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Journaling #YCL2019Immersion

Last week we concluded our YCL 2019 Immersion, and we are now proud to welcome 23 new members from 14 countries to our YCL Network! As YCL Fellows, they will have access to opportunities offered by the network, such as Field Placements worldwide, job vacancies and Delegations to global events. This community of practice now have more than 120 members from 20 countries and 4 continents!

THANK YOU for the hospitality of the 17 organizations that partnered with us for the visits, lectures, and activities. A special thank you for ICLEI and for the Columbia Global Centers Rio de Janeiro, our official partners for this year's edition. We have prepared a detailed journal with all the details of the visits and activities below!



Berlin, 2th August 2019: DAY #1 - Welcome to Berlin!


We welcomed the participants at Kernvoll, first vegan catering which is 100% organic certified, located in the heart of Berlin. Christian and Tommy gave a great intro about the #vegan food scene in the city, as well as the importance of civil society and business to be politically engaged to drive transformations in the world.


"Eating is a political act. And three times a day, we have the choice of supporting this cruel food system or not" - Christian


The entire menu was delicious, but the highlights are for sure the vegan sausages and the vegan schnitzel. It was an evening full of laughs, ideas and discussions, sourrounded by food made with genuine ingredients, catered and served with competence and love. Thank you for this great start of our journey, Kernvoll. We could not have asked for a better event place to start this journey!


Berlin, 3rd August 2019: DAY #2 - Introduction to YCL & Group Projects


Today we started first induction - 23 young leaders from 14 countries are gathered in Berlin Germany to explore the theme about sustainable cities and climate action.

We did a presentation about U Theory, developed by Otto Scharmer. Cassia stated that climate change is a big challenge, and there are no solutions that are ready to solve it. Therefore there is great potential to new solutions if we have open heart and will to work collaboratively.


After that we gave an intro about Design Thinking, a method of innovation management developed at the Stanford University that relies on a co-creative process involving end-user feedback. For the immersion, we have decided to use design thinking tools from the UNLEASH inovation process, that was developed by Delloite in partnership with 200 partners in 2017, and is dedicated specifically to develop the SDGs.

UNLEASH innovation process introduction

After this introduction, we distributed the participants in four groups to develop their respective group project :

  1. Energy

  2. Food & Agriculture

  3. Urban Mobility

  4. Urban Planning

The rest of the day was dedicated to kickoff the project with the Problem Framing step. On this first step, the participants should define a problem are based on actionable insights into real life challenges. Think about the sustainable development challenge that you care about solving from the point-of-view of your user. The had to fill the following template:

[User] needs to [user’s need] because [insight]

The user should be a noun - a person or organisation.

The user’s need should be a verb - an action or requirement.

The insight should be friction, not a fact. The more actionable that your insight is, the easier it will be to start coming up with exciting, unique solutions.

Berlin, 4th August 2019: DAY #3 - Bike Tour with the Critical Mass Berlin


Today we were welcome by Jan Michael Ihl and Michael Schulte, from the Critical Mass Berlin and Changing Cities, initiatives empowered by the locals in Berlin that advocate for a better urban mobility infrastructure.


They took us for a bike ride to explore the different bike lanes and infrastructures, where we were able to see the challenges of biking in Berlin. It was enlightening to have the perspective of locals to see that even if Berlin positions as a great city for bikers, they still have a lot to go to make bike lanes more accessible. Thank you so much for allowing us to see Berlin through your eyes and showing the challenges and the importance of engaging society for more human cities.


Berlin, 7th August 2019: DAY #4 - Greifswald University & Moabit West


We had the pleasure of having a lecture from Dr. Braun from Greifswald University, where university, city administration and civil society developed the city’s climate protection alliance. Climate is challenge that will require cities to work with multiple stakeholders to develop and implant new solutions and improve people’s lives.


After giving his inputs to the group’s project, we said goodbye to Dr. Braun and headed to Moabit West, neighborhood part of the #SSD program (smart sustainable cities), an initiative from Climate Kic to conduct an investigation with the citizens about sustainability and city infrastructure. Before that we had a quick talk with João Kino Prado, citizen of the neighbourhood, for some insights and views about his life in the region.


Berlin, 6th August 2019: DAY #5 - Visit to GIZ & Group Project


Today We visited the GIZ office that works on the C40 Cities Finance Facility (CFF) to learn how cities finance new solutions to mitigate climate change in cities worldwide. GIZ has over 50 years of experience in a wide variety of areas, including economic development and employment promotion, energy and the environment, and peace and security.


In the afternoon we had a picnic at Tiergarten, where we continued to work in the group projects, this time focusing on the Ideation step. This step is quite fun, and consists in research, brainstorming, debating and evaluating ideas to solve the problem framed. Most importantly, it is the step to evaluate if the idea is viable on the financially, socially and environmentally.





Berlin, 7th August 2019: DAY #6 - Visit to GIZ & Group Project



We visited Agora Energiewende to learn Germany’s transition to green energy and their scholarship programs. Philipp Hauser presented a great debate about leadership, sustainable economy and climate careers - what an inspiring way to start the day.



In the afternoon we visited IASS (Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies), where we were welcomed by Prof. Dr. Mark Lawrence, Angela Borowski, Michael Palmer, Charlotte Unger and Carolin Fraude. We learned about their different fellowship programs and their Summer school programs. We closed the visit with an important debate about how to make science mainstream.






Berlin, 8th August 2019: DAY #7

Visit to ECF Farm & Prinzessinnengarten