Since 2018, the young generation, led by Greta Thunberg, managed to create the greatest momentum for stopping the climate crisis in history. For months, thousands of youngsters gathered every Friday for climate strikes around the world, following the movement Fridays for Future and groups such as Extinction Rebellion. At the same time, in 2019 the new European Commission adopted the European Green Deal as its new growth strategy, aiming at becoming the first climate neutral continent by 2050.
However, the Covid-19 outbreak put a halt in both the climate strikes and the implementation of the European Green Deal. Now, we must fight to ensure that the recovery from Covid-19 will be done in a green manner to ensure a sustainable future for the young generation, through empowerment tools that do not require accumulations of great crowds (e.g. physical protests). Arguably, two of the main up-and-coming alternatives, are digital tools, artistic ones or a combination of the two. Going back to normal must be done in a sustainable, resilient yet democratic and participatory way.
This is why questions like “What is my power as an EU citizen?”, “What is my power as a young person?” are now more timely than ever. The alternative way of answering these questions through this project will be a mixture of digital tools, tutorials and thematics that promote the use of small workshops, artistic-digital expressionary platforms and Virtual Think Tanks. These activities will be divided and operated through the development of 2 different Intellectual outputs.
The challenge that the project aims to tackle is the puzzlement of local communities, especially the young generation, on how to achieve the green transition to a resilient future while “leaving no one behind”, in times of the social distancing that the Covid-19 outbreak has imposed.
Moreover, using the “eco-costs” concept, 3 out of 6 countries in the partnership are considered neutral or eco-costly. This is an indication of the environmental expenses of human activities and lifestyle in these countries (Source Green Match www.greenmatch.co.uk). However the turnout in the EU elections was not good, with 3 partner countries scoring below the EU average of 50.66%. The twin ecological and digital transitions will affect every part of our economy, society and industry. Additional challenges are related to the concept of “democracy 4.0”: engaging in democratic processes through digital means:
– Citizens are losing their faith in 20th century style democracy
– Noninteractive, one-way communication based, top-down old school politics
– Lack of technology literacy in governance & democratic institutions
Our methodology to deal with the aforementioned challenges is the operationalization of the EU Green Deal as a “Just Transition” roadmap to climate neutrality and resilience for European Union and local communities. We will collectively frame just, local, green, economically viable transition proposals through digital and physical tools and processes for collaboration, community building, democratic procedures literacy and advocacy.