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Oleg Izyumenko and Sven Heijbel

Oleg and Sven

Wake-Up Call was founded in April 2009 by Oleg Izyumenko and Sven Heijbel.

The enterprise is a result of different life paths that met in Sweden due to the shared values and desire to act.

Sven Heijbel

Sven Heijbel

Sven is a student of medicine that dropped out of his studies in 2007 when he realised the environmental issues, more than any other global processes, are affecting our lives and the world’s development more than anything. His academic analytical toolbox comes from his studies of Human Ecology at Lund University.

In the summer of 2008 he was chosen among other 18 international youths to participate in WWF’s educational program “Voyage for the Future” that took him to the Arctic. There Sven could witness the impacts of climate change on the fragile Arctic ecosystems and people with his own eyes. At the same time Sven was trained as a climate ambassador by experts in climate science, political lobbying and communication. This journey took him further to Brussels and Poznań, where he tried to influence politicians, researchers and journalists to try harder and do better. After a period of giving presentations and engaging other youths into the climate movement during his free time, in 2009 Sven decided that it was time to continue this work as a full-time professional.

Oleg Izyumenko

Oleg Izyumenko

Oleg worked the first part of the century’s first decade in international environmental organisations like Greenpeace and WWF in Russia, sharing those jobs with other occupations, e.g. working as a school teacher for a year. During that time Oleg came to realise that improving wellbeing of people and nature and the interrelationships between the two is going to be his life’s mission. To follow this vision he came to Sweden in 2006 to study at the International Master’s Programme in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science (LUMES) in Lund.

Oleg Izyumenko at COP14, Poznań

photo © Robert van Waarden

Oleg’s engagement with the climate issue goes back to late 2005, when he attended the UN Conference on Climate Change in Montréal, COP11 as part of the international youth delegation and the project “Beyond Kyoto – It’s Us!”. The inspiration he received there continued during his study years in Lund, when he was involved with an on-campus environmental organisation called Hållbart Universitet / Students for Sustainability. During that time Oleg initiated and helped to organise the two first climate demonstrations in Lund in 2006 and 2007 as part of the Global Day of Climate Action. He has inspired and coached hundreds of young people in Sweden, Ukraine and Russia to get engaged with the climate issue and with the general work for sustainability.

For a number of years Oleg was a part of 350.org team that organised “the most widespread day of environmental action in the planet’s history” (according to CNN) on the 24th of October 2009, six weeks ahead of COP15. Between 2009 and the late 2011 Oleg worked as the 350.org co-ordinator in countries of the former Soviet Union in Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia.

In the spring 2009 Oleg co-founded, together with Sven Heijbel, a social enterprise Wake-Up Call with a goal to help inspire a new generation of global young leaders working for transition towards a sustainable society.

Adam Olsson and Oleg Izyumenko

Adam and Oleg

Adam Olsson, who helped start our operations in Stockholm and Uppsala regions in the early 2011, joined the partnership in June that year to help lead the strategical development of Wake-Up Call, while Sven Heijbel continues to inspire youth, companies and public officials to become more sustainable in their work.

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