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.
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.
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.
The limited amount of time meant that some of the most ambitious ideas had to be left for the future, but it also showed that everyone can still do a lot just by working with the time and the resources available. Walking the path from dreams to ideas, from ideas to plans and from plans to actions may sometimes seem like a long journey but many small and important steps can be taken by anyone, anytime, no matter how little power or money or friends in high places one has. Anne Frank nailed it when she wrote: “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before beginning to improve the world.”
It was that idea which we wanted so much to pass on to the workshop participants. That’s why we got on the morning train with our carefully read programs and notebooks and why we’d rehearsed our presentation so many times. But did the students get it? Judging by the sound of their discussions and the look of their plans and drawings for film manuscripts, I’m certain of it. And we can’t wait to see their results.
And we can’t wait to continue to spread the message in future workshops to come!