Hold This Space


About the partners

Common Vision is an independent think tank with a mission to unite people around long-term intergenerational goals and catalyse collaborative action and collective agency. Common Vision has a strong track record facilitating policy dialogue and civic leadership opportunities for young people.

Force of Nature is a youth non-profit mobilising mindsets for climate action. Alongside creating safe spaces for young people to explore their climate emotions, Force of Nature supports leaders across business, education and policy to centre youth in delivering intergenerational climate solutions.

Climate Cares is a team of researchers, designers, policy-makers and educators working together with the public to understand and support mental health in the current climate and ecological crises. Climate Cares is a collaboration between the Institute of Global Health Innovation and the Grantham Institute at Imperial College London.

About the funder

The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) is the driving force of investment in environmental science in the UK. NERC advances the frontier of environmental science by commissioning new research, infrastructure and training that delivers valuable scientific breakthroughs. NERC’s public engagement focuses on delivering excellent public engagement with environmental science research.

Design and digital

Octophin Digital is a digital agency that works primarily within the wildlife conservation, arts and charity sectors.

Plan B is a creative studio based in London.

Environmental scientists

The following scientists contributed to the ‘Imagine’ scenarios of the future.

Adriana Humanes, Marine Biologist, Newcastle University

Adriana Humanes is a marine biologist working on Coralassist, a research project exploring how assisted and selective coral breeding techniques might be used in coral reef restoration. She is an expert on the effects of disturbances, like industrial activities and climate change, on coral reef reproduction. Adriana was born in Venezuela and started her career in biology, using field techniques to monitor early life history stages of corals in the Caribbean, before completing her PhD in Australia. She is also a trained photographer, and uses photography to capture the impact human activities are having on ecosystems. Adriana currently is a postdoctoral research associate at Newcastle University.

Amy Lewis, Geologist, Leverhulme Centre for Climate Change Mitigation, University of Sheffield

Amy Lewis is a PHD researcher researching how putting a crushed rock (called basalt) on soil, might help to capture and store C02, removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. This process is called ‘enhanced weathering’ and Amy is focusing on which soil types and agricultural settings capture the most carbon when basalt is used.  Amy started her studies in geology – the study of rocks – where she researched how waste materials from steel production could also capture carbon dioxide. 

Grace Wardell, Soil and Plant Scientist, University of Sheffield

Grace Wardell is a soil scientist and PhD researcher at the University of Sheffield. Amy studies how using special bacteria in agriculture can help ‘fix’ more nitrogen in the soil, acting as a natural fertiliser. Before starting her PhD she studied how plants can be more resistant to disease, applying her research to  sustainable agriculture. She has been nominated as a ‘Top 100 influential female students to watch’ by The Tab national student newspaper.

Hassan Sheikh, Earth Scientist, Cambridge Earth Sciences, University of Cambridge

Hassan is a researcher at Cambridge University’s Department of Earth Sciences, researching how to monitor and reduce air pollution. His research  investigates whether leaves can be used to monitor air quality and mitigate pollution. Before starting his PhD he worked at the Centre of Risk Studies examining the physical risks of extreme weather caused by climate change on business supply chains.  He has also worked at the Climate Crisis Foundation as a student consultant, is also part of the Cambridge Carbon Map team, and  co-founded a climate conversation called the ‘Big Cambridge Climate Conversation’.

Liam Nash, Ecologist, Queen Mary University of London, UCL

Liam Nash is a PhD researcher at Queen Mary University of London, in collaboration with the Zoological Society of London and the University of Campinas in Brazil. His current research focuses on the connectivity between freshwater and forest ecosystems, and why this is important in an increasingly fragmented natural world. Through his research he has worked with leeches, amphibians, sea turtles and hedgehogs, and has a penchant for the small, unusual and overlooked creatures like insects. He is also interested in how the arts and humanities should be used in combination with science to tackle environmental issues.

Nina Friggens, Plant-soil Ecologist, University of Exeter

Nina Friggens is a plant-soil ecologist investigating the links between plants and soil, particularly in the context of global climate change. Globally soils store more carbon than vegetation and the atmosphere combined, most of which is stored at high latitudes and in the Arctic where the climate is warming faster than anywhere else on earth. Nina is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Exeter, where her research aims to answer whether the formation of new soil organic matter (as trees grow in warming climates) can offset predicted thaw-induced permafrost soil carbon losses, and if yes, to what extent.

Rory Miles, Innovation Expert, Centre for Enzyme Innovation, University of Portsmouth

Rory Miles is the Innovation Fellow at the The Centre for Enzyme Innovation in the University of Portsmouth. He works on plastic-eating enzymes, and how they can be taken out of the lab to work in real life to recycle plastic waste. This would help build a more sustainable and circular economy and help prevent plastic polluting the environment. He started out his career as a research scientist in molecular microbiology and genomics at Public Health England and Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, before moving on to work in Defence Science. He is driven by enhancing the impact of research outputs in industry and wider sectors, ensuring that society fully benefit from research outcomes. 

Steve Simpson, Marine Biologist, University of Bristol

Steve Simpson is marine biologist and fish ecologist, with particular interests in the behaviour of coral reef fishes, bioacoustics, effects of climate change on marine ecosystems. He leads a dynamic research team, works with industry and policymakers on improving fisheries and reducing marine noise pollution, and was a featured scientist in Blue Planet 2. His work combines fieldwork, often through expeditions to remote and challenging environments, with laboratory-based work. He is committed to developing a sustainable, productive, prosperous, and aesthetically inspiring marine environment from which future generations can draw economic benefit and enjoyment in equal measure.

Ting Sun, Climate Risk Expert, UCL Institute for Risk & Disaster Reduction

Ting Sun is a climate researcher for cities currently working at UCL’s Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction. He has a multidisciplinary background in hydrology, meteorology and the built environment. His research focuses on the impacts of weather and climate extremes like heat waves or in cities, and how creating models of these risks at multiple scales (from neighbourhood to globe) can help mitigate their impact. As a result of his research he hopes cities will adapt to become more resilient to climate change. Ting has a multi-disciplinary research background, having worked in hydrology and meteorology, and is passionate about the power of digital climate modelling.

With thanks

Thank you to the members of the project team, the project advisory group, and the young people and scientists who participated in our interviews and co-design sessions.

Abiola A

Adam Laity, Black Cat Films

Aditiya S

Aisha Younis, Climate Reframe

Alex Brown, STEM Learning UK

Allan Kellas, Royal College of Psychiatry

Anastacia T

Beth M

Caitlin L

Caroline Macfarland, Common Vision

Catherine Fitzsimons, National Centre for Earth Observation

Catriona Mellor, Royal College of Psychiatry

Christopher White, University of Strathclyde

Ciaran B

Daniel Osmond, University of Exeter

Daniel Stanley, Future Narratives Lab

Dr Emma Lawrance, Institute of Global Health Innovation, Imperial College London

Eben L

Elizabeth Lewis, Newcastle University

Ellayna T

Finty R

Florence Okoye, Natural History Museum

Francisca Rockey, Black Geographers

Frankie M

Frankie Mayo, UK Youth Climate Coalition

Funmibi Ogunlesi, New Economy Organisers Network

Gabriel Lester, UK Youth

Georgia Beel, University of York

Hannah Grist, Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC)

Hannah Lacey, Natural Environment Research Council

Hilary Geoghegan, University of Reading

Hywel Williams, University of Exeter

Isla Geis King, The Wildlife Trusts

James Sutton, Raleigh International

Jane Morrison, Wellbeing Economy Alliance Scotland

Jasmine B

Jasmine Pullen, UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology

Jasmine Roha Wakefield, University of Sheffield

Jennifer Uchendu, SustyVibes

Jenny Thatcher, Friends of the Earth

Joseph Taylor, Natural Environment Research Council

Joycelyn Longdon, Climate in Colour

Julia Migne, Conservation Optimism

Julie O

Kate Smith, University of Hull

Katherine Kennett, Royal College of Psychiatry

Katie Hodgetts, The Resilience Project

Katie Parsons, University of Hull

Kelly Redeker, University of York

Kris De Meyer, UCL Climate Action Unit

Laura H

Laura Hunt, British Geological Survey / University of Nottingham

Laura Kravac, Action for Conservation

Lauren A

Luke Wynne, Global Action Plan

Martin Wright, Positive News

Mary Edwards, University of Southampton

Matilda Agace, Common Vision

Maud B

Michael B

Miriam C

Müjde E

Natasha Parker, Global Action Plan

Nikita A

Nishu G

Nithushan R

Oliver C

Olivia H

Phoebe Hanson, Force of Nature

Phoebe L. Hanson

Pip Batey, Institute of Global Health Innovation, Imperial College London

Priyanka M

Rachel Malena-Chan, Eco Anxious Stories

Rachel Nickerson, UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology

Ruth Taylor

Sacha Wright, Force of Nature

Sadie Bartholomew, National Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS)

Sam B

Sarah Divall, Hubbub

Sayyidah Salam, Revolution Plastics, University of Portsmouth

Sharmin C

Shelot M

Simon Howe, Natural Environment Research Council

Stacey C

Stephen Simpson, University of Bristol

Theresa Mercer, University of Lincoln 

Tom A