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Push for Change 2015
Start date: Jun 1, 2015, End date: Mar 31, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Push for Change 2015 was a 5-day international youth exchange and training on climate justice and strategies for change that took place in the south of Sweden in October 2015 with 43 participants from 9 countries and 8 organisations (this included four participants from two countries who were funded separately from Erasmus+). The overall purpose of the training was to create an intercultural meeting place, create opportunities for young climate activists from different parts of Europe to get to know each other, exchange knowledge and skills on climate justice, and together develop concrete strategies and tools for influencing change. During the training the participants shared their stories on climate justice and strategies for change, and from this they together created workshop concepts that incorporated their different perspectives. The ambitions with these workshops is to empower more people in the fight for climate justice and strengthen collaboration across borders. The last day of the Push for Change week the participants was put to test the skills and knowledge that they had developed during the program. This part was executed through participants delivering their workshops to an audience of 17-19 year old students at Nya Latin gymnasium in Malmö. After this, most of the participants took the opportunity to also carry out their workshop during the Power Shift conference that took place in Malmö with over 200 participants. The participants have then taken the workshop concepts back to their organisations and are in various stages of the process of empowering youth and spreading the knowledge on climate justice and strategies for change. The training was highly interactive and actively built on the participants' collective intelligence related to the topic, involving a range of non-formal and engaging learning methods, such as workshops, simulations, open-space activities as well as arts and role-plays. The aim was to create an atmosphere characterised by mutual understanding, curiosity and compassion where participants could feel a sense of being part of something important. Although the program was packed with content, there was time after lunch and in the evenings for participants to get to know each other informally and build friendships. In the middle of the training we spent one afternoon outside in a scenic place of the peninsula in order to get a change of atmosphere and give room for bonding in the group. In terms of learning outcomes, the participants have acquired increased knowledge on the concept of climate justice and examples of the local, regional and global struggles related to it. In addition, they have also acquired enhanced capacity in training others and using strategies for making climate justice happen, for example by influencing policymakers. More generally, the aim has been to stimulate an increased dedication and passion to participate in democratic processes for improving society and for participants to become more active and engaged citizens. Through Push for Change 2015 we also see that participants have acquired an enhanced capacity to meet and engage with people from different backgrounds, which contributes to strengthening the youth movement for climate justice across Europe. In addition, the desired impact for the participants is for them to continue their engagement in such a way that will influence policy makers to make efforts for binding and just climate mitigation and adaptation agreements on international and EU levels. This has for example been done by some participants expressing their demands in Paris during COP21. Also, on a local level the desire is for the participants and their organisations to contribute to positive changes such as an increased focus on renewable energy, energy conservation and a just distribution of resources and responsibilities. We especially hope to see more youth in Sweden and in the partner countries feeling inspired to become more active citizens, working for more bold and knowledge-based politics on local, regional, national, EU and international levels. We think that this project has been a great way to strengthen our organisations by sharing tools on successful strategies of change, creating workshop concepts to invite more youth to be part of our organisations, and a network to do more cross-border activities. Some of the participants are also leading the process towards creating a Push for Change 2016, which will focus more on skills related to project management.
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