In 1969, Peter and Lesley Adamson, along with Philip Maxwell, founded Third World First, an Oxford-based student movement aiming to raise funds for overseas aid, mainly via Oxfam and Christian Aid. Supported by the two charities, the Third World First movement quickly spread to the majority of universities in the UK, gaining more than 15,000 members in its first year, all of them donating 1% of their income.
In time 3W1 became more concerned with education about economic injustice, publishing information and analysis for its members including the termly magazine The Internationalist, soon to be re-launched as the monthly New Internationalist and aimed at a wider audience.
In 1997 Third World First changed its name to People & Planet in order to reflect the organisation’s increasing involvement in environmental issues (and the fact that with the fall of the Berlin Wall the term ‘Third World’ was falling into disuse).
In 2020, People & Planet is “the largest student network in Britain campaigning to end world poverty, defend human rights and protect the environment.” Also from the People & Planet website:
“We are a student-led movement that empowers young people with the skills, confidence and knowledge they need to make change happen, at home and globally. Over the years, student activists have:
- Helped 1,200 Honduran workers get their jobs back following the world’s largest ever garment boycott
- Forced the education sector to take climate change seriously, driven by the People & Planet Green League
- Made the 3rd largest UK pension fund, USS, the first to publish an ethical investment policy following our Ethics for USS campaign
- Organised the UK’s largest ever climate demonstration and helped secure the world’s first Climate Change Act
- As key members of the Jubilee 2000 campaign, forced the UK government to cancel $88 billion of developing country debt
Founded in 1969, we have over forty years experience of supporting student activism and global citizenship. People & Planet trains and supports over 2000 volunteers in campaigning groups at schools, colleges and universities across Britain. Our campaigns engage and empower over 20,000 young people to take positive action for social and environmental justice each year.
Our cutting-edge campaigns are democratically chosen and implemented by the members of our student network and elected students on our Board of Trustees keep us independent, original and effective.
People & Planet’s student-led campaigns and inspiring national events are, for thousands of young people and students each year, the formative experience of active citizenship and campaigning.”
People & Planet’s Green League is the only comprehensive and independent ranking of UK universities by environmental and ethical performance.
People and Planet history
People & Planet Wikipedia