering)
  • Kirsty Lewis (UK Met Office)
  • Clive Myrie (Journalist)
  • MJ Mace (Independent Climate Change Consultant)
  • Steve Backshall (Broadcaster, adventurer)
  • Dr Alexa Spence (Environmental Psychology)
  • Festival Of The Spoken Nerd

Download the full running order for the day.

Undergraduate students are also invited to attend electives themed around key issues caused by climate change – decarbonising economies, energy management, human rights, design and manufacturing, geopolitical policies, migration and population shifts, adapting to new technologies and mitigating for old technologies, global inequality, future investments, innovation, international cooperation – to be held on Tuesday 1st and Wednesday 2nd November (details to be confirmed soon). Key industries will also be taking part – the people that actually employ our graduates – to showcase what they’re already doing to adapt to the influence of climate change.

Climate change, sustainability and decarbonisation will be key factors in every business decision. This module aims to ensure that Aston students are well prepared to play a key part in this rapidly developing area of business.

This optional module will give you the necessary climate change thinking and problem-solving skills for whatever programme you’re studying, and will prepare you for the brave new career opportunities that will come in a low-carbon world.
To complete the 10 credit module you will need to:

  • Attend the Carbon Journey event at the Genting Arena on 31st October (sign-up required)
  • Attend a minimum of four elective lectures being held on 1st and 2nd November (sign-up required)
  • Enrol on the module; Developing a low carbon world
  • Complete the full module assessment
  • Group project report
  • Personal reflection
  • Group presentation

A full briefing will be given in a 30 minute session on Thursday 3rd November at 11am in G11.

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Carbon Journey Module Registration
Will there be a prayer room available at this years event?

There will be a Prayer Room available for students and staff throughout the day at the Genting Arena.

What can I use my travel ticket for?

All day travel in the West Midlands on either train or bus. The best way to get to the event will be taking a train from Birmingham New Street to Birmingham International.
What do I do with the travel ticket I have collected?
Please present this on the barrier of New Street station or to your bus driver, the train station have been informed ahead of the event and should acknowledge a large number of students travelling with these.
I plan on driving, is there free parking?
Unfortunately we have not been able to subsidise student parking in the same way we have travel, parking will be available in Resorts World but at your own expense.
What do I need on the morning of the event?
You will need either a paper or digital version of your Eventbrite ticket to register your attendance.

For those looking to get and in depth understanding of climate change and it's possible implications on industry and civilization. Aston's library have provided a reading list available here.

Evolution or Revolution? - Making research relevant in an uncertain world

The effects of Climate Change will be mankind’s most significant challenge in the next few decades. It will have an unprecedented impact on all our lives and new innovations, strategies and ways of thinking will all be required to successfully address it. 

This innovative 3-day course contributes 21 hours towards the 90 hours of generic skills training required for your studies. Those who complete the 3 day course will also receive a certificate.

The Carbon Journey will consist of activities to explore the extent of the problem, the role of the media in promoting public understanding of climate science, the potential opportunities to address its consequences and the barriers that will need to be overcome to make a difference.

You will acquire a range of invaluable transferable skills which will be highly sought after by future employers. Whether you are planning careers in academia, the public sector or industry this course offers research students an exciting opportunity to enhance their profile.

Day 1: “The Climate Journey – It’s Not Weather, It’s How” – Monday 31st October 2016, The Genting Arena, Birmingham

This introductory event at sets the scene for researchers of the future to begin to explore the complex issues around global climate change. It will provide PhD students from a range of disciplines with the opportunity to examine adaptation and mitigation and to consider the potential impact on citizens if United Nations goals are to be met. Participants will consider the approaches taken to communicate messages about climate change to the general public, explore the barriers to promoting public understanding of climate science and consider potential opportunities for bringing about behaviour change

Day 2: “Challenges and Consequences” – Wednesday 25th January 2017, Aston University

You will have the opportunity to join a seminar led by Future Cities Catapult who are experts in Big Data visualisation. A multi-disciplinary workshop, using an innovative problem-based learning approach, will challenge participants to consider the likely structural changes which might be needed in Government, business and academia to address the adverse consequences of climate change. 

Day 3: “The Next Steps” – Thursday 26th January 2017, Aston University

With the support of facilitators, the group work and research on the project initiated on day 2 will continue throughout the morning. There will be an opportunity in the afternoon for groups to present a summary of their future scenarios for a carbon critical world to a group of experts.

Pre-requisites: No previous knowledge or expertise is required and students from all disciplines are invited to attend. The course is offered to Aston University PhD students free of charge. Students will need to check with their supervisors that they are able to attend.


The closing date is Tuesday 31st May 2016 at 5pm. Please send any questions to: Dr Jeanette Lilley, Professional Development Advisor (Research) at: j.lilley@aston.ac.uk

"We are the first generation that can end poverty, the last that can end climate change."

Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary General

Professor Keith Clarke speaking at last year's event about global inequality and the need for a new industrial revolution.

Please contact us with any question, you may have about The Carbon Journey event. 

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Carbon Journey Questions