Careers programmes

Sustainable Idea Exchanges at Real-World Challenge Climate Change

staff and students standing together on a roof terrace for real-world challenge climate change

Careers, Employability & Skills were recently joined by Northern Ireland climate and business leaders for a student focused Real-World Challenge Climate Change event held at PwC’s Merchant Square Offices in Belfast.

There were over 40 students on the day keen to take up the challenge of examining how industry leaders can use the ecological crisis to inform decision-making and prompt action.

The students heard from representatives from PwC, as well as guest speakers from other organisations, and the event’s Keynote Speaker was Professor John Barry, Co-Director of the Centre for Sustainability, Equality and Climate Action (SECA) at Queen’s University Belfast.

Students from a range of disciplines were asked to present their ideas to drive sustainability transformation to leaders from the public, private and not-for-profit organisations, while developing key employability skills in the process.

Our students spent the day immersed in this real-life challenge faced by leaders from a wide range of sectors. This experiential programme helps students explore change and innovation, allowing them to develop better problem-solving skills and the ability to work in diverse groups and is an invaluable component of the work we do in shaping the development of future-ready graduates.

Climate change affects us all, so it is essential for people to be able to work across diverse teams and to develop the critical thinking skills needed to tackle these big picture challenges.

The event attendees gave some really positive feedback on the day via LinkedIn, you can read some of the feedback below:

“Along with a diverse group of students from Queen’s University Belfast, we looked at ways in which we could tackle issues ranging from climate justice, to urban planning, to carbon free futures. We had interdisciplinary and collaborative discussions based on creating more liveable futures. This experience was both humbling and empowering.”

Elisa Jimenez, Queen’s University Belfast BA Anthropology, International Relations

Attending the #Realworldchallenge on Climate Change and the Ecological Crisis was an enlightening experience, one that has reshaped my perspective on leadership, decision-making, and action within this critical context. Organized by Queen’s University Belfast and PwC UK, this event was a masterclass in collaborative learning and forward-thinking.

Kevin Philip, Queen’s University Belfast, MBA Candidate

“I was able to collaborate with people from different backgrounds to discuss innovative solutions to help solve the problem of climate change. It was inspiring and informative to learn more about the different challenges climate change poses in various sectors. I am grateful for this opportunity and the people I met along the way.”

Cheryl Watson, Second Year History and Spanish Student at Queen’s University Belfast.

“I had the incredible opportunity to participate in the ‘Real-World Challenge: Climate Change’ event in Belfast.

This event featured engaging discussions and activities led by both students and industry experts, covering all topics related to environment, climate change, and sustainability.
With such a diverse demographic, it was great to hear the opinions and perspectives from my peers of different backgrounds on how we can progress in this world.

A quote I would like to take from this event was spoken by Professor John Barry “We will not have a green version of the present”—a truly inspirational speaker.

Kieran Robertson, PhD Student Queen’s University Belfast

Visit the Real-World Challenge webpage