Digital communication and climate activism

The year 2019 has been the 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 policy making. This year we will build up on 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?

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:

  • Exploring the current trends in digital communication strategies; particularly in youth movements, environmental NGOs and stakeholders in climate policies;
  • Equipping young climate activists, youth movements, informal groups and youth environmental organisations with specific digital communication knowledge and skills so that they can adapt, implement and improve aforementioned strategies in their climate communication;
  • Providing a space and platform for young climate activists, digital communication experts, NGO professionals and local government officials so that they can share their knowledge, experience and create new areas of collaboration;
  • Creating a joint digital campaign together with the participating organisations and contributing stakeholders in order to encourage and support youth movements to take action and influence environmental decision making processes at all levels.

What are the activities?

The project is composed of international training courses followed by a joint digital campaign.

  • 22 - 29 November 2021

    Training course “Time for YOUth to Speak Climate”

  • Winter 2021 - 2022

    YEE Online Consultations “Let’s Talk Climate with YEE”

    Winter 2021 - 2022

  • 21 - 27 March 2022

    Creative Workshop “From Youth Climate Voice to Youth Climate Action”

  • May 2021 - July 2022

    Digital Campaign “Follow the Climate”

    May 2021 - July 2022

  • May 2021 - July 2022

    Local Events for marginalised communities

Training course “Time for YOUth to Speak Climate”

22 – 29 November 2021
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 from the 22nd to 29th November 2021. 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.

YEE Online Consultations “Let’s Talk Climate with YEE”

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.

Creative Workshop “From Youth Climate Voice to Youth Climate Action”

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.

Digital Campaign “Follow the Climate”

May 2021 – July 2022
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.

Local Events for marginalised communities 

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.