Citizen-led activism in Manchester


The challenge

Envirolution is a Manchester-based cooperative which promotes citizen-led environmental and social change through community engagement events and an annual free festival in Manchester. Since 2010 the festival has hosted talks, lectures, workshops, performances and educational activities in partnership with leading figures and organisations working with environmental education and climate awareness in Manchester and the North West. 

Although this work had been documented through participants’ and organisers’ testimonies, Envirolution lacked a comprehensive impact assessment that evaluated and showcased their work to partners, as well as a sustainable methodology and process to capture and evaluate impact.

The solution 

The project team realised a full report that analysed both quantitative data illustrating the demographics of community engagement and the experiential testimonies of its participants. The team created a comprehensive impact assessment based on a literature review, data analysis and questionnaire survey, as well as providing the partner with a new research strategy and a bespoke practical evaluation tool able to guide work in the future.

The impact
  • The project provided Envirolution, for the first time ever, with rich data on the impact of its community work.
  • The report offered insight into the wider community’s perception of Envirolution and their work, including a better understanding of the communities that engage with the festival, which will help Envirolution to overcome opposition, avoid decisions that may otherwise cause conflicts and access the goodwill of the community in the future.
  • The report included data visualisation that has been used to demonstrate how Envirolution can support key stakeholders to achieve their environmental goals.
  • Findings were presented at the PCAN (Place-Based Climate Action Network) conference, which provided a networking opportunity for Envirolution, as well as for the researchers, to showcase their approach to community engagement with climate change to key stakeholders.
Research team 
  • Debapriya Chakrabarti, PhD researcher in Architecture and Urban Studies (University of Manchester, School of Environment, Education and Development)
  • Eugene Boadu, PhD Researcher in Management (Keele University, Business School)
  • Abderrahim Nekkache, PhD Researcher in Business and Management (University of Manchester, Alliance Business School)
  • Ami Crowther, PhD Researcher in Human Geography (University of Manchester, School of Environment, Education and Development)
  • Rui Cepeda, PhD Researcher in Arts and Cultural Management (University of Manchester, School of Arts, Languages and Cultures)
  • Paloma Yañez Serrano, PhD Researcher in Social Anthropology with Visual Media (University of Manchester, School of Social Sciences)
2020 Project Excellence Awards

This research project won the 2020 Project Excellence Awards, which recognises the significant achievements of our post-graduate and early career researchers in making a difference with their PhD skills and expertise in the wider community.

Find out more about the Project Excellence awards.


This research was published in ‘Addressing the Climate Crisis: Local action in theory and practice‘; a collection of cutting-edge insights into how action can and is already being taken against climate change. The book offers hope, inspiration, and analyses for multi-level climate action. It spans multiple levels of analysis, interrogating diverse perspectives and practices.

Walley B. et al. (2022), ‘The Envirolution Revolution: Raising Awareness of Climate Change Creatively Through Free and Accessible Community Engagement Festivals‘, In: Howarth C., Lane M., Slevin A. (eds) Addressing the Climate Crisis, Palgrave Macmillan, 5 October 2021.

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