It's easy to march in the streets and point the finger at big business, but if our governments aren't doing enough to hold these corporations accountable, this responsibility then falls onto us, as consumers.
We're asking individuals to reconsider how their purchases, lifestyles, and actions contribute to environmentally destructive corporations, and this year's ESIC seeks to empower individuals in their purchases
to choose ethics over ease.
We call this responsibility
With an issue as omnipresent and intimidating as climate change, it can be easy to point the finger at national governments and large corporations as the only players with the power to effect change, but at the direct intersection between democracy and capitalism in the Global North lies a force perhaps just as powerful, but often unacknowledged: middle to upper class consumerism. Democracy permits the individual to vote for politicians with an environmentally conscious agenda, but perhaps more importantly, the capitalist regime of the 21st century grants individuals with the power to vote with their pounds and dollars. Those with sufficient economic capital, that is, the middle to upper classes, have the privilege to choose which corporations they purchase from, and by extension, which corporations’ ethics and practices they support. In doing so, individuals have the power to put their money where their mouth is and check the ever growing power of corporations, especially those in environmentally destructive industries.
The University of Edinburgh
The historic McEwan Hall is located in the centre of Edinburgh's vibrant Old Town. Built in 1897, it is one of the most prestigious conference centres in Scotland due to its history and amplitude. Since its refurbishment in 2017, the Hall has been equipped with modern seminar rooms and greater accessibility.
9.00 Entry & check-in
9.45 Official welcome by The Buchanan Institute
10.00 The Buchanan Institute policy proposals
10.20 Student speakers: Katie Monk & Sive Lawrie
10.30 Panel discussion I on waste management
11.45 Panel Q&A session
12.00 Lunch break (vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, dairy free)
13.15 Keynote speaker: Jelena Sofronijevic on sustainable fashion
14.00 Workshop session I:
Catherine Dunn & Jack Reed, Dec McLaughlin, Cat Leggat, and Matthew Woodthorpe
14.45 Workshop session II:
Nina Pusic, Lynn Jamieson, Juliet Wilson, and Jelena Sofronijevic
15.30 Afternoon coffee/tea break & stall exhibition by our sponsors
16.00 Panel discussion II on top-down vs. bottom-up soolutions
16.50 Closing remarks and thank you by The Buchanan Institute
The Buchanan Institute is Scotland’s only student-led think tank, based within the University of Edinburgh. The society aims to fundamentally change how students engage with the public and political sphere.
We provide students with opportunities to engage in policies that tackle issues to enact real change. We aim to change the conventional rhetoric that is associated with our generation, that these problems are too big for us to tackle. Through Buchanan, students gain skills and contacts which can be translated into any future career.
Students identify policy areas or problems they are
interested in. They then embark in intensive research to expand their knowledge about these issues. They are provided with academic mentors who help them and collaborate with experts and third party stakeholders.