The Futures Forward Practice is a change project designed to immerse participants in the most pressing issues facing our local community and the wider region. The core objective is for our Future Makers to develop the ability to inform and influence policy to ensure these are future-fit. This entails knowing how to: join critical conversations; build good working relationships with key stakeholders; and, frame ideas in a manner which could successfully translate into change.
Future Makers work independently to develop this change plan which:
Defines the change being sought;
Identifies factors influencing the change;
Maps a step-by-step guide of how to implement the change plan.
At the end of the Academy process, our Future Makers submitted a written report, as well as presented the project to their peers in order to evaluate its potential impact and their learnings. This provides a significant step into the process of leading effective change across our local and regional community.
Ensuring Sustainable Business Conduct Within Gibraltar’s Financial Services Sector
My FFA practice project will focus on mapping out the development and implementation of policy, legislative reform and operational change geared towards financial institutions, with the aim of ensuring the adoption of sustainable business conduct practices by 2030.
I had originally planned on homing in on sustainable investment practices specifically, but following the envisioning exercise last month I decided to widen the scope of the project. This will essentially allow me to provide an overview of changes that I consider necessary for financial institutions to progress towards sustainability in line with the SDGs. These fall into the following 6 interlinked categories:
Sustainable investment practices;
Gender neutral remuneration practices;
Integration of environmental, social & governance (ESG) risks within risk management culture;
Implementation of governance frameworks for the ongoing assessment and reduction of operational impact on the environment;
Equal opportunities for men and women within management; and
Increased security & opportunities for minority groups in the workplace.
Embedding Sustainability in Public Sector Work Experience
As part of a commitment to make Gibraltar a world leader insustainability I will be working with one or more government departments to introduce a work experience pilot scheme for the public sector.
Through these schemes I hope to give young people relevant experience, a chance to make a difference in public service, and ensure that Gibraltar more effectively utilises local talent.
Gibraltar needs to nuture this talent so that our public systems remain for future generations while better serving people and the planet.
I will also be engaging key partners from the private sector to set up similar schemes with an emphasis on infrastructure and sustainable technologies to help ensure Gibraltar has high quality jobs and a workforce to succeed in a more sustainable economy.
Increasing Uptake of Female Students in STEM Subjects
Despite girls’ high academic achievements, women are still extremely underrepresented in both science and tech industries, making up for less than 25% of the STEM workforce. In order to tackle some of the world’s most difficult sustainability issues we need a diverse workforce.
Although I acknowledge this is a multifaceted issue, this project intends to revert to grass roots and focus on challenging the perception of STEM subjects at Key Stage 3. On a basic level, it will aim to increase the visibility of females in STEM roles as well as the career opportunities available through the use of school displays. Research shows, some main reasons for the lack in uptake can be tracked back to school girls not seeing role models in the industry or being made aware of the possible career pathways STEM subjects can lead to. Aside from this, the project will also aim to provide extra, alternative STEM experiences via a STEM school club. This will provide an opportunity to veer away from the curriculum and expose those involved to different topics and more importantly a different way of learning. The STEM club will spend time looking into finding solutions for real world situation, which data suggests appeals to the female way of thinking and increases uptake in STEM subjects.
Incorporating Sustainability Principles into the Governance Framework of the Royal Commonwealth Society Gibraltar
An action project working on governance frameworks related to Gibraltar’s engagement with the Commonwealth of Nations. This will involve mapping how sustainability principles, SDGs and best practice requirements can be built into the governance arrangements and formal objectives of the Royal Commonwealth Society (RCS), Gibraltar.
This project will seek to formalise the Gibraltar branch’s existing constitutional arrangements and change the modus operandi to ensure a robust governance structure aligned with the SDGs. It will be guided by the latest thinking in sustainability and a comparative review of governance frameworks adopted by other organisations (including but not limited to other RSC member branches).
Increasing the Uptake of Electric Vehicles in Gibraltar
The FF practice project I will be investigating is the sustainable integration of electric vehicles in Gibraltar with a focus on influencing consumer decisions. Road traffic has been identified as one of the most significant contributors to climate change, this is due to the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions produced by the burning of fossil fuels which are used to power the internal combustion engine vehicles(ICEVs). Fully integrating electric vehicles (EVs) has the potential to significantly reduce the impacts of climate change and improve the sustainability of road traffic. Currently, the viability to integrate the EVs is hindered by four barriers: Initial Cost, technological limitations (such as, battery range and availability of EVs on the market), Lack of Infrastructure and convenience sacrifice of owning an EV. It would be imperative to overcome these four barriers in order to successfully integrate EVs. Gibraltar exhibits unique characteristics, such as, high population density, high vehicle to population ratio and relatively small surface area/roads, which could prove beneficial or hinder the progress towards integrating EVs.
Supporting Women in the Legal Profession towards Gender Equality
My project will set out the steps required to enable women working in the legal profession with care-giving roles to enjoy equality in the workplace. In particular, the project will focus on what support systems can be put in place in Gibraltar for these women to be able to remain on par with their male counterparts in their career trajectory, despite bearing the burden of care-giving responsibilities.
My practice project looks at implementing new smart city technologies in and around Gibraltar to create a healthier quality of life for its inhabitants and meeting its sustainable and environmental goals. The project will look at traffic management solutions and how new technological advances can reduce congestion and pollution on the roads. Gibraltar’s situation is unique compared to many countries due to its geographical topography, availability of public transport and limited road infrastructure, has resulted in high numbers of private car ownership. With only 29km of roads in Gibraltar and over 41,000 registered vehicles, its limited road network is easily overwhelmed. Thus, putting added pressure on existing infrastructure and increased pollution.
I will look at deploying solutions to optimize traffic flow in Gibraltar which will lead to a reduction of harmful emissions, noise pollution as well as an improvement of air quality and a reduction of travel time around the city. By working closely with key stakeholders in the industry and change makers, I believe that implementing small incremental steps and using proven smart city solutions, can lead to the needed change in tackling the traffic issues Gibraltar faces on a daily basis, and subsequently tackling one of the city’s largest polluters, that is the traffic.
The Role of Redistributive Environmental Policies in funding a Green Gibraltar
For my Futures Forward Academy (FFA) project I’d like to propose the introduction of market-based, redistributive environmental measures to generate revenue for the Climate Action Fund (created as part of the Climate Change Act 2019). My FFA project will seek to focus upon the role that redistributive environmental policies can play in developing more sustainable and ecologically friendly industry growth in Gibraltar.
Given the tremendous success of Gibraltar’s COVID vaccination programme, Gibraltar now faces the very real prospect of becoming a major tourism hotspot destination this Summer (2021). With this in mind, I have chosen to make the Gibraltar tourism industry the case-study industry for my project. My FFA project will investigate the applicability of an environmental levy on tourist activity. An environmental levy would seek to mitigate the negative externalities of tourism on the Rock; generating a viable form of revenue to reinvest in projects to make the tourism industry in Gibraltar more sustainable. The end objective: At least, 66.6% of the sum of the Climate Action Fund to be allocated from redistributive environmental policies by 2030.
Laguna Estate has undergone major works over the past few years. The estate is rich with potential green outdoor spaces for community life and for educational use. The current urban morphology consists of a vehicle-centric design and I would like to work alongside key individuals and organisations to make the estate more accessible and people-friendly with well-being as the prime focus. The introduction of greenery will not only help cool the environments which we inhabit, they can help as a way to connect with the school, providing educational spaces and spaces for intergenerational exchange.