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.
To bridge the gap between a vision and reality was the focus of the afternoon’s workshop Redesign the World. Our fantastic facilitators – Maja Cronert, Lovisa Lundgren and Andréa Henriksson – guided the students of the Year 2 in three smaller groups through the stages of developing their own ideas, defining SMART goals and pitching their ideas to the potential partners and sponsors. To practice the pitching part, ProCivitas’ teachers volunteered to play the role of partners, sponsors and decision-makers. The student project teams came up with great ideas, like a stewardship for rainforest, a meat-free day at their school, a cultural event in their municipality and more.
At the same time, the students of Year 1 gathered around Lorentz Tovatt, who had been to COP15, COP16 and COP17, and now explained in detail everything what the students wanted to know about the UN convention on climate and the international climate negotiations. Oleg assisted Lorentz in facilitating the discussion and helping to answer some of the students’ smart and critical questions.
At this point you may ask yourself, what was the sixth person on Wake-Up Call’s team doing at this Climate Kick-Off? And right, that was me, Katrin Brünjes, the European intern at Wake-Up Call, having the important role of taking pictures, supporting the workshop facilitators, and gathering impressions from the day to share them with you now in this blog post. 🙂 I hope you enjoyed reading it!