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Aberdeen World Cafe

What a great opportunity to meet in person with other educators in the area who have a similar passion for sustainability.

It was a great reminder that sustainability is not just nature – it encompasses so much more.

I like the idea of reframing sustainability.

These are a few comments from those who attended the World Cafe at the International School Aberdeen on November 24, 2022. Compass Education’s Executive Director, Nicole Swedlow, added the NorthEast of Scotland to her European tour to facilitate the World Cafe activity. The World Cafe format allowed us to discuss and share ideas to encourage student agency for a better world. It brought together many schools and organisations, including our co-host Camphill School. It was a fabulous opportunity to make new connections and reconnect with our previous Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) conference steering committee that had not met since pre-pandemic.

The positive energy buzzed around the room as we discussed open-ended and engaging questions around sustainable education. The World Cafe format, along with some of the Compass tools, guided our conversations, providing space for a variety of voices to share and an opportunity to push ourselves beyond our immediate experiences. At the end of the session, people left with a new eagerness to bring back to their organisations new ideas, insights and connections that will support them as they continue their journey.

We hope to all come together more frequently and gradually grow our numbers of active educators and community members working towards a sustainable Aberdeen.  Another Sustainable Development Goals Conference for Aberdeen City and Shire Schools may well be on the horizon. Also a possible Compass Education’s workshop in the Spring may bring a few more into the fold. The World Cafe was the impetus our region needed to reconnect and continue our work together to promote sustainability in education.


Lucy Thompson

Lucy Thompson

Lucy has been an elementary classroom teacher for over 10 years, working in Cambodia, Lebanon, Malaysia and Scotland. She is currently teaching Grade 5 and is the Professional Learning Coordinator at International School Aberdeen. Outside of work, she enjoys playing squash and being on the coast, most recently sea kayaking.

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