This article first appeared in Kidsburgh.org, a media partner of NEXTpittsburgh that focuses on making Pittsburgh a better place to raise kids.
Is your kid concerned about climate change? Covestro’s THINC30 summit is giving U.S. high school students a forum to have their voices heard around the world.
The Pittsburgh-based company, one of the leading producers of high-performance polymers in North America, will host THINC30 Youthquake: Inspiring Next Gen Climate Changemakers Nov. 1-5.
The free, virtual summit will feature keynote speakers, panels and insights from a variety of experts on this hot topic. The event coincides with the United Nations’ annual climate change conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland.
Teachers, students and parents can register online and access three pre-recorded, 30- to 40-minute Youthquake sessions at their convenience throughout the week via Covestro’s website.
The information can help all of us — kids included — learn more about environmental issues and how we can make a difference.
On the final day of the event, Nov. 5 (which is also COP26’s Youth and Education Day), they can share their opinions and ideas with world leaders and each other using #THINC30 and #COP26 hashtags on social media.
Rebecca Lucore, head of sustainability at Covestro, is excited for people to log on and meet national climate and sustainability leaders, activists and entrepreneurs.
“They’ll also meet social innovators in transportation, economic development and food rescue and redistribution and learn about climate/sustainability education programs ranging from K-12 to undergraduate and graduate levels that are preparing and deploying their generation into the workforce,” she says. “Finally, they’ll be introduced to the concept of Circular Economics as a way to combat climate change.”
Covestro launched THINC30 in 2017 to filter the United Nation’s 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) – which the company formally adopted in 2015 – through a local lens. Pittsburgh businesses, government officials and citizens can get a firsthand look at how they can do their part.
THINC30 features more than a dozen speakers from across the country, including local sustainability experts Mike Gable, executive director of Construction Junction, Leah Lizarondo, CEO and co-founder of 412 Food Rescue and Lou Leonard, dean of Chatham University’s Falk School of Sustainability & Environment.
Can’t wait to get started? There’s an event app for smartphones available via Attendify filled with learning resources that registered participants can download to start their climate change education now.
In 2019, more than 100 teenagers from 13 area high schools gathered for Covestro’s THINC30 Tank: Youthquake 2030 at its BrightSpace Energy Innovation Center in the Hill District. Teams of students partnered with a local business and, together, they were challenged to research and engineer solutions and to design, build and test prototypes.
“Parents across the globe received a wake-up call in September when they learned that nearly half of the world’s youth are experiencing significant anxiety over climate change — so much so that it’s affecting their daily lives — and three-quarters are frightened about the future because of global warming,” Lucore says.
“The good news is that solutions do exist and parents can help their children learn about them and work that is currently going on by encouraging them to participate in Covestro’s upcoming THINC30 Youthquake: Inspiring Next Gen Climate Changemakers.”
Got kids who want to make a difference? Check out our Learning Guide to helping young people use their voices in the community.