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UKSCN

Making the Global Climate Strike on 20th September 2019 the biggest one yet

Visit the UKSCN website

In August and September 2019 we had the pleasure of working alongside our sister co-op, The Small Axe, to develop a new website, a social monitoring tool and social game for Greenpeace and the UK Student Climate Network (UKSCN).

The Brief

The brief was simple.  Get as many people as possible to turn up to the Global Climate Strike on 20th September 2019; make it the biggest strike yet; oh, and save the world!

The mission was to urge people that time was running out. We had to make users understand that if we don’t act now, we’re heading for disaster.

We had two months. We rolled up our sleeves and got started.

The Client

We were approached by the UKSCN (UK Student Climate Network) and Greenpeace to develop and build tools to support the campaign.

The UKSCN are a student-led environmental organisation that was founded in December 2018. They take to the streets to protest against the government’s lack of action on the climate crisis.

This was our first time working with the UKSCN and it was amazing. The young people are absolute badasses!

Our Solution

The first step was to get ourselves in the same room as Greenpeace, the UKSCN and the Small Axe. We knew we had limited time, so in one meeting we ran a Theory of Change to quickly determine the goal and necessary objectives of the project. This allowed us to identify which tools were needed to make this the biggest strike yet. This is what we built:

1. A new website for the UKSCN

We needed to support users find their nearest Global Climate Strike. Instead of building a new campaign site to attract users,  it was more effective to rebuild the UKSCN’s website and add this strike-finding functionality to it. This meant we could leverage an existing user base and grow support even further.

2. The Climate Quest Game

To reach as many people in the tight timeframe we knew we had to motivate users to spread the word as widely as possible. That’s why we collectively came up with the Climate Quest Game

The game allowed users to create their own avatar, which provided them with a dashboard of social sharing actions. As users would complete actions, they would receive points and unlock new challenges. The aim of the game was to get the user to extend their reach as far as possible. The more reach, the more points!


3. A Social Monitoring tool

Last but not least, we co-developed tools to enhance the impact across social media. Again, with a tight timeframe, it was important to be effective in the right places, at the right time. Our social monitoring dashboard allowed Greenpeace and UKSCN to easily find influencers that were strong supporters of the cause as they were already talking about the climate strike. This allowed both clients to build even more support, fast.

The Tech

We built: 

UKSCN Website

  • A new WordPress website, using our row-builder starter framework.
  • Strike event management. This was achieved by integrating the advocacy tool Action Network. The new website handled event information, user information and processed donations.
  • An events map, built with React.
  • A simple way for users to submit new events via Airtable 

Climate Quest game

  • The Climate Quest game is a React front-end, Node back-end and Node API.
  • The API captures users’ completed actions and responds with points / new challenges

The Social Monitoring Tool

  • Javascript front-end
  • A microservice back-end architecture written in Node, including:
  • An ExpressJS server
  • A data-fetching worker
  • A data-processing worker
  • We used RabbitMQ to provide communication channels between the microservices
  • Data stored in a PostgreSQL database

Impact

  • 780,000 visits in 30 days!
  • The 20 September protests were the largest climate strikes in world history.
  • The protests took place across 4,500 locations in 150 countries.
  • Over 200 events took place in the UK.
  • Over 4 million people participated in strikes worldwide.
  • In the UK, 300,000 people came to show their support, with over 100,000 of them in London.
  • Number of newsletter sign-ups increased fivefold.