Eco-Dens

What are the ECO-DENS?

The ECO-Dens are regional “Dragons’ Den” style semi-final judging events (taking place online this year) where YEA groups are given the opportunity of pitching their environmental action project to a panel of expert judges. Young people are empowered by presenting their project to the panel, responding to judges’ questions and receiving valuable feedback from the experts. By taking part, young people also further their presentation skills, confidence and online speaking skills among others.

The aim of the ECO-Dens is to ensure a robust and inclusive judging process. The ECO-Dens will be occurring from 26th April – 30th April this year.

What will you be doing?

1. First, you will need to sign up for an Eco-Den. Please use the link sent in the email to confirm the time and date of your Eco-Den presentation. Remember that only 1 of your team members needs to sign your group up for an ECO-Den.

2. Groups (max. 6 young people) should plan to arrive in the online preparation room 25 minutes before their allotted time slot to get comfortable with the platform and to practice their presentation with an ECO-UNESCO team member. 

3. From the preparation room, each group will be sent directly into the virtual judging room to pitch their project – For more information please see ‘YOUR PITCH’ and other information below.

Your pitch

Your pitch should be 5 minutes long and should explain what your environmental action project is about, what actions you have taken and what the benefits of your project are, using the YEA 6 Steps to Success framework. Following your presentation, 3-4 judges will ask you some questions and provide you with feedback.


*We advise YEA Project Mentors to help each group practice their presentation
to prepare the young people prior to the ECO-Den*

What to prepare?

You can use whatever online medium help with your pitch e.g. photos, PowerPoint presentations, or short videos as you will be able to share your screen with the judges. You need to make sure, though, that all of these mediums fit within your 5-minute timeframe.

Who makes the pitch?

Up to 6 members of your group will pitch your project to the judging panel. No project mentors will be permitted into the room with the judges. Groups will have the opportunity to practice their pitch with a staff member beforehand to make sure they feel fully prepared.

Sample questions: What might the judges ask you?

Consider the following when preparing your ECO-Den presentation:

  • How did group members come together?
  • How did the group come up with the idea for the project?
  • What information did you collect? Where did you get it from?
  • Does your project have any global impact or link local and global issues/the
  • Sustainable Development Goals?
  • Did you encounter any problems and how did you overcome the problems?
  • Have you planned for the project to continue in the future?
  • Did your action achieve what you set out to achieve?
  • Did the action meet the project aims and objectives?
  • How did your project have a positive effect on the environment?
  • How did you promote your project?
  • Who did you contact and how did they respond?
  • What have you learnt from carrying out the project?
  • What have you gained from the project at a personal level?

Hints & tips from past participants & judges

The judges want to know WHAT you did, WHY you did it, HOW you did it and the IMPACT it had.

DO

  • PRACTISE, PRACTISE, PRACTISE – Decide who is going to do and say what and practise! You’re your teacher, friends, parents, drama teacher or anyone who’ll listen and have them critique your presentation.
  • Decide on a group dress code
  • Introduce yourselves properly (surprisingly easy to forget!) and say good morning/afternoon to the judges. They are people too!
  • Start by being really clear about what the project is and what ACTIONS you took.
    It’s important that you research and know about the issue, but this competition is about ACTION PROJECTS so make sure you explain your actions.
  • Make sure that you show how you raised awareness in your school/group or community not just about your project itself but about the ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUE you focused on. Don’t be shy! Think about all the people your project might have impacted and how they might have changed because of it.
  • Play to your strengths. If some people prefer public speaking, allocate them with
    more of the actual presenting tasks but the judges want to see that you worked well as a team – how can you demonstrate that in your presentation?

 

DON’T

  • DON’T read a lot of text from a project board or PowerPoint!!
  • Hide behind each other or props. Don’t turn your back to the judges/camera to read from a Powerpoint or project board. Learn what you have to say or make prompt cards
  • Forget to introduce yourselves
  • Speak too quietly
  • DON’T WORRY – the judges are very nice and you’ve done a great project – all you need to do now is show it off!

Any further questions?

Please contact erica.meslin@ecounesco.ie or give Erica a call 086 048 9002.