The time is up for hearing from grown-ups on climate change
With young people leading climate activism all over the world, we’ve put them front and centre of our business decisions, too. Our Good Future Board is made up of six secondary school-aged students. They feed into how Good Energy is run and make sure the voices of tomorrow’s leaders are heard.
Since joining the board, they’ve quizzed our executive team at our AGM, taken part in panels at COP26, contributed to our Purpose Report, and shared their ideas about how we can connect more people with climate action.
Voices of the future
So, how did we find our board? Following a recruitment process which saw us receive nearly 1000 applications from schools across England via our partners at Eco Schools, we whittled down the long list to an incredibly passionate, insightful and impressive final six.
Jack Solly, 13, Devon
A keen environmentalist, Jack wants to do all he can to protect the planet, so that wildlife and natural beauty remains into his adulthood. Jack’s a fan of ‘epic long walks’ where he likes to take in the scenery and enjoys being out in the wild.
Logic-thinking skills are Jack’s strength and he recently scored in the top 10% nationally of the Bebras Computational Thinking Challenge. Jack has lots of ideas of how we can make the world a better place now, and in the future, which makes him a great addition to the Board.
Shaina Shah, 14, London
Shaina is passionate about looking after the environment and encouraging people to make small changes to lead a more sustainable life. At primary school, Shaina was chosen to be on the Eco-team, to consider initiatives to help the school become more environmentally friendly.
Now at secondary school, Shaina was elected as a School Council representative where she helped introduce changes such as minimising the use of plastic in the canteen. in 2020, Shaina took part in the Global Social Leaders Summer Catalyst, which is an online programme to build leadership skills and confidence. She hopes to use being part of the Good Future Board to further enhance these skills as well as build some new ones.
Ada Wood, 15, Cumbria
Ada is a climate activist and sees being part of our Good Future Board as an opportunity to have a positive effect on the future for so many young people. Ada has taken part in many climate strikes, including the organisation of Carlisle’s 2019 global strike, seeing the help of local organisations to put on the biggest climate protect Carlisle had ever seen.
Ada is a keen public speaker and has appeared on BBC Radio 4’s Question Time as well as speaking at the Cumbria Climate Emergency Action Conference and the National Climate and Ecological Emergency Action Conference. Ada is keen to get going in the new role and has a real interest in the noise we’ve been making around greenwashing.
Kathryn Gornall, 16, Chester
the lack of action and urgency from everyday people, politicians and celebrities has sparked Kathryn’s interest in joining the Good Future Board. Dismayed by the average age of a board member (which is 60, in the UK), Kathryn is determined that younger people need to have their voices heard. She brings an unrelenting passion for the fight against climate change to the role.
Kathryn is an active member of the student council, the Chester Youth Parliament, and the Pioneers of Sustainable Hope (POSH) movement.
Mahnoor Kamran, 17, Stoke-on-Trent
Before moving to the UK, Mahnoor saw how severe the effects of climate change are in the Middle East and South Asia. Experiencing the effects first-hand with flooding and supporting climate-induced refugees has fuelled Mahnoor’s passion in climate activism. As well as triggered her thinking about how the Western world can respond better to the climate crisis.
Mahnoor has lots of experience in eco-projects across the world; from the planning of sustainable housing in Oman, to the purification of the Citrarum river in Indonesia. She was encouraged to apply for the board through The Centre for Sustainable Energy’s Bright Green Future programme, for which she was a student and is now an alumni mentor and community support worker. The programme is designed to encourage diverse youth and empowerment in environmental leadership. She has a keen interest in how green energy companies can help tackle fuel poverty. And how we can make sure that those who are disadvantaged aren’t marginalised — particularly those in the Global South who are being exploited due to an increase in western renewable energy demand.
Akash Thaker, 18, Leicester
Akash believes it’s his duty to care and contribute to bringing the planet back from its tipping point. He’s excited to see how living in a lower-carbon energy system will play its part, which is why he was keen to join the Good Future Board.
Over the last two years, Akash has spent some of his time working for the Good Plate Company. Here, he’s built a solid understanding of what it’s like working in an organisation with the customer at the centre and the role they play in supporting us with the fight against climate change.
The Good Future Board visit Boardroom 2030
This decade is crucial for revolutionising the way in which our societies and businesses work so that we can limit climate breakdown. The Boardroom 2030 campaign invites organisations to imagine what the future might look like and how they can make positive changes today.
Members of our Good Future Board attended Cornwall Boardroom 2030 at the Eden Project. Hear them speaking about why businesses need to include diverse voices in decision making. And why they should listen to the generation that will soon be making their mark on the working world.