The event is being delivered by Young Scot with partners Glasgow City of Science and Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA). It is designed to get young people immersed in the issue of air pollution before giving them the opportunity to come up with ideas to tackle the problem and present them back to a panel of experts.

Air pollution is an increasing health and environmental issue in Scotland’s urban areas, especially in large cities like Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Dr Susie Mitchell, programme director of Glasgow City of Science, said: “Air Time aims to get young people thinking about poor air quality, the impact it has, and the part they can all play in addressing the problem. The event is set in the future – the year 2080 – and the mission for the day is for the young people to learn as much as they can about air pollution and then ‘time-travel’ back to 2016 to tackle the problem.

“We want each team to come up with three creative ideas which will help improve air quality, and then pitch their favourite idea to our expert panel. I am excited to see what they come up with.”

Louise Macdonald, Chief Executive of Young Scot, said: “From our work with young people across Scotland, we know that making the country a cleaner and greener place for their future is high on their list of priorities and something they feel very strongly about. Air Time aims to get young people working collaboratively, to encourage this passion and creativity and channel it into some real, tangible ideas.”

Dr Colin Gillespie, principal air scientist at SEPA: “This event has come at a time when we have continually seen air quality in the news. Within Scotland, there is a real effort to improve air quality across our cities. It is well recognised that, as well as the environmental impact, poor air quality contributes to a reduction in life expectancy, and has been reported as contributing to thousands of premature deaths across the UK every year. This is a serious public health issue which needs to be addressed.

“The Scottish Government’s Cleaner Air for Scotland Strategy (CAfS) sets out an ambitious vision where Scotland’s air quality will be the best in Europe. Every person in Scotland has a part to play in achieving this goal by leading less polluting lifestyles. Involving young people, through events such as Air Time with VentureJam, and allowing them to lead on the message they feel should be delivered, or what the solutions could be, is a very effective way to raise awareness of the problem.”

Air Time with VentureJam is a taster event for VentureJam 2016, an innovative three-day workshop (5-7 August) for young people across Scotland to co-design and co-develop innovative new ideas to improve the air we breathe. The young people have access to a team of mentors made up of creatives, legal experts, planners, technologists and environmental experts. The teams then pitch their best ideas, Dragon’s Den-style, to top industry experts at Venturefest Scotland, Scotland’s annual innovation summit held at Glasgow Science Centre on 1 September 2016. An idea conceived by Glasgow City of Science; VentureJam, now in its second year, is a successful feeder session and the first official ‘youth strand’ for any UK Venturefest aimed at upskilling and inspiring young people in Scotland aged 14-20. Last year’s activity specifically challenged the young participants to change attitudes through innovative thinking and by creating novel digital technology solutions to address known local green challenges in Glasgow (linking to Glasgow’s Green Year 2015).

Air Time with VentureJam and VentureJam 2016 are being supported by Scottish Government, SEPA, Glasgow City Council, Developing the Young Workforce Glasgow, Scotland’s Environment Web, Murgitroyd, Perceptive Communicators and Glasgow Science Centre.



Young Scot

Glasgow City of Science


Venturefest Scotland

Scottish Government

Glasgow City Council

Developing the Young Workforce Glasgow

Scotland’s Environment Web


Perceptive Communicators

Glasgow Science Centre

Glasgow Science Festival