Second all-Ukrainian Power Shift kickstarts practical ecoprojects
If you want to be proud of the movement we are building -- check this story of a small group of dreamers from Ukraine. They took the challenge of organizing national Power Shift without any funding or organizational support. In just around two months they found the most creative venue in Kyiv, attracted superb speakers and arranged eco-friendly accommodation and food - all this for free and with fun! This is not to tell about the teams of promising young leaders from all over the country who made these three days simply unforgettable. They had science, they had dances and amazing ice-breakers, as well as a bit of practical actions, and even their own PowerShift kitten.
It's ok if you feel a little jealous after scrolling through their photos - the same do I :)
This was a most exciting week for young environmental leaders in Ukraine. 9 teams of activists from all over the country gathered by Ukrainian Youth Climate Association (UYCA) and 350 Ukraine developed plans for their carbon shortening and eco-social projects in terms of Power Shift (PS) in Kyiv.
During three days Ukrainian teams studied greenshifting, public speaking, teambuilding and project management for environmental and carbon-reducing projects. At the simulation game on the last day of PS participants developed a project plan based on social change theory and tried it out in front of ‘government’, ‘sponsors’ and ‘society’.
– You know this awkward feeling when people freak out hearing your thoughts or ideas?, – asks Olga Lakiza, a young leader from Kharkiv team ‘Friend of Nature’, Ukraine. – Meeting powershifters in Kyiv gave us a huge portion of confidence. Feels like we are not alone any more. Now there is no way back – we are doing “Eco-Loft” in Kharkiv and expanding space for environmental education in our city!
‘Friend of Nature’ has already implemented a number of environmental educational projects in Kharkiv. Now girls are planning to create a hosting place for educational events provided by environmental and social NGO’s in cooperation with UYCA.
– I was happy to finally meet like-minded people from all over Ukraine and spend three long days together, – says Iryna Karchak, a student from Lviv. – Thanks to simulation game we became aware of rough goings while communicating with state authorities or funds. At least we now know what to expect, and it feels like half the deal. I believe that we will complete our project [accumulators sorting] on a big scale – not only in our University, - and keep working in cooperation with UYCA and other NGOs.
Environmental crisis all over the world is spinning up, and currently not only climate is failing. Deforestation, fresh water consumption, land degradation are rapidly increasing in graphic rates.
To get through the situation, and satisfy the needs of humanity, all these rates should be turned down from the critical point in the record speed. This could be done, if all the countries, including Ukraine, simultaneously shift the consumerist paradigm to the impact responsibility.
Volodymyr Sergeev, a businessman, came to Power Shift to involve young activists in his project - upcycled tire house construction ‘Earthship Ukraine’. Volodymyr is building a tire house showroom, and looks for a team which wants to develop and share this idea.
A small group of organizers from UYCA and 350-Ukraine managed to host and handle all-Ukrainian Power Shift with no external funding. Now Power Shift Ukraine in 2012 turns out to be a kick starter for practical environmental projects all over Ukraine. Three winners of the simulation game will start their brand new practical projects this autumn with the support of ‘Take and Make’ campaign of UYCA team. Then, new wave of projects will be initiated in spring.
The splash of practical eco actions in urbane environment is about to begin – and not only in Ukraine. Ideas are spreading quickly, and suddenly - hurray! - ‘Take and Make’ movement is already initiated in Russia!
Power Shift Ukraine brought together more than 50 young leaders for ideas sharing and cooperation. It is really inspiring that more and more people accept the climate change challenge, get practical and put their everyday life and business on sustainable track. The era of changes we enter now is extreme and exciting, and now we believe that new Ukrainian powershifters will blow everyone’s minds and turn the world around as easy and fun, as they did it on Power Shift Ukraine this weekend!
-- by Olga Monchak and the whole PS Ukraine team.