Skip to content

Design for Sustainability and Climate Action

Green Tech South West presents our next online event with insightful talks combining digital design and sustainability from three brilliant speakers – James Chudley from cxpartners, and two speakers from Climate Labs, Ahsan Khan and Phil Spencer.

This is our submission for this year’s Bristol Tech Festival

Designing Nature Inspired Sustainable Futures

As designers, the scope of our work and the problems that we find ourselves working on is increasing exponentially in complexity, scale and impact. We find ourselves working to help transform services and tackle systemic problems such as inequality, digital transformation and business sustainability.

As our work gets harder where should we turn for help, examples of best practice and inspiration?

In this talk James shares how designers, engineers and innovators such as Neri Oxman, professor at the MIT Media Lab, have applied Biomimetic thinking to take inspiration from the natural world to help them solve complex problems by considering the question ‘How has Nature already solved this?’.

James’ slides


Or you can download the slides.

About James

Following his Environmental Science Degree, James has been working as a design professional for 23 years across a wide range of sectors, most recently focussing on service design projects in the NHS.

His experience ranges from shaping projects and leading programmes of work to leading the delivering of research, strategy & design work for clients such as Google, Spotify, Aardman, NHS England, BBC, Expedia, and Virgin Trains.

James co-founded UXBristol, is a regular speaker at international UX conferences such as IXDA, UXPA, UXCambridge, UXScotland and FOWD and is the author of ‘Smashing UX Design’, ‘Usability of Web Photos’ & ‘UX Leadership Skills’.

Designing Funding Programmes for Climate Action

Climate Labs talk for Green Tech Sout-West as part of Bristol Tech Festival about designing funding programmes for climate action

Climate Labs is a multidisciplinary design strategy consultancy, that focuses on design for sustainability. Earlier this year they began a project to co-design a new Climate Action Funding Programme for the community business sector, working at the intersection of regenerative communities and just transitions.

This project explores multi-facted support opportunities for people to build better lives for themselves and for their communities, and at the same time deliver climate and nature benefits such as reducing carbon emissions and regenerating systems. All whilst balancing the intertwined issues of cost of living crisis, climate justice and social justice. In this talk Ahsan and Phil will go through the strategic design process they use for complex, mulit-faceted projects such as these.

Ahsan & Phil’s slides


Or you can download the slides.

About Ahsan

Ahsan is the Design Director and Co-Founder of Climate Labs. He works with clients across business, communities and academia – Design Council, Power to Change, Futerra, PA Consulting, PwC, University of Kingston and Exeter – using Design Thinking to drive innovation for social and environmental impact. He consults in the third sector for Words of Colour and Culture Heroes focusing on strategic design to benefit marginalised communities. Ahsan has a BSc Hons in Product Design and MA in Sustainable Design.

About Phil

Phil is a Co-Founder of Climate Labs and has a wealth of experience within workplace consultancy, across a variety of commercial workplaces over 20 years, as a designer, project manager, and consultant to many well known brands, such as Sony, Samsung and the NHS. He has taught design thinking through a Masters degree with Kingston University and projects with The Design Council. Phil has a BA Hons in Product & Furniture Design and MA in Sustainable Design.

Watch the event video

To make it easier for you to find what you’re looking for, here’s the key timings in the video:

👋 6:58 – A welcome from your meet-up organisers, Ellen, Hannah and Mike with a brief overview of GTSW and what we’re about

📣 13:18 – Our famous 60 second intros – a chance for attendees to introduce themselves, ask for help and tell us about something the group might find interesting

💚 25:10 – Tom’s talk (apologies for the tech issues causing the slides to be out of sync, you can download them to follow along with below!)

💚 48:03 – James’s talk

❓ 1:04:20 – Q&A session

James Chudley from cxpartners for Green Tech South-West as part of Bristol Tech Festival on sustainable design inspired by nature

One of the perks of holding events online, and having such a wonderful and engaging community, is we share a huge amount of useful resources and information throughout the event. Here’s a summary of what we unearthed.

Links and resources

Community 60 second intros

An opportunity for you, our community, to (very quickly) share something with the rest of us. This can be anything from a green tech project or initiative you are working on, a request for help or guidance or even some knowledge/resource you’d like to share with others.

Chris Pointon – Product manager at Icebreaker One, a net zero energy data non-profit, volunteer tech lead at Cambs Climate Emergency working on community decarbonisation, and co-organiser of the Working in Sustainable Technology meetup for people who are either currently working in, or aspire to work in sustainable technology. Their next meetup is on Thursday 3rd November and will feature talks from Carbon 13 around which sustainable tech companies are being built and the skills they’ll need. RVSP here.

Chris Parsons – UWE – currently running programme to support SME’s in the West of England, Skills for Team Growth. Aimed at supporting SME’s becoming more sustainable with the intent of helping the region to hit their NetZero target. Offering a number of short fully funded workshops which can be found here. If you’re an SME in the West of England looking to become more sustainable, get in touch with Chris at

Mary Stevens – Works for Friends of the Earth, the environmental campaigning organisation, and would love to hear from anyone who has good examples of people using tech to effectively enable people to quickly agree upon and organise climate action at hyper-local (street / neighbourhood level). They’re looking to develop experiments in this area – but really want to understand what’s working. If you know of any platforms, groups, who are doing this really well – get in touch at

Ananda Nidhi – MBA Graduate from Univeristy of Exeter, specialising in circular economy and sustainability. Recently completed a consultancy project on green Hydrogen systems in the West of England. Keen to learn more about clean tech sector in the South-West. If you know of any clean-tech companies, or resources featuring clean-tech companies, in the South-West, particular in the green hydrogen space, get in touch at

Neil Clark – W3C, the organisation who created the web accessibility guidelines, have started a working group to do with web sustainability. They’ve only had a few meetings so it’s still in its infancy but are looking for people to get involved! All links & info are on this page.

Our slides with upcoming events