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SEMINAR 2022: „A sustainable energy vision: civil society and science together: From present knowledge to future actions“

06.02.2023 - Artikel

6th – 7th December 2022 in Warsaw

Sustainability is key for the positive evolution of our societies. The field of energy supply is a clear example. Energy must be both: reliable and with no negative impact on climate. Society can find solutions together with science. Researchers and students from Poland, Austria, Germany and Poland discussed strategies on a joint conference. Representatives of industry and civil society presented their needs as well. The Embassies of Austria, Germany and Switzerland in Warsaw hosted the event together with German scientific alumni organisations.
It is the start of a series of conferences and talks under the claim: „Together for sustainability“ which aims at new cooperation between science and civil society for a transition to sustainability.

Key findings:

  • Communication is key! All participants agreed: we need a clear, sincere and coherent communication regarding sustainability.
  • Concerns of society, scientific research findings, company interest and policymaking is often disconnected. Students and industry representatives want to bridge this gap. They will organize regular meetings to discuss concerns and solutions to climate change and sustainability.
  • Solutions must be systemic, adaptable and interdisciplinary. Better and more coherent cooperation on all levels and between all related sectors is necessary.
  • The transition to sustainability needs efforts from the state (e.g. regulating emission, taxing harmful products, investing in renewables and infrastructure) and from the industry (innovation, cooperation, reinvestments in infrastructure).
  • Solutions need a broad support from society. To raise awareness we should on the one hand educate more on the topic of sustainability. On the other hand, we should promote grassroots initiatives and introduce more inclusive decision-making.

Ideas and proposals for the future. What we can do next?

„We see particularly good opportunities for cooperation in connection with the event in Warsaw in the field of science communication. We could certainly help to strengthen this area, for example in the context of the German-Polish Scientific Encounters series or in the form of separate joint events, e.g. lectures with Leibniz Prize winners, etc. We could also directly recommend one of the new Leibniz Prize awardees who works on sustainability issues for an event next year.“

Dr. Annina Lottermann
Internationale Zusammenarbeit
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)

„Business understands the need to change and acts accordingly (not all of us, but many). I would be happy to invite the participants to Jawor in 2023 – visiting a smart factory might be an immersive experience.“

Ewa Łabno-Falęcka, Ph.D.
Head of Corporate Communication & External Affairs
Mercedes-Benz Manufacturing Poland

„We intend to organize “Sustainability Talks„ for students at Bayer at regular intervals of 2-3 months.“

Markus Baltzer
SBR & CDH PH Central Eastern Europe, Bayer Polska

We asked the participants for their feedback

„For me personally both discussions were eye-opening and fruitful with new ideas. I really appreciate the whole organisation of the event and the opportunity of networking.“

Workshops Together for Sustainability
Workshops „Together for Sustainability“© Botschaft Warschau

„I have talked to incredibly passionate people in a field I had not been previously very keen on and I must admit that the whole experience allowed me to look at the world we are living in from a different angle. Surely, climate activisim and education is not enough as it takes enormous financial effort and huge technological transition to effectively minimize our carbon footprint, which can take decades. However, what I have acknowledged is the need for acting right now, in spite of the high workload that is awaiting us as a global society“.

„For the future seminars with similar topics I would only suggest that the topics for the second workshops could be changed because we came to very similar conclusions after the first round of workshops. Nevertheless, I am looking forward to putting into practice the findings of our discussions and, hopefully, making a difference to our world endangered by climate change and environmental disasters.“

Workshops Together for Sustainability
Workshops „Together for Sustainability“© Botschaft Warschau

„In Zukunft könnte ich vorschlagen, dass die Titel der Vorträge und zum Beispiel Fragen, die die Gruppen bearbeiten werden, in das Programm aufgenommen werden sollten.“

„Myself, as a student I attended the seminar to learn about different aspects of Sustainable Development, and I must admit that I left the conference as an optimist towards the current situation around us.“

„Summing up, I must admit I am extremely happy with the outcomes of this seminar as I both learned a lot of new things and heard of many absolutely fascinating innovations, and met an incredible lot of interesting people who are actively working on making the world a greener place. I am highly thankful to the embassies of Germany, Switzerland and Austria for making this event come true.“

„Sehr gut gefallen hat mir die Interdisziplinarität der geladenen Gäste, die sowohl aus Wissenschaft und Wirtschaft als auch aus gesellschaftlichen Organisationen kamen. Dies führte zu vielen interessanten Schlussfolgerungen. Das Seminar war für uns eine schöne Gelegenheit neue Kontakte zu treffen und Erfahrungen zu sammeln.“

„In my opinion, something that would add up the next time would be to get a list of topics and experts possibly beforehand or even directly at the conference, to get acquainted better with them, have a general idea, and also remember it in the future.“

Workshops Together for Sustainability
Workshops „Together for Sustainability“© Botschaft Warschau

„Kritisch anzumerken bleibt allerdings die Vorbereitung: In meiner Arbeitsgruppe war nicht allen Vortragenden klar, dass es sich hier um eine ganztägige Veranstaltung handelt. Es war nicht klar, wie die Teilnehmer sein werden. Es gab für die Gruppenarbeit keine Vorschläge, wie strukturiert vorgegangen werden sollte beziehungsweise was das Resultat sein sollte. Als Vortragende kamen wir uns in unserer Arbeitsgruppe in der Vorbereitungszeit doch ziemlich verlassen vor.“

„Die ganze Veranstaltung war wirklich toll, ein organisatorischer Hinweis: es wäre besser, wenn einzelne Gruppen etwas getrennt wären, denn manchmal konnte man auch bei uns nicht hören, was die Person auf der anderen Seite des Tisches sagte, weil es so laut war.“


Notes on the workshops including notes from participants

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