Strategy Meeting in Stockholm during the autumn of 2017 where core partners decided to launch the movement.
Discussion with Nordic youth councils in Laugarvatn.
Summit in August 2018 in Mariehamn.
Baltic Sea Parliamentary Conference session in 2018.
In 2015, the UN adopted the 2030 Agenda with its 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The excitement was high. One year passed. And yet another. Whilst the ecological crisis just got worse, people's frustration of inaction became evident.
On a little island in the middle of the Baltic Sea - Åland - a group of young people started asking: Can we do something about it? Around the same time, they had been part of shaping a local people's movement for sustainability - Bärkraft - and got courage to take matters in their own hands. The grandiose idea was to gather a lot of initiatives, campaigns and organisations in the regional vicinity that work with sustainability to a common platform. Several partners quickly joined the network. Our strategy meeting in November 2017 in Stockholm was decisive: ReGeneration 2030 - as the movement came to be called - would encompass 14 countries and autonomous regions in the Nordic and Baltic Sea regions. In a meeting with Nordic youth council representatives held in Laugarvatn, Iceland, we got confirmation on our idea that sustainable consumption and production would be a suitable focus.
Funding from the Nordic Council of Ministers, the Åland Provincial Government, the Swedish Institute and the Council of the Baltic Sea States provided the opportunity for the appointment of a coordinator in 2017–2020. The Nordic Institute on Åland (NIPÅ) took the responsibility to act as a project organisation. It was decided that the movement's main meeting points - the “Summits” - would take place on the Åland islands in August each year. This was a natural decision as Åland poses a perfect example on how an inside-out bottom-up people's movement for sustainability actually can have a great influence.
The first Summit in August 2018 was a success with over 110 participants from 13 countries and regions. During the Summit, a manifesto for the movement was adopted, stating the vision of the movement along with demands and commitments. After the Summit, the movement was invited to a number of different high-level meetings to represent the voice of young people. The Baltic Sea Parliamentary Conference, COP24 and the High Level Community Planning Forum in St. Petersburg were some examples. The movement was featured in IKEA's international sustainability report.
The second Summit had a special focus on climate smart consumption. To the Summit was added the "HållbArt festival" which also aimed at the general public. In total, 200 people were engaged. As a result of the second Summit, several participants were invited to meetings, conferences and festivals regarding sustainable consumption and climate-smart lifestyles. For instance, a representative of the movement met the Nordic prime ministers with a demand letter together with other Nordic youth representatives. The movement was also represented at COP25.
In 2020, following the pandemic, the Summit was held digitally with up to 170 active participants and around 250 participants including the local hubs. As the formal project ended after the digital Summit, with NIPÅ withdrawing from its project management role, the need for an independent organisation became clear. A group of involved participants during the first three years laid the ground for the ReGeneration 2030 Foundation the 19th of September 2020. The Baltic Sea Project, administered by Ålandsbanken, granted us the money needed to start the ReGeneration 2030 Foundation, which we are grateful for.
First off, we have to understand the world we are living in. Climate change is escalating. Waste mountains are rising. There is more plastic in the seas than there ever was. More species are disappearing. Economic inequality is increasing. The time for action is now if we want to achieve the UN 2030 Agenda and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. This negative spiral has to be turned now. We cannot use the COVID-19 pandemic as an excuse for inaction. The crisis rather serves us a possibility to reinvent a more resilient and sustainable society.
Secondly, talking about sustainability is not enough. The older generation has known about the challenges for more than 50 years now. So we have to understand the mechanisms: Politicians seek voters. Businesses follow demand. Therefore, we as citizens can change how we vote and what products we demand; we can influence our families, colleagues and peers. The key to a sustainable future is a well-coordinated bottom-up mass movement of people with a clear vision.
Who else is to lead this people’s movement if not we, the young people? We are actually already taking a leading role in many ways. Yet, we know that this is not enough. We have to cooperate more across nations and organisations and advocate change continuously. We should stop working in silos and get together.
Strengthened by a common cause, we will cultivate more future politicians, business leaders and heads of NGOs. We should not wait for the leaders to come forth, we should become them. By educating youth, fostering a new leadership, uniting like-minded citizens and building norms around sustainable lifestyles, we aim to form a strong movement that shows both the necessity and the benefits of sustainability.
Thirdly, the entry point for the transition is to reshape the way in which the economy is organised. We know that if we are to achieve a fully sustainable society, there will be no economic activities that systematically exploit natural or human resources. However, as long as there are strong economic interests in upholding the status quo, we cannot expect others to drive the transition. We have to change demand so that people require only sustainable products. As a result, businesses are pushed into redeveloping new business models, and politicians into financing public welfare services through sustainable practices only. Hence, sustainable consumption and production are key in solving the entire 2030 Agenda.
Our vision is to make sustainable consumption and production the new norm in the Nordic and Baltic Sea regions.
Our mission is to mobilise a strong youth movement in the Nordic and Baltic Sea regions in order to achieve the vision.
"How can we create change so that the people responsible for the crisis do not feel threatened by the solutions?
The answer is: you don't. You make sure you have enough people on your side to change the balance of power."
Nordic Youth Representatives meeting with the Nordic Prime Ministers in Stockholm in October 2019.
WHAT WE DO.
HOW WE DO IT.
§ 1 Name and domicile
The foundation shall be called Stiftelsen ReGeneration 2030 sr, in English The ReGeneration 2030 Foundation sr. The foundation's domicile shall be the City of Mariehamn.
§ 2 Purpose
The purpose of the foundation shall be to mobilize a strong youth movement in the Nordic and Baltic Sea regions for sustainable development and in particular for sustainable consumption and production. The focuses of the foundation are to foster leadership, unite and strengthen actors in driving change, make demands to change-makers, build enthusiasm around sustainable lifestyles and facilitate action.
The foundation can realize its purpose by:
- organizing and coordinating physical and digital events,
- providing networks of national partner organizations and representatives,
- uniting partner organizations in project creation,
- running capacity development training and leadership programs,
- running communication campaigns,
- arranging meetings with power-holders,
- participating in relevant discussion festivals, events, and forums,
- interacting with relevant media houses and
- having an active presence on social media.
§ 3 Financial management
The foundation's capital base consists of € 50,000. The foundation can finance its activities through public funds, project financing, donations, gifts, wills, or other comparable forms of grants. The grants received should go to activities that directly fulfill the foundation's purpose but can exceptionally be managed as special funds, provided that their purposes are compatible with the foundation's own. The foundation has the right to own and possess real estate and can own securities and any other investment instruments. The foundation’s funds shall be managed according to plan.
§ 4 Board
The foundation's affairs are managed and the foundation is represented by a board. The board is responsible for ensuring that the activities are conducted in accordance with the foundation's purpose and that the supervision of the foundation's asset management is arranged in an appropriate manner. The board's ongoing, annual areas of responsibility include:
- establish a budget and a financial plan,
- elect auditors or an association of auditors and if applicable, audit fees,
- prepare an annual report and financial statements, and
- decide on measures arising from the previous year's surplus or deficit, and
convene the annual Summit.
The board consists of a minimum of four and a maximum of eight members. It is desirable that members reflect different nationalities, cultures, and age groups. At least 75% of the board shall consist of persons between the ages of 18 and 30 at the time of election. Younger persons have the right to participate in the work of the board as observers with the right to express an opinion and make proposals but without the right to make decisions. The maximum number of observers is three. These are not included in the formal board composition. The board, the chairperson of the board, and potential observers are elected by the participants present at the annual Summit in accordance with section 10. Its mandate period lasts until the next board is elected. The manner, in which the first board, including the chairperson of the board and potential observers, is appointed, is determined by the foundation's founders. The first board and potential observers will be dissolved at the appointment of a new board at the following Summit. The board elects a vice-chairperson and any other functionaries in addition to the chairperson of the board, who is elected by the annual Summit.
§ 5 Secretary General
The board may appoint a Managing Director who is called Secretary General. The Secretary General is responsible for realizing the foundation's purposes and handles the foundation's day-to-day operations in accordance with the board's instructions.
The Secretary General may take measures which, taking into account the scope and nature of the foundation's activities, are exceptional or of great importance, only if the person has authorization from the board or if the board's decision cannot be awaited without significant inconvenience to the foundation's activities. In the latter case, the board shall be notified of the measure as soon as possible.
§ 6 Board meeting
The board meets at the invitation of the chairperson or, in the event of his or her absence, of the vice-chairperson. The board decides on the method of convening and the manner in which other notices are given to the board members at its first meeting. The board shall be convened if at least one board member or the Secretary General so requests. The board has a quorum when the chairperson or vice-chairperson and at least half of the other members are present. A disqualified board member is not considered to be present. The board's decisions are made by a simple majority. If the votes fall evenly, the chairperson's vote decides, except in the case of election of persons, which is decided by drawing lots. If a decision is made without a board meeting, the decision-making shall take place in accordance with the guidelines specified by the board. Minutes are kept of the board's meetings, which are signed by the chairperson and the secretary of the meeting. Each member of the board and the Secretary General have the right to have their dissenting opinion recorded in the minutes. The minutes must be numbered consecutively and stored in a secure manner.
§ 7 Representatives of the foundation
The foundation is represented by two board members together or by a board member together with a named person appointed by the board. If all members of the board, the Secretary General and the signatories are resident in a country other than Finland, the foundation shall have a representative resident in Finland. The representative shall be registered for entry in the Foundation Register.
§ 8 Working groups
The board or the Secretary General can appoint working groups to handle matters concerning the foundation's activities. The working groups must be given an assignment description and contact person.
§ 9 Accounting period and audit
The foundation's financial year comprises a calendar year. The accounts and the board's report on the foundation's activities during the previous year must be submitted to the auditor or the auditors' association no later than April. If the audit gives reason to do so, the board shall meet no later than the month of May to decide on the measures that the audit report gives rise to. The foundation shall, within six months from the end of the financial period, submit to the National Board of Patents and Registration certified copies of the income statement and balance sheets and appendices, of the specifications to the balance sheet and of the annual accounts and auditors' reports. When a board member or signatory is replaced, the foundation must immediately report this to the National Board of Patents and Registration's foundation register.
§ 10 Annual Summit
The Board is responsible for arranging the annual Summit. Board members, the chairperson of the board, and potential observers are elected by the annual Summit. The board can appoint a nomination committee for the preparation of a new board, chairperson, and potential observers. The board is responsible for announcing the annual Summit no later than three weeks before its commencement date. Specific rules for the voting procedure must be stated in the convening notice. All registered participants of the annual Summit younger than 30 years old have the right to vote in the elections. The voting list encompasses the persons who have notified the foundation's appointed representatives of their presence within the deadline specified in the convening notice. The board election is conducted according to the following agenda:
1) Election of the chairperson of the meeting, meeting secretary and two tellers and minutes adjusters
2) Determination of the meeting's quorum
3) Determination of the electoral roll
4) Election of the chairperson of the board
5) Election of board members
6) Election of potential observers
Closed voting is applied in the election of persons.
§ 11 Amendment of statutes
Decisions on amendments to the foundation's articles of association and on the dissolution of the foundation should be made at two consecutive board meetings at intervals of at least one and at most three months. The decision is valid only if the decision of each meeting is identical. Decisions to amend the foundation's articles of association will only be valid if at least 75% of the board members include the decision at each of the above-mentioned meetings. Decisions on the dissolution of the foundation become valid only if all board members include the decision at each of the above-mentioned meetings.
§ 12 Dissolution
If the foundation is dissolved, its assets shall be used in accordance with the board's decision or purposes that correspond to the foundation's purpose.
§ 13 Other
In other respects, the articles of the applicable Foundation Act shall apply.
In order to fulfill our mission to become a strong youth movement, we have identified five focus areas. The movement:
fosters and highlights leadership amongst youth by knowledge-sharing, education, capacity building and empowerment;
strengthens and unites actors that share the vision across borders, generations and sectors of society;
demands change through continuous intergenerational dialogue with relevant power holders;
builds excitement and engagement around sustainable lifestyles aimed toward youth; and
The key to success is to translate these five focus areas into powerful activities.
One of the core activities is to provide different platforms for youth and youth-oriented organisations to network, build relationships, common initiatives, campaigns and projects. Our annual Summit on the Åland islands is the pinnacle of all the activities within the umbrella of the movement. This is also a meeting place for an intergenerational dialogue between youth and senior change-makers. In similar lines, we are organising or co-organising physical and digital events throughout the year.
We also run own projects with relevant stakeholders, such as capacity building educational and leadership programmes, communication campaigns and
providing youth with the opportunity to participate in events. These events can be high-level forums, roundtable discussions, live-streams, democracy festivals and other forums.
Another important activity is to support the national mobilisation for the vision. Our ambition is to create a network of national representatives in the region. They work alongside a range of national partner organisations and passionate activists. In addition, we aspire to develop the idea of local hubs that we pilot tested during the digital Summit in 2020. It should be easy to be a part of the movement on all levels.
It is the board's responsibility to implement the strategy according to both 3-year plans and annual plans. The board also supervises the Secretary General, designates auditors, confirms the Annual Report and decides changes of the bylaws. The board consists of 4-8 members, representing different cultures, regions and countries. At least 75% of the board members should be between 18-30 years old. Younger people can be elected as observants with initiative power, but will not be able to formally take part in the decision making process. Up to 3 observers can be elected. The board and the chairperson are elected for annual mandate periods during the annual Summit.
If the board deals with strategic decisions, the secretariat works operatively. The Secretary General leads the secretariat and is in charge of the operations, similar to a CEO. The Secretary General has the power to install national representatives and different types of working groups.