Hay Festival and Hive Energy have launched Planet Assembly – a new project seeking grassroots solutions to the climate emergency

Hay Festival and Hive Energy have launched Planet Assembly - a new project seeking grassroots solutions to the climate emergency

Hay Festival and green energy experts Hive Energy have launched Planet Assembly, a pioneering use of civic space that will explore dynamic solutions to regenerate the planet. The assembly is being convened as an engine room for change that meets the urgency for action to save our planet.

Each morning of the Hay Festival 2023 (25 May–4 June), two-hour public workshops will focus on seeking solutions. They will empower everyone to be accelerators and multipliers for the dramatic policy transformations that are needed to tackle the acute climate and biodiversity emergencies.

Anyone can participate in the daily assemblies. The results of each session will be condensed into a daily bulletin, available free online. Over ten days the goal is to create a draft playbook for practical action that everyone from policy makers to activists, corporations to sole traders, will take forward with inspiration and support to achieve meaningful change for all of us.

Daily input and provocations will come from leading scientists, experts and storytellers. Each session will cover a headline topic, ranging energy, health, food, mobility, water, fashion, biodiversity and housing. Meanwhile, the final plenary session will bring together the key findings with all the outputs will be moulded into a call to action at the Festival’s close.

The sessions will be driven by sustainability entrepreneur Andy Middleton. Expert contributors through the ten days will include The Climate Group CEO Helen Clarkson, former Welsh Government Minister for Environment and Sustainability Jane Davidson, Compassion in World Farming International CEO Philip Lymbery, Professor of Globalisation and Development at the University of Oxford Ian Goldin, business leaders Juliet Davenport and Sara Vaughan, Chair of Natural England Tony Juniper, Director of Economics for the Climate Champions Team Simon Sharpe, Director of Cambridge Zero Emily Shuckburgh, and more.

Hay Festival CEO Julie Finch said: “Planet Assembly is a bold new Hay Festival project to tackle the biggest challenge facing our world today. We want to harness the energy and expertise of our audience from the grassroots up to develop concrete policy ideas and recommendations to regenerate the planet. This is a public engine room for uplift. Everyone can take part and contribute throughout the week, while the daily findings will ripple outwards, available free online. Join us.”

Andy Middleton said: “We’re bringing experts and citizens together to imagine and develop the practical solutions that close the gap between ideas and actions to address our climate and nature crisis, with buckets of imagination and collaboration. Please help us shape and push forwards the urgent action that’s needed. Bring your ideas and voice to our daily workshops at the Festival or sign up to the free digital bulletin online now.”

Hive Energy Founder, Giles Redpath, said: “We know that climate change poses devastating impacts to our planet, and we need to act now to reduce our emissions and greenhouse gases. Planet Assembly presents a fantastic opportunity to educate visitors on a range of climate and sustainability issues that we are facing across the globe, from energy and housing to biodiversity and health. We need to work together to create a safe and secure future for ourselves, and our planet, and this is a great opportunity to engage in discussion and solution building.”

Planet Assembly is a central part of Hay Festival 2023’s sustainability programme, which also includes the Hay-on-Earth Forum, conversations with some of the world’s leading climate activists, and the Festival’s own pioneering work to mitigate negative environmental impacts. Other sustainability guests featured throughout the week include journalist George Monbiot, Leon co-founder Henry Dimbleby, activists Mikaela Loach and Mya-Rose Craig, co-executive director of Greenpeace Areeba Hamid, seasweed specialist Vincent Doumeizel, science writer Gaia Vince, and more.

Hay Festival is the world’s leading festival of ideas, bringing readers and writers together in sustainable events to inspire, examine and entertain on the edge of the Brecon Beacons National Park.

This year’s programme launches the best new fiction and non-fiction, while offering insights and debate around significant global issues. Award-winning writers, policy makers, pioneers and innovators take part from around the world, offering big thinking and bold ideas.