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young leaders on climate change

A publication of the WSC-SD Foreword by Bill McKibben

RE:SOLUTIONS 21 Young Leaders on Climate Change

WSCSD World Student Community for Sustainable Development Sustainability through collaboration

Foreword by Bill McKibben

CONTENTS food & agriculture





public policy

waste & sanitation

Foreword by Bill McKibben

The same thing that makes climate change the most difficult problem to solve— that its source is the use of fossil fuel, the main ingredient of modern economies— also makes it one of the most interesting. You can—as these exciting projects make clear—approach from almost any direction. You can think about jobs, about food, about how a home works, about how we move from place to place, about how we communicate, how we trade goods, how we care for forests. Every one of these areas, and dozens more, are ripe for dramatic intervention that can save huge amounts of carbon from entering the atmosphere. None, alone, can make a real difference. There are no silver bullets. But there may be enough silver buckshot, and Re:solutions is one attempt to demonstrate that. It also demonstrates something else of great importance, which is that young people will lead the way to solving this problem. I don’t mean that in some sentimental fashion, I mean it very straightforwardly. I’ve spent the last 18 months traveling the world

to organize—by the time we had our global day of action on Oct. 24, 2009, it was what CNN called “the most widespread day of political action in the planet’s history,” with 5,200 rallies and demonstrations in 181 countries. In the great bulk of those cases, the organizing work on the ground was done by young people, who understand that we need a mix of the practical and the political if we’re going to get change. I’ve wondered why young people are so much in the forefront. One reason, clearly, is that they have more at stake. I’m almost 50, so I have 30 years if I’m lucky left to live on this planet. If you have 60 to go—well, twice the incentive. But even more, young people are just less locked into the current way of doing things. They haven’t spent decades living one way, so the prospect of changing is perhaps less fearsome. In fact, it can be downright exciting—and you can tell that just by looking at the enthusiasm people have brought to these projects. They represent new ways of looking at the world, things that older people might not notice because they’re just used to the way that “things are.” Since the way that “things are” is melting the ice caps and the glaciers, acidifying the oceans, and spreading drought and flood across the earth, it’s a good thing someone’s willing to try new approaches. And a good thing that young people are approaching this work with both the playfulness that creativity requires, and the seriousness that we need. They’re not, in my experience, in the midst of a cultural rebellion, thinking mostly about self-expression—maybe much of that work got done in the ‘60s, with the last wave of youthful passion. Instead, these kids are thinking very solidly about the future—and they’re thinking about working together. It’s no accident that most of these projects come from teams. Instead of the lone independent “doing his own thing,” young people are figuring out that the very fact of community and cooperation is what’s required for the world ahead. That may be the best news of all. Bill McKibben is writer, environmentalist and founder of, an international climate campaign. His most recent book, Deep Economy: the Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future, addresses what the author sees as shortcomings of the growth economy and envisions a transition to more local-scale enterprise.

About WSC-SD World Student Community for Sustainable Development

The World Student Community for Sustainable Development is a multi-disciplinary network of motivated students with the ability to think and act both locally and globally, and who share the vision to make a difference. Our purpose is to be a leading international student organization that carries out meaningful projects which result in positive and enduring changes that improve lives and communities around the world. The fundamental purpose of the World Student Community for Sustainable Development is to give motivated students, who are passionate about sustainability, opportunities to learn from each other and to collaborate. Our strength lies in the fact that we are both multi-disciplinary and international, thus by first understanding each other and then by working together, we can make a difference. The WSC-SD hopes to offer students opportunities to get involved and to take action. Currently, the WSC-SD is comprised of 10 member student communities, 5 partner student communities and a growing network of individual members internationally in 59 countries. The scope and the nature of the student communities differ just as the personal efforts of the individual members vary. When we realize that in order to provide innovative solutions as well as innovative approaches to some of the worlds great problems we need a multi-disciplinary and multi-cultural approach, the potential for the WSC-SD can be understood. The WSC-SD is making a difference in the world because of the projects being implemented by the members. Such projects occur at different levels. Currently, countless projects are being implemented by student communities around the world. This year we have welcomed many new individual members who seem to be very motivated with large projects. Thus, the WSC-SD hopes to support multidisciplinary, international collaboration through the various existing projects.

WSCSD World Student Community for Sustainable Development Sustainability through collaboration


We are living in exciting times. Never before has our world had a convergence of crises on a global scale, and never before have we had access to vast amounts of information and knowledge that can help solve those crises. Yet, we have entered an era where we as humans have developed technologies that risk our own sustainable future and our own survival. The invention of the car led to car accidents. The development of fertilizer led to pollution and soil erosion. This era bas been coined the ‘Anthropocene’ by an increasing number of scientists1 , meaning that human actions have become the main driver of global environmental change. Solutions are also enormously important in tackling climate change -- and we need them NOW! Without claiming that we have a single solution to tackle the climate crisis, it’s the ingenuity and entrepreneurship of students that gives us hope. With this publication, we hope to inspire thought-leaders in business, academia and civil society to acknowledge and support student initiatives that have successfully begun to address the issue of climate change. Students are not only the leaders for tomorrow – they are important to be taken seriously today. In this eBook we show that students not only care and talk, they actually take the lead in innovations and achieve tangible results, thereby inspiring other people in their local community, or even around the world, to do the same. J. Rockström et al. (2009). A safe operating space for humanity. Nature 461, 472-475 (24 September 2009) A Revkin (2009). ‘Generation E?’

New York Times columnist Andrew Revkin labeled these young innovative people ‘Generation E’ 2, with the E representing Environment, Energy, Equity, and Enterprise. In this book, we have gathered a series of inspiring projects run by students. All these projects have one common denominator: They show that there is a large group of motivated and talented young people in this world who don’t see climate change as an abstract phenomenon that doesn’t affect them, but instead actively engage in projects with tangible results. Instead of viewing climate change as a problem, they perceive it as a huge opportunity - an opportunity to change our status quo lifestyle and values, an opportunity to reinvent the way we see the world, and an incredible opportunity to show personal leadership and to think the unthinkable.

This eBook is not only about climate change. It’s about solutions, about students taking the lead.

I encourage you to spread this eBook and the ideas showcased here. Use this eBook as a recipe for change, as a tool guide, or simply as a ‘book of hope’. Be inspired!

Christopher Baan

Christopher Baan is a student International Development Studies at Wageningen University and Director of External Relations at the WSC-SD.


food & agriculture

Santa Cruz province, Bolivia / Leiden, The Netherlands This project aims to combat poverty by letting farmers grow crops in a sustainable and eco-friendly way. These biological products have twice as much value at local markets. And through entrepreneurial classes the project enables over 150 farming enterprises to be more profitable. Pesticide use has also plummeted province-wide.

Actors The (Dutch) foundation SIFE Leiden (Students In Free Enterprise) as initiator, project coordinator and facilitator of know-how and capital. The (Bolivian) foundation BioNatura as main executor and organizer of the workshops on farming techniques. The towns of La Libertad, Rio Verde and San Silvestre are the beneficiaries of the project, and their inhabitants can apply for assistance.

Many Bolivian farmers use environmentally harmful pesticides on their lands. These pesticides are so damaging that plots of land must be abandoned after one or two harvests. In search of land many farmers resort to deforestation. Moreover, the use of these pesticides has damaged the health of many consumers of the crops, especially children. As a result, in recent years, many farmers have found it difficult to sell their products and thus ended up in extreme poverty. SIFE Leiden’s BioNatura project is a solution to all these problems: project leaders have been teaching and assisting farmers to abandon the use of chemicals and use biological techniques. This way the land can be used many times over, consumers’ health is not put at risk and thus, consumers are not only willing to buy but also willing to pay more for the local farmers’ products. In early 2007 local politicians began asking the Dutch consulate in Santa Cruz, Bolivia for assistance. They needed a project that could help solve this deforestation, combat poverty and reduce health hazards. Having done other projects in the region, SIFE Leiden was asked by the honorary Consul to handle this problem. Brainstorming together with local leaders from three villages SIFE Leiden came up with their BioNatura project. The name of the project comes from their project partner BioNatura which was appointed by the Dutch consulate to assist SIFE Leiden in this problem. The first goal was to make sure that the locals understood the need for a change in their way of farming. Since most farmers were skeptical, to begin with, many workshops had to be held, where the students explained to the locals that sustainable farming methods could bring them more profits and save the surrounding rainforest. After a few months, 150 farming families agreed to participate. Many farmers did not want to participate directly, but attended the weekly workshops on sustainable farming. Nowadays, farmers from all around the region attend the workshops.

The second objective was to make sure this sustainable farming approach worked and that these improved products found their way to the market. Fortunately the approach used paid off and all farmers in the region now benefit from a 70% to 120% income increase. This is largely due to Hypermaxi’s, a large supermarket chain, decision to buy up all products produced by the project participants. This has saved countless hectares of surrounding rainforest, saved the land from over-exploitation and soil erosion and provided almost 1000 people with the money necessary for a brighter future. Another excellent outcome was the fact that in 2008, the Bolivian tourist agency incorporated the three project villages in their eco tours. Project participants now give tours through the jungle and explain why it is important to preserve the rainforest and why it is important for other farmers to follow their example. This has raised enormous awareness and the local press is very enthusiastic about this project. The project has been so successful that the provincial government is planning implement it in many more rural areas; to combat poverty and save the environment.

“Thanks to your help, our families now have a better life, they prosper, but now we can do it on our own, now we want to continue the project ourselves!� Mayor of La Libertad Don Federico

food & agriculture

Eaternity ETH, Zürich, Switzerland. The goal of the project is to reduce CO2 emissions related to food consumption in one of our canteen. For three weeks we will offer a climate-optimised meal and test its impact. Parallel to introducing the new menu, we’ll run a campaign to increase its popularity and raise awareness.

Actors eaternity: student association, initial members: Judith Ellens, Manuel Klarmann and Bigna Stoffel, SV Group: the university caterer, Michael Jegge: head of the restaurant project, David Müller: head of Science city, Olivia Reimann: Science city project management, Dominik Brem: SGU

Our foods are responsible for about 1/3 of the greenhouse gases of which animal products have a disproportionally high share. Moreover, almost a fifth of all greenhouse gas emissions originate from the livestock sector. This is a higher share than transport. “eaternity�, an association founded by students, wants to address this problem by making plant-based diets more attractive and so reducing CO2 emissions. In addition, we hope to trigger a shift towards a general demand, supply and consumption of sustainable foods overall. Together with the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH Zurich) and its caterer SV Group, eaternity has started a project, hoping to cut emissions produced by the products sold at one of the university’s canteens. The initial analysis for this project involved calculation of the CO2 reduction potential given a shift in dietary preferences of the guests. To do so, we compared the different vegetarian and meat-based meals offered over the course of one year and calculated the average difference in emissions between those meals. Then we studied the different possibilities to CO2-optimise the foods, both meat-based and vegetarian dishes. One of the main results of our analyses was avoiding or reducing meat and certain other products that had the largest saving potential. Based on these results and with the assumption that a certain amount of guests can be convinced to change their diet, we estimated that at least 360 tonnes of emissions per year could be saved at the ETH Zurich alone. We are currently developing a web-based CO2 calculator, which can be used to optimize meals and can be utilised as a decision-making tool for our eating choices. All our analyses and estimations are based on scientific data, mainly life cycle assessment studies on certain products.

Additionally we are collaborating with ETH Zurich and SV catering on a three week pilot during which a climate friendly meal will be offered at one of the university canteens. In addition to being low in CO2, the menu should remain attractive, nutritional and appetising as well. For this pilot it was chosen to offer an optimised vegetarian meal, since the largest saving potential could be found here. During the pilot, we will be present an information booth to raise awareness and to motivate people to buy the eaternity Meal. The dishes would be specially labelled and inform the guests about the environmental impacts of what they eat. Several other activities such as a discount for everyone opting for the special meal, an exhibit around our eating habits and the environment, a contest and a cinema to promote the eaternity meals have been planned. After the three weeks, the eaternity Meal will be evaluated and depending on the results, ETH Zurich and SV might continue to offer these types of meals.

food & agriculture

Happy Belly McGill University, Canada Happy Belly is a student initiative that provides free lunches at McGill University. It aims to interrupt the food industry’s chain at the stage where grocery stores waste food when fresh produce and baked goods’re still ready consumption, but past the recommended expiry date. The group educates the campus community in this respect, and other sustainable lifestyles.

Actors The main actors are the organizers of the Happy Belly group – usually 2 or 3 students, with 20-50 students who volunteer on a weekly basis to cook, set up, and clean up. Those who partake in the meal can number up to 150. The local Ste. Anne-de-Bellevue grocery store provides expired food items, as does a nearby IGA.

The initiative began nearly 10 years ago when two students dreamt of starting a group to interrupt the chain of waste in the North American society’s food industry. It has grown into a format where there is a weekly pickup of nearly expired food items, mainly fresh produce and baked goods, from two local grocery stores. Students gather on Wednesday night to prepare the food into mainly vegan dishes. The students socialize and learn to cook for multiple students. Students serve the meal the following morning to other members of the student community. The food goes off the tables quickly and then it is time for communal clean up. Happy Belly has had two off-shoots which now complete the chain of food on the campus. These groups are Gorilla Compost, and the Student Collective Garden. Gorilla Compost is another organization run entirely by volunteers from among student at McGill University. The chapter at Macdonald Campus deposits its compost in bins which are beside Macdonald campus’ community garden. This compost is used by other members of the community garden to produce a massive amount of produce throughout the spring, summer, and early fall. The student collective garden works on a part of the community garden. The volunteers of the collective garden completely manage all aspects of creating and harvesting from a garden, including preparing the seedlings in early spring, planting the seedlings according to their specific tolerances for cold throughout the late spring and early summer, caring for the gardens throughout the summer, and finally harvesting in the fall. Come fall and a good amount of the produce is contributed to Happy Belly. The student garden reaches the entire student community though, since any students can come and partake from the student gardens’ bounty.

This system of three organizations is a perfect example of a sustainable food system, which could be employed on a much larger scale as well. A cradle-to-cradle approach is managed where the food is taken from source when it would otherwise be disposed of (and not in compost) as well as the on-campus garden, it is converted into a palatable form, and any excess organic matter is contributed to the composting project which also collects from the rest of the campus. The Happy Belly-initiated system serves not only to educate students on the campus with regards to issues regarding the food industry’s waste at the dispersion stage, but also to provide a wholly nutritious meal high in vegetative content, low in fat, and cooked by the hands of fellow students. The initiative works because of its sheer simplicity. And it hits right at the crux, subtly changing consumer patterns and wastage of food. When food security is a major complication of climate change, the Happy Belly model is easy to replicate and improvise.

There is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come - Victor Hugo

G-1 Billion


Lausanne, Switzerland Hosted by the United Nations in Copenhagen, December 2009, the ‘Conference of Parties’ #15 is the biggest climate festival of our generation. We, the G-1 Billion team, are gathering a team of 20 reporters from 15 countries that will chase stories in and around the conference, reporting back right here on this blog.

Actors Darren Willman - Project Founder (Research Associate at IMD Business School in Lausanne, Switzerland), 8 project leaders 19 writers 20 contributors from home

G-1Billion is a multilingual blog (8 languages) where young people report on the other side of COP-15, the aspects of COP-15 that will not get coverage from the mainstream media: the activities, events and festivals outside the negotiations. It will be the #1 blog for unofficial coverage of COP-15. G-1 Billion exists to capture this conversation and share the outcomes with the Group of 1 Billion young people who will be around in 2050 and will continue to drive change. Youth: There are 1 billion young people like us in the world who will be alive in 2050 to lead the changes that will emerge from the 15th ‘Conference of Parties’ in Copenhagen. As a youth press agency, we want to share the story of the Copenhagen meeting with this Group of 1 Billion future leaders, customers, clients, employees and changemakers. Using a crew of 20 reporters on the ground publishing daily through social media, we want to report the outcomes as they happen. Participation: If, we want to involve the Group of 1 Billion young people in the story of the Copenhagen conference - this needs to be a conversation! Our coverage will be multilingual and we will use social media to scale and involve young people across the world in the story of the Copenhagen meeting. Outcomes: We know there is more to Copenhagen than a talk-fest. We want to celebrate success and action, give voice to organisations and individuals pursuing real outcomes and to showcase these opportunities to young people across the world. We will deliver 20 stories daily from 20 young people, reporting live from Copenhagen. #1: We want to be the number one source of unofficial coverage. We want to open the door for the Group of 1 Billion young people who will be around to see 2050, to explore what really comes out of Copenhagen.

Preferred partner:


Radio Information for Women and Children Initiative Radio is a prominent communication tool in West Africa. Televisions are unaffordable for the average family. In villages across West Africa, people often gather and listen to radios. Thus, it’s an excellent awareness-raising tool. This initiative proposes story- based programmes by and for women, to raise awareness about climate change, the role humans play and ways to tackle them.

Actors This initiative is an on-going work of the Global Humanitarian Youth Forum – a branch of the Global Humanitarian Forum. It is a product of , an annual centre-piece event of the youth forum that entails bringing together young adults and experts and sharing idea.

Africa has a high rate of illiteracy (70%), and radio technology offers a means of communication that can be extended to all sectors of West African society. The initiative aims to empower women and children, as women are powerful communicators and are key players within the local community. The use of radio technology involves participation of the community, and there is sharing of information with local experts and the public whilst respecting the language, tradition, culture and religious beliefs. • Raise awareness about climate change in relation to food and water security and other climate change local community impacts • Share information of eco-friendly feasible technology, such as use of solar cooking machines as opposed to using charcoal based cooking appliances • Changing people’s behaviour through radio programming with local and expert knowledge • Create a local group of women and children to be involved • Come up with a plan for the programming the climate change issues in local languages in order to reach as many illiterate people • Disseminate information in an entertaining and educational manner such as storytelling, personal stories, children stories, etc, and respecting the community’s cultural tradition

“Together we can build a stronger global community” Kofi Annan, Founder of the Global Humanitarian Forum

Preferred partner:

We not only have to change light-bulbs, but laws, and laws require leadership - Thomas L. Friedman


Boiler Green Initiatives Purdue University, Indiana, US Established in 2006 by Ryan P. Cambridge (President) and Bel St. John (Vice-President) both then juniors in the Landscape Architecture program at Purdue University, The Boiler Green Initiative has branched out across campus to reach more than 400 students of all majors of study and has written and received more than US $100,000.00 in grant funding.

Actors Purdue University students: Carmen Martin, Rachel Huber, Meghan McCarthy and Katie Jones

BGI has eight focus groups, which are responsible in coordinating different events, either solely or pairing with other groups. Three of them are described in more details below: Green Roof Technology This group specifically focuses on researching the feasibility of the use of green roof systems in the community. When feasible, it works towards physical implementation and long term monitoring of those systems. This committee has installed a green roof which seqesters carbon. One of its projects is Schleman Hall Green Roof. This Green Roof was funded by a $68,700 grant from State Farm Insurance. It will work with several organizations to be monitor the energy efficiency, storm water run off, plant growth, bugs, and other wildlife brought to this roof by the vegetation. Carbon Neutrality @ Purdue CN@P is a group that continually calculates and monitors the carbon footprint of Purdue University. Because this is something very difficult to do, CN@P has served as a consultant to several municipalities who wish to calculate their carbon footprint but do not have the means to do so. CN@P also works to plan programs to educate others on how and why to reduce their carbon footprint. It has paired with Environmental Policy committee currently. They are working on educating students and others in the Purdue

Community on what they can do to reduce their carbon footprint. Energy The Energy group is focusing on effective use of daylight as well as use of effective lighting fixtures in the building. The goal of the group is to reduce use of energy on campus through reducing lighting usage. As concern for the sustainability movement has mounted, implementing low-energy infrastructure has become an important concern. Buildings account energy for 48% of the total energy consumption in the United States. Lighting in turn accounts for 30% of the average building’s energy consumption. Consequently the project is currently establishing a baseline of efficient energy usage (based on energy efficient bulbs) on campus, in surrounding communities and public buildings. As well, the project is measuring light intensity in classrooms, libraries, other public places using a luxometer to find out how many places are over-lighted.


CO2 neutral computer room Amsterdam, The Netherlands This project aims to eliminate all CO2 emissions of a big computer room and build the first climate-neutral computer room Holland. This is to be done by installing energy-efficient lighting, generating electricity from renewable sources (solar, wind), and by leveraging technology to minimise the energy wastage in the computer labs of the University of Amsterdam (UvA).

Actors • UvA student, Ewoud de Kok (founder) • The Student Council of the University of Amsterdam

Ewoud de Kok – the founder of the project – and the University of Amsterdam Student Council have turned the biggest computer room of the University of Amsterdam CO2 neutral. The objective of this project was to introduce students to new techniques that can be put in place to reduce our impact on the planet. The objective was implemented by minimising computer energy wastage, installing energy-efficient lighting and generating electricity directly from sunlight and wind (solar and wind energy). The project goals are being realised through • Software technology – to automatically put computer screens in standby mode after a short duration of inactivity ; to automatically switch off computers at midnight from a central point. • Sustainable methods - installation of 8 small scale wind turbines and 19 solar panels on the roof of the university building to provide energy for the computer room. • Hardware approach – replacing regular TL-lights with LED TL-lights Results • 50% reduction in electricity spent on lighting • 30% reduction in energy used by computers • Increased student and staff awareness about sustainable university practices • 42.822 kWh of renewable energy generated per year

As well as being a showcase, the UvA is running this project as a pilot in order to test whether energy saving applications can be implemented throughout the entire university. For its launch, the project received the project received 150 000 EUROS from the university board of directors. Other financial supporters are Klimaatbureau Amsterdam, the Municipality of Amsterdam and several government subsidies supporting renewable energy generation. The project has so far been welcomed and supported both by the campus and the authorities.

Duke Smart


Home Programme Duke University, Durham, North Caroline, US The Home Depot Smart Home at Duke University is a live-in laboratory for ten Duke University undergraduate and graduate students and a research hub for other students involved in different projects. It combines smart automation technologies with sustainability, including high energy efficiency, renewable energy and rainwater collection and usage.

Actors Mark Younger , a senior engineering student at Duke University, Duke Smart University Students and staff.

In addition to the 10 Smart Home residents, there are more than 100 students involved in the Duke Smart Home Programme each year. Mark Younger, a Duke senior engineering student in 2003, created the idea of a Smart House. Duke’s Pratt School of Engineering hired Younger as the first Smart Home Program Director after his graduation. In the following 4 years, more than 10 Duke Students worked on the design and construction teams to make the Smart Home become reality from a concept. A Student Executive Board is now running the programme with the help of some faculty and staff. The Home Depot Smart Home serves as a center for interdisciplinary studies on sustainability. This purposely mirrors the essence of climate change research which requires interdisciplinary solutions. In the real world, governments, private sectors, non-government organisations, scientists and engineers are working together to fight climate change. Through Duke’s Smart Home Programme, students studying engineering, arts and sciences, environmental management and public policy work together on sustainability projects. Past and on-going projects include installation and monitoring of solar photovoltaic panels, lighting programming and rain water collection, to name just a few. Duke’s Smart Home has significant educational importance as a live-in laboratory. For past and current student residents, they have experienced or are experiencing the impact of sustainability technologies implemented by themselves or their peers. Many Smart Home alumni have been leading the sustainability cause in their own fields. Will Senner, a former project leader and Student President (2006) and now an engineer at Skanska USA Building, keeps actively involved in green building education. Tim Gu, a former head of industry relations, Student President (2007-2008) and resident is now helping to design next-generation LED lighting control products at Redwood Systems, a Silicon Valley start-up. Scott Steinberg, the former construction manager, Student President (2008-2009) and resident, is now

involved in a green initiative programme at a medical device company, Edwards Lifesciences. Tom Rose, Duke Alum ‘05 and former Duke Smart Home Programme Director said that the Smart Home “provides students with a distinguished education that stresses teamwork, leadership, project management, and interdisciplinary collaboration.” Jim Gaston, the current Duke Smart Home Programme Director, said that “The Duke Smart Home Programme continues to grow and attract students interested in smart technology and sustainable lifestyles. It is exciting to see students connect with industry and the community to develop innovative solutions that utilise new technologies.” The Duke Smart Home Programme combines automation technologies with sustainability, including whole building design that improves energy efficiency, uses solar energy for electricity and hot water, rainwater collection and usage for toilets and a clothing washer. Imagine living in a house where you can change your walls in a minute to upgrade your living style; the educational program is a showcase of sustainable and smart living. The Home Depot Smart Home at Duke is the first LEED Platinum residential hall on earth and is widely recognized (see appendix).


Changing the Game Copenhagen, Danmark This is an interactive game about energy systems and Climate Change issues, which allow participants to share knowledge and get handson experience with energy planning and policy making. By facilitating relevant discussions that culminate in the formation of an energy scenario for the year of 2030, it empowers participants with a deeper knowledge and understanding of the complexities involved.

Actors Energy Crossroads Denmark is currently the only organizer and facilitator. University, college and high school students are the primary participants. Industry leaders and politicians are future target groups.

The idea of creating an interactive game came out of Energy Crossroads Denmark’s internal workshop on developing strategies for a clean, prosperous and secure energy future for Europe. During 2009, Changing the Game has been the main focus in all projects led by Energy Crossroads Denmark. Changing the Game was presented at the conference Our Opportunity, the CO2 neutral festival CO2PENHAGEN, the pilot test of the high-school campaign in Denmark (Skole Styrelsen), in addition to the events RETHINK our Energy Future conference and will be staged during COP15 side events. Agreeing on an energy future for Europe is greatly aided by having a discussion framework. The purpose of the framework is two-fold. Firstly, it ensures that everyone is familiar with the basic concepts and necessary terminology. Secondly, it ensures that only feasible solutions can be constructed or agreed upon.

“The energy problems provide a lot of opportunities: opportunities for jobs, security, environmental improvements and enhanced life quality. Youth must spread efforts to grasp these opportunities by changing the energy game!” Part of the motivation for creating Changing the Game was to clear up misconceptions about energy systems that are currently influencing and blurring the debate. We believe that an informed and open debate and general awareness is key to creating momentum for change. We believe in learning by doing. In Changing the Game, participants start out by agreeing on targets that reflect their “dream” energy future. Following this they are given the challenge of turning their dream into reality while facing technical constraints of the real world. Finally the participants are asked to address social and political impacts of changing the energy system.

Changing the Game is split into two parts: A technical/economical part and a social/political part. In the first part Europe is divided into four regions and energy scenarios are modeled by building towers of LEGO® bricks. Bricks of different colors and sizes correspond to various energy resources and related CO2 emissions. After creating their targets for 2030, each group is given “dictator” status to make it reality by applying changes to a business as usual energy system. However, they cannot violate the technical constraints implemented in the game. Within this framework, they choose between a wide array of policy changes specified by so-called Change Cards. These cards describe changes that could be made, how much it will cost and how it affects the LEGO® towers. In the second part players lose their “dictator” status. After choosing the policy changes they find most important, they go on to discuss how the changes described could be implemented by different policy measures. Here they should also deal with what regulation is politically feasible in a democracy. The outcome of the entire process is a feasible scenario with a price tag and an energy action plan giving policy recommendations of how to turn it into reality. Going through the entire process the participants gain several important insights into how energy systems work and what implications arise from changing them. Changing the Game helps provide an understanding of the magnitude for the systems we are dealing with. It illuminates where major changes could be made by our policy makers.

“Changing the Game is not just a game – it is a vision and petition for Change!” Preferred partner:


Global Summit Series Motivated by bringing a global perspective to the diversity and complexity of energy problems, Energy Crossroads chapters worldwide have hosted a series of events to engage their communities by highlighting opportunities in a clean energy economy. The project aims to spread awareness about clean energy and its positive future impacts.

Actors Energy Crossroads Global is the organiser. Primary audience is the university students. Community members, Academia, policymakers, and business leaders are honorary participants and active contributors.

Throughout 2009, Energy Crossroads has been striving to highlight the needs and opportunities for clean, prosperous, and secure energy future as an integral component to local, national, and international climate discussions with the international summit series on Sustainable Energy future. The Global Summit Series has been the strategic string of projects intended to provide a common action platform for all Energy Crossroads chapters in 2009. While these events all share a common theme of seizing this opportunity in the vast amount of Energy and Climate change problems, the format and the messages of the summits have been tailored by region to fit their local context. The following is an overview of summits held until the present day. The following is an overview of summits held until the present day. On February 19, 2009 Energy Crossroads Sweden chapter hosted a pre-Summit in the run-up to the Kick-off of the Global Summits Series in March 2009 in Copenhagen. On March 2-3, 2009 students from Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi met to form the Energy Crossroads East Africa chapter and to discuss energy challenges and opportunities of the region. This new coalition engaged East African youth, who agreed to work together to address the energy and climate challenges and to bring a united voice to the global community. The results from this summit were then brought and shared at the Copenhagen Summit by the president of EC East Africa. On March 10-12, 2009 Energy Crossroads Denmark hosted an interactive pan-European Summit, where university students from 45 countries united their efforts and interests to represent European countries and stakeholders, from both macro and micro perspectives. They negotiated in broad terms over how to reach a clean, prosperous and secure energy future in Europe. Such negotiation experience gave the participants a unique insight into this complicated process, and produced a blueprint outlining how the students were able to come to their agreement.

In May 2009 Energy Crossroads Stanford hosted a day of events featuring thought-provoking speakers and workshops for student engagement and deeper conversations on energy and economic sustainability. As in past years, the Technology Expo and Career Fair were accompanying the event. On July 18-19, 2009 Energy Crossroads China hosted the first student conference of its kind in collaboration with three student organizations: Tsinghua Student Green Association, CDM club of Peking University

“This is our opportunity - an opportunity to act for a clean yet prosperous and secure energy future!“ and CYCAN (China Youth Climate Action Network). Unlike other Climate Change conferences in China, this conference was designed to introduce the strong link between energy and climate change into youth awareness. In September 2009 Energy Crossroads India hosted a large inaugural student conference aimed at engaging students from all academic backgrounds in sustainable development and clean energy opportunities. For the first time they convened together students from both the technical fields studying at the country’s IITs, and the business and policy fields at Management and Law/Policy focused institutions. EC India also partnered with The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) network to bring in leaders from the Venture Capital and entrepreneurial communities in India. In November 2009 Energy Carta (aka Energy Crossroads Singapore), following a very successful Asian Youth Energy Summit 2008, held an equally successful AYES 2009. They brought together students from the National University of Singapore and around Asia to hear industry, policy, and research experts discuss the clean energy future for Singapore and Asia.

Preferred partner:


The Nyeihanga project Energy Crossroads Uganda is leading efforts to improve economical, environmental and health conditions by empowering rural communities to implement renewable and energy efficient technologies. EC Uganda spent two weeks in Nyeihanga village (Uganda) working with local community to adopt energy efficient stoves in order to improve their construction techniques, promote reforestation and sustainable agro-forestry practices, increase awareness of climate change, recycling and waste issues. The decreased use of firewood induced by the use of energy efficient stoves helps alleviate the pressure on the remaining forest areas and has health benefits for the local population.

Actors Energy Crossroads Uganda, student volunteers, local community, including Nyeihanga Local Council.

The project started with an experiment where local women from Nyeihanga village were asked to read a book which was held at a distance, and the distances at which they could not read sentences were recorded. Comparing the results had shown that women who spent a lot of time in smoky kitchens were very shortsighted compared to those who were hardly exposed to smoke. This was a clear and practical way to convey negative impact of the carbon monoxide and carbon particles on the human health and further – on the environment (by burning large amount of firewood). Energy efficient stoves were proposed as an alternative. A detailed guide on how to construct these stoves (from the raw materials i.e. anthill soil, grass, water, banana fibers, banana stocks and few bricks!) and a “How to from A to Z” was demonstrated. Local women learned that by using them, they would be working in a cleaner environment because the ash produced by wood would be kept inside the stove. They quickly mastered the measuring of the stove and the materials used to make energy efficient stoves and they can now construct complete stoves without or with minimal further guidance. More importantly, these women are now empowered to provide guidance to other women. Not only on how to make stoves, but also on advantages that come along with their use, including climate change issues. By creating “ripples-in-the-pond” effect, this provides space for a rapid expansion in the use of energy efficient stoves in the district. The Nyeihanga women’s group then appointed a chairperson, a secretary, and a treasurer and formed Nyeihanga Women’s Development Association (NAWODA). This became a part of a larger sustainability strategy, which would see similar projects evolving in the neighboring areas in order to help in saving the forest and benefiting local women.

After thorough training, Energy Crossroads volunteers and the women’s group reached out to the only public primary school in the area, Nyeihanga Primary School. The school bought firewood and prepared a single meal for the teachers and children using three-stone open stoves. The service was much appreciated by the school administration, other headmasters, parents plus local Council officials in Nyeihanga village! Head teachers from schools in other districts traveled long distances to Nyeihanga just to see the new energy saving technology. Interest was spreading fast due to the fact that the price of firewood, which was used as primary energy source in the district, was rising at the same pace as the levels of local deforestation. The project was completed with a local concert for the school children and their parents. Before its start, energy efficient stoves were displayed to the entire community and the consequences of using traditional stoves in addition to raising awareness of climate change were presented. The occasion was successful with a big attendance and diverse performances by the school children, e.g. poems, songs and games that all carried the message of climate change, importance of tree growth, energy efficient stoves, proper disposal of plastic waste, sustainable agriculture and women’s empowerment.

Preferred partner:

Solar Powered Open-Air Cinema


Zurich, Switzerland

The energy needed for the yearly open-air cinema event at the ETH Zurich was covered with solar power for the first time. During one month the energy was collected on the spot with a temporarily installed photovoltaic system and then used during the screening.

Actors [project 21], Student Organisation for Sustainable Development of the ETH and University of Zurich

One of the big events at the end of the academic year at the ETH is the openair cinema. Around 800 students and employees are gathering at the Piazza to enjoy the showing of a recent movie (oftentimes a premiere). To ensure a proper entertainment, high quality equipment is used for the projection and sound, the energy consumption of which is roughly 25 kWh during the evening. To make the event more sustainable in terms of energy and increase the student’s awareness of the related problematics, [project 21] made it its business to provide the energy from renewable sources. The source of choice was solar power and a photovoltaic system was to be installed for this event. In order to collect the whole amount needed within a single day, an area of approx. 30 m2 and rather nice weather would have been needed. Since neither the space nor such a large number of solar panels were available, a smaller system was installed during a longer period instead. The panels and the necessary fixtures were lent by a photovoltaic company, which sponsored the project in this way. With a total of 4.5 m2 panel area the system was quite small which had the advantage of attracting attention for a longer time. Three weeks in advance the panels were mounted on top of a wall at the Piazza and some boards containing information on solar power and renewable energies were placed next to them. Additionally a clock indicating the amount of power already collected was set up.

An issue of the project surely was the energy storage. The use of batteries would have been highly inefficient and impractical. Hence the alternative was to feed the power into the grid and “store” it there until it was needed. Since there is a campus internal grid we got around applying for an official authorization for feeding into the public grid. Although we were not very lucky with the weather the electric meter showed 35 kWh after 20 days of collecting the sun’s power. This was enough to cover the energy consumption of the event completely – including even illumination and the fridges in the bar.

“Our main aim was to make people think about their own energy consumption and make them aware of options for energy sources of the future.” From the feedback we got students and employees were taken with the idea of starting to replace the conventional centralized energy provision by decentralized alternative energy production. Our main aim was to make people think about their own energy consumption and make them aware of options for energy sources of the future. If we arouse some discussion and reflection about these issues, we already reached this goal. Due to the success the solar power will most probably be added as a fixed component to the open-air cinema from now on.

Alternative Green Algae Based Energy Initiative


This initiative will produce biofuel extracted from algae in a carbon fully neutral process. The algae-based system targets a production system utilising a desert-like environment, salt water and carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. This will enable the empowerment of poor communities by giving them a chance in participating in the supply chain of the biofuel.

Actors This initiative is an on-going work of the Global Humanitarian Youth Forum – a branch of the Global Humanitarian Forum. It is a product of , an annual centre-piece event of the youth forum that entails bringing together young adults and experts and sharing idea.

This initiative is based on the production of algae-based biofuel to harness the same benefits from fossil fuel use without its ill effects. The by-product is a protein rich biomass that can be used as animal fodder, fertilizer and even as a protein rich supplement for human consumption. The entire process from cultivation, extraction of fuel, transportation and use in engines of the biofuel is carbon neutral. The algae-based system targets a production system that utilises desert like environments, salt water and carbon dioxide. This will enable the empowerment of poor, local communities by giving them the opportunity to participate in the supply chain of the biofuel. The local communities will then be able to exploit and eventually manage all the resources needed for the initiative. The initiative aims to expand the existing prototype on a global scale in Sub-Saharan Africa, parts of Middle East, desert regions of Australia, etc. It is essentially a global business plan. The initiative aims to involve oil companies viewing them as partners rather than competitors. The algae are cultivated in a closed system, completely independent of the ecosystem aside from the fact that it helps reduce the CO2 levels in the atmosphere. The algal life cycle lasts three days, hence the production is quick and easy. It is a global initiative combating the cause of climate change and not the symptoms, with very less adaptation requirement to the local environment. Most of all it is a clean, cheap, abundant and renewable energy for all. • Spreading awareness of the algae-based biofuel and its benefits especially to the local, poorer communities through self-sustaining renewable energy. • Empowering poor nations by creating and later providing them with infrastructure, cheap and sustainable energy, animal fodder, and a whole lot of related industries on which the economies can be based. • Put in place a global production and supply chain of algae based biofuel that will cater to about 50% of the transportation needs by 2030. Preferred partner:

The future will be less about predicting it and more about collaboratively designing it - Josephine Green, Philips


Big Mamma is an innovative and interactive internet platform for passionate and entrepreneurial-mined young people in the field of sustainability, climate and environment worldwide. It’s two main goals are the overview of the sustainability initiatives of young people and visibility of these initiatives in the international political process, to the general public and other relevant stakeholders.

Actors The project originated from the global youth movement and was further developed together with youth organizations from over a hundred countries. Key bigmamma partners in this project are: Tunza youth program of the UN Environment Program, Dutch Ministry for Environment, Copenhagen Youth Coalition, Solar Generation International and Students In Free Enterprise.

The bigmamma program provides a structured and accessible overview of initiatives by and for youth in the area of sustainability, climate and environment. This will increase the impact of these initiatives (and ideas) of young people worldwide and will make these initiatives more visible for international politicians and show them what young people of all different backgrounds and cultures are already doing for a more sustainable world. The spirit and enthusiasm of young people can then feed into the international political process, to the various stakeholders, including governments, businesses and NGOs to show what is already happening within the global youth movement. The heart of the bigmamma project is an international internet platform,, with ambassadors, bloggers, members and experts from around the world. On the interactive website one can find the main activities, organizations, projects, events and ideas out of the global youth movement. bigmamma gives overview, insight and up-to-date information about the who-what-where-when-how-and-why, worldwide. Under the key words find, share and connect all the different initiatives are linked, inspired and supported in their activities. Demand and supply become related and the integration of the various stakeholders in the overall concept, provides access to resources and knowledge. Through its worldwide activities bigmamma facilitates effective use of the enormous potential of young people, their initiatives, the money that is required and the passion that goes with it. The target of this project consists of young people from around the world, which deals with all kinds of levels of commitment to a sustainable world (sustainable projects, lobbying at international conferences, sustainable business, ideas and solutions to problems that are within sustainable development, or for example new organizations and networks set up and maintenance), and all stakeholders that these young people face (NGOs, governments, businesses and entrepreneurs, non-active young people, civil society, citizens).


20 ways to 20% China ‘20 Ways to 20%’ is a series of publicity activities conducted by students from 100 universities from 12 areas nationwide. The whole process included four rounds of activities, two of which are elaborated here.

Actors • CYCAN, Students from 100 universities from 12 areas of China • WWF

In August 2008, CYCAN reached an agreement with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to undertake its “20 ways to 20%” initiative from 2008 to 2009. CYCAN selected 100 universities from 12 areas nationwide to initiate four rounds of publicity activities. CYCAN helped create and collect outreach strategies as well as conduct training and communication seminars. The “20 ways to 20%” was a large-scale campaign calling for energy efficiency, launched by WWF in January 2007 to “leverage the public to help the country achieve its goal of increasing per GDP energy efficiency by 20% by 2010” via various activities. Offsetting Your Carbon Footprint On the Global Day of Action of 2008, students from over 100 universities in 12 core cities put up a “carbon footprint” performance art outreach campaign, raising the curtain of “20 ways to 20%”. They introduced the concept of carbon footprint to the public via various forms of performance art in crowded plazas and streets. Nearly 2000 college students took part in these activities and more than 50,000 have signed for an energy efficiency card, pledging to make a change in mitigating climate change. Overall, with the wide help of the media in each area, this initiative reached roughly over ten thousand people. Related English presentations were brought to the UN Poznan Climate Change Framework Convention (COP14) to be distributed to the conference participants by CYCAN representatives. Green Winter Vacation Pledge The second round of “20 ways to 20%” campaign was unfolded in January 2009, with the calling for a “Greener Winter Vacation and Lower Carbon Spring Festival.” Based on the universities branches, students appealed the public to change their wasteful resource consumption habits, and enjoy an environmentally friendly spring festival. They also distributed cards with energy-saving tips and the website address of online activities made by WWF at their universities and nearby communities. Through these engaging activities, a total of 4570 people signed the pledge online: the idea of “Low Carbon Spring Festival” was well promoted.

Oikos Climate Curricula Challenge


This project has the purpose of advancing the integration of climate concerns into mainstream teaching in management and economics. The project consists of the organization of lectures, debates or interviews with mainstream professors, asking them how their field of expertise can contribute to innovative climate solutions, the results of which were shared with the general public.

Actors oikos International, oikos Cologne, oikos Sylhet, oikos Witten/Herdecke, oikos Graz, oikos Paris, oikos Ashland

Climate change is recognised as one of the most important challenges of our times – one that needs efforts from all of us to ensure a safe climate and a just future. Therefore, oikos International posed the oikos Climate Curricula Challenge asking how professors can contribute to climate solutions? The main goal of the initiative was to involve mainstream professors (not only the traditional sustainability champions) and ask them to show how their field of expertise can help to address global climate change. Each university should promote one lecture, seminar or debate during the week from the 19-23 October 2009. The goal was not to blame – but to get all knowledge and effort together that is needed to address climate change successfully. Student teams within oikos Local Chapters were supposed to engage a local professor – an established academic heavy-weight or a wild but promising young-starter in his field - and face the Climate Curricula Challenge together. Each team was responsible for involving and challenging at least one professor and make a video out of the event. On the 24th of October, the Local Chapters and students around the world stood together, sharing online (on the internet-platform youtube as well as on the oikos-international website all the lectures and their contributions to fighting climate change. As the first results, during the week of 19-23 of October 2009, oikos Sylhet (Bangladesh), oikos Cologne (Germany), oikos Graz (Austria), oikos Witten/ Herdecke (Germany), oikos Paris (France) and oikos Ashland (USA) organized successful events to discuss the threats and challenges of Climate Change and engaged students and faculty in the quest for a safe climate future:

“To succeed in fighting climate change we need not only to transform the way we do business but also innovate in management and economic studies, deeply integrating sustainability in the way we act and think.” Preferred partner:

• oikos Sylhet organized a lecture for 60 students in Bangladesh. Mr Md. Tarikul Islam and Mr. A.K.M Gulam Kibria of Beanibazar Government College spoke about the risks and challenges that Climate Change imposes to Bangladesh. • oikos Graz discussed Climate Change at the Technical University Graz, in Austria. The event gathered more than 70 students eager to listen to and debate with experts in the field. • oikos Cologne posed the challenge: What is academia doing regarding one of humanity’s most important challenges in our century? – Climate Change in Universities, with participation of Prof. Dr. Marc Oliver (Institute of Energy Economics), Prof. Dr. Bettzüge, Dr. Mahammad Mahammadzadeh (Institute for German Economics), Prof. Dr. Michael Kerschgens (Institute of Geophysics and Meteorology), Sven Harmeling (Germanwatch) and moderation by Dr. Stefan Thomas (Wuppertal Institute). • oikos Witten/Herdecke went to Bonn to interview Dr. Anna Pegels from the German Development Institute. “Developing Countries and Climate Change” is the topic of the interview. • Oikos Ashland held a Panel Discussion featuring five Northland College Professors and was moderated by the college’s Provost. The topic of discussion was, “What changes should be made in overall liberal arts and specific disciplinary curriculum to best contribute to climate solutions”. The panel was a huge success as 50 plus students attended. • Oikos Paris invited Mr. André Fourçans, to deliver a speech about : “Global warming : what’s the economists job. This first round of events wished to make a contribution to two important initiatives: the and, both with a strong mission of raising awareness for Climate Change and the need for a successful agreement in Copenhagen this December.

If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together - African Proverb

We have to go quickly, and far - Al Gore


EvenDimmen EvenDimmen is a sustainability consultancy that uses the creativity and knowledge of young people to improve sustainability within all kinds of organisations. They do this according to the DIM-Model: Direct adjustments, advice on Investments and achieving a Mentality change within the organisation.

Actors • Mark Laagewaard, Joachim Binnenkade • A broad variety of organisations in need of advice on sustainable challenges

EvenDimmen is a sustainability consultancy, founded in 2007 by three students. The reason to start - yet another - sustainability consultancy stemmed from their experiences in their own direct environment. They noticed that, although big companies had sustainability high on their lists, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) were not always informed properly about their own responsibility in this important challenge. They also noticed that the creativity and out of the box thinking that they possessed as young people, could add to the sometimes rigid and shortterm solutions that were offered at that moment.The creativity and out-ofthe-box thinking of young people, provided that they are in a professional and supportive environment, are in fact one of the most important aspects of dealing with sustainable challenges. With this in mind EvenDimmen started to focus on three particular aspects of the sustainability questions within organisations. Firstly, the direct adjustments that can be done within the organisation. This can be as simple as turning off the heating device when nobody is using it or closing the curtains. Many people, for example, do not know how certain appliances affect their energy bill, like refrigerators or computers. Through our experience, we noticed that simply adjusting these appliances helps saving a lot of energy. Secondly, investments. EvenDimmen gives organisations advice on invest-

“Saving the environment, by making organisations sustainable, without compromising on luxury and comfort.�

ments that can be done, but this certainly has to fit the organisation. For some it could be a rather efficient to invest in Insulation, but for others, the opposite might be the case. The final important aspect is the mentality, since people are an important factor in the sustainability within the organisation. Changing people’s mentality is a challenging thing to achieve, but EvenDimmen managed to find different ways to do so, throughout the years. Over the last couple of years, EvenDimmen worked for a broad variety of organisations and used the creative input by young people on sustainability questions. These include restaurants, office buildings, but also housing companies and start-up companies.


Sustainable Business Game TU Delft, The Netherlands Inspires students to become sustainable entrepreneurs The Sustainable Business Game is a competition for students from Delft University of Technology (the Netherlands) with an idea for a sustainable product or service. Participants assess the market potential for their product or service and present their results to a jury, which selects the most promising business idea.

Actors • OSIRIS (TU Delft student’s platform for sustainability) • Gijsbert Koren, Thijs Durieux ; Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) • Boukje Vastbinder, Esther Blom ; • Rabobank Zuid-Holland Midden (a local branch of a cooperative bank with a focus on local and sustainable development)

Education at TU Delft is focusing more and more on sustainability. Sustainability plays a major role in a large number of technical design projects. After getting a grade for a project, students usually throw their work away, no matter how interesting the end results! The Sustainable Business Game is a competition for students from TU Delft who want to go a step further with their project and assess the market potential for their sustainable product or service idea. Participants follow a series of guest lectures on entrepreneurship and are coached by TU Delft and business professionals in assessing the market potential for their product or service idea. At the end, they present their results to a jury. The jury will reward the best idea with ₏1000 as seed investment to be used for the start up of the business. The winner of last year’s Sustainable Business Game is Sharon Goh, who designed ECOL, an eco-disposal appliance for the kitchen that grinds down food waste into fertilizer and promotes recycling and gardening.

public policy

The Latin America Forest Policies Research and Influence Project 8 Latin American countries ISIACC’s Forest Policies Project was launched in 2006 by a multidisciplinary group of students with the broad aim of influencing public policy towards the reduction of GHG emissions from deforestation in Latin America. It promotes research, education and awarenessraising for action, with the principal target groups of academic community and policy-makers.

Actors International Student Initiative for Action on Climate Change . Many individuals and organisations have been directly or indirectly involved in the project including: ETHsustainability’s Executive Director, Project Manager for Latin America and Project Representative, 24 youth students from eight Latin American countries, heads of sustainable development and climate change national programmes and 18 high-level climate change scientists and policy-makers, including a former Environmental Ministry and IPCC members.

The International Student Initiative for Action on Climate Change (ISIACC) was founded in 2004 by a multicultural, multidisciplinary group of 18 young academics from 15 countries around the world. ISIACC’s Latin America Forest Policies Research and Influence Project was launched in 2006 as a joint initiative between the ETHsustainability and the Academia Engelberg, who secured the funds and provided institutional and administrative support for its implementation. The project aims at influencing public policy to reduce emissions from deforestation by proposing alternatives for the management and conservation of forests. Such proposals would be supported by thorough research and then endorsed by a large academic movement who would engage in advocacy before policy-makers. Initially, a team of ISIACC was appointed with Coordinators in Mexico, Colombia and Brazil. A panel of renowned experts then provided free consultancy and technical assistance for the development of policy recommendations. Local universities, research centers, private companies and NGOs provided in kind donations and volunteer services that contributed to the success of the dissemination and endorsement process, allowing ISIACC to keep administration costs as low as possible. In just a short period of time ISIACC has mobilised professionals and academics to have real and lasting impacts on policy making in the region. As a result, the ISIACC team was invited by the Colombian Ministry to review their climate change policy strategy in order to create new financial instruments to valuate forest conservation. In Mexico, an ISIACC proposal has become a new national law after being approved by the Deputies Chamber and by Senate. It will increase the surface of officially protected areas; will lower deforestation therefore reducing GHG emissions. In Brazil, seminars by ISIACC brought together 16 speakers, more than 30 institutions and nearly 230 participants. Emissions from the events were fully offset by native tree species planted at a local botanical garden. So far, our greatest achievement has been the adoption by Brazilian government of the ISIACC’s original rec-

ommendation on setting clear internal goals for deforestation reduction. After a year of much debate, Brazil has announced its plan to reduce Amazonian deforestation rate by 72% by 2017, what would avoid carbon emissions by 4.8 billion tons, an amount equivalent to 8 year emissions by Australia. Aside from its success in influencing policy making, the project has provided a unique educational opportunity to the 24 students that made up its team. They had distinct opportunities to engage in debates with policymakers and scientists, carry out important research, implement seminars, forge alliances and partnerships, manage the budget, etc. ISIACC has also provided institutional support and inspiration to its members, and all participants are now working or studying issues related to climate change. A notable achievement was made by a former member of the Colombian team who has been appointed International and National Head of Climate Change Program at the Colombian Ministry of Environment. The whole process of project planning, management and implementation has been well-documented and can be accessed through our working platform on internet. Additional information is available at

“As intrinsic leaders, young people must now be ready to assume the pre-eminent position in the fight against climate, guiding the way towards a sustainable future.�

waste & sanitation

The Gorilla Blackwater Plant Wageningen, The Netherlands The project converts the blackwater, or human excreta, from one student household into biogas and fertilizers, which are safe for food production. Compared to conventional sewage treatment and food production, this system reduces resource depletion, pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

Actors • A hand-ful of students and their residences at Wageningen University, the Netherlands • Designed and operated by Kealan Gell • Some equipment donated by Dr. Gatze Lettinga

Urine is collected in a unisex odor-proof urine collection vessel from which urea is hydrolyzed and subsequently mixed with seawater (a source of magnesium ions) and sent through a filtration process to extract Struvite (12% P by mass) which has a similar effectiveness to P content in triple super phosphate (19% P by mass) and is good for plants. Feces are collected in a dry toilet, covered with sawdust or paper to eliminate odor. Subsequently it is mixed with paper and ground food waste, pasteurized at 70 C for 1 hour, and digested to produce biogas and safe liquid fertilizer, which includes stable organic matter. The biogas can be used for cooking and the he liquid fertilizer could be used in the garden. The fertilizer produced in this manner contains very low levels of pathogens, metals, hormones and pharmaceuticals. Tests have been done to ensure compliance with Dutch soil regulations, EU animal byproducts regulations and Dutch fertilizer regulations. This system highlights the alternative impacts of conventional sewage treatment and fertilizer production, including drinking water treatment and delivery, sewage transportation network, energy used for carbon and nutrient removal and loss, and phosphate fertilizer mining, depletion of P, processing and transportation, as well as overall self sufficiency, resilience and pollution.

“ Let us abandon all consumption and pollution. Let us just eat and excrete.�

waste & sanitation

Zero Waste Production System Samigulah, Indonesia/ Gothenburg, Sweden Exploring local potentials of Samigaluh, recycling industrial waste and empowering local women are the main pillars of the project. Involvement of university and community organisers will make the project feasible.

Actors Two teams of students – one from Indonesia consisting of four Gadjah Mada University’s students joining ChAIN (Chemical Engineering Alliance and Innovation) Center and the other from Sweden, consisting of 5 Chalmers University of Technology’s students joining CSS (Chalmers Students for Sustainability).

The current project addresses a system approach to integrate different local activities in a more efficient way, using less energy and material to eradicate extreme poverty, increase women empowerment, increase waste management and mitigate climate change. The target of the project is to design and build a small industry leveraging the concept of sustainable development. When the project is completed !"#$#%&'()#"(*+,(%*-.,/*(,01##2(#/(3'45&*,(3+&/6,($",%,/*,.(&*(*+,(78!9:( ( it will be implemented in a moderately developed town, Samigaluh. It is ;#4/*($"#<,3*(1,*=,,/(%*-.,/*%()"#5(>/.#/,%4&(?@&.<&(A&.&(B/4C,"%4*DE(&/.(( F=,.,/(?7+&'5,"%(B/4C,"%4*D(#)(G,3+/#'#6DE(( located west of Yogyakarta, Indonesia and is rich in cloves most of which ( used for essential oil production. While the population is dominated by is women (64%), about 80%*+&*J( of them unemployed. The idea &/.( of the proj+#5,( %3&',( 4/.-%*"4,%H( I,%4.,%( &( %5&''(are %3&',( *#)-( 4/.-%*"D( 4%( "-//4/6( &( ),=( $,/+#-%,%J( ect is to &/.( utilise local resources, and'4C4/6H( employ local4%(women to &''( alleviate )4%+$#/.%( )&"5%( &'%#(natural %-$$#"*( *+,( '#3&'( $,#$',%( G+,( 4.,&( *#( 4/*,6"&*,( &3*4C4*4,%( 4/( *+,( their This*+&*( project will/#(allow for energy and recycling of )"#5( C4''&6,(situation. 4/*#( &( %D%*,5( $"#.-3,%( =&%*,H( G+,( %D%*,5(generation =4''( 4/3'-.,( 3#/%,"C&*4#/( #)( ,/,"6D( some industrial waste while employing the women in this region as show 4/.-%*"4&'(+,&*(=&%*,(1D(14#6&%($"#.-3*4#/(&/.(&'%#(3#/%,"C&*4#/(#)(5&%%()"#5(4/.-%*"4&'(%#'4.(&/.('4K-4.( =&%*,H( %D%*,5( =4''( ,/%-",( &( 3',&/,"( '4C4/6( ,/C4"#/5,/*( =+4',( &'%#J( 4/3",&%4/6( *+,( '#3&'( $,#$',%( in the G+4%( visual below. =,')&",H((

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The students would collaborate with the community and the local government to provide the necessary expertise / technology required to fully utilise and recycle the waste generated in the community. This project was a gold award winner the Mondialogo Engineering Award 2009. The Mondialogo Engineering Award is an engineering project competition, that address the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, for engineering students in developing and developed countries (in this case Sweden and Indonesia) to work together to develop and implement project ideas.

â&#x20AC;&#x153; We build Indonesia through sustainability â&#x20AC;?

waste & sanitation

Unidiesel University of Crete, Crete UniDiesel is an innovative and sustainable approach of a campusbased biodiesel unit. “Daedalus”, the world’s first energy-autonomous biodiesel unit designed, created and installed by students from the Technical University of Crete, Greece is producing biodiesel from waste oils collected locally by them and is supplying with fuel the University’s central heating system.

Actors • Ioannis Sarantopoulos, • Vagios Mpakirizoglou, • Franklin Che

Biodiesel is a form of renewable energy and renewable energy will surely obtain a great percentage in the future energy consumption due to the growing scarcity of the conventional fuels and, additionally, to the major environmental impacts caused by the wide use of fossil fuels. Thus, exploitation of organic wastes for energy production can simultaneously solve waste management and energy production problem. This project aimed at two directions. The first aim of the project was to motivate University community members to take an active step toward sustainability by contributing to the project with their household waste oil production. Additionally, waste oils collected from restaurants or taverns are also welcomed. The other aim of the project is to familiarise local community and, especially, the University community members, with a modern renewable energy form, such as biodiesel. Both the aims of the project are of high importance for a mild transition from the current energy consumption profile to a new, more sustainable profile. In Crete, due to the high tourism especially during the summer, there are many enterprises such as taverns, restaurants, fast-foods and hotels, which consume great amounts of vegetable oil for frying. Moreover, Greek cuisine includes a lot of fried meals. Usually, frying oil after its use is being disposed directly to the environment or to the sewerage with negative impacts to the operation of the pumping system or to the efficiency of the waste water treatment plant. Hence, it was and it is an urgent need to adopt an alternative method of processing and exploiting this waste. By constructing our autonomous biodiesel unit â&#x20AC;&#x153;Daedalusâ&#x20AC;? in the framework of Unisteplus program (a program dedicated to support student innovative ideas), we were able to start transforming waste oil to biodiesel at a Campus scale. For the duration of the project the unit provided 320 L of pure biodiesel as fuel to the Universityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s central heating system.

Never doubt what one person or a small group of co-conspirators can do - Peter Senge

Preferred Partners

The Global Humanitarian Forum’s Youth Forum is a new platform where young people from all parts of the global society come together to help solve humanitarian problems in creative ways. The Youth Forum supplies opportunities for challenging and influential dialogue as well as the scaling up of concrete ideas. With unique access to the Global Humanitarian Forum’s high-level audience, the Youth Forum engages with some of the most important decision makers in the world. The Youth Forum currently focuses, as does the Global Humanitarian Forum, on the human impact of climate change. It encourages young adults to see climate change as an opportunity to develop innovative ideas. www.ghf-ge.orfg

Energy Crossroads is a student-initiated, global movement for a clean, prosperous, and secure energy future. As the inheriting generation, we are mobilizing a coalition that includes stakeholders from across many sectors and disciplines. The coalition includes policymakers, nongovernmental organizations, technologists, entrepreneurs, academics, and activists. Driven by their particular concerns for the environment, economic growth, and international security, these groups often work in isolation of each other. Energy Crossroads facilitates collaboration between these groups—guided by the belief that our interactions will accelerate progress toward innovative solutions to the world’s energy challenges. The organisation is non-profit and non-partisan. Energy Crossroads promotes this coalition by convening conferences, workshops, and other community building events where all relevant stakeholders can meet and collaborate.”

Preferred Partners G-1 Billion is a youth press agency working to catch the conversation of the COP conference. Our 20+ young journalists from 15 countries work in 8 languages to report the stories of solutions beyond the negotiations themselves. We produce diverse blog coverage within and outside the summit, profiling the people and organisations taking action for a safe climate future. Our aim is provide alternative coverage to the mainstream press, with it’s narrow treaty focus, and provide a snapshot of what’s really happening at the most important meeting of the decade.

oikos is the international student organisation for sustainable economics and management and a leading reference point for the promotion of sustainability change agents. Our Mission is to strengthen action competence for sustainable development among tomorrow’s decision makers. To target this objective, we increase awareness for sustainability opportunities and challenges focussing on students of management and economics, foster their ability not only to analyse long-term economic, environmental and social trends, but also implement sustainability driven innovation and create institutional support for these learning processes through the integration of sustainability issues in research and teaching at the world’s faculties for management and economics. Thanks to:

Credits and acknowledgements

This volume would not have been possible with the committed support and dedication of many people, most of whom are mentioned here. Most notably, we would like to thank Bill McKibben, founder of, for writing the foreword to this book. Coordinators



Christopher Baan

Manizha Kodirova

Trajche Kralev

Manizha Kodirova

Anantha Prasad

Jury members Kate Negacz – President, Oikos International Darren Willman – Project Leader and Founder, G1Billion
 Arne Forstenberg – Founder and Director, Global Focus Adriana Valenzuela - President, Corporacion Grupo Tayrona Ruth Moko – Director of Strategic Development, WSC-SD
 Reinout Wissenburg – COP 15 Coordinator, Greenpeace Netherlands
 Image credits

‘Climate Change And Animal

Jaap Jonkers

Girl with dandelion: Nabi Abudaldah

Distiction’ (page 60)

Carl Justin Kamp

Globe by night: ©NASA

Hong Wang, China

Gijsbert Koren Rajesh Koirala

Background photos are covered under a Creative Commons License.

‘Dead Leaf’ (page 64)

Ewoud de Kok

For a full listing of credits, see

Christopher Scott United Kingdom

Mark Laagewaard Caterina Luciani Thanks to

Rodrigo C. A. Santos

Illustrations by Good 50x70

Prajwal Baral

Ioannis Sarantopoulos

‘Help reverse climate chane before it’s too late’

Sina Birkholz

Lana Sukhodolska

(page 54)

Douwe Dronkert

Harriet Riley

Scott Laserow, United States

Judith Ellens

Meng Yihan

Hua Fan

Annisa Utami

‘Global warming makes them disappear’

Kealan Gell

Jacob Veedfald

(page 54)

Linus Helming

Darren Willman

Ju-hwan Lee, Seung-hoon Nam, Korea (South)

Natalie James

World Climate Community

We are extremely grateful to all the people and organisations that have submitted their projects to this volume, without whom this eBook would not have been possible. Disclaimer The projects described in this book are the work of the project leaders and teams only, and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the WSC-SD. The work in this volume remains licensed under the relevant organisation’s guidelines. Please spread the eBook to relevant networks, with a reference and link to WSC-SD.

This eBook is not only about climate change. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s about solutions, about students taking the lead. This publication showcases a selection of 21 innovative student-led projects on climate change. From a solar-powered open air cinema, to a sustainable business game or reforestation projects, all initiatives show that students worldwide are taking the lead and providing solutions to tackle climate change. With this publication, we hope to inspire thought-leaders in business, academia and civil society to acknowledge and support student initiatives that have successfully addressed the issue of climate change. Students are not only the leaders for tomorrow â&#x20AC;&#x201C; they are especially to be taken seriously today. In this eBook we show that students not only care and talk, they actually take the lead in developing innovations and they reach tangible results, thereby inspiring other people in their local community, or even around the world, to do the same. This is a publication by WSC-SD, the World Student Community for Sustainable Development.

Re:solutions - 21 young leaders on climate change  

Re:solutions - 21 young leaders on climate change. A publication of WSC-SD, with a foreword by Bill McKibben

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