As we approach the most important gathering of world leaders in recent years for COP26, October has had a real sustainability theme. We’ve set a record for the number of downloads of any university-wide impact publication with our 2021 Sustainable Development Goals Report, which has already received over 4,000 downloads and 165,000 engagements. We engaged 1,750 policy makers, officials, NGOs and others in a Festival of Climate Action. Our Sustainable Futures platform was launched to drive impact and collaboration from our world-leading research. And following the launch of our Civic University Agreement we’ve been highlighting the impact our graduates have across Greater Manchester through a joint campaign with the Manchester Evening News, this time featuring local environmental science graduate Matt Petinaud who is using his degree to tackle climate change in his role as a carbon and energy consultant.
On social inclusion, we recently published in our School Governor Initiative 10 year impact study report. We reflect on our ‘Meet the…’ films, this month, focusing on Catherine Millan, the Widening Participation Officer for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic young people. We’re asking for contributions to the Forum for Global Challenges seeking to catalyse solutions to the some of the most pressing challenges of our time: climate change and inequality. To support Anti-Slavery Week, our procurement team has been asking for help in raising awareness of modern slavery and how to stop it. And we’ve been trying to achieve something few politicans have and define what is meant by levelling up.
On better health, we’re working with colleagues from Kenya to develop cancer services and human resource development. A group of our staff and students have created a ‘Muslim Medic guide’ – helping Muslim students navigate through their medical journey. Our researchers have been developing innovative ways of tackling health inequalities that exist in cancer detection, provision and care around the world. And our Humanising Healthcare programme, that combines healthcare learning with community engagement as part of the curriculum, was recently recognised by the prestigious Talloires Network MacJannet prize for Global Citizenship.
On environmental sustainability, our Sustainable Consumption Institute is collaborating with Manchester Urban Diggers on Dig for Victory – an interactive workshop exploring the role of urban gardening in helping us to build safe, resilient and sustainable cities. Our new Grey on Green project is championing older people who are shaping a sustainable future. We took part in a global cycling competition finishing in the top 10 globally, top 5 in the UK and first in Greater Manchester. And we took part in the Mayor’s fourth GMCA Green Summit themed around engaging the public, where we took part in conversations alongside individuals, community groups, businesses and public servants.
On cultural engagement, you can get involved in November’s ESRC Festival of Social Sciences, with events taking place both virtually and in person. We are running a ‘Safe Place’ workshop to build safe spaces for active and effective listening, sharing and allyship in the workplace. And as the Whitworth reopens, we’re very happy to welcome you back to the Natural Cultural Health Service, a programme of outdoor activities promoting wellbeing.
And if you somehow missed this, Marcus Rashford MBE almost broke our website and social media accounts when we announced that he became the youngest person in our history to receive an Honorary Doctorate from us in a wonderful ceremony with his family, friends and team-mates at Old Trafford.
Dr Julian Skyrme
Director of Social Responsibility