Recently, youth in the Nordic and Baltic Sea regions founded the ReGeneration 2030 Foundation. Our foundation aims to establish a powerful youth movement in the region for the UN 2030 Agenda, with our annual Summit held on the Åland islands being an influential platform for change. - Time is running out and we have to do something, explains chairperson Bára Örk Melsted.
The ReGeneration 2030 movement was formed three years ago as a project uniting youth actors in the Nordic and Baltic Sea regions to a common platform for sustainability. After three held Summits, hundreds of engaged youth, several high-level events attendance and a range of partner organisations, we, a group of youth recently laid the ground for the ReGeneration 2030 Foundation.
According to the newly elected chairperson Bára Örk Melsted from Iceland, the need of such a youth movement is obvious:
- To solve this crisis we need everyone aboard. Politicians and business leaders will not make the change on their own. Therefore, we the youth, need to push for change towards a sustainable future, through our consumption, our votes and our voices.
During the last few years, a lot of youth-led organisations and networks have popped up in the region. According to our new website, the ambition of ReGeneration 2030 is to unite these forces to come together more than before: “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.”
Our movement’s main event will continue to be the Annual Summit which is held on the Åland islands each August. While creating an open meeting place for youth to learn more about today's global challenges, the participants get the opportunity to push for change towards key stakeholders of society. Following the great interest shown during previous activities, the next Summit will be extended into a ReGeneration Week during 28.8-1.9.2021. The theme of our Summit has been decided as “ReThinking the system”, highlighting the need for a green recovery after the pandemic. Already, an invitation has been sent to the Lithuanian EU-commissioner Virginijus Sinkevičius:
- He has been instrumental in pushing for the Green New Deal. We would more specifically like to discuss how he will increase the pace of a green recovery and what we could do to help him, says vice chairperson Paulius Serapinas, himself from Lithuania too.
The EU-commissioner would be in good company. Being one of the main international highlights of the celebration of Åland’s 100 years of autonomy and of the Finnish chairmanship programme within the Nordic Council of Ministers, it is expected that our festivities will attract hundreds of international and local participants. Previously involved organisations include the Council of the Baltic Sea States, the UN programme on sustainable lifestyles and education, the Nordic Council of Ministers, IKEA and the Zero Waste movement.
The ReGeneration 2030 Foundation is, apart from Bára and Paulius, steered by the former chair of the Nordic Youth Council Kati Systä (Turku, Finland), the green entrepreneur Anastasia Selezneva (St. Petersburg, Russia), European sustainability expert Alix Gabaude (Gothenburg, Sweden), the Nordic Youth Biodiversity Network representative Annika Lepistö (Mariehamn, Åland), the Master in Law and Sustainable Development Olga Amelkina (Omsk, Russia), and the member of Åland parliament and the Nordic Council Simon Holmström (Mariehamn, Åland). Awaiting the recruitment process, Simon Holmström serves as Acting Secretary General. Moreover, the Finnish production company All Things Content, led by the experienced event producer Johanna Stenback, has been appointed Head of Production of the 2021 ReGeneration Week.