The Journey to the journey

By Anne Lørup Arildsen - Participant in Journey programme 2017. Blog 2

The first week of the journey was all about familiarizing and setting the contents. Through both lectures and fields trips we were introduced to the Portuguese climate and culture. We learned about their old traditions and more importantly the challenges and consequences they are facing due to climate change.

These challenges are not small and furthermore they include a brought and diverse range of hazards. Just two weeks before our arrival to Portugal the country faced a big wildfire which killed more than 60 people lost their lives. Further, challenges of climate change here in Portugal include heat waves, decrease in coast line, floods, erosion and decrease in biodiversity. We visited a number of municipalities around Lisbon to get a better understanding of the problem as well as getting introduced to- and inspired by the mitigation and adaptation projects that these municipalities have conducted. Other visits included a trip to a community garden, the major energy company of Portugal EDP were we learning about their smart grid solutions and a trip to the country site to see the diversity of Portuguese farming and see how cork is produced – who would have known that it was harvested from the bark of a cork three, I certainly didn’t.

Secondly the first week was all about getting to know each other! Not only our many different academical backgrounds like, business, biology, social- and political science, engineering and more, but for me it was also really interesting and inspiring to listen to the stories and life adventures of my fellow participants – learning about their journey to the journey. We all had a lot of different paths in life but in general we have a pretty international group which can be very valuable when addressing climate solutions that span over different cultures and corners of the world. Our facilities here in Lisbon are great with amazing vegetarian food and a packed program from at least 9-18 every day. However, we still find time to get to know each other and have fun by going to the beach and going out.

Stay tuned for more information about our project work and the great tools our coaches bring to the table about understanding ourselves and group dynamics, as well as creative brainstorming and entrepreneurship.

About the blogger: Hey, my name is Anne Lørup Arildsen and I am excited to be sharing my thoughts and experiences for this year’s Climate KIC summer school, The Journey. Together with 35 people of 18 different nationalities, we are ready to set off into the next 5 weeks of learning about climate innovation and entrepreneurship. Together we hope to help make a difference in finding the solutions for tomorrow’s climate challenges. Our Journey will be taking us through Europe and the three destinations, Lisbon, Valencia and Wroclaw. Our great coaches Erica and Francisco will be following and guiding all the way on this journey.