David Saddington’s love of science and the environment took him to Durham University where he studied geography. During his time there, he was part of an expedition to Vatnajökull in Iceland to study glaciers and the melting ice caps. He stayed at Durham for his Masters qualification in Hazard, Risk and Security. In 2014, whilst studying, he led a team to transform the historic Durham city centre into an outdoor cinema to showcase the award-winning documentary Chasing Ice and hold a panel debate titled “Climate Change Question Time”, where members of the public could quiz a panel of world-leading climate change experts on the future of the UK and wider environments.
His knowledge and expertise on the matter means he was an expert contributor the UNEP Global Environment Outlook Report, is a multiple TEDxTeen speaker and the founder of ROOTS, his environmental social enterprise which aims to create eco gardens from spare urban land across the north of England.
Much of his work has been dedicated to helping the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy for the UK Government. In 2015 David took part in the Pole to Paris Challenge for COP21, a run that covered over 4,00 miles to help people re-engage with climate change. He was then made the Head of International Nature Campaign COP26 in 2020.
Outside of his prominent contributions to the UK government, David has been a pivotal member of the Board of Directors for Nile Rodgers’ We Are Family foundation since 2017, having worked with them since 2008, where he was recognised as a global teen leader for his work with the foundation. He is also a Scientific Advisor to Oceanic Global and a Goal Keeper on the Sustainable Development Goals for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
He is a regular figure in the media, writing blogs and articles for The Huffington Post, Musings by Susan Rockefeller, Virgin, The Guardian, the Journal – Energy Edition and The Chronicle. He has spoken for the likes of MTV and has presented a number of TED talks including:
– Why I Don’t Care About Climate Change
– Find Your Wild Side to Tackle Climate Change
– Aliens are our Best Chance of Solving Climate Change
He has spread his message far and wide from Italy and Germany to the Netherlands and Norway, Nigeria and Zambia to Hong Kong, as well as up and down the UK.
– Climate Change (Science, Politics, Society)
– Interactive Climate Science Lecture
– Science Communication
– How to get people to care about climate change
– Environment/Nature (Appreciation of nature, plastic, pollution, conservation)
– Renewable Energy
– Glaciology – Icecaps, Antarctica, Sea Level Rise
– UK Climate Leadership and Brexit
– Stories from the frontline of climate change – scientific exhibitions and on-the-ground action
– Disaster Risk Reduction
– What does the Paris Agreement & Sustainable Development Goals mean for your business?
– The business case for going green
– How to attract and retain millennial consumers and talent
– Green Investment
– Climate Finance
– Public Relations
– Environment Policy and Reporting
– Sustainable Development
– Carbon Markets
– Smart/Green Cities
– Careers in climate change
– My Story – An overview of my work, lessons learned and stories from expeditions
– How to be a more effective activist
– Social Enterprise
– Urban Gardening
– Garden Design and Biodiversity
– Making Positive Change in your Community
– Climate Change in Education
– Youth Involvement and Engagement
David has worked as an environmental consultant for a number of small and large organisations, and is a regular commentator on contemporary climate issues.
– University London: Why aliens are our best chance of solving climate change
– Shell: Keynote address on how to engage more young people in the low carbon transition, followed by debate chaired by BBC Economics Editor Kamal Ahmed
– Enercon GmbH: After-dinner keynote address to 1,000 guests at the wind turbine company’s 1Gw Celebration dinner hosted at the National Museum of Scotland
– BBC Radio 2: Jeremy Vine show debate about low carbon transport
– British Council/Hong Kong Science Museum: Series of interactive one hour science lectures on climate change, featuring live experiments. Audience primarily of young adults <25
– Royal Geographical Society Hong Kong: Guest lecture telling the story of climate change and its implications for society
– Oceanic Ibiza: Keynote speech and chaired high profile debate about plastic pollution at eco festival in Ibiza
– Accenture: Keynote on sustainability in business and emerging trends
– University of Cumbria: Guest lecture on MBA course of leadership & sustainability
– ZERO Conferences, Oslo: Closing keynote on how to make people care about climate change. Speaking alongside the Prime Minister of Norway and CEOs of car industries
– Girard-Perregaux: Keynote at high-profile fundraiser in Paris on David’s glacier expedition to Iceland and how businesses can respond to climate change
– Greater London Authority: Guest lecture at London’s City Hall on communicating climate change
– Durham City Council: Chaired panel debate with politicians, business leaders and academics on climate change
– United Nationals and World Health Organisation: Address on climate change, youth engagement and public health, chaired debates at the famous Paris Climate Conference
– Guest lectures at Oxford University, Durham University, Warwick University, Kings College London, Trentino (Italy) Regional Educational Authority, Kellett School
David’s actions in climate change awareness have awarded him many international, national and regional accolades for both his individual work and wider projects. These include the NESTA Big Green Challenge, Big Bang Science Fair, BOC Environmental Award, Janet Jackson 20under20, Stockton Mayors Civic Award, Care For Your Area Award, Community Champion and he was given the chance to exhibit his work at Prince Charles’ START Eco Garden Party.
David is an exceptional experienced public speaker who has spoken for a wide range of companies and education establishments across the UK and further afield. He is capable of talking about climate change and associated issues to audiences of all ages and education levels. David believes that we must act as a species rather than via fragmented interests in order to tackle this remarkable global disruptor.