Our big day was October 7th – this is when we had our knowledge cafe named „Sustaining our Future – shaping the role of youth in Europe“. It was 1,5 h long session in a big room (with around 10 similar sessions at the same time). It’s actually unbelievable, that we applied to hold this event more than a year ago – in July 2007. Finally we were there, and we could see that the effort had been worth it – all the interested people couldn’t fit behind the table and had to take extra chairs. Everyone was listening to us carefully and asking a lot of questions; not only about SuFu, but also generally about AEGEE – how we communicate in such a big organisation, what activities do we have, how do we get our new members etc. Also, of course, we were congratulated by the initiative of trying to tackle sustainable development. Young people are big interest for the nature conservation sector – that showed also from many other sessions that we attended. For example, International Institute for Sustainable Development was rather interested in cooperation with Youth NGO’s, especially in trainings, as they put big emphasis on empowering future sustainability leaders.
The congress organisers also made an effort to target youth especially: there was a specific section in the congress webpage, and also they arranged a nice gathering on a boat in Barcelona harbour. It was a nice opportunity to meet people who organised sessions for youth during the congress. It was quite charming to meet by the sea, under evening sun, sip some wine, eat chocolate and chat with people from World Business Council for Sustainable Development for example. This organisation was btw, one the biggest congress partners. Besides having big pavillion with a lot of information, and sevaral sessions on concrete topics, they also organised Business Night Schools, where business and nature conservation representatives could meet and learn how they can cooperate together. It was there where we had the chance to talk a bit with representatives of some quite known companies. Who knows, we just might become partners as well - you will hear more about it then ;)
Of course, I also had small meeting with the representative of Countdown 2010 initiative, with whom AEGEE is an official partner since June 2008 – it’s a global action to stop the loss of biodiversity. We had nice evening chat about concrete ways to cooperate – I can just say that future European Day of Environment organisers can be happy ;)
All in all, the congress was just a perfect place to connect ourselves into the world of sustainable development and make ourselves seen. If you are interested to know more, read our congress report and/or summary of the knowledge cafe or just contact me or Miguel by mail. And please leave a comment here on the blog to INTERACT!!!