Kristianstad Youths Get to Work

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, information overload and writing school assignments 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?

Workshop in Barbacka

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. What is FROSSA?, you may wonder. 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.

After the humoristic but biting satirical reminder about why the work with sustainable development is so important, the ‘Redesign the World’workshop starts. It is easy to get a bit depressed when you think about the big challenges we are facing today. It is easy to believe that everything is hopeless, when it looks that our future is in the hands of a dishonest game of politicians. And that’s why Redesign the World is so phenomenal.

In the course of the workshop we come across ideas for projects that will make our world better for everybody – led by our own interests. Jonna and her group like to sing and decide that they will arrange a green concert with Timbuktu. The proceedings from the concert will go to WWF’s tree planting project. David and Ahmed know everything about how to fix up bikes and start a bicycle-repair workshop outside the classroom for woodwork, so that more families can bike instead of driving. There is nothing that gets Anna going more than politics and debates, so she arranges ‘Picnic with Politicians’ for the public and politicians from the municipality in the local amusement park. Tobias wonders why his beef is from Brazil and his apples are from New Zeeland, when his school is surrounded by agricultural lands and farms, so he decides to get more local and vegetarian food for the school menu.

We take the students on a journey they’ve never done before, step by step. We start with their own ideas, zoom into the details and put up realistic goals. We write a plan and identify key partners. And the final? A marathon of pitches, based on reality, where the students get to present their ideas. It’s happening now! The atmosphere is kind a nervous, but this is for real. Make it or break it.

My name is Maja Cronert and I spent two awesome weeks at Barbacka with about 700 youths that I – together with my colleagues Erik Wallnér, Sissa Pagels and Sven Heijbel – hopefully sent back to their schools inspired and with more hope in general, as well as a new kind of self-confidence in particular! Anyone can make a difference. The world is not a ready-make cake and everything – everything! – that exists today began as a small idea that had grown in somebody’s head somewhere.

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