Imperial College London

The future is green for Imperial Festival


At the Festival

Thousands of festival visitors came along to the Grantham Institute's Green Futures zone to learn more about our planet and our future.

The Green Futures zone, curated by the Grantham Institute, was Imperial Festival's showcase of research and innovation related to climate change and the environment. Visitors had the chance to speak an array of Imperial researchers and hear first-hand about the latest thinking on pressing environmental issues, such as cleaning up our dirty air, tracking plastic pollution, strengthening plant resilience to harsh environments and harnessing renewable energy.

Plastic's not fantastic (in our ocean)

Five abstract watercolour paintings hang above a small pool of water, both are illuminated with blue light

Our immersive art installation took visitors deep into the oceans to highlight the global plastic problem, while researchers from the Ocean Plastics Network were on hand to discuss some of the potential solutions.

How can we save our vanishing vegetables?

A lady stands behind a table, on the table are five clear glass jars with images of crops, vegetables and fish attached, bowls of chocolate and coffee, and an empty wine bottle.Many of our crops and vegetables are at risk due to climate impacts, including changing weather patterns, droughts and extreme weather events, luckily there are researchers working tirelessly on novel breeding technologies to make plants more resistant.

Visitors at the Green Futures Zone had the chance to taste test the worlds vanishing vegetables and discover the innovation that could save them.

Printable, plastic electronics

Festival-goers exclaimed, "But plastics don't conduct electricity!" Most of the time, they'd be right, but there are a small number of plastics that can.

This hands-on UV painting activity explained the principles of printable, flexible plastic electronics - and how they can be used as solar cells to generate renewable electricity.

Green beer: the carbon-neutral beverage

COBrew: The carbon neutral beer

COBREW, an eco-friendly, carbon-neutral beer specially designed by PhD students at Imperial College London was available to taste test in the Green Futures Zone, starting conversations about the climate impacts of the alcohol industry.  

Health world, healthy you

Four people stand around a table, the two youngest are creating a model out of clayImperial doctors were on hand in the zone to discuss the many ways our environment can affect our health. They introduced visitors to the exposome – the sum of the all the exposures which a person is subjected to during their lifetime, and how they relate health – and explained why it is so useful to combine health and environmental data for research.

 Solutions to pollution

Interactive games and demonstrations helped users discover the best ways to reduce their carbon footprint, avoid air pollution in London and absorb pollutants with a sponge-like material.


Sustainable tech for a developing world

Festival goers got a first look at cleantech innovations from Imperial that could have a big impact in the developing world, including a technique that extracts drinking water from the air and a cooling system driven by solar-thermal energy.

What’s Changing Our Climate?

A temperamental Sun and the Earth’s wobbly journey around it, violent volcanoes, melting ice caps, cow farts, car engines and Donald Trump. Grantham Institute co-director Professor Jo Haigh gave a lecture about what is changing our global climate. 

Imperial Festival 2018 | What's changing our climate?



Ms Abbie Stone

Ms Abbie Stone
The Grantham Institute for Climate Change

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