It’s half-way into the project week with ‘Young Ideas for Europe’ and so far we have had tonnes of new information that the participants absorbed from expert presentations, videos, and watching the live stream of “24 Hours of Reality“, organised by Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project. Right now the students of Nya Malmö Latin are now creating their political manifestos for the role play, as well as working on their own positive vision for the energy and climate policies in Europe in the next 15 years that will be delivered to EU’s top politicians in Brussels in a few months from now.
We all learn new things every day. Not only the students, but the facilitators as well. Together we are doing the math and asking critical questions, trying to make peace with the fact that there are no definite answers, but only a definite direction we need to go, and an overwhelming sense of urgency to follow a sustainable path.
On the project’s first day on Monday we had one of the lead authors of the IPCC’s latest assessment report, professor Markku Rummukainen, joining us at the school and delivering a brilliant and well-balanced presentation. Tuesday was filled with politics, inspiringly presented by Lorenz Tovatt, a spokesperson of the Swedish Young Greens, and Anna Bengtsson from the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation. Positive visions for Swedish and European climate and energy policies were brainstormed in the afternoon of the second day. Wednesday marked the start of the two-days long role-play.
It’s half-way through the project week of ‘Young Ideas for Europe’ at Nya Malmö Latin, but only a starting point for these young people’s engagement with climate politics. And we are there with them to support them on every step along this way towards a climate-safe, prosperous, and just world for all.
‘Redesign the World’ in the afternoon helped create new ideas for implementation in Malmö, at Nya Malmö Latin, and in Warsaw
On October 17th Wake-Up Call’s representatives Malin, Lovisa and Johline held an inspirational kick-off for those sixty students of a model school for sustainability in Malmö, Nya Malmö Latin, who will go to the Conference of Youth (aka Power Shift Central and Eastern Europe) that will take place just before COP19 in Warsaw. Thursday morning was filled with inspiration and information, while the afternoon gave space for action planning and to form new ideas for a better world.
The end of the day was just the beginning for many students. Many new ideas, thoughts and new inspiration were born, when the “Power Teams” that we created presented their ideas in front of the rest of the students. Project ideas that were developed during the day can all be implemented in reality, and many of the group were eager to push these ideas forward in their school. We at Wake-Up Call are really looking forward to see how these ideas will be accepted by the school’s management and how they will be implemented in the school. It was also fantastic to talk to enthusiastic teachers who were confident in their students’ capacity to take these ideas forward and actually make something real out of them. Another great day in Malmö!
Johline delivers her presentation to one of the school classes in Huddinge
This whole week Wake-Up Call is busy at the event called Sustainability Week that takes place in an area of Stockholm called Huddinge. Our trainee Tova Melin started the week and delivered her inspirational talk to six out of fifteen school classes participating in the event. From the middle of the week I, Johline Lindholm, took the stage and since Wednesday I’m doing presentations and discussing with the students.
This year Huddinge Sustainability Week is about sustainable consumption. In Swedish language “handla hållbart” can be interpreted in two ways: to consume sustainably and to act sustainably. And I chose to focus on the second one when preparing my presentation.
Coming to Huddinge in the morning I have been welcomed by a projector and speakers and the first thing I did was to try the speakers by turning up the volume listening to Save the World Tonight with Swedish House Mafia and this has been my theme song this week. Every time I interact with an audience like this, I always learn new things and the best feeling for me is when they are asking questions and also when they are questioning what I say. This shows me that they are focused and that they are thinking and this always makes me think one more time myself and I always learn something.
I am looking forward to starting my Friday by pumping up the volume on the speakers and preparing myself for questions and questioning.
Update from Friday: As a little “thank-you” the organisers of the Sustainability Week donated money to one of Wake-Up Call’s favourite projects, an agroforestry initiative Vi-Skogen. Now eight more trees will be planted around the lake Victoria in Eastern Africa in Wake-Up Call’s name, awesome!
Oleg talks about Wake-Up Call’s approach to teaching social entrepreneurship to youths
After three days of Wake-Up Call’s Nordic Retreat Emilia and I were given the opportunity to join and assist Oleg on a mission to inspire and train a core group of teachers at JENSEN Södra in Stockholm.
The first day was dedicated to discussions about motivating and engaging students in a classroom setting. In the afternoon Wake-Up demonstrated its concept of the inspirational kick-off that we offer to high schools around Sweden. The second day was an express training in the method of Public Narrative – creating a sense of purpose and motivation through the power of story-telling.
My first impression when we arrived at JENSEN Södra was that the teachers looked so happy! Then I became even more excited about the coming two-days training than I was before. It just makes my day when I start my morning with meeting smiling people!
After the introduction round with expectations and overview of the two coming days Oleg presented Wake-Up Call and its approach to teaching social entrepreneurship and invoking a sense of leadership in young people. I instantly got this warm feeling inside: this is just what I want to spend my time doing! To make young people see their own great potential to become change-makers, to give them support to make their ideas real. Just do it!
Two months ago, in June 2013, the two of us – Emilia from Finland and Malin from Sweden/Denmark – participated in Al Gore’s Climate Reality Leadership Corps Training in Istanbul. There we met Oleg and got inspired by his story of Wake-Up Call and his vision for engaging young people and building a massive people movement to solve the climate crisis.
We realised that we both needed more time to talk with Oleg, learn about Wake-Up Call and social entrepreneurship, get inspired and discuss our continued engagement in the climate movement.
And so we did. On Saturday, August 3th, we met Oleg in Uppsala for three days of presentations, coaching, and brainstorming. During these days, we learned about the history, philosophy, and mission behind Wake-Up Call.
Emilia (left) and Malin (right) busy at work in Oleg’s garden in Uppsala
Besides Oleg, we were privileged to meet two other young social entrepreneurs – Andréa Henriksson, one of Wake-Up Call’s trainees, and Sissa Pagels – who held their presentations for us about how they are inspiring young people to take action on climate.
Leading a workshop on international climate politics in Vienna
June is a pretty hot month for us at Wake-Up Call. Well, to be honest, we were actually freezing in the rains-battered and flooded Central Europe, as we travelled to Vienna to facilitate sessions on climate and energy politics and to train 30 young activists from all corners of Europe in campaign strategy planning at the EnCaTra training, organised by Federation of Young European Greens in the beautiful capital of Austria. But the energy and enthusiasm of the EnCaTra’s participants raised the emotional temperature considerably higher than what would be considered sustainable for our planet. This warm event gave us enough energy to continue the trip to our next destination – Istanbul, where a number of our friends and comrades have already converged to join the protests in Gezi Park and to help prepare for the Global Power Shift that is coming to that city in less than two weeks from now. A slogan that we saw at one of the demonstrations that we recently took part in: “A tree fell down, a nation woke up”. We hope that similar wake-up call for democracy is coming to many corners of the world, as it already did in Tunisia and Egypt, and is currently happening all across Turkey.
On the 7th anniversary of Al Gore’s famous documentary ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ we are packing our bags to go to Istanbul to participate in Al Gore’s Climate Reality Leadership Training, where we and few other of our friends from Sweden will be trained as effective climate communicators and organisers. Few days after that first training we are going to attend another one – ‘Training for Trainers’ – with the awesome facilitators from Training for Change. And then it’ll be our turn to flex our “facilitator’s muscle” and to spend a week with seventy young climate leaders from over 135 countries of the world, coaching them in story-telling techniques and the story-based campaign strategy. Among those participants will be our own colleagues from Wake-Up Call and our close friends and allies from PUSH Sverige. How exciting is that?! Very! We are so psyched up that we can barely contain ourselves! Come back to this blog and tune into Wake-Up Call’s Facebook page and Twitter account for more updates from Istanbul, from Al Gore’s Climate Reality Leadership Training and from the Global Power Shift!
Maja, Andréa and Lovisa introduce ‘Redesign the World’ to the students
Wake-Up Call was invited to ProCivitas Private Gymnasium in Helsingborg to organise an explosive Climate Kick-Off for their Year 1 and Year 2 students. So the six of us – Oleg and I coming from Gothenburg, Andréa from Uppsala, Lovisa from Stockholm, and Maja coming from Lund – all arrived in Helsingborg one warm and sunny Friday to share our knowledge and enthusiasm about this topic and to inspire the students to get active too!
After Oleg Izyumenko welcomed the students and introduced Wake-Up Call and the team, it was time to start with a presentation ‘All About Climate’. Lovisa Lundgren presented how the climate is changing and why, and masterfully explained the science behind the climate change. Even those students who may already have heard about climate change in general were surely given new insights and facts when she spoke about possible feedback effects or presented how many of the global hectares are needed to support our lifestyle today. To underline that the warming of the planet is not as good as it might sound to a freezing Swede or German, Lovisa also presented the ecological and social consequences and costs of climate change, bringing in her own experience from her stay in Bangladesh.
Having understood the importance of climate change, the next logical question was: “What can we, as young people, do about it?”. Andréa Henriksson presented motivating examples of young people engaged in the climate movement. Also this year, many young Swedes will travel to the negotiations in Poland, COP19, and will participate in the Conference of Youth (COY9) that will take place in Warsaw on November 7–10th. Aside from that, there’s a number of other fun ways to get active, like joining a local environmental group, starting a group of their own, or developing their own idea and putting it into practice. >>>
The final day of the Young Ideas for Europe’s project week in Stockholm started off with a nice doze of excitement and nervousness from the participants of the project. After some last minute preparations and a sound check, this year’s political patrons and sponsors of the project entered the Aula at the International English Gymnasium Södermalm (IEGS) to mingle with the participants on stage. The Aula was filled with the vivid noise from the ideas and opinions being shared and discussed.
We also got a big encouragement from our partner school in Lithuania:
During the previous day the participants developed their own ideas regarding how they want the future of EU’s and Sweden’s climate and environmental regulation look like. Today was the day filled with meetings with the experts in this field and the day’s main purpose was to discuss and test those ideas. Next to Anna, we also got to meet Maria Wetterstrand, a former spokesperson for the Green Party of Sweden, and Johanna Lakso, a founder of the Swedish Youth Climate Movement (PUSH Sverige). >>>
For 25 students at the International English Gymnasium Södermalm (IEGS) in Stockholm this week will be quite extraordinary. They won’t have their normal curriculum with Math, History, and Swedish on the schedule, but instead will work full-time with developing visions for Europe’s future energy policies. The project week, happening simultaneously at IEGS in Sweden and at a partner school in Lithuania, is a kick-start for this year’s cycle of the EU-wide project called Young Ideas for Europe and will be facilitated by Wake-Up Call for the third time in Sweden.
Last Friday we had a meeting with the students to introduce the coming project week and discuss broad energy trends and issues with them. Next to discussing practical questions – What each day’s agenda will look like? What will be happening? Who is Wake-Up Call? – we took a first glance at the need for new European energy policies. Also, the students got materials about the EU, its political institutions, its decision-making procedures and its role in the modern world, for further preparations at home.
Then on Saturday Wake-Up Call’s project team met for the final and thorough briefing before the project week. To ensure a smooth process we went through the week’s schedule and made decisions regarding each team member’s individual responsibilities and discussed what is left to do before the project’s kick-off on Tuesday. And as this week will be all about energy, we will try to keep the students “energised” throughout the entire four days of the project. We are called Wake-Up Call for a reason, you know…