That's what the Summit was like!
Experience “Transformation (made) in Europe” live for a whole day
On 20 November 2021, people from all over Europe came together virtually for the ClimateCoAction Summit. It was a wonderful day full of exciting impressions, stories and inspiring examples for paths to a climate-friendly future!
More than 160 people joined us during the day, approx. 100 participated in the workshops. In front of the cameras, more than 32 people across Europe worked to bring the ClimateCoAction Summit to life. Thank you: Alexandra, Amelie, Ann-Sophie, Anna-Lena, Bruno, Céline, David, Emma, Fabian, Hendrik, Johanna, Lana, Laura, Linus, Mara, Marc, Margaux, Melis, Michael, Mouna, Niccolò, Ögunc, Pietro, Rebecca, Robert, Sophia, Tamar, Thekla Walker, Torsten Kallweit, Tine and the Youth Advisory Board of the Sustainability Initiative's Youth Initiative.
The commitment of the speakers to climate justice, compliance with climate goals and change in Europe are enormously motivating and inspiring to stay active for climate protection in private life, in daily work and on a political level!
On Instagram @wirerntenwaswirsaen and on our Youtube channel you can find more input on the ClimateCoAction Summit as well as on other exciting activities of the youth initiative of the Sustainability Strategy of Baden-Württemberg: #connectforchange. And you are very welcome to look up further information such as programme and speakers on our website.
You want to know more? Then dive fully into the programme...
Hybrid becomes digital
Originally planned as a hybrid event, a few days before the ClimateCoAction Summit took place the decision was made that, due to the Covid19 development, only the speakers would be in the location for the recording and the participants would be connected completely digitally. As one of the core elements of the Summit is networking among the participants, which is much easier to achieve in a real encounter than virtually, this development was a real challenge. With the help of a survey tool, a Q&A section and the chat integrated on the virtual platform, we got the participants on board in the best possible way.
Screenshot of the virtual platform with livestream and Q&A window
The digital youth congress focused on climate justice, networking and change. The main programme of the ClimateCoAction Summit was held in German, but there was always an English alternative or subtitling to keep the event accessible for non-German speaking visitors. Please note that due to the subtitling it will take some time to provide the stream of the main programme in English. Thank you for your patience.
A varied mix of keynotes, panel discussions, workshops and an artistic supporting programme ensured that the time in front of the screen would be not too monotonous.
Greeting by the Baden-Württemberg Minister of the Environment
Eloquent and good-humoured, the moderator Rebecca Beiter led through the day. She was supported by Youth Advisory Board member Valentin, who was the link between the online community and the on-site contributors by mirroring the survey results and questions from the virtual platform into the Garage229 in Stuttgart-Ost.
Highlighting the urgency of achieving the 1.5° target and underlining her appreciation for young people's commitment to sustainability, Baden-Württemberg's Environment Minister Thekla Walker opened the ClimateCoAction Summit.
Putting the situation into context by an MEP and a scientist
Afterwards, MEP Michael Bloss outlined the current political and scientific situation regarding climate protection in the European Union in his keynote speech. He also focused on the commitment of young people. For the tipping points in the climate do not come as quickly as the tipping points in society, which are particularly promoted by young people. However, Green Deal and climate protection laws have a limited impact on the atmosphere, which does not care where the commitment comes from. It is not a matter of if, but of how fast we move towards the 1.5 degree target. The speed of this process would have to be increased significantly. Michael's appeal to get closer to this goal: "We need more climate action!".
The second part of the introduction to the topic was given by EU Climate Pact Ambassador Prof. Dr. Marc Ringel, who presented the measures and goals of the European Green Deal, which focuses on climate neutrality and social aspects. Prof. Dr. Ringel also addressed the participants with the urgent wish: Don't lose hope, it's worth it to stay on climate protection! See his Powerpoint presentation here.
What's the Deal: Climate Protection in Practice
In addition to Thekla Walker, Michael Bloss and Marc Ringel, the other two participants in the first panel discussion also made the connection to reality. Emma Kohler from Klimadelegation e.V. (Climate Delegation) represented the perspective of the youth movement and Torsten Kallweit, Technical Director of Bosch Climate Solutions GmbH and Head of Corporate Sustainability and EHS (Environment, Health, Safety) at Robert Bosch GmbH, enriched the panel with the perspective of business.
The five experts discussed the change in the climate and society and questioned who the decisive actors are in the implementation of climate protection, which measures can really bring us closer to the 1.5 degree target and what is ultimately lacking in implementation. Questions discussed included the coal phase-out, the distinction between real climate protection and greenwashing, lowering the voting age to 16, and CO2 emissions in mobility and other sectors.
Workshop session: Good practice examples
In the second block of the Summit, participants were invited to discuss their initiatives and ideas for more climate protection and sustainability with change makers from all over Europe.
Screenshot of the virtual platform: selection of workshop rooms
Workshop 1: Sustainable Finance - Using the power of people and money for more climate protection #DefundClimateChaos
Around 50 people took part in this workshop, in which Tine Langkamp from 350.org showed that people all over the world are part of an international movement that has set out to end the financing of coal, oil and gas projects under the motto #DefundClimateChaos. Banks are still investing gigantic sums in the climate killers, coal, oil and gas. But the resistance against the financing of climate chaos is growing and was very active e.g. at the climate conference in Glasgow.
Tine presented why it is essential that public and private banks withdraw their money from coal, oil and gas, what damage fossil investments leave behind in the Rhineland, Argentina or Uganda and how you can join the international movement for climate justice. The great impressions of already completed actions awakened the desire for more and to become active.
The many questions from the participants led to exciting discussions about how to identify where divestment (i.e. the withdrawal of funds into fossil fuels) is actually being carried out and where there are loopholes. The workshop provided clear guidelines for action. Find Tine's presentation here.
Workshop 2: How can we become active for climate protection locally, in the EU and internationally? Examples from the European Mindchangers project.
In the Mindchangers workshop, led by Margaux, young people presented their projects in the field of climate protection. Anna-Lena presented the new project Community Changemaker 2030 of Starkmacher e.V. in cooperation with the South African association Amava Oluntu. Fabian reported on the LCOY Germany (Local Conference of Youth) and how everyone can get involved. Amelie from Welthaus Stuttgart e.V. and the social media expert Alexandra presented networks and initiatives where you can promote climate protection on a local and global level. The digital participants of the workshop also had the opportunity to briefly present their own projects and ask questions. You are welcome to watch their presentation here.
Please feel free to contact the project promoters!
Workshop 3: How do you do? Exchange and discussion with European Climate Pact Ambassadors
This workshop was dedicated to the EU Climate Pact Ambassadors from different European countries. Tamar from Georgia, Celine from Belgium, Bruno from Portugal, Laura from the Netherlands and Prof. Dr. Marc Ringel from Germany used the workshop to discuss with the 22 participants what is going on in their countries with regard to climate protection, what projects they are currently working on, what motivates them to be an EU Climate Pact Ambassadors and how they can make their voices heard at the European institutional level.
The projects presented were motivating positive examples of young engagement and the workshop contributed to mutual encouragement, exchange and networking. The programme was identified as an important instrument for joining forces and promoting social change and a strong climate policy. The consensus among the workshop participants was that engagement opportunities like this should be further developed (also outside the EU) to increase the participation of the youth movement. For more information on the European Climate Pact and how you can become an EU Climate Pact Ambassador yourself, visit the European Commission's website.
Workshop 4: How sustainable is the economy of the future? Wandel.Handel - Ideas on how we can move from thinking to acting together.
During the discussion in a relaxed atmosphere, the roundabout 30 participants learned from Johanna and Fabian, the initiators of the consumer initiative Wandel.Handel in Stuttgart-Ost, how they, together with many members, have created a space of opportunity that makes a sustainable lifestyle possible in an uncomplicated way. The two of them talked extensively about their concept and why they run the shop exactly the way they do, and why the philosophy of the members' shop encompasses much more than selling unpackaged food. The holistic concept is dedicated to social change, which must exist alongside scientific and technical solutions. Wandel.Handel wants to establish ways of acting and dealing that are suitable for a world worth living in for our grandchildren and to try out promising ideas of a better life together in connectedness.
The inspiring concept awakened many new ideas and the workshop ended with successful networking between participants and workshop givers.
Workshop 5: DIY transformation – action space university
In their workshop, Mara and David presented ways to get involved in the university environment. Mara, who is a speaker on European Union issues for Team Europe, gave a short input on the topic from an institutional perspective. David, who is himself active in student representation, pointed out the special role of universities in the transformation to a more sustainable society and how this can be influenced by students, for example through engagement in university politics.
Universities play a particularly important role in the transformation: they educate the decision-makers of tomorrow, contribute essential knowledge to solving problems with their research and can lead the way as role models and show how the transformation can succeed socially and ecologically. For this to succeed, however, universities must also transform themselves. In this workshop, Mara and David discussed with the 15 participants what is involved and how students in particular can make an essential contribution.
Workshop 6: European Connection in Climate Protection
The workshop, which was attended by about 20 participants, was led by Dr. Lana Mayer from Europe Direct. Together with Niccolò from Earth Advocacy Youth and Pietro, another activist from Italy, they discussed, following the motto "No man is an island. (John Donne), how cross-border activism is a powerful way to protect the environment and influence policy locally and internationally. Air and water know no borders, so they should be treated accordingly and regions should not be seen as a limiting element when it comes to sustainable development.
The workshop focused on the exchange of the two activists' experiences in supra-regional cooperation on climate protection at the European level. How can one country or region benefit from the example of another? Which methods and actions could also be implemented in your region? And why does cooperation between regions make sense? What kind of support do you need to be able to cooperate across regions in the future? The workshop culminated in a call to society to carry forward their visions and support the many forward-looking initiatives and ideas that already exist.
Poetry Slam, Artspace and Sound Art: #ConnectForChange
Moving the participants from the on-site presence to the digital space posed a special challenge for the artistic framework programme. This is because atmosphere plays a major role, especially for these contributions.
The poetry slammer Melis Ntente, who is part of the Muslim artist collective "i,Slam", also captivated the participants digitally with her impressive words. The poem and poetry slam she performed is about the West's responsibility for climate change, the consequences and the work of young people who want to make a difference.
This was followed by the presentation of the artwork that was created throughout the day in cooperation with all participants and contributors. The result represents the voices and sounds of the environment of those who participateed in the creation. The six letters of the word CHANGE were designed, flanked by little notes on which the arist wrote the wishes and demands of the participants and contributors of the ClimateCoAction Summit. In the background of the video, the soundscape can be heard, which was mixed from the sounds of the participants' environments, which they could send to the musicians via direct message, as well as musical and acoustic elements. Under the motto #connectforchange, the visual and acoustic parts of the artwork were intended to connect the participants on site and at home, to build a bridge between the different elements of the hybrid event. Unfortunately, due to the purely digital participation of the guests, the artistic work could not unfold its full radiance. Nevertheless, the work shows the power that lies in interaction. For the power to shape a sustainable world lies in global networking, in collective action. Many thanks to all who participated, especially to the artists Mouna Bouafina, David Pagan and Ögunc Kerdalan.
(We) Make Change Happen: Many paths lead to the goal
At the closing panel discussion, change makers presented their very personal approaches to how they have taken change into their own hands or are still doing so. Climate activist and Fridays for Future campaigner Linus Steinmetz, nachhaltig.kritisch blogger Ann-Sophie Henne, scientist and co-founder of Compensators e.V. Hendrik Schuldt, Bruno Wipfler, who presented the initiative Bürger*innenrat Klima Stuttgart on behalf of Theresa Pollinger, and Robert Gampfer, policy officer at the European Commission Representation in Berlin, talked about the obstacles and solutions in climate protection. The result of the inspiring discussion can be summarised in one sentence: It doesn't matter where you get involved, the main thing is to get involved at all! Because if we can do it, we can do it in many ways, together: #ConnectForChange!
In this spirit, we would like to invite you to use the Youth Initiative of the Sustainability Strategy as an instrument for effective climate protection and sustainable development. Make use of this opportunity to make your voice heard, visit our events and online offers and network.