This is an article from our exchange „Energizing Bridges“ which dealt with climate and energy issues and was a cooperation project of the Serbian Young Greens, the Georgian Young Greens, the Central Development Network Eastern Europe and Grüne Jugend. The exchange happened in May 2015.
Day 1 – Friday, 22nd May
On the day of arrival there was a bit of a chaos going on because not everybody arrived at the same time and it was difficult to manage that we could go to Hirschluch (the venue) collectively.
Fortunately, it was managed somehow and during the travel, we were able to get to know the other participants a bit already. Nevertheless, we still did indroduction energizers when we arrived by saying our names, our age and our current occupation. It worked remarkably well, because I had the feeling that within one or two days everybody knew everybody’s name.
Afterwards, we split up in smaller groups again to go to dinner and have a bonfire near the lake later on. Luckily, we had committee collecting firewood which was responsible for the fire. Due to some more participants having arrived, we began another introduction round at the fire in which we were supposed to tell others our most embarrassing Story.
Therefore, we sat around the bonfire, drank beer, listened to someone playing the guitar and had a really nice evening.
Day 2 – Saturday, 23rd May
Saturday started off with sessions about „Energy & Climate“, „Dirty Energy Production“ and aucontrair „Green Energy Production“, which were really informative. I liked the idea of having different energy systems introduced and put into comparison.
In between, we had smaller breaks as well as lunch and continued after the last session with some leisure time, which was used by most others and myself to walk to the next larger city to buy some chocolate, cookies and… beer. It took really long and when we came back to the venue, it was already time for dinner again. Even though we didn’t spend that much time just relaxing at the venue it was nice to see the surroundings and have enough time to get to know the others a bit better. After dinner we were divided in smaller Groups, had HUGs for the first time and ended the day at the bonfire again.
Day 3 – Sunday, 24th May
On sunday morning we started directly with a session on Energy Usage. We had three different sessions on that day: Energy Usage, Energy Networks and Creative Approach on Different Energy Sources. We learned a lot about different energy sources like Lignite and nuclear power but also wind power or hydro energy. In the evening, everyone knew the fundamentals of most of the energy sources. Later on, we had – as on the days before – a bonfire with music and lots of discussions and personal conversations.
Day 4 – Monday, 25th May
Day 4 was the day of the excursion and it was totally epic! In the morning we got up and had a little talk about energy transition in Germany, but then we went to the train station and started the adventure… It should’ve been a long, but not too long walk around the area of a lignite mine. Actually it got much longer as we thought and we couldn’t see much of the
mine. The discussions about the whole topic of energy in different countries and the personal networking were way more interesting. Although it was really late when we came back to our beds and we were more than tired, after this day, we knew us better as a group and I had the opportunity to talk to every group member personally.
Day 5 – Tuesday, 26th May
After the exhausting previous day we were all a bit tired on tuesday morning. It was hard for the prep-team to motivate everyone for a little energizer, but after that, we were a bit more alert. Afterwards, we started with our first workshop for the day, which was an oral presentation followed by discussions in the group about a Common Approach to Energy. We had three sessions on tuesday. Another one was about Capitalism and Energy. To me, the most interesting session was about the perfect society. We build little groups that each got a little scenario for which they should find the best solution and present their ideas in a creative way. Among other things we heard a bedtime story, a fairytale, a little impro theatre and a song. It was really interesting to work on a concrete scenario and find solutions for real problems – and really funny to see all the presentations. In the evening we had our normal HUG-Meeting and watched a film on the topic of Europe and European identity afterwards.
Day 7 – Thursday, 28th May
The Thursday sessions focussed on the COP21 climate summit in Paris at the end of the year. Introduced by a movie, which showed the urgence to act and the chance of changing policy in December, the first workshop was about the climate campaign of FYEG. Being the representative of the climate team of FYEG, Morgan Henley made the presentation and Moritz Heuberger of the Grüne Jugend Executive Committee explained what will happen on the German side. In the afternoon, the members made concepts for political actions in advance of the summit by working in groups. Things like protests, conferences and public relation ideas were discussed.
A grill-party and a campfire were another chance for teambuilding in the evening.
Day 8 – Friday, 29th May
The last day was the evaluation day. The attendants reviewed what they learned in two sessions and in a third one they evaluated the content and the methods of the whole week. After that, everybody cleaned up together and the seminar came to its end.
This exchange was funded by Erasmus+.