11 Dec Resilience and Energy in Vejle, Denmark
End of November the first event supported from the Power Shifts Fund 2018 took place in Denmark. All topics discussed at the Regional Selection Conference of EYP Denmark in Vejle formed around the notion of resilience, which is prominent in the public discourse of the area since Vejle is the third smallest city in the 100 Resilient Cities Network. Around 30 participants from the area and all around the country had the chance to discuss energy related and environmental topics at the Rødkilde gymnasium which generously supported the event.
We had a chance to talk to the Head Organisers of the session, Anne Seeneha Henriksen and Christian Fuglsang Pedersen, who shared with us their impressions as well as the reasons they decided to incorporate an energy related session concept.
How would you describe yourself in one sentence?
Anne: If I had to describe myself in one sentence, I would say “an ambitious young individual who is willing to speak not only on their own behalf but on the behalf of those who do not have a voice”.
Christian: I would describe myself as an open-minded person that is willing to put an effort in changing the world to a place, where everyone can express their own opinion.
Tell us a bit about your involvement at the session.
Anne: My role at the session is formally known as the co-Head Organiser, which implies that I was the one to arrange everything and was in charge of running the session successfully. However, I do believe that organising a session is also about cultivating an environment in which everyone, both officials and delegates, felt welcomed and happy.
Christian: My role at the session was Head Organiser, which means that I – together with my co-Head Organiser – came up with the idea about creating a session that focused on Resilience. From the moment that the thought crossed our minds, we have been working hard with all the organizational matters, as well as communicating with the Chief Resilience Officer in our project about strengthening the focus on the relatively unknown topic, Resilience. During the session, we have been doing our very best in order to facilitate the debate about solutions on the problems of today and tomorrow, and it has been very important to us to follow the outcome of the debates in the committees, as Resilience is a topic that means a lot for us both personally.
How did you implement the Power Shifts concept?
Anne: Resilience is a very topical theme for the world we live in right now. It is about being able to withstand great let-downs but also about growing from experiences that knock you down. It is about progress and it is exactly what we discuss in the EYP. We take the problems of the world and find solutions for them. Not only solutions that will withstand this pressure, but also solutions that will help us grow from these experiences. We discuss climate change and the environment a lot because we know it is something that will greatly affect us in the future.
Christian: Something that has been very important for us from the very beginning, is the thought about, how many of the solutions to the problems that the world is facing should be found in the small communities – among these, Vejle, where the inhabitants know to their own cost how brutal the climate change can be, and therefore also know what should be done to solve these problems. It has been very important to us to work closely together with the municipality with regard to the preparations of our topics that have been of very high importance for Vejle. This has made it more significant for the delegates – who predominantly come from Vejle – to discuss problems that they can see with their own eyes by looking out the window.
What are your main take-aways from the session?
Anne: I have found great power in youth. Every session presents different themes and topics, but one thing I find within myself with every session I have joined is this feeling of empowerment and understanding. People might not agree with everything I say, but we all have a common opinion that voices should not be silenced, and I think it is amazing that a group of young people can come together and, despite our differences, create something bigger than ourselves. I am really proud of the work we do.
Christian: My main take-away from the session is that I would like to remind everyone how important it is that all the decision-makers in the parliaments around the world remember to listen to the voice of the small communities, who from their own experience know the problems of climate change. It is also of extremely high importance that the European youth is aware of the problems that we are facing, and that they remember that the only way we can solve these is by working together.
Together with innogy foundation, we intend to reach out to over 1000 EYPers per year to empower their ability to give a competent response to the energy-related challenges and significantly expand their knowledge on the topic. Apart from energy, we also discuss topics related to climate and societal impact. Here are some impressions from RSC Vejle 2018: