Activities taking place during the week
One of the main aims of this conference is to be as solutions-oriented as possible. Much of the week will, hence, be dedicated to group work to find practical solutions to real problems, which can be applied to a local context. The participants will be divided into groups and given a sustainability-related problem. There will be time every day for the project groups to work on their problem. The members of each group and their sustainability-related problem will be chosen based on their academic interest and background so that everyone is able to contribute to the work. More information, possible ideas, and specific skills will be given and developed through lectures, study trips, and workshops during the week – helping the groups finding creative solutions to their specific problem.
On Friday at around noon, the work of each group will be presented in the form of a pitch, consisting of a problem description and some sort of locally implementable solution to (partially) mitigate their problem. On Friday afternoon, the project groups will be divided into seven new groups (each including one member from each project group), in an attempt to imitate real world conditions of limited time and resources, each participant will take part in a different a role play. The exercise consist in creating a list of actions (one per group). The point here is to encourage the participants to think holistically and prioritise smart, creative, and efficient solutions that simultaneously tackle multiple issues of importance whilst avoiding propositions that might harm the potential success of other issues.
The point of these two exercises is to train the participants to confront issues relating to sustainability in a holistic manner, within the framework of a project group with people ranging from different disciplines and academic cultures. This exercise serves, as well, to promote creative thinking to find strategies to very complex problems. This requires a deeper understanding of which initiatives help, instead of impeding, the progression of solutions on other problems.
Themes of working groups
The conference will centre around 10 main issues facing our world. They are based on the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Shapers Survey from 2017 (N=31 000), which asks young people – millennials – about their thoughts on future challenges.
1. Climate Change
6. (Un)Employment and Education
2. Environmental degradation
7. Good Governance and Accountability
3. Inequality and Income Distribution / Inclusive Growth
8. Long-term Investments in Infrastructure
4. Large Scale Conflict
9. The right to health/ sustainable healthcare
5. Food and Water Security
10. Sustainable consumption and production