Green Drinks Manchester has been around in its current incarnation for three years. Its core organiser, Tudor Baker, kindly answers some questions. Also – upcoming useful event!
1. When was your group founded? What does it do/how does it do it?
We held our first Green Drinks Manchester event three years ago, in January 2017. We set it up under the umbrella of the worldwide Green Drinks movement that has been going since around 2003. The uniting principle of the movement is to host free, casual and self-organised events that bring people together to discuss environmental news.
In short, Green Drinks is about getting people together.
2. What have been the group’s major successes and failures over the last year or so?
We have had some brilliant events in 2019, a particular high point being our May event that we hosted in Patagonia’s Manchester store with Paul Allen from the Centre for Alternative Technology. After this event people walked away feeling genuinely positive about the future – a feeling not easily attained when you think about the environment for too long.
On the flip side, the group is not in the position that we originally hoped it would have been back when we held the first event. Three years ago we envisioned Green Drinks Manchester as a large group with frequent events that regularly bring in over 50 people a month. While some events meet this standard, others are small gatherings in the pub, although in a way that is what Green Drinks is all about.
On the whole, positive feedback along the way has inspired us and reassured us that the simple act of getting people together works wonders for people’s morale and sense of belonging. After every event, small or large, I feel energised and glad that people had the chance to come and meet like=minded folk.
3. If people got involved in your group, what sorts of things would they find themselves doing?
As an organiser, they would be bringing Manchester’s environmental community together. In practice this means anything concerned with coordinating events. This might mean booking venues, finding speakers and generally helping to increase the reach of Green Drinks through social media and sharing the word.
As an attendee the role is much more straightforward – meet people and build networks. People are of course welcome to do either (or both!)
4. What has your group got planned (and how might it contribute to maintaining morale and momentum in the climate movement in Manchester)
In January we are hosting a review of 2019 and trying to work out how the environmental movement can move forward in 2020 to replicate the progress made and learn from mistakes. Like any Green Drinks, the event is open to anyone and the topic is set to provide a starting point for discussion rather than a specific theme that all attendees must know about.
Looking ahead from that, we have mapped out our 2020 schedule and will put on events every two months to showcase the best of Manchester’s environmental scene and continue bringing people together.
5. What would you like to see the “climate movement in Manchester” do more generally, both to maintain morale and momentum, but also to increase its effectiveness?
The climate movement needs to keep meeting up to share ideas, energy and enthusiasm. Connecting, hearing stories and learning what other people and groups are doing is hugely inspiring. I implore anyone in the movement to keep meeting people and to build on the incredible year that has just been. There is a huge amount of passion that exists in the city and 2019 showed that we are better when we work together.
2019, the year that was, or the year that could have been? – What next for the environmental movement in Manchester?
Tuesday 21st January from 6pm
The Old Monkey Pub, 90/92 Portland Street, Manchester, M1 4GX