July 14, 2020
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One Planet Youth Summit and Credo High School

  • Credo teacher Marika Ramsden with One World students Ayla Cimen, Chloe Madden and Kate Heller in front of a world map. Photo by Robert Grant

By: Stephanie Derammelaere
March 22, 2019

On Sat, April 6, Credo High School, in partnership with One Planet Living, will be hosting their fourth annual One Planet Youth Summit, a conference for eighth graders through college age students to connect with a variety of people who are working towards environmental sustainability and conservation. The summit will offer keynote speakers, workshops and projects, will showcase students’ work to take care of the planet and inspire each other with their ideas and give youth sustainability opportunities. In addition, this year for the first time the summit will also include a One Planet Film Festival which will present a series of inspiring short films.

“There is a focus on climate action this year because that is such a huge, global, growing movement,” says Marika Ramsden, One Planet Coordinator at Credo High School. “The whole event is really around connecting youth to the community and community to youth. It’s really trying to strengthen connections to give youth a pathway forward that will help lead towards a more sustainable future.”

One Planet Living is a framework for living that attempts to have people successfully live within the natural limits of our one planet, versus the five planets required if everyone in the world used resources like the North American population. The vision was devised by Bioregional, founded in 1994 by Sue Riddlestone and Pooran Desai, two environmental activists and campaigners based in Sutton, South London. They wanted to create practical green and sustainable initiatives. The One Planet Living framework has evolved to include ten simple principles that provide a clear, practical road map for those who are seeking a better and sustainable way to live and do business. 

Over the years, One Planet Living branched off into 18 or more communities around the world that are certified One Planet communities. Credo, moving into SOMO Village, the first One Planet community in North America, became the first One Planet school with their own action plan which incorporates the principles into everything at the school. There are also companies that use the framework and four pilot cities around the world. The cities are in Oxfordshire, UK; Saanich, Canada; Durban, South Africa and Elsinore, Denmark. In addition, Tarusa, Russia, south of Moscow, is in the process of becoming the fifth One Planet city to join the movement and develop their action plan. Last fall Ramsden was invited to speak at the International Climate Forum in Tarusa about the work of Bio Regional and the One Planet Living platform.

“I gave a short presentation on One Planet and what we’re doing at Credo and trying to build this One Planet Schools movement,” says Ramsden. “I was one of the youngest people in the room and it made me think ‘this is wonderful that you’re talking about all of this, but you’re missing the point!’ The people that are going to complete these goals that you’re setting, you’re leaving them out of the conversation and you’ve got to bring them into this conversation.”

The One Planet Youth Summit is one way to get young people involved and inspired for saving their planet and securing their future. To that end, this year the conference is also being planned by a youth-run planning team, comprised of students from Analy, El Molino, Credo and Piner High Schools. While students can present projects they have been working on, this year not all attendees are required to do so.

“The youth planning team meets every Tuesday,” says Ramsden. “They’ve been working so hard to get amazing workshops, organizations to donate their time and these wonderful sponsors. We’ve always had 60 to 100 students and my goal is to have closer to 200 this year.”

A lot of new workshops will be offered this year. One of them, facilitated by The Center for Climate Protection, called “Framing Productive Climate Communications,” aims to help students persuade a climate change denier to take action. Participants will learn how to frame a productive climate conversation that cues civic and community level solutions. In another one called “Bokashi Composting workshop”, managed by the Sonoma Ecology Center, students learn how to make and use Bokashi, a Japanese composting technique using a fermented, anaerobic form of composting — and apply it to soil to create rich, organic matter for gardens. One workshop titled “Get the FACTS, Take Action!” sponsored by FACTS: Families Advocating for Chemical and Toxic Safety, will teach participants about environmental toxics used in everyday household and personal care items and will even give students the opportunity to make their own all-natural non-toxic sunscreen using green chemistry principles.

Event sponsors this year include SOMO Village, Straus Family Creamery, Trim Tab Media, Farm Fresh and Alter Eco. The keynote speaker is Brian Atchley who worked as Director of Solar Systems Mechanical Engineering at Tesla Inc. The conference will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., a local food truck dinner will be available from 5 to 6 p.m., which will then be followed by the film festival, open to the public, from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

“Hopefully this [the film festival] will inspire the students to create their own films and attach it to one of the principles,” says Ramsden. “This year we’ll launch the actual One Planet youth film festival so we’ll be encouraging everyone over this year to create short films that relate to the ten principles. Then we’ll have a competition and show the winners at next year’s film festival. Hopefully through the year we’ll build up a library of really good youth short films so that it really can be just a youth film festival. This year we have a lot of short films that are made by professional cinematographers. But we’ll be moving towards the direction of the youth film festival.”

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit