Creating the festive feature page

Furnishing a festive feature with jolly tidings in an era where global climate crisis looms heavily over us all has been no easy task. I reckon hope can be the most radical of messages when faced with dark times though, so I went full-on cheertastic in our 2019 seasonal message.

What to include?

Opting for a ‘lighting the way forward’ theme that focuses on what can be achieved if we work together to spread knowledge, I tied myself nicely into a pattern of light-based phrases. Look out for ‘shining a light’, ‘enabling light to flood through’ and my personal favourite, ‘our bright lights will be powered responsibly’. 

Gathering together some of our most prominent stories from the year, I selected the ones that present a hopeful story for the future, and seasoned them with festivity. Our first story acknowledges the joy that can be found in working collaboratively to reduce carbon emissions. Then I dropped in a story about the good that can come from highlighting mental health as a priority. After that, our friends in History of Art helped me out with a less crisis-y story about the work they’re doing to help restore the stained glass window at York Minster. 

Keeping it breezy…

The BioYork story that I opted for next brings us back to notions of impending doom. However, with the help of a lovely snow-covered pine tree photograph, the tone is lifted upwards and we (hopefully) feel the restorative possibilities of the extraordinary research they’re conducting. 

Next, I found a nifty combination of news about XR Stories and the EMOTIVE project. Albeit completely separately, they are both working to transform storytelling through digital interactivity. Who doesn’t love a good storytelling session at Christmas?

The heart of the matter

The final story is about the ways that the University shares knowledge by welcoming in the public. The large number of audience members that attended the Festival of Ideas shows that it isn’t just academics who are inspired by groundbreaking research. That we are so open to ideas that can change the world, and so committed to pushing past the social barriers that have kept some people out of the loop, is what I feel is at the heart of our positive message.

I think you’ll all agree that it was heartening to hear our new VC remind us all that this university is and always has been here, “for people, whatever their social background, to lead genuinely fuller lives” (Lord James, first Vice-Chancellor of the University of York, 1963).

That’s what we’re about. I don’t know about you, but being a part of an organisation that actively pursues a better world helps me feel positive for 2020. There is hope for the future, and we all play a part in shining that beacon. Keep it up everyone!

Scroll right to the end of the feature to see this fabulous dancing duck GIF by our videographer, Joe

Here’s the full festive feature page if you fancy reading through it.

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