Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland

Next Gen Leaders

Next Gen Leaders

Next Gen Climate Leaders competition – NOW OPEN

MASTS is leading, along with SAGES and 2050 Climate Group, this exciting competition as part of our package of activities to engage with the themes of CoP26.

The long-awaited CoP26 climate negotiations are almost upon us, due to be held in Glasgow in November 2021. Voices the world over are calling for robust and science-led action at all levels, from political decisions to business investments and social transformations through behavioural change. Youth voices have become particularly relevant, as the living generations who will bear the consequences of today’s decisions for the longest.

With strong messaging grounded in robust science, this competition will lead us to showcase some of Scotland’s inspirational young climate leaders, from three diverse and influential networks:

  1. MASTS, a research pool for the majority of Scotland’s marine science capacity,
  2. SAGES, Scotland’s research pool for environmental and geosciences,
  3. 2050 Climate Group’s Young Leaders Network of active and aspiring young leaders from varied sectors and disciplines.
In this video-competition, we invite low-tech submissions from which the very best will be selected for production of high-quality versions to be shared widely. The winners will be invited to contribute to a session at the 2050 Climate Group Youth Summit.

What are the prizes?

There will be 4 winners for the best short films, ideally with one for each category (see below).

The main prize for each winner is the production of a high-quality version of their film, for which we are contracting professional video production services (to be filmed in July and August). The winners will then be invited to participate in a session at 2050 Climate Group’s Youth Summit in September 2021, where the produced films will be shown to stimulate discussion. The project partners will also find other events and opportunities to share and promote the winning videos, including online and other media, for both public and professional audiences

Additional exciting prizes are:

  • 2050 Climate Group will provide one fully funded place on their Young Leaders Development Programme. So, our four winners will be invited to apply, from which one will be chosen based on merit of application by the review team.
  • Project partners are involved in bids for space at CoP26 in Glasgow. If successful in acquiring space we will use this as an additional platform to promote these videos. Furthermore, the Scottish Youth Film Foundation are preparing a CoP-TV project and would like to interview our winners, and possibly show the winning films as broadcast content from CoP26.

Who can enter?

Persons aged 18 to 35 that:

– Are part of 2050 Climate Group’s Young Leaders Network


– Are currently employed by, are a postgraduate student at or have a postgraduate supervisor at a member organisation of MASTS* or SAGES**

Entrants must currently be living in Scotland

You don’t have to be a scientist to enter, but the climate messaging does need to be grounded in robust science!

What do the videos need to be about?

The videos will showcase Scotland’s inspirational young climate leaders, with strong messaging grounded in robust science.

Submissions are invited that address the climate challenge in one of the following categories in just 3 minutes!

Messaging must be rooted in robust science, but entrants do not have to be scientists. The audience is broad, but we are primarily aiming to better inform and empower people who already have a level of interest or concern (i.e. they are likely to be emotionally engaged in the topic and challenges of climate change, but have perhaps not considered solutions in much detail).

It’s up to you to decide exactly what message you want to convey within your chosen category!

We are looking for films that achieve:

–        Clarity, creativity/originality and accessibility of its messages

–        Scientifically robust messaging suitable for a broad audience

–        An authentic balance of optimism and urgency, stressing climate challenges but promoting achievable solutions

Tell me more… 

Your submission should be low-tech submissions, filmed on a smartphone or normal camera and a maximum of three minutes. Image quality should be at least Standard Definition (910 x 480). The very best will be selected for professional production of high-quality versions.

The partners, sponsors and contracted film production company will form a judging panel. Decisions will be made in June and our contracted film production team will work with the winners through July and August 2021.

While we will have just four overall winners, all submissions will be considered for online sharing by the project partners. By submitting an entry you are providing permission for this use of your video and to retain your email address for the purposes of keeping in touch about the competition.

And finally, there are many open access software/tools for video editing, but here are a few that you might like to explore:

–       Video Maker | Create Irresistible Videos Online

–       Download HitFilm Express – Free Video Editing Software

–       Blackmagic Design DaVinci Resolve 17

How to enter

Deadline = 11th June 2021 – 17:00!

You have two ways to apply:

1. Email [email protected] with Subject title ‘Next Gen Climate Leader entry – [Your Name]’. Provide the video as an attachment and in the body of the email stating:

    1. Your name
    2. Age
    3. Your eligibility to enter (see ‘who can enter?’ above)
    4. Which of the 4 categories you are entering under

2. Use WeTransfer to send [email protected] two files:

    1. Your video
    2. A document stating:
      1. Your name
      2. Age
      3. Your eligibility to enter (see ‘who can enter?’ above)
      4. Which of the 4 categories you are entering under

By submitting an entry you are agreeing to the project partners retaining your name and email address for the purposes of contacting you about the competition. By entering you are also agreeing to the potential public-sharing of your video.

If you are filming anyone other than yourself (such that they will be recognisable) you must have their consent and they must be aware that the video may be shared publicly. For filming anyone under the age 16 or otherwise vulnerable you must have the consent of the parent or guardian. This responsibility lies with you as the filmmaker.


Please contact [email protected]

MASTS membership organisations: Heriot-Watt University, Marine Scotland Science, University of the Highlands and Islands (encompassing SAMS, NAFC Marine Centre, Lews Castle College and the Environmental Research Institute), University of Aberdeen, University of Glasgow, University of St Andrews, University of Stirling, University of Strathclyde, Edinburgh Napier University, University of Edinburgh, University of Dundee, University West of Scotland, NatureScot, St Abbs Marine Station, British Geological Survey, Scottish Environment Protection Agency, Joint Nature Conservation Committee

** SAGES membership organisations: University of Aberdeen, Abertay University, University of Dundee, University of Edinburgh, Glasgow University, University of St Andrews, University of Stirling, Scottish Association of Marine Science (UHI), Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre, University of the West of Scotland, British Geological Survey

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