University of Plymouth


A sustainable shift – developing our future leaders in sustainability

The Future Shift Internship and Sustainable Leadership Programme was an innovative knowledge exchange project. It provided invaluable support for Devon-based enterprises combined with practical experience and leadership development for students and recent graduates at the University of Plymouth.

Part of the Sustainability Hub: Low Carbon Devon project, the Future Shift programme supported 43 students or recent graduates to complete a variety of three-month low carbon projects for enterprises, from measuring carbon footprints to researching a report on future energy markets. Bringing skills from their various degree programmes, the students and graduates completed a series of workshops to give them the skills to become future-fit as change-makers, leaders, and role models of a low carbon society. The workshops were framed using the Plymouth Compass leadership tool, helping the interns develop the attributes – as well as the inspiration and confidence – they will need to facilitate proactive change within the climate challenge.

Annual carbon savings achieved with the initiative:

Top 3 Learnings

  1. We found the opportunity to engage students and graduates from diverse disciplines incredibly valuable.
  2. We gained hope and inspiration from the curiosity, passion and enthusiasm of students and enterprises.
  3. Significant demand (from enterprises/students) was found for a programme combining sustainability action and leadership development.
7 - Affordable and Clean Energy 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth 9 - Industry Innovation and Infrastructure 13 - Climate Action
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