Vietnam - Hanoi ZeroCarbonCity

ZeroCarbonCity Vietnam, December 15th to 18th, 2005

The British Council in Vietnam recently organised three days of activities with climate change related workshops and wrap-around events all geared to enthusing the people of Vietnam to engage in discussions to do with climate change.
It took me about 35 hours to get to Hanoi after a protracted delay in KL and then straight to sleep.

…ZCC Exhibition, Hanoi…

15th Dec – Briefing and Prep

There was a briefing session with the Arts team and then a meeting with volunteer facilitators for the ZCC wrap-around activities.
…planning the project…
…testing the prototype solar-powered balloon…

Prep for the facilitators included hands-on practice of constructing the MUTR (Middlesex University Teaching Resources – climate change kits. These included a wind trubine, a solar-powered clock, a solar gismo and ultra-violet sensitive badges.

16th Dec - TV Day at VTV

We spent the morning at VTV2, an education channel with a select group of children (winners of the British Council pollution photography competition) to film the construction of the science kits. Interestingly, we communicated in French, English and Vietnamese (well, others communicated in Vietnamese, I was just embarrassed at how little I coped with the language).
…young TV climate scientists…

We built the solar clock twice and for some inexplicable reason it wouldn’t work. The producer suggested that we cheat and slip in a battery in the back of the clock mechanism, but thankfully it decided to work for us and all was well!

17th Dec – Café Scientifique

British Council Vietnam organised a Café Scientifique with the title ‘Climate Change – not our problem?’
As British Council Vietnam director Keith Davies explained in his introductory words, it was the first café scientifique in Vietnam and possible the first floating one in the world on a boat on a lake.
…The Potomac Restaurant boat…
…a show of hands on climate issues…
The Potomac set out for a tour around the lake as we began our provocative presentations unsure what sort of reactions we would get from the public.
Mr Quang a famous Vietnamese TV Science Communicator talked about the real science of climate change, and I talked briefly on climate change and young people.

18th Dec – Science Celebration Day

The Science Celebration Day was a splendid event AND the sun was out for the duration except when it decided to go to bed and we were left to sing and dance to the band and hand out the prizes.
…the clock making stand…
…Gismo makers at the Science Celebration Day…
…crowds and crowds of young visitors…
…inventors get younger and younger…
…Graham Sutcliffe sets off the prizegiving…      
There was a lot of interest in the whole series of events, some started long before my arrival in Hanoi to help with the ZCC exhibition.
We had to turn people away towards the end of the evening as we ran out of the MUTR Kits. I will keep good memories of new friends made in Hanoi and feel lucky that I’ll be returning in the New Year to Ho Chi Minh City for the next leg of the ZCC Campaign in Vietnam.

Many, many thanks to all who made me at home, and for making this such a memorable event!