Students from nine schools discussed the issues of climate change at the Salem International College Youth Conference on Climate Change (SICYC).
Salem International College welcomed delegates of eight schools from 22 to 24 November 2019 to discuss the topic of climate change, and get input from two renowned keynote speakers: Thomas Sparrow and Altsalemer Dr. Ralf Nacke. The preparations by the student committee, chaired by Louisa Sackewitz and Melinda Käferstein, under the guidance of our Round Square Representative Nina Peters, started months ago, supported by the Round Square Service and the Sustainability Service.
The conference began on Friday with the reception of the eight schools – Herlufsholm in Denmark, Gut Warnberg, Landheim Ammersee, Birklehof, Klosterschule Roßleben, Louisenlund, as well as Gymnasium Überlingen and the Überlingen Waldorfschule. In total 25 guests plus 20 Salem students participated. By setting the conditions that all schools must arrive by train or bus or – in the case of Herlufsholm – compensate for their CO2 emissions, and also try to limit the use of paper, the efforts of the student committee were marked by trying to implement a spirit of environmental awareness.
Food for thought and zest for action
By starting right away with two keynotes and workshops, the first evening was designed to be filled with food for thought, heated debates and zest for action. Thomas Sparrow, a former correspondent of the BBC and political correspondent for Deutsche Welle, explained how climate change is communicated in various media sources and how we can distinguish fake news – or, as we now should call it, “misinformation” or “disinformation” – in the flood of available information. The second keynote speaker, Dr. Ralf Nacke, lectured us about future sustainability and ethical economics. As a management consultant he accompanies companies along their path toward a “green” business model. Working in close conjunction with his daughter Delia Maria Nacke he also guided us through workshops with a boundlessly creative working atmosphere.
Saturday morning we started with a best practice carousel where each school in turn presented their approaches to a sustainable school community. Saturday was also all about changing individual behaviour. Overall we were able to draft concrete plans in order to promote sustainability in our schools. Every one of us believes that we are not too small to change something. Together we can fight climate change. Together we are united in action.
Melinda Käferstein and Louisa Sackewitz, Abi2