We asked the 2017 additions to the team to reflect on their highlights at Ashden so far.

New year, new recruits


Posted By:

Ellie Mika

A year ago, I was faced with the same bleak challenge as most recent graduates: what next?

After months of sitting around in my pyjamas searching through various job sites, looking into possible LinkedIn leads, inviting people out for coffee in the hope that when a position opens up they’ll remember that keen graduate who bought them coffee, I was starting to lose confidence of finding any kind of employment even remotely related to my MSc.

Enter 2017 and Ashden. I feel extremely fortunate to have landed a place at Ashden, not only because it meant that my pyjama days were over, but because being a part of Ashden meant that I was part of a passionate team committed to uncovering and celebrating some of the most innovative solutions to creating a sustainable future.

And I’m not alone. I asked the other Ashden newbies (of which there are seven in the last year!) what they love about Ashden. Here are some of their highlights.


Ashden’s key event every year is the Ashden Awards, which for me was the absolute highlight – hearing Al Gore give an incredibly inspiring speech and feeling such positive energy from the audience.

Al Gore at the 2017 Ashden Awards Ceremony

However, Ashden’s calendar is filled with many other equally exciting events. Our Ashden Annual Talk with Lord Deben, the International Conference held during Awards week, and our Ashden After Work event on Clean Air were amongst the most memorable for our Fundraising Officer, Jack.

For Cara, our Senior UK Programme Officer, the Fit for the Future Network Harvest event stood out for its inspiring case studies and the opportunity to meet many of our winners.

Our alumni meetings are also a fantastic way for us to learn about and catch up with previous winners.

Learning more about the winners and seeing how much they have to offer cities wanting to do more on sustainability has been inspiring, especially meeting many of them at our recent alumni meeting.

Faye, UK Research and Policy Manager


In the last 11 months, I have learned an enormous amount about sustainable projects, innovative technologies, and the sustainable energy sector as a whole.

Here are some things that have stood out for others:

I’ve learnt a lot since starting, particularly about the range of innovative work being done in the field of energy – I had a good theoretical knowledge from my MSc but great to see innovators in action!

Cara, Senior UK Programme Officer

BURN Manufacturing, 2015 Ashden Award winner

One of my highlights was learning about the Greater London National Park City initiative which I think is really inspiring, and very relevant to the work Ashden is doing around low carbon cities.

Lucy, Senior Corporate Fundraising Officer

Inspiring stories and winners

With over 200 Award winners making incredible strides towards a sustainable future, it’s hard not to be inspired on a daily basis.

How people can create businesses and enterprises from the ground up with the potential to change the world – seeing it done makes you realise that with enough dedication and passion anyone can make a real difference!

Jack, Fundraising Officer


Mrs Ratcliffe, a Preston council resident having her boiler replaced under the CHiL scheme.

I’ve been inspired by CHiL – they have worked against the odds to deliver their fuel poverty scheme, and they are making a real difference for people that really need help.

Cara, Senior UK Programme Officer

Empower Generation – a really great model that empowers people in very remote areas to gain skills, experience and income, whilst also challenging sometimes very entrenched norms around equality and women in business.

Jack, Fundraising Officer

Work environment

Along with the great view out the window onto a construction site, a biscuit cupboard, endless tea and coffee, and falafel Fridays at the local market, everyone agrees Ashden is a great place to return to every Monday morning.

I feel like I have lucked out on the colleague front. I haven’t laughed this much at work for a long time.

Lucy, Senior Corporate Fundraising Officer


Empower Generation, 2017 Ashden Award winner

I’ve really enjoyed getting to know my colleagues and understanding Ashden’s proud history, but also its enthusiasm to keep assessing and improving what we do.

Faye, UK Research and Policy Manager

We are working at the cutting edge of an issue that is essential to solve if we are to have a recognisable future – it’s rapidly changing and will only get more important going forwards, and we’re there in the middle of it!

Jack, Fundraising Officer

My pyjama days are now only saved for weekends and of course the upcoming holidays. See you in 2018!

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