Project Genie

Project Genie book

Project Genie tackles climate change through children. Global Cool Foundation has enabled Project Genie to develop and expand, by granting funding with funds raised from The Funding Network. Project Genie is run by a separate Community Interest Company.

Project Genie is based on the belief that children are one of the quickest routes to changing behaviours. It therefore puts children in charge, empowering them to produce rapid, meaningful and sustained reductions in energy use – saving money at school and at home, whilst also saving the planet.

Project Genie was founded by Hugh Montgomery- a medical professor and award-winning children’s author, who presented the televised Royal Institution Christmas lectures in 2007. Project Genie has since been developed further by independent scientists, authors, artists, designers, technologists and teachers.

Project Genie offers:

  • A cross-curricular set of lesson plans about climate change
  • Full scientific commentary and a ‘live science feed’
  • A book – The Genie In The Bottle, which explains the issues – printable for every child
  • Teaching aids and film – including an animated film version of the book, voiced by Tom Baker
  • Electronic measurement tools: to record energy use, and offer feedback and advice on how to save energy

Core to Project Genie is a beautifully illustrated children’s book, The Genie in the Bottle. It tells of a planet which has died because the people used too many resources and fossil fuels, which made the planet too hot for life:

“The heat and gases of a million years were not gone, but corked beneath the rocks as oil and coal, a genie in a bottle, just waiting to escape.” – excerpt from The Genie in the Bottle

Project Genie is unique in its approach, using research-based techniques for changing behaviour used in healthcare. These show that changing behaviour requires:

  • A trusted and persistent advocate (hence the focus on children)
  • Emotional engagement with the issue – much more powerful than simply exhorting low-carbon behaviours as many programmes do (hence the quasi-fictional book, which engages children)
  • Feedback on the impact of actions (hence the use of meters to monitor energy usage).

Children with the Genie in a BottleImpact
Since it began, Project Genie has been used in 140 schools, reaching approximately 34,000 children. Feedback from teachers, parents, children and others has been resoundingly positive:

Praise from politicians

“Project Genie is achieving tremendous success in educating children about the importance of looking after our planet. Kids are full of great ideas and Project Genie seeks to inspire them to take action and to capture their boundless enthusiasm in a colourful, fun and informative way, which I applaud.” – Boris Johnson, Mayor of London

“I welcome all steps to engage children on climate change. I am delighted to support this worthwhile project and I wish [Project Genie] every success.” – Gordon Brown, Then Prime Minister

Praise from teachers

“I love the project because it empowers rather than patronises children. It makes a lot of sense to encourage debate in a supported environment. It turns anxiety into ‘can-do’ power.” – Claire Davidson, teacher, Plympton, Devon

“It is a winning combination – the book gently and subtly breathes life into the process and the practical OWL [clip on energy meter] monitoring fascinates and encourages active participation.” – Kate Patrick, Brislington Enterprise College, Bristol

“A very accessible resource on a difficult topic. It is unique in the way it targets and engages younger pupils.” – Rebecca Cave, The Heathland School, Middlesex

“It made the children want to take action. The children were so motivated to do things that we let them decide what to do. A lot of them wanted to write to the Prime Minister, and we all wrote letters to our MP. Children went home and told their parents all about global warming.” – Ceri Bowen, Birmingham

“Everything’s going really well… the children absolutely forbid me to turn on the lights and use the interactive whiteboard and it’s great!” – Sophie Thailand, Teacher, Hackney, London

Praise from children

“It helps you to realise what we are doing to the world.” – Shannon Gale

“It makes me want to save the world and make it a better place.” - Adrianne Lynch

“We’ve got to do something about it.” - Jacob Hyland-Lewin

For more see

Also in this section

Our Campaigns

Global CoolGlobal Cool - a green lifestyle movement that works with the entertainment and media industries to inspire people to think differently about sustainable lifestyles

Projects We Support

Project GenieProject Genie - a programme that tackles climate change through children, based on the belief that children are one of the quickest routes to changing behaviours

Solar AidSolar Power in Africa - supporting the roll-out of solar technology in Zambia to give communities and households access to clean and renewable energy

Praise for the Global Cool Campaign

Boris Johnson"This is a fantastic organization working to help people find ways to save energy and be greener without sacrificing the things they enjoy.'" - Boris Johnson, Mayor of London

Ed Miliband"Global Cool does a great job" - Ed Miliband MP, Then Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change

Dame Suzi Leather"Global Cool is tackling one of the most important challenges facing humanity. What Global Cool is doing is brilliant" - Dame Suzi Leather, Chair, Charity Commission

Stephen Fry"I need guidance. I really want to do well, but I honestly don't know how to do well unless somebody tells me.... and that's where Global Cool has a future" - Stephen Fry, British Actor

Sarah Teacher"Global Cool is such an energizing idea and non-profit... and incredibly impressively communicated and shared" - Sarah Teacher, Institute for Philanthropy

Ellie Stringer“Global Cool uses extensive market research to make carbon - saving cool rather than boring. And so has an influence beyond the usual Guardian-reading liberals. I’m impressed." - Ellie Stringer, New Philanthropy Capital

Emma Harris"We really value our relationship with Global Cool. Their campaign to promote ‘Traincations’ was highly imaginative and in terms of positioning they are a great brand fit for us" - Emma Harris, Director of Sales & Marketing, Eurostar

Our supporters include: