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  • Isabela Valencia

A Snapshot of the First London Meetup

By Gillian Benjamin

London-based alums, and some from farther afield, came together for a lively and fast-paced meetup on November 10, 2020. During the event, which was organised by Said Business School alums Allegra Day and Gillian Benjamin (2016), participants workshopped the shape of the future London OxCAN Chapter.

Below are some ideas for events and engagements in 2021, followed by the main themes that emerged from the discussion:

Ideas for 2021 events:

· Mentoring and reverse mentoring

· Peer coaching circles - small group working in the same sector

· Seminars where alums share their work and decarbonisation solutions

· 1:1 meet-ups with aligned people

· A newsletter sharing information on the solution landscape (ideas, technologies, breakthroughs), events, job openings and networking opportunities

· COP26 engagement

Some of these ideas will be spearheaded by the broader OxCAN network, while others will be led by the more local London Chapter.

Results from a poll held before the event. Further event ideas surfaced in the workshop.

Main themes that emerged from the event:

We want to work towards tangible action:

· We are eager to learn about practical actions and solutions. We are keen to share examples that stem from our own work, and learn about solutions emerging from Oxford.

· We are keen to inspire others by sharing actions and solutions that apply to both business and personal lives.

We see the OxCAN network as a safe space:

· Our common Oxford bond leads to the creation of a trusted space for making connections, sparking collaborations, having open discussions and finding mentors or mentees.

We want to deepen ties with alums in our sector:

· We see huge value in connecting with peers who work in our sector, to learn and troubleshoot together. We are keen to set up small peer coaching groups to problem solve and share learnings.

We value our interdisciplinarity:

· Tackling climate change is interdisciplinary, and so is this group. We value the diversity of the network - different sectors bonded together by a shared interest.

· We see potential in facilitating the flow of information across sectors through peer seminars. These will allow us to apply lessons from adjacent sectors to our own decarbonisation journeys.

· The ‘Oxford way’ is multi-disciplinary and interconnected, and we are eager to help others see the interconnected nature of climate change.

We see the network as an important space for inter-generational engagement:

· The network will facilitate the flow of information across the generations. We are excited to see this happen through mentoring and reverse mentoring.

· We can help to deepen graduates’ understanding of career paths and job opportunities, particularly for jobs or career paths that are new or emerging.

· The network will also be a valuable place to recruit Oxford talent.

We are keen to leverage the power of the Oxford brand:

· We will seek ways to leverage this power to create a positive influence. We are also eager to use the brand to help people better understand where to start on their journey towards action.

· We are eager to act as a conduit of information from the university to the broader world, especially with recommendations on how to take action.

· We are keen to build deeper connections with the Oxford climate change ecosystem to better understand opportunities for collaboration and learning.

Follow OxCAN’s newsletter and event listings to join the next meetup in 2021!

This chart shows the main sectors within which London-based alums work.

This chart shows the topics alums are most interested in learning more about.


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