Journey 2019: Future Changemakers in Germany, Austria and Switzerland

Every year, EIT Climate-KIC and its partners provide students and young professionals with a unique, multi-week training programme through Europe: The Journey! With more than 400 participants per year, the EIT Climate-KIC Journey is the world’s largest summer school focusing on climate innovation and leadership.

For half of the participants, the Journey started on June 30th simultaneously in Copenhagen (Denmark), Limassol (Cyprus), Lisbon (Portugal) and Madrid (Spain). After one and a half weeks in the first location, the future changemakers moved on to the next stage of the programme in Zurich (Switzerland), Riga (Latvia), Kosice (Slovakia) or Valencia (Spain) for another one and a half weeks. In international and interdisciplinary teams, they developed proposals for systemic solutions to challenges regarding climate protection, such as reducing Urban Heat Island Effects. On July 23rd and 24th, the participants assembled at the first Community Summit in Hamburg, organized by the Center for Earth Systems Research and Sustainability (CEN) at the University of Hamburg. The Journey participants attended a variety of lectures and workshops (eg. on Lego Serious Play), exchanged views with other participants, representatives of the partners, and EIT Climate KIC staff and identified potential collaboration opportunities. One of the highlights of the summit was the talk “Treading on thin ice – playing with fire” by the co-president of the Club of Rome, Sandrine Dixson-Decléve.

EIT Climate-KIC’s CEO Kirsten Dunlop challenged the Journey participants with the following question: ‘Two wolves are fighting each other. The one wolf is darkness and despair. The other wolf is light and hope. Which of the two wolves wins?’  With the answer ‘It’s the wolf you feed.’ she encouraged the young changemakers to continue their work with dedication after the summer school. 

The second Community Summit on August 27th and 28th in Budapest, Hungary, was the end of the second half of the Journey (04.08.-31.08.). In total, 3 German locations hosted the Journey this summer: Hamburg, Berlin and Munich. In DACH, one Journey took place in Leoben, Austria, and another one in Zurich, Switzerland.

‘Unlike traditional university courses which are largely theoretical and classroom-based, during ‘The Journey’ you travel through 3 different cities, spend time in the field, learn by doing and reflecting, and cultivate a wonderful community in the process.’

Shruthi Vijayakumar, Journey-Coach

The GrachieSpree Journey starts in the capital of Germany

For 40 participants, the training programme started in Berlin. In the Center for Entrepreneurship at Technical University Berlin, the participants discussed, among other things, the challenges of urban change processes with more than 16 experts from research and development. In Potsdam, Prof. Hans-Joachim Schellnhuber and two of his colleagues from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) took a morning to present and discuss current research projects and results. The participants got an insight into the topics ‘Sustainable Investments’ and ‘Behavioural Change’ as well as the corresponding projects: CRAMS (in cooperation with Carbon Delta and EIT Climate-KIC) and KliB. Back in Berlin, the participants learned more about circular economy at the EUREF Campus, and met entrepreneurs and start-ups during the ‘Changemaker City Tour’.

The TransAlpine Journey stops in Garching near Munich

After the kickoff at the Montanuniversität Leoben, the 40 participants of the TransAlpine Journey spent another one and a half weeks in Munich. The Technical University Munich hosted the 40 participants at their Garching Campus. The programme included a site visit to the BMW Start-Up Garage, as well as workshops, coaching sessions and networking events. The nine teams received constructive feedback from startup founders, well-known sustainability managers, one of the 18 Climate protection managers of the city of Munich and EIT Climate KIC employees.

EIT Climate-KIC would like to invite all (former) participants of the Journey to become part of the alumni community, join the Facebook Group of the Alumni Association and join the Slack Workspace (Climate-KIC).

Are you motivated to participate in the Journey in 2020? Learn more on https://journey.climate-kic.org/!

 
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