Kick-off with Ekolibria at Uppsala University

This Sunday Wake-Up Call headed to Uppsala to join forces with Ekolibria – an Uppsala university-based student organisation that aims to spread knowledge on sustainable development to enhance the young generations’s ability to participate in the creation of a more sustainable future. Sounds quite similar to Wake-Up Call’s own mission, doesn’t it? So it was only natural that we held a joint kick-off at Uppsala University.

Katharina, Marina, Oleg, and nine eager Ekolibrians met to exchange ideas, share presentations and simply to get to know each other better over the tasty home-made vegetarian dishes that Ekolibria’s members prepared for the kick-off. In the afternoon Wake-Up Call facilitated ‘Redesign the World’ workshop, helping Ekolibria to develop plans and ideas for the spring semester.

All of us at Wake-Up Call are very exited to have made this wonderful connection with like-minded people. You’ll hear more about our practical cooperation with Ekolibria soon enough!

New Year for Wake-Up Call and Two New Partners Joining

Hello everyone!

Wake-Up Call is waking-up from its winter sleep and gearing up for a great new year ahead!

This weekend we held a kick-off event at the Young Innovation Hub in Stockholm to make plans and strategies for a new chapter in Wake-Up Call’s life.

Over the past six years we at Wake-Up Call have been experimenting and growing, developing and implementing new successful forms of youth engagement for groups big and small, in schools and universities, at youth conferences and NGOs, in Sweden and abroad. The last two years have been particularly successful in terms of scale and ambition of our projects. And so now we feel confident that it’s time to re-establish our solid presence in Sweden, expand to neighbouring countries, and to scale-up the impact of our projects.

To help put this new vision into reality we have two new managing partners joining the company in 2015: Marina Nart and Katharina Stark. In the course of the next few weeks they are going to take over the executive leadership of the company and assume roles of the new co-directors – meaning running day-to-day operations of Wake-Up Call and making sure that the company is running smoothly and growing in a sustainable and healthy way. Oleg Izyumenko, our original co-founder and an executive director of the past six years will remain onboard as a Senior Partner, helping the two co-directors with administrative tasks, advising on matters of strategy, and supporting Marina and Katharina whenever needed. Oleg will be especially involved during this period of transition, handing over the contacts, partnerships, as well as the institutional memory and accumulated knowledge of Wake-Up Call.

Marina Nart, Katharina Stark, Oleg Izyumenko

Left to right: Marina, Katharina, Oleg

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Intensive and fun days at Nya Malmö Latin with ‘Young Ideas for Europe’

Students are working hard on a political manifesto for sustainable future

Students are working hard on a political manifesto for sustainable future © IFOK GmbH

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.

Action plans and inspiration ahead of the class trip to Warsaw

‘Redesign the World’ in the afternoon helped create new ideas for implementation in Malmö, at Nya Malmö Latin, and in Warsaw

‘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!

Sustainability Week in Huddinge with Wake-Up Call

Johline delivers her presentation to one of the school classes in Huddinge

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.

Happy Johline accepts a certificates for the eight trees planted in Wake-Up Call's name

Happy Johline accepts a certificates for the eight trees planted in Wake-Up Call's name

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!

Training Course at JENSEN Södra

Oleg talks about Wake-Up Call’s approach to teaching social entrepreneurship to youths

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!

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Heading to Istanbul!

Leading a workshop on international climate politics in Vienna

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!

Climate Kick-Off at ProCivitas Gymnasium in Helsingborg

Maja, Andréa and Lovisa introduce "Redesign the World" to the students

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.
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“Election Debate” at the IEGS

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Jens Holm, one of the project’s political patrons from the Left Party, discusses ‘young ideas for Europe’ with the ‘politicians’ from the People’s Party © IFOK GmbH

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:

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“It’s the End of the World As We Know It”

Anna

Anna Bengtsson from the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation speaks about climate change © IFOK GmbH


Michael Fichter

Michael Fichter presents students’ ideas to the guest expert © IFOK GmbH

“It’s the End of the World As We Know It” was the quote from R.E.M.’s song that the Day 2 of the Young Ideas for Europe at the International English Gymnasium Södermalm started with. Anna Bengtsson from the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (Naturskyddsföreningen in Swedish) held a great presentation about climate solutions and a discussion with the project participants. The students discussed how we can actually change the world – as individuals and as a strong youth generation. We need to change our lifestyle, but we also have to get the politicians to act.

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).
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