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Ulster University and Belfast City Council's Resilience & Sustainability Board have partnered in a unique research partnership to deliver a free training programme for business leaders to bridge the green skills gap.

Architects of Change is a programme that will support Belfast’s ambition for ‘an inclusive, low-carbon, climate-resilient economy’ and build upon green skills to show the pathway for introducing net zero carbon practices into organisations to combat the climate change emergency.

Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Kate Nicholls said:

Within Council, we want to continue to accelerate climate action and ensure our residents, communities and businesses are prepared for, and protected from the worst impacts of climate change. One way of doing this is through the partnership we have with The Ulster University and the Architects of Change programme. Not only will this programme introduce net-zero practices into organisations to combat the climate change emergency, but it will create a culture within organisations to ensure they continue to build upon their green skills in the future.”

Led by Masters of Architecture students, PhD Researchers and academics from the School of Architecture and the Built Environment, it is a project that places sustainability at its heart.

The Programme consists of 3 one day workshops  (on Wednesday 16th March, Wednesday 23rd March and Wednesday 30th March 2022 from 10:00-15:30 ) on Ulster University’s Belfast campus with key learning outcomes of  an updated understanding of current green skills and the ways organisations can mitigate climate change by implementing sustainable practices such as reducing carbon emissions, sustainable transport and retrofitting.

Professor Raffaella Folli, principal investigator on the project, welcomed the launch of the workshops added:

This project has been a year in planning and it is wonderful to see this this training programme now being rolled on our Belfast campus. Participants who have registered thus far, are business and civic leaders from a range of industry and community backgrounds who, over the 3 workshop sessions, will be supported with the relevant knowledge to deliver environmentally, socially sustainable practice within their organisations. The workshops will be augmented by perspectives from external speakers including the Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Kate Nicholl, Grainia Long, Chief Executive of the Northern Ireland Housing Executive, Simon Hamilton, Chief Executive of the Belfast Chamber of Trade & Commerce, David Gavaghan, the Founder of Aurora Prime Real Estate Limited and Joe O’Neill, Chief Executive of Belfast Harbour Commissioners.”

Professor Paul Seawright, Deputy Vice Chancellor at Ulster University noted:

This research partnership project with Belfast City Council,  supports the practical application of the University’s research in supporting local and regional business leaders to drive their green agenda and to support Belfast’s wider Resilience Strategy’s ambition. As a key element in sustainable placemaking, Architects of Change will empower people at the most influential levels of their organisations to understand and make positive impacts on climate change, carbon emissions and regional and urban sustainability. They will also learn about local and global case studies — from Norway, Austria, China — on sustainable practices in design, and discover ways they can implement this knowledge into their own companies.”

To register your organisation or to find out more information on Architects of Change and the 3 workshops please visit the Architects of Change website.