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). In the afternoon, we visited House of Europe which hosts European Parliament’s and European Commission’s representation in Sweden.
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…
Tova Melin, our trainee and this blog post's author
To be a trainee at Wake-Up Call is exactly what it sounds like: to train. To train working with many new and different things. But first and foremost to train to deliver a public presentation, speak in front of the audience and lead workshops. In the blog post below one of our wonderful trainees, Tova Melin, shares her experiences with you.
During the last couple of months we keep on working on our own presentations about the climate crisis, climate solutions and youth climate action. We also train to make a public presentation. For now the public is limited to our colleagues: the other trainees and Oleg, our “coach”.
Following the same method that we use in all our presentations we create our own stories and illustrate them with pictures, music and videos. I myself working on a version of “Youth Change the World!”, a multimedia story-telling experience full of emotional pictures, stark colours and inspiring examples of youths already engaged in the climate movement. This presentation shall get our listeners start reflecting over who we are as a generation, in a world full of changes and challenges. It shall also inspire us to think positive and start act ourselves, here and now.
A changing climate impacts you. How can you make an impact on climate change?
This past month, Wake-Up Call has had the fantastic opportunity to work together with the Täby chapter of the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (SSNC) and three university students from Stockholm University’s student SSNC chapter Symbios, in their development of a climate education and action programme for first and second year Gymnasium students at Täby Enskilda Gymnasium.
The goal of the pilot project, “Världens Bästa”, is to transform the school to a place where students become aware of what must be done to achieve a sustainable future, inspire them to want to change the current climate trajectory, and give them the tools and confidence to take on the challenge themselves through concrete project development.
Världens Bästa began with the cabaret Sweet Dreams presented by the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation, which dramatized several of the current environmental and climate issues that we face today, and raised questions for the students to ponder in the coming weeks.
Three lectures were then developed and presented by three master students in the geographical and bio-ecological sciences at Stockholm University. These lectures focused upon the role of oceans, the Arctic, and global forests in our climate system and how a changing climate will effect these three carbon regulators. Afterwards the students discussed four different climate problems and were asked to identify the pros and cons associated with each. Finally they acted as representatives to petition for support from the United Nations.
Elissa Berrill from Wake-Up Call Stockholm informs conference participants about our company
It’s Friday morning and I’m on my way to the second day at a conference on Education for Sustainable Development, arranged by the municipality of Uppsala. The conference filled with people from all community sectors, and with the mutual denominator that we’re all interested in “education” and “sustainable development”. Wake-Up Call was not only there to inform about our work, but also to learn more about the subject and meet engaged people.
The conference had kick started the day before with a theoretical briefing about education in sustainable development. Docent David O. Kronlid got us to think about semantic questions such as “should we call it education about/of/in sustainable development or something else?”. He also showed us models about how to discuss whose responsibility the climate changes could be. Great thoughts and very interesting.
But not everything was kept theoretical. There is a large amount of opportunity and time allocated to discussion and critical thinking. We have met sp many people interesting in exactly the same questions as us. We’ve got to inspire and get inspired, connect, and gain lots of knowledge.
Tonight is the kick-off mingle event for Stockholm Students for Sustainability, or as they are more affectionately known as, Triple S!
Wake-Up Call Stockholm has been invited to speak at their event tonight and we will give a speech about networking, leadership and student engagement as well as lead a networking activity to get people talking!
Triple S is a student initiative started at Karolinksa Institutet. The goal is to create an inter-university student network between all the colleges and universities within the Stockholm Region. They have many exciting future plans to bring together students from across the city to gain momentum and voice for pressing environmental issues and new initatives that these students are passionate about!
All students are welcome to attend and join the network! >>>
Ideas for campaigns, practical every day actions, videos and demonstrations quickly began pouring onto students’ paper. Jennifer Unelius (right) facilitates group work.
The 6th of November, 9 am, on train from Uppsala to Stockholm: three Wake-Up Call trainees, literally just woken up ourselves, carefully going through the workshop material we’d read, discussed and rehearsed so many times before this date. We were ready. Heading towards Täby Enskilda Gymnasium where we were about to facilitate Wake-Up Call’s Redesign the World workshop. We had good reason to feel excited, mixed with an appropriate amount of nervousness.
Andréa Henriksson proudly presents Wake-Up Call to the class
11 am, Täby: At the school we were greeted with guest passes and cool Wake-Up Call nametags that made us look almost as professional as they made us feel. The first workshops facilitated by the other half of our Wake-Up Call Stockholm team were already running – and running well, we were told. Feeling increasingly optimistic, we headed to meet the students. There were 23 of them and they all had their eyes fixed on Lorentz who was briefing them on climate change: the science, the politics and the incredibly inspiring youth climate action that is already making a difference all over the world. I was happy to notice that however gloomy the state of the climate (not to mention the politics) may often seem, the audience didn’t look too gloomy, which was perfect because soon it was time to get to work – and not just for us but for the students.
Lorentz Tovatt is firing up students for climate action. In a positive way, of course!
As soon as we’d kicked off the workshops we were reminded of why Wake-Up Call chooses to work with youth in finding sustainable solutions to the climate crisis: ideas for campaigns, practical every day actions, videos and demonstrations quickly began pouring onto their papers. This time the students had a set time period of three weeks in which they will realize their plans and present their work to others.
Every morning between September 11th and 20th, 90 junior high school students from the municipality of Kristianstad went to the Cultural Center Barbacka to forget everything associated with homework, too much information and essay writing á la 4-A4-pages-12-points-Times-New-Roman-1,5-line space.
Wake-Up Call was there to do what we do best – to let the youths learn how to channel their energy into a space where ideas just start popping up in your head, and then you turn those ideas into real action – a real action that changes the world. But how does it work?
Sven facilitates 'Redesign the World' with the high-school students in Kristianstad
Every day began with theater – a quick show FROSSA with and by the Theater Barbara. Vad är FROSSA? What is FROSSA? In FROSSA we meet three climate communicators. Their Power Point is loaded with pictures and statistics, but in front of the audience’s eyes the argumentation crackles and the characters drift apart from each other. FROSSA is about the climate threats but also about individuals’ double accounting – about gender, power and why the word “tipping point” is not to be mentioned in the debate.
The autumn has arrived in Sweden, bringing with it cold wind and rain. But it’s all about new sunshine in Wake-Up Call’s team in Stockholm. Last weekend we met six of our wonderful new trainees: Andréa Henriksson, Lovisa Lundgren, Elissa Berrill, Jennifer Unelius, Tova Melin och Anu Paajanen. Together with the “veteran” staff member in Stockholm, Lorentz Tovatt, the outgoing director Adam Olsson and the executive director Oleg Izyumenko they planned new activities and projects for the autumn term. You will hear more about our plans soon, but we can assure you that we have quite a few interesting things in the pipeline.
Team members on the picture, left to right: Andréa Henriksson, Oleg Izyumenko, Elissa Berrill, Adam Olsson, Anu Paajanen and Lorentz Tovatt. Team members not seen on the picture: Lovisa Lundgren, Jennifer Unelius and Tova Melin
And, despite Adam leaving to the UK to pursue a master’s degree in environmental policy-making at the London School of Economics, the team in Stockholm keeps going strong, with a new managing director, Elissa, and her crew, 80% of whom are new to the company. It means that in the next few week the emphasis will be on introducing our new team members to Wake-Up Call’s philosophy, methodology and mission, as well as training them in workshop facilitation, presentation techniques, Public Narrative and doing a lot of networking with like-minded youths in Stockholm region and the rest of Sweden.
It seems like it’s going to be a very interesting autumn for Wake-Up Call. Stay tuned for more news!