Jury Sessions Overview

The 20 person jury will attend nine online sessions where they will hear from and question a series of expert commentators to help them answer the question “What should Kendal do about climate change?” They will share ideas and opinions with each other and ultimately draw up a set of recommendations for the town.

The sessions will be supported by our team of expert facilitators from Shared Future. The first four sessions have a set agenda and commentator (the first session being an introduction). After that, it’s over to the Jury to select the topics they want to explore in more depth. The oversight panel, with some input from the Citizens Jury, choose suitable commentators.

The Oversight Panel has been established to oversee the process to ensure it is fair and balanced.

Select the tabs below for details of each online meeting. We’ll be uploading video footage of commentator presentations and interviews over the coming weeks.

Session 1 (2nd July) – Introduction

All twenty jury members met for the first time on the 2nd of July. The participants, ranging in age from our youngest aged 17 to our oldest in their late eighties, were supported by a team of four facilitators from Shared Future.

After some words of welcome from Kendal Town Council’s Councillor Chris Rowley, the jury members started to get to know each other before working in small groups to talk through how best to work together in the future sessions.

For some of the group zoom has become a familiar way of communicating while for others this was new territory. The facilitators have been coaching some of the participants in advance of the first session to try to make sure this is not a daunting experience for anyone.

The jury finished their first session using a series of photographs of Kendal to spark conversations on ‘what is helpful and not helpful in trying to tackle climate change?’

Session 2 (16th July) – An introduction to Climate Change

The session focused on developing a greater understanding of what climate change is and its impact, both now and in the future.

Commentator – Chris Stark

Chris-StarkChris Stark is the Chief Executive of the UK Committee on Climate Change (CCC), the public body tasked by the Climate Change Act to be the independent authority on tackling climate change. Chris leads a team of analysts and specialists, offering expert insight into the challenges of reducing UK emissions and adapting to the changing climate.

Chris led the CCC’s work in 2019 to recommend a new ‘Net Zero’ target for the UK – now brought into law. He speaks regularly on the transition to a zero carbon economy and the need to confront climate change with urgency.

Chris has wide experience in government. He has designed economic policy in Whitehall, including in HM Treasury and the former Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. He was previously Director of Energy and Climate Change in the Scottish Government, leading the development of the Scottish energy and climate strategies.


Watch Chris Stark’s presentation to the jury.

Jemima Longcake of the jury oversight panel interviewed Chris Stark shortly after his presentation to the jury. In this video interview he is introduced by oversight panel member Chris Rowley of Kendal Town Council.

Session 3 (30th July) - The contribution of Kendal to climate change

By the end of this session all participants should have a clear understanding of the role of Kendal in the production of carbon emissions.

Commentator – Mike Berners-Lee

Mike_Berners-LeeMike Berners-Lee is an English researcher and leading expert in carbon footprinting. He is a professor and fellow of the Institute for Social Futures at Lancaster University and director and principal consultant of Small World Consulting, based in the Lancaster Environment Centre at the university.

Mike has written and published How Bad are Bananas? The Carbon Footprint of Everything, The Burning Question and There Is No Planet B. He has worked with Zero Carbon Cumbria Partnership to prepare a baseline carbon audit for Cumbria and is a patron of Cumbria Action for Sustainability.

Watch the full presentation via this link. 

Session 4 (13th August) - How to make change happen?

By the end of this session all participants should have a clear understanding of what options exist in trying to effect change.

Commentator – Rebecca Willis

Rebecca Willis is a Professor in Practice at Lancaster Environment Centre, where she holds a Fellowship in energy and climate governance. She is an Expert Lead for Climate Assembly UK, the Citizens’ Assembly established by the UK Parliament. Previously, she was a research fellow for the IGov project at the University of Exeter,investigating energy governance. In 2009 Rebecca founded Green Alliance’s Climate Leadership Programme, an initiative to support Members of the UK Parliament. Rebecca is a Trustee of the New Economics Foundation and an adviser to the National Lottery’s Climate Action Fund. Her book, Too Hot to Handle? The democratic challenge of climate change  was published by Bristol University Press in 2020.


Sessions 5 - 7

Sessions lead by the jury with commentators invited by the Oversight Panel based on the jury’s preferred themes.

More information to follow as the process evolves.

Session 8 (8th October)

participants reflect and deliberate recommendations based on their exploration throughout the process.

Session 9 (11th October) - FULL DAY

participants write and prioritise their recommendations