Back to Brainchild 2021! A gloriously muddy business…

Air pollution and terrariums with PPL PWR at William Perkin CofE School Founder’s Day
July 16, 2021
The Exchange: The Hopes + Fears of the Public Summer 2021
September 16, 2021

Arguably the birthplace of PPL PWR, Brainchild Festival is always a highlight in our calendar. Having missed last year due to Covid-19 restrictions, we were even more excited than usual to show off the knowledge, skills and passion of our members at this inspiring event. 

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As our usual in-person projects and events had been paused due to the pandemic, our roadshow program from 6-8th August this year was mostly shaped by the passions and wider experiences of our members. The theme for our stall this year was “A journey from apathy to empowerment”. We tied this theme into our stall through encouraging visitors to take a card, and as they engaged with our stall, write their fears and hopes for the future, in the context of the climate and ecological crisis. We then could share their hopes and fears by tying these cards, building a tree of thoughts and aspirations for our future.

The aim of our demos and talks were to show what you can do as an individual in the fight for climate change, and spread hope in future sustainable technologies.

We of course, had our solar thermal tea (a PPL PWR staple!) along with our example solar panel and Molkie’s solar power table. Kate, one of our newer members, showed off the compost she’d been fermenting over lockdown, to show that yes – you can still compost your food waste in a tiny London flat! 

Martha (featured above saving the stall from the wind!) extracted DNA from fruit with visitors, to spur debate about the future of food, and how GMO crops and lab-based meat can fit into future food security.

We had the dazzling duo Becky and Laura talking about inspiring change in others through podcasting and gathering “Vox Pops” for our own PPL PWR podcast.

Katya brought her chill and reflective vibes, with her colouring in pages showing the old and new (more sustainable) you! Susan brought her flowers to brighten up our geodome, which caught the eye of many visitors to our stall, and she also handed out poppy seeds collected from her own garden with which visitors could spread some nature when they arrived home from the festival.

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We also had inspiring talks, both linked to our demos as well as Katya’s Sustainability Pub Quiz – now famous nationwide after the Youth Climate Summit 2020 – and a talk from Louis and Cecilia all about the great work in building a sustainable community though The Wilds community space in Barking, London.

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We, of course, can’t really finish this update without mentioning the rain! Yes, rain it did, and wet and muddy we did get. However, we all left Brainchild with (tired) smiles on our faces from the brilliant conversations we’d had, and the feeling that we had inspired some people to make and create change for a more sustainable future, as well as some newbies excited to get involved with us!

I’ll leave you with the beautiful symbol of our journey from apathy to empowerment that we witnessed on the last day of the festival. A solo bee finding our oasis of flowers in the sea of mud.

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