Solutions for the Planet is a social enterprise, working with businesses, schools and communities to promote education for sustainable development, social enterprise, and science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) careers for young people.
We are committed to:
- Innovative, sustainable and entrepreneurial solutions to environmental and societal problems, led by young people
- Inspiring young people to consider education, training and career routes in STEM and the green economy
- Supporting creativity and innovation in the delivery of education for sustainable development in schools, communities and business
- Enabling cross-sector partnerships with business for innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship.
We deliver on these aims through dynamic education programmes, working closely with secondary schools and businesses primarily, but not exclusively, in the energy, waste, manufacturing, engineering and construction sectors. Our core programme provides the opportunity for every young person, mentor, teacher, parent, community member, organisation and business involved to come up with, and implement, a Big Idea that will improve our society or the environment.
Solutions for the Planet motivates young people to learn about science, technology, engineering, maths and environmental issues backed up by companies that are leading in these fields internationally. Entrepreneurship, teamwork, business planning and presentation skills are central to our programmes. Developing sustained partnerships with major employers in the local community has also been a valuable part of the programme for all the schools involved so far. We currently operate in three regions: North England & Scotland, South East and West Midlands. Find out more about our work with Businesses, Schools and Communities.
We are a social enterprise. We exist to tackle social problems; improve communities, our relationship with the environment and young people’s life chances. We provide valuable services in the open market, and reinvest our profits back into the business to benefit more young people and local communities. When we profit, society profits.
Our vision is for a generation of young people ready and able to respond to 21st century sustainability challenges.
We want to create a world where sustainable practices are commonplace; every young person is equipped with enterprise skills that benefit people and planet; and social creativity, innovation and diversity is built into every business and workplace.
Solutions for the Planet used to be the flagship programme of Partners in Innovation, based in Bradford, Yorkshire. In 2013 a new Board of Directors took over the company and rebranded Partners in Innovation as Solutions for the Planet Ltd with a social enterprise model.
The core programme has been delivered since 2008 in 68 schools in Yorkshire and the North East, engaging over 12,000 young people and 40 business partners. In 2012-13, we scaled back delivery due to funding and a relaunch, working with 6 schools in Yorkshire and the North East. This scale back in Yorkshire came hand in hand with welcoming Jen Baughan and Kathryn Luckock to our Board of Directors who had ambitious plans to expand the geographical reach and impact of the core programme.
Plans to scale up our services nationally were welcomed by our business partners who have both national and international footprints themselves. In 2014 Solutions for the Planet launched a regional programme in the West Midlands with partners Balfour Beatty, Brammer, Buck & Hickman and Tarmac. This was swiftly joined, in September 2015, by the inaugural year of Solutions for the Planet South East co-launched with partners SGN and Tarmac.
Since the programme re-launch in 2013 Solutions for the Planet has worked with over 6000 young people across the country generating fantastic Big Ideas to solve big sustainability challenges, building partnerships between business mentors and young people and developing employability and life skills along the way.
Solutions for the Planet have 5 core values. They inform how we approach our work and how we interact with everyone we work with.
- Responsibility – goes hand-in-hand with integrity, as we strive for continual self-improvement, while empowering others.
- Clear communication – to help build understanding, rapport, mutual respect and lasting relationships.
- Creativity and innovation – a drive to challenge the status quo and give everyone the freedom to be creative and innovative, thereby allowing brave, different and imaginative ways of doing things to flourish.
- Partnership and Collaboration – we can all remember a time when we’ve had to ask for help, given help or received it from others, such moments show why healthy partnership and collaboration are so important; we have to work together.
- Sustainability – living without harming others, achieving financial sustainability and considering how we manage resources, working towards zero impact.
For more information on our values and what they mean in practice click here
Chief Executive Officer
“Solutions for the Planet is what it is because all the people participating give so much time, energy and enthusiasm. I am proud to be leading Solutions for the Planet and facilitating inspirational and creative partnerships between young people and businesses for a stronger and more sustainable future”
At the core of Jen’s passion, life, work and relationships there are three underpinning principles: Development, Responsibility, and Collaboration. Over the past 10 years Jen has worked across the private, public, community and social enterprise sectors with particular emphasis on supporting people to identify and reach their potential.
In her time outside of work, Jen enjoys seeing new countries and cultures and exploring the rich diversity that the UK has to offer. Jen also likes a personal challenge which, this year, have included climbing the National 3 Peaks in 24 hours, running a marathon and a skydive!
“Combining STEM, sustainability and enterprise, S4TP is a fantastic way to inspire the next generation to think big, encouraging a green/ social economy”
Kathryn has had a unique and varied career combining her commitment to equality, peace and social justice, sustainability, youth leadership and education.
As a Non-Executive Director of S4TP, Kat is committed to inspiring innovation and creativity in sustainability and equality within business, while developing the next generation of scientists, engineers, social entrepreneurs and responsible citizens.
Kat has 10+ years’ experience working across the education, third and public sectors, designing and delivering educational programmes and projects. She has previously worked for Conwy County Borough Council, Interfaith Action, the National Union of Students and the Wales Council for Voluntary Action. She is also a Board Member of Careers Wales.
Non-Executive Director – Chair
“I have a passion for innovation and sustainability so am delighted to be involved with Solutions for the Planet. It is an inspiring organisation and the creativity and enthusiasm of the young people with whom we work is truly energising! “
Simon is Managing Director of Project Rome and Professor of Innovation and Sustainability at Chester University. He served on the UK and Global boards of an energy and environmental PLC and was then a Partner at an international change management firm. More recently, Simon was Head of Strategy and Innovation for a large accountancy firm.
Simon wrote the IMechE guide to commercialising clean technology and designed the CBI innovation model for medium sized businesses. He is on the advisory panel for a large clean tech investment fund and has served on a number of working groups; most recently the International Integrated Reporting Council and the UK Food Economy Task Force. He was Trustee and co-founder of the community energy charity Pure Leapfrog.
When not working he likes nothing more than playing bass and cycling (although not at the same time because that would be dangerous).
“Solutions for the Planet is a fantastic way of combining children’s creativity & energy with business partners’ support to come up with sustainable ideas for the future, along with also providing the opportunity for businesses to engage with younger people to support development for their staff”
Mark started his 25-year career in the construction industry as a trainee with Tarmac, working in several divisions of the organisation on significant projects such as the M25, Heathrow airport and 2012 Olympic Athletes Village, leading to his current role as Managing Director of Tarmac’s South Materials business.
Away from work, Mark has two teenage daughters that keep him busy & enjoys travelling, cycling & watching most sports.
“Being part of Solutions for the Planet is a great way to inspire young people to think creatively and develop ideas for addressing big issues in a structured business planning process. Not only that, Solutions for the Planet helps young people to build confidence and engage in STEM topics whilst thinking outside the box.”
Nicola began her career in 2002 as an environmental advisor and is now a chartered environmentalist and lead practitioner in sustainability. Nicola’s experience spans across multiple sectors, including working for a large infrastructure company and at a social enterprise. Nicola currently leads a dedicated team of health, safety, environment, quality and sustainability consultants at Groundwork MSSTT.
Away from work, Nicola has undergone several charity challenges including building a maternity clinic in Kenya and cycling to the top of the Col du Tourmalet.
Programme Coordinator – West Midlands
“S4TP brings together the creativity and fresh ideas of schoolchildren with the experience and guidance of adults in the business world for projects that look to sustainably improve our planet – what can be better than that?! “
Sarah’s background is in education, training and the utilities market. She taught English as a second language in England, Japan and Canada, and has been a TESOL Teacher Trainer for the last 12 years, both creating and running her own teacher training programs. She has experience working for Transco, managing the beginning of the privatisation of the domestic gas market, and for a then-subsidiary of Babcock International as a utilities broker. She has long been an advocate for sustainable living and community involvement, and as a founder member of her school’s CSR committee in Montreal, has involved both her students and local businesses in fundraising and volunteering for local and global charities.
Sarah’s strengths and experience lie in working with people of all ages to get the best out of them, and empowering them to get the best out of others, with the ultimate goal of improving their communities and beyond. It only takes one person to make a change, and the ripples from that one person’s action can reach further than you think.
Programme Coordinator – North England & Scotland
“I am passionate about injecting creativity and freedom into STEM education through our work at Solutions for the Planet”
Jess joins the team after a 9-year career as a research zoologist. She holds a Biological Sciences (MbiolSci) Integrated Masters and is finalising her PhD in Zoology, with a particular focus on animal behaviour and communication. Jess has previously worked on research projects with cooperative mammals including meerkats, and has lectured at university level.
Having previously contributed to STEM engagement projects across schools in the UK and Uganda, Jess is excited to build upon this experience with the team at Solutions for the Planet. Giving young people the confidence to address real-world problems is so inspiring and Jess is particularly excited to watch their novel solutions develop from Big Ideas days.
Jess’ lifelong passion for nature has stimulated her research interests and allowed Jess to travel across the world. Closer to home, Jess is a huge fan of hiking through the British countryside to see native wildlife. She also enjoys road and trail running, having completed several long-distance races over the past few years. To meet her own sustainability aspirations, sewing is one of Jess’ more relaxing hobbies – making her own clothes using recycled fabrics.
Programme Coordinator – South East
“I believe that creating the freedom and space for young people to engage creatively with topics, such as sustainability, is critical to the future of our communities. I feel honoured to be part of a Social Enterprise that does just that.”
Charlotte joins S4TP after a diverse ten-year career spent working across both the public and private sectors. She has experience of working in the energy sector, having led teams at both Shell and DONG Energy. She has also worked for central Government both developing and implementing policy.
Most recently, she has followed her interest in Social Enterprise by taking part in a three-month start-up course and delivering storytelling workshops to new entrepreneurs.
Having previously volunteered as a teacher in Northern India, Charlotte is excited to once again work alongside young people to support them in using their creativity to tackle the world’s major challenges.
Away from work, Charlotte enjoys travelling to explore new cultures and getting out into nature as much as possible. Her highlights have been climbing Mount Roraima in Venezuela and Adam’s Peak in Sri Lanka..
“The beauty of Solutions for the Planet is that it provides young people with the opportunity to learn collaboratively in a group about a topic of interest to them and to create an outcome of real benefit to others. They have to be resilient and think of ways around the problems they encounter during the project.”
My career has be spent as a history teacher and Head of Department in comprehensive schools. More recently, as an Assistant Headteacher, I have been involved with applying developments in the learning sciences to teaching and learning on a whole school basis and introducing integrated topics into the Year 7 and Year 8 curriculum.
I believe that the purpose of education is to nurture a growth mindset in young people to enable them to become the best they can be and thrive as 21st century citizens.
Environmental & Sustainability Consultant
Mark is passionate about sustainability, together with connecting and helping people. His extensive network of contacts including leading environmental experts will be invaluable to Solutions for the Planet as we seek to grow both business partner companies and the number of schools / students we can support.
Mark is a Director of WYG (www.wyg.com) based in their London office. He has over 20 years of environmental consultancy experience across both the public and private sectors. His early career was spent working in Health, Safety and Risk Management consultancy in Education and Healthcare – assessing schools and hospitals for water hygiene and scalding risks. The past 16 years have been spent working for leading multi-disciplinary engineering and environmental consultancies, managing technical teams across the UK and working on development projects for residential, transport, retail, commercial, leisure and health care clients in Tanzania, UAE, Iran, Romania, Bahamas, Qatar, Ireland as well as across the UK. Mark has a MSc Environmental Assessment & Management (Distinction) from Oxford Brookes University and a BSc (Hons) in Geography from Royal Holloway University of London. He is a Chartered Environmentalist (CEnv), Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (FRGS) and a Member of the Institute of Environmental Sciences (MIEnvSc).
Outside of work he enjoys spending time with his three young daughters, supporting London Irish Rugby Club, landscape photography and Indie music. As a geographer, he has a lifelong love of maps and travel – although these days is more interested in beaches than mountains!