Digital communication and climate activism
The year 2019 has been a critical year for youth climate activism. Young climate activists from all over the world have captured the world’s attention. Young people have become climate leaders not only by organising demonstrations and protesting in front of parliaments but most importantly by being active on digital media platforms. Following in 2020, the majority of the European youth climate movements’ coordination was done through digital campaigns, online meetings, and engaging social media posts.
Now it’s time for young environmental activists to make noise again!
At YEE, we have identified the need to strengthen youth’s digital communication and advocacy skills, as well as to increase the digital literacy of the young people active in environmental movements to be truly heard. We consider communication within the context of youth engagement and youth participation in environmental policy decision-making as a key aspect to achieve the change young people desire.
That’s why we want to support them in communicating their messages and concerns about the current climate crisis efficiently in the digital environment through our project “Youth Digital Communic[ACTION]”.
What came before?
Our work plan in 2018 involved environmental decision-making and youth participation. In 2019, grassroots, bottom-up initiatives and young people who want to solve concrete environmental problems and issues in their local communities were in play. In 2020 we have focused on capacity building for young people actively engaging in local level policymaking. This year we will build upon the identified needs from all projects and will focus on equipping young activists with the right tools to help them carry out successful digital campaigns.
What are the aim and objectives?
The aim of this project is to support and empower young people and youth organisations in developing their digital communication skills and strategies, to help them communicate their messages and concerns about the current climate crisis efficiently in the digital environment, to have a long-term impact on environmental decision-making, to fulfil their needs and achieve their strategic goals.
Objectives of the project:
What are the project’s activities?
28 January - 3 February 2022
The first international activity of the work plan will be the training course “Time for YOUth to speak climate” focused on exploring the current climate communication trends and developing the digital communication knowledge and digital literacy of young people coming from environmental youth movements, informal groups, NGOs or other organisations.
During the training, 20 participants will explore the current digital communication trends, understand the concept of climate communication, improve their communication skills, increase their digital literacy and learn how to be more effective in digital communication to participate and influence the local level environmental decision-making.
The training course will take place in Narva, Estonia. This international activity aims to explore the current trends in digital communication strategies; particularly in youth movements, environmental NGOs and stakeholders in climate policies and to equip participants with digital communication and skills so that they can adapt, implement and improve aforementioned strategies in their climate communication.
The program of the training course will be based on the principles of non-formal education and intercultural learning. We will also create space for knowledge and experience sharing by inviting young climate digital activists to present their success stories.
Winter 2021 - 2022
Following the training course, the second activity will be the online consultations. We will choose 20 young people to participate in our online consultations who will also later participate in the following phase, to ensure the coherence of the work plan. Each participant will be present in 5 hours of online consultation with YEE.
The aim of this activity will be to identify the critical area of environmental interests of the participating organisations to help us better understand and share common topics of the participants, and the change they would like to communicate to fulfil the objective C.
This whole work plan will be focused on effective communication in a digital environment and with this activity we would like to demonstrate one of the most efficient tools of digital communication, the online interactive meetings.
Winter 2021 - 2022
21 - 27 March 2022
The third phase of the work plan will be the creative digital communication workshop. After exploring the key digital communication skills and identifying the biggest environmental issues as well as the common areas of interest in current youth climate communication, we would like to put the theory in practice through this activity.
We would like to organise a creative workshop focused on enhancing campaigning and digital literacy skills of participants and creating a joint digital climate advocacy campaign which will be later adopted as a work plan final activity.
The workshop will take place in Vienna (Austria) from 21 March – 27 March 2022. We would like to invite external experts on campaigning and digital communication as well as a professional photographer/video maker to create content with the participants of the workshop that could be later used as a part of the campaign.
After the workshop, we will launch the final stage of the work plan which will be the digital campaign itself. YEE will be part of the campaign as well, to ensure greater visibility for the participants and participating organisations. The campaign will be managed by YEE together with 20 participants from May to July 2021.
Through this activity, we would like to put the whole work plan idea into practice and to raise the voice of youth on important climate issues that they are facing. This phase of the project will therefore not only serve participants in testing their acquired knowledge and skills, but also to amplify their voice on climate justice and increase the visibility of the work plan.
May 2021 - July 2022
With the support of the trainers that will emerge from this project we will conduct six local dissemination events to directly impact and build the capacity of at least 60 marginalised young people in digital communications and climate activism through a one-day training.
At least 60 young people will be able to build their own online communication strategies and produce engaging content to showcase climate initiatives. Together with CAN-E and other umbrella organisations, YEE will identify how these young people can use their new digital skills, amplify and diversify the ongoing country-specific narratives already being brought up by youth movements and young climate activists in respective countries. YEE will work with CAN-E to help organise the events especially in the Western Balkans.
During the whole project we will also be creating a storytelling campaign to highlight impacts of climate change and positive outcomes, which will showcase a minimum of 2 stories per month over a duration of 10 months.
The campaign is going to showcase the activists and local movements that are often left unheard in order to emphasize the urgency of tackling the climate crisis and to share hopeful stories of change led by young women, Roma people, LGBTQ+ youth and other youth communities that experience inequality and discrimination.
This will be co-created with the grassroots youth groups who will have participated in the YEE training course Youth Digital Communic[ACTION] and could focus on CAN-E’s agenda for the region (phasing out coal, energy poverty, building new narratives for the region…).
In the third and fourth quarters of the project, the campaign is going to be implemented together with the participants of local dissemination events in order to provide them with concrete practical experience in digital communications.
Meet our amazing preparatory team of trainers, educators and facilitators, Esther, Žofie, Lucía, Charlotte, and Stefano.
My name is Žofie, I am from the Czech Republic, Prague. I joined YEE in 2021, hoping to empower young people in their pursuit of creating a better world.
I got my bachelor’s degree in Biology at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, where I was involved in multiple volunteering groups and got my passion for sustainable community projects. For the past year I have been a full-time climate activist with the movement Extinction Rebellion. Through that I have helped to set up two NGOs in Prague, one focused on organizing Citizen’s Assemblies and another one advocating for the implementation of the Universal Basic Income.
Currently I also focus on developing workshops for people dealing with environmental grief. I love spending time in nature, dancing, and wild swimming. I also enjoy taking care of fungi that feed me- yeast for my bread and SCOBY for my kombucha.
My name is Lucía and I come from Spain. I have completed my Bachelors degree in Marketing and a Master’s degree in Theory and Criticism of Culture in Madrid. I am a current student of a Master’s in the field of Law in International Human Rights and Protection of the Environment in Prague. During my studies, I have developed my strong passion for human rights, environment protection and project management. I am also interested in communication, social media, photography, and corporate social responsibility.
As an avid volunteer and youth worker, I am extremely concerned with facilitating the networking and sustainable development of the next generation of Europeans. About my volunteering experiences, I have volunteered with young people for more than four years in different youth associations, promoting international mobility programs, youth exchanges, activities and supporting as much as I can. I am also an active member of two associations related with environment and sustainability.
In addition to my professional life, traveling is possibly my greatest passion. What I enjoy the most about it, is discovering new places, new cultures and getting to know the locals. I have travelled throughout Europe on different projects, and this has led me to be specially interested in cultural diversity, human rights and climate justice.
My role in YEE and in the whole Youth Digital CommunicAction, is to support matters related to project management, such as accommodation, logistics, travel, partnership, participants, activities… As I am also a member of the Prep-team, I will be facilitating some of the activities of the training course, leading the activities, empowering and supporting the participants to harness their own potential through experiential learning, and coordinating the delivery and implementation of the program flow and methodology.
Esther is a freelance trainer and facilitator specializing in environmental issues, sustainability and connection with nature. She is the founding manager of the NGO Biodiversa, focused on creating environmental education and awareness-raising experiences for young people and adults. Esther is currently Senior EU Project Manager for Biodiversa based in Spain, occasionally traveling abroad to deliver training. She has worked around Europe for the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and International Young Naturefriends (IYNF), among others.
My name is Charlotte, I am 25 years old and I am French! I am passionate about the environment and international affairs and I have always been attracted by the animal cause. This is why I have chosen to focus my professional career on the environmental cause and have recently graduated with a master’s degree in international and European environmental law.
In order to link my interest for the international world with my studies, I did two Erasmus, one year in Canterbury, England and one year in Brno, Czech Republic. I loved living abroad to be able to exchange and learn from these exchanges with people from many different backgrounds. Adventurous and adaptable, I enjoy trying new experiences that challenge my own abilities.
In fact I went to Thailand, on my own, for a month of voluntary work to help abused animals. I am excited to be a part of this project and help raise environmental awareness among young people. I am looking forward to meeting everyone!
I’m Stefano Pedone from Genoa, Italy. I’ve graduated in the University of Genoa in the master courses of Sciences of the Sea and Marine Biology and Ecology. During my studies I’ve experienced many fields of the marine sciences, such as great white shark researches in South Africa, coral reef monitoring in the Maldives, and laboratory work of microbiology in the Canary Islands and of microplastics sorting in the italian National Council of Research (CNR).
However, what I’ve learnt to really love is scientific communication, especially in marine biology, and since this epiphany I can’t skip any chance to get involved into scientific communication projects or festivals.
From several years I collaborate with the marine environment association “Worldrise ONLUS”, one of YEE’s member associations. Within Worldrise I work as scientific communicator and as project officer of the “SEAstainable” project, about the sustainable fisheries and the thoughtful consumption of seafood.
Some years ago with the help of other young citizens of Genoa I co-founded the local association “Cittadini Sostenibili” (“Sustainable Citizens”), with the goal to gather up all the local environmental projects and associations, little or big, already operating in the city, but often not talking to each other. Our work of connection (“linking the dots”, as our motto says) is bearing fruit, with more and more associations (even outside of Genoa) being reached, and more and more impactful events being organized with the coordination of the volunteers from all our friend associations united. For the common goal to have a more sustainable and livable city.