Green Living: Keeping in touch
By Andrew Williams
We've got a busy day today at the judging session for one of our biggest annual events, the MediaGuardian Innovation Awards.
The scheme rewards innovative ideas from across the media, including websites, social media platforms, print and broadcast.
The media in Britain is often accused of being formulaic. It's ironic that while we lament the lack of home grown entertainment to rival The Wire and The Sopranos, many great American successes have their roots in the UK, not least transplanted shows like The Office.
So what can these innovations do for the sustainable community?
For one thing, online platforms allow groups to communicate and plan without having to travel to meet. We are big supporters of the UK Youth Climate Coalition, which campaigns to raise awareness of climate issues among young people.
They are an inspiring bunch, full of energy and enthusiasm but also with the wisdom that comes with the knowledge that they may be faced with the real effects of climate change.
They are based all over the UK and stay in touch through a combination of Skype internet calls, social networking platforms and messaging services such as IM and Twitter. This virtual community allows them to reduce costs as they have no office overheads and few expenses.
Communities and networks such as UKYCC are an increasingly powerful voice that can bend the ears of ministers who recognise the influence they wield.
While the Copenhagen summit last year may ultimately be judged to be a failure, it showed that a small group of motivated individuals could join the debate at the most powerful table in the land by making their voice heard.
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