For the fourth consecutive year, the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid has been selected to be one of the venues for the Climate-KIC Journey, the largest summer school in Europe in innovation and entrepreneurship to face the challenges posed by climate change. The Journey offers a unique combination of academic study and real-world experience through a multidisciplinary program organized by the best universities in Europe.
Around 200 students will participate this year in Journeys organized online by nine universities and research centres in ten European cities (Dublin, Lisbon, Madrid, Valencia, Zurich, Tallinn, Riga, Malta, Timisoara and Limassol).
This year, the Climate-KIC Journey will begin on July 10, with a first week of Journey in which all participants will be together in the so-called Leg 1.
During Leg 1, participants and coaches will get to know each other and develop a community spirit before embarking on individual Journeys. The main objective of this stage is to build a common learning base on climate change, systems thinking, system innovation and leadership concepts, which are key to allowing participants to have a mutual understanding and mental model about climate change, its root causes and consequences. Leg 1 will take place between July 10 and 17.
Subsequently, after a week off, students will join their respective Journeys (9 in total) from July 26, the day on which Leg 2 officially begins. In said Leg 2, the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid shares headquarters with Valencia, this year again represented by the Universitat de València.
At this stage, each Journey will be accompanied by two coaches, whose objective is to guide the students throughout the Journey, supporting the students in the work they must do and energizing the different processes and relationships that are being created along the way throughout summer school. In the case of our Journey, the coaches assigned for this year are Clara Giberga (Spain) and Rowan Simonsen (Denmark).
In this phase, the focus is to build on the foundation created in Leg 1, but also to gain a good understanding of the specific circumstances on the challenges of climate change in a local context (Madrid and València). The local ecosystem will be explored and used to provide study cases with the objective of examining key concepts learned in Leg 1 and understanding and proposing solutions with a systemic approach.
In addition, at this stage students will work in teams of 3-5 people on a topic of their choice related to what has been identified as high leverage points within a chosen ecosystem, and from there they will deliver a system innovation plan at the end of Leg 2.
Specifically, the program in Madrid will take place between July 26 and 30, and will have experts from different disciplines directly related to the problem of climate change, including professors from the ETSIAAB, professionals in the area, representatives of administrations and alumni of the Journey that have been part of this summer school in the past.
The Journey team of the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid is made up of the ETSIAAB professor and CEIGRAM researcher Margarita Ruiz-Ramos (Principal Researcher), Esperanza Luque Merelo (Management and organization) and Hamid Yammine (Support in management, organization and communication).
The next stage, Leg 3, focuses on collaborative learning, since the participants will “return home” and make the learning received so far their own, applying it to their local ecosystem, but will continue to interact with the entire Community of the Journey of broader form. During this time, they will develop and begin to implement a personal action plan in their local context, using a peer-coaching group. In addition, there will be time to connect with other participants of the Journey through specific sessions.
Finally, between September 10 and 12, the Community Summit of the Journey (Leg 4) will be held, an event that will also be open to young students from all over the world, in order to share stories of success and failure around the Journey, thus enriching the path towards the design of the system that allows to face the challenges that climate change represents.
This year, in addition, CEIGRAM and UPM also participate in the Climate Innovation Leadership program, in which students from different European universities (including more than ten from UPM) receive training on tools that allow them to face challenges climate conditions that our planet is currently facing.
From CEIGRAM and the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid we are very excited to continue being part of this wonderful initiative of Climate-KIC and to join in the fight to generate greater awareness at the citizen level on issues related to climate change and sustainability.