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The Tayside Climate Beacon is a partnership of culture, heritage, science, academic and community focused organisations across the Tayside Bioregion, all committed to action on climate change, who are gathering together as part of Creative Carbon Scotland's Climate Beacons initiative.

The Tayside Climate Beacon agreed starting point was to use a design led thinking process to delve into shared areas of interest, potential synergies and connection points or unknowns. Our hope was to create a joined-up network of change makers across the Tayside Bioregion, and from there to organise public engagement activities responding to pertinent local climate action and environmental issues.

The group committed to two weeks of design led thinking workshops organised by partner The V&A Dundee. The design-led thinking process encouraged us to explore big ambitious ideas and kept the conversation structured and accountable. The process also highlighted the differences in the room - each sector approach, language and process having to be navigated. By the end of the process the group had generated a long list of ideas for possible collaboration. But the key outcome was the need to map and connect the amazing activity already taking place in the region. It felt crucial not to divest energy, attention or resources from the work already being done but to work slowly and carefully in partnership and to collaborate with platforms and elevate what was already taking place. 

In the lead up to and around COP 26 a series of gatherings were held with existing Beacon network members and interested people who were new to it. We went to visit each other's projects - the Cateran Ecomuseums's large scale installation of a Giant's Hand reaching over the hill in the Spittal of Glenshee; the exuberant environmental pop musical This is a Love Story at the Dundee Rep, energising talks and discussions at the V&A's Design for Planet festival

Out of these meetings and conversations - and reflecting on our experiences at and around COP 26 - we decided to create an online map of the Tayside Bioregion where we might both capture, record and highlight some of the great organisations and projects doing climate action work - and host stories and artistic responses to some of the key themes and questions we'd been discussing. We wanted this online map to be an example of the power of art and stories in climate action.

We also recognised the great energy that was galvanised in the events around COP 26 and determined there was need for another locus point and a further shared programme of activity that the beacon partners and wider community might gather around. We are collaborating together on a programme of online and in person activities that will bring together arts and culture, science and academia and community and third sector and create melting pot opportunities to show the strength of collaboration across sector and the role art can play in collective climate action efforts.

The Climate Beacons for COP26 project is led by Creative Carbon Scotland alongside six co-ordinating partners: Architecture & Design Scotland, Creative Scotland, Edinburgh Climate Change Institute, Museums Galleries Scotland, Scottish Library and Information Council, and Sustainable Scotland Network. Climate Beacons are located in Argyll, Caithness & East Sutherland, Fife, Inverclyde, Midlothian, the Outer Hebrides and Taydside. The project is funded by the Scottish Government’s Climate Change and Culture Divisions, Creative Scotland, and Museums Galleries Scotland.

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©2022 Tayside Climate Beacon.