Elliott Lancaster

Newcastle, United Kingdom

Elliott  Lancaster

Elliott has overcome immense odds to succeed in education and help others in his community. At the age of 15, he had to manage his family’s finances and liaise with financial institutions to ensure that they did not become homeless, which had an effect on both his grades and his confidence in the path ahead. However, with support from his family, he resolved to continue in education, with a deeper understanding of the problems that people face and the help they sometimes need. This is an insight that has informed his activism ever since.

Fast forward nine years, and Elliott is now studying for a postgraduate degree at Keele University while tirelessly coordinating and campaigning for mental health, social enterprise, sustainability, and a solution to homelessness. After thousands of hours of volunteering, he has established a diverse yet informal network of sustainable changemakers, working across sectors to support young people. By establishing new mechanisms, setting up groups and lobbying for organisations to become carbon neutral, Elliott has also shown himself to be a creative disruptor in the areas of community action and sustainability.

In 2016, Elliott established Utter Rubbish – a social enterprise and mobile app connecting citizens to local councils, helping to reduce waste and updating residents on recycling policies in real time. To accomplish this, Elliott had to establish partnerships with local governmental bodies at Staffordshire Moorlands and Newcastle-under-Lyme, and collaborate with a range of stakeholders (including residents) to boost environmental awareness. This also involved hosting face-to-face and virtual roundtable discussions to emphasise mutual benefits, listen to concerns and understand different perspectives. More recently, his assistance has been sought in this area by a council in Colombia.

In addition to first-class undergraduate grades, Elliott has published several times in management and education journals. He has conducted two studies looking at interdisciplinary learning and the impact of coronavirus on blended learning practices, and his research into blended learning is also being released as a peer-reviewed book chapter with Elgar in summer 2021. Other academic achievements include an upcoming Guest Editorship of the Journal of Educational Innovation, Partnership and Change. Due to these wide-ranging contributions, Elliott has been recognised as a Microsoft Innovative Educator, an Associate Fellow of the HEA, and a Finalist in the British Education Awards. For carrying out over 1,000 hours of volunteering in the community, he has received Keele Student Union’s Diamond Volunteering Award and Stoke City’s Red and White Hero medal, as well as being recognised as Trustee of the Year with Support Staffordshire.

If Elliott wins the Global Student Prize, he will develop a Sustainable Student Network to provide practical support, incubation, analysis and funding for those wanting to start a social enterprise focused on sustainability. This would enable like-minded students to connect across the globe and contribute to each other’s projects – addressing global issues such as coronavirus, climate change, hunger and digital poverty.