Despite a global pandemic and unprecedented global challenges, ReGeneration 2030 hosted their third annual Summit on the 20th and 21st of August. More than ever young people need to come together and find ways to take action, so creative thinking was applied and a completely new format was created, using the tools of technology to connect youth across the region via Zoom, while they were able to meet physically in local hubs.
Around 170 people took part, either online, in physical hubs, as speakers and including the organisers. Around 120 young people met for inspiring programming, around 50 participating online and more than 90 young people met in person in local hubs in Krakow, Greifswald, Reykjavik, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Helsinki, Tallinn, Vilnius, St Petersburg and Kiev. Covering 13 countries and autonomous regions and spanning four time zones, the participants were still able to experience the regional diversity which makes the ReGeneration 2030 Summit such a powerful experience!
The power of youth
Jonas Færgeman, Chairman of ReGeneration 2030 was impressed with the dedication of the participants:
"This year proved once again to me that there is no end to the energy and willpower of young activists! One cannot help but be inspired by such efforts - in the midst of a climate crisis and global pandemic, it is truly an uplifting experience to witness the passion of this generation when it comes to combating the issues, which endangers us all.”
But he is also aware that there is still a very long way to go and youth cannot get too comfortable anytime soon, but will have to keep the momentum going:
“But we must not rest on our laurels! This year, it is important for us to show the world what we, the youth, can do; it marks the decade-long countdown to the 2030 Agenda. 10 years is our time frame, but I have no doubt we will do anything in our power to reach the deadline, regardless of the amount of assistance we shall receive from any wielder of power!
So from the bottom of my heart, I thank every participant who joined this year's Summit and for making it such a positive reminder of youth power!
Let's get to work!"
Inspiration and call to action
Among the speakers were Paula Lehtomäki, General Secretary of the Nordic Council of Ministers, Tony Addison, Professor of Economics at the University of Copenhagen, as part of a workshop organised by UN Youth of Finland, Annika Lepistö, member of the Nordic Youth delegation and Advisory group for Biodiversity and Anton Zaitsev, PR Manager at the NGO Clean Games.
Alberto Giacometti from Nordregio and the BeUBio project also hosted an inspiring panel of
young entrepreneurs from all over the region who have founded their own sustainable businesses and initiatives.
ReGeneration 2030 also announced and officially launched their partnership with the collaboration platform ACTER with a keynote by founder Emil Vincentz. The platform will support and expand the regional connections and coalition-building efforts of ReGeneration 2030 for the future.
The two days were filled with inspirational speeches, brilliant examples and cases of sustainable action and the chance for all the participants to get to know new people, expand their networks and get started on their work with sustainability, the SDG’s and their own projects!
Accelerating the impact
Friday culminated with an action workshop where every hub and online participant got together in groups to start defining the work and projects they will be taking forward in their local communities during the next year.
The aim is sustained activity in these initial 10 hubs and cities and a steady expansion throughout the region during the upcoming year and beyond. The aim of ReGeneration 2030 is to continuously expand the network of youth taking action on sustainable challenges across the region, and act as a facilitator for growing collaboration and expansion of the work, alongside the aim of including all young people in the work for a more sustainable region. At the end of the Summit, 50 people were active on the ACTER platform. The upcoming weeks will be about consolidating the network of local hubs while ensuring the active participation of this, and previous years’, Summit’s delegates.
Thus begins the exciting work with consolidating ReGeneration 2030 as a legal entity, and the beginning of the planning of next year’s Summit, which will be bigger than ever with the 100-year anniversary of the Åland Islands’ autonomy to organise a full ReGeneration 2030 week with more participants and initiatives than ever before!
Author: Stinne Vognæs