The environmental question is becoming one of the most urgent global issues that policy makers and communities need to face concretely for the future sustainability of the planet. Because of this, in the past years many international deals established new rules to overtake the actual situation: the Paris Agreement (2015) during which, for the first time, the United Nations brought into a common cause to undertake ambitious efforts to combat climate change and adapt to its effects, and the Agenda 2030 (2015) which committed almost 200 nations to reach a more sustainable development for the planet and the human beings.
As established also by the European Green Deal (2019) and by the Green Deal Work Programme 2018-2020 under Horizon 2020 (Area 10, topic 2: Behavioral, social and cultural change for the Green Deal), the main challenge at European and international level is to “foster changes in societal practices and in the behaviour of individuals, communities, public and private organisations, that can be achieved through collective and participatory processes or through a sense of environmental citizenship and climate justice. To address these issues requires research and experimentation on behavioural, social and cultural change across Europe, and requires the analysis of social practices and behavioral change processes, including sharing good practice, tools and resources”.
This great challenge requires deep adaptation in life styles and behaviours, by addressing citizens’ engagement and social innovation through innovative approaches, for a fair and inclusive transition.
NEEDS TO ADDRESS:
Starting from the Green Deal purposes, GREEN Factor project aims to address the global need concerning environmental protection, which is strictly related to behavioural processes, cultural and social practices. GREEN Factor aims to approach this need by fostering a change in mentality to embrace new sustainable individual/collective actions and choices, as we all live on this planet. As the “GREEN Factor” name points out, the project’s main challenge is to enhance mentality change and sense of initiative especially in young generations, as a necessary step to raise and develop their green consciousness and to empower them becoming a “real factor of change”.
In fact, over time, young people become more informed and aware of environmental topics and issues, by considering themselves as active participants in the global changes. “Friday for Future” movement demonstrated that. Started in 2018, it soon became viral with thousands of young activists protesting against the governments’ lack of action on the climate crisis. Then, the movement reached meaningful numbers, by impacting 7500 cities and 14 million people across all continents (https://fridaysforfuture.org/).
In this context, the needed actions are the creation of tools and opportunities to educate and engage young European citizens, in order to develop a new mindset for generating more sustainable behaviours, choices and ideas to be impactful in the short/long term. Since GREEN Factor aims especially to foster young people’s consciousness, since they will become the adults of tomorrow and responsible of future generations, the project will focus mainly on young people’s needs and attitudes (16-30 y/o) and on professionals who work with youth, in order to impact on them more efficiently and in the long term (youth workers, youth and green associations’ staff).
By implementing that project we want:
- to lead our students who are born and raised in the information society, to see the ways to add meaning to what they know,
- to help them transform information into behaviour, and
- to encourage them to get 21st-century skills, have critical and creative thinking skills, product and result-oriented work, and use digital tools, by supporting the online and offline tools that we will use in our education and training processes on all branches.
GREEN Factor is structured around 4 work packages that lead to the achievement of its objectives.
Since the beginning of the project, partners will select young people (min. 10 per partner) and youth workers (min. 2 per partner) to be involved in the activities. They will be both involved in the testing phase of the project results, in the training sessions and in the multiplier events. Partners will involve youth & local environmental associations as well, especially for the communication activities.
WORK PACKAGE 1: THE GREEN FACTOR PATHWAY FOR BEHAVIOURAL CHANGES AND ENVIRONMENTAL CHALLENGES (PR1). It represents the conceptual basis for all the following project results and it will produce:
A Good Practices Catalogue based on the collection of good practices from Europe and partner countries about greener behaviours. Research will be conducted to figure out which are the young people’s most relevant behavioural gaps to be fulfilled in the everyday-life domains to reach an effective long-term impact (i.e: food consumption, shopping, cosmetics, separate collection of waste, energy use and waste etc).
A Green Challenge Report recording the current trends of Green Entrepreneurship, its diffusion in Europe and the main environmental issues to be addressed at national level.
WORK PACKAGE 2: GREEN FACTOR EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES FOR YOUTH (PR2, PR3). This WP includes:
PR2 My GREEN Factor Video Tutorials To Boost Citizens’ Behavioral Changes – a set of video tutorials will be developed to give practical tips and instructions to truly affect the mindset and lifestyles of the target groups in order to make users active participants of change. The topics will be those identified in the Good Practice Catalogue (PR1), which concern basically the fields that impact mostly citizens’ daily choices and actions.
PR3 My GREEN Factor Gamified e-course For Aspiring Green Entrepreneurs – based on the Green Challenge Report (PR1), a gamified e-course specifically targeted to aspiring green entrepreneurs will be developed to test the knowledge acquired by young people and youth workers. In parallel to the e-course itself, gamified solutions will test entrepreneurial skills through a gamified approach (quizzes, small learning scenarios etc.) by fostering a more active and participative acquisition of knowledge among youth.
WORK PACKAGE 3: THE GREEN FACTOR REPLICABILITY GUIDE FOR YOUTH WORKERS (PR4). It has the main scope to provide youth workers with instructions on how to guide young people in the process of becoming active promoters of their locally green-economic landscape. It is developed in 3 main phases (training sessions, My GREEN Factor Day, drafting the Guide), both as a methodological resource to be used in youth workers’ professional activity and to describe GREEN Factor experience with youth.
WORK PACKAGE 4: Sharing & Promotion, Multiplier Events and Final conference in Valencia (ES). All the
communication activities have the main aim of spreading GREEN Factor message and products both online and offline, within and outside partners’ networks.
When Project Results will be finalised, 1 day national promotional events will be organised in
France, Spain, Czech Republic, Greece and Italy. Multiplier event participants will be youth &
youth workers, youth & green associations, institutions, policy makers, educational entities, media
and stakeholders in general, in order to promote PRs, activities and outcomes of GREEN Factor
project. The number of participants reached per Country should be 20 people.
The multiplier events will be organized as follows:
- ASOCIACION CULTURAL Y MEDIOAMBIENTAL PERMACULTURA CANTABRIA (Spain)
- E-Juniors (France)
- INSTITUTE OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP DEVELOPMENT (Greece)
- JO CONSULTING SRL (Italy)
- SENIOR EUROPA SOCIEDAD LIMITADA (Spain)
- Spolek PELICAN, z.s. (Czech Republic)
A 7-day training in Ramales de la Spain will bring together 2 youth workers from each entity, to learn and experiment a participative and creative technique of project design and entrepreneurship called
“Dragon Dreaming”. The training will link each theoretical lesson to practice teamwork in order to define together the key areas necessary to start writing a green and sustainable business and how to involve and
motivate young people throughout subsequent training.
- MAIN OBJECTIVES OF THE PROJECT COVERED
GREEN Factor objective 2: youth entrepreneurship and sense of initiative
- ACTIVITY’S OBJECTIVES
-To provide youth workers (2 per partner) with training and instructions on how to guide young people in the process of becoming active promoters of their locally green-economic landscape, using Dragon Dreaming (DD) methodology.
-To define ideas for the development of green and social businesses
-To share the best practices regarding social and green
-To define how to use GREEN Factor PRs and how to properly develop
- LOCAL LEVEL
Firstly, the project will boost the creation of more conscious young citizens not just in terms of greneer behaviours and habits acquired, but also in terms of new initiatives and business opportunities generated by themselves, as green active players. In addition, a fruit learning environment between youth & youth workers will generate reciprocal personal/professional growth.
Secondly, all partners will use their already established network of cooperating entities, developed over years while cooperating on previous projects. The network includes many educational entities, companies, institutions, associations, and some of them are usually sensitive towards the concept of environmental challenge, zero waste and other environmental issues. Moreover, through the materials developed, the sharing & promotion strategy and the local Multiplier Events, GREEN Factor also aims to reach local communities and have a positive impact on them.
The desired impact of the project is to:
– increase awareness in the local community on the project’s field via promotional actions & Multiplier Events
– promote the outcomes and results of the project through the platform/website, social media and local media.
- NATIONAL LEVEL
All the Project Results will be translated in partners’ languages in order to spread national promotion and diffusion.
GREEN Factor good practices and educational resources will be promoted at national level thanks to the effort of each partner to propagate them through different channels, e.g., the National youth & green associations, Universities, Schools, Public Administration, national platforms for environment, etc. It is expected that the close cooperation with local environmental associations in all partner Countries is established during the project lifetime and maintained on the long term, to jointly work on future national action plans, strategies and measures for integrating sustainability & environmental protection practices among young people, youth associations and stakeholders in general.
The elaboration of a strategic promotion plan would engage significant actors within national and international networks to inform about the project and enhance the opportunities of GREEN Factor to be widespread among young people and make the difference.
- EUROPEAN LEVEL
The cooperation among partners from France, Italy, Spain, Czech Republic and Greece will lead to a broad discussion around circular economy, exchange of ideas, good practices and experiences across the EU. In the long term other EU Countries will recognize the project tools, contents, and learning materials as high quality and beneficial, by taking the opportunity for translating it into further national languages.
At the European level, the project will create synergies with other similar projects ideas. It will be shared with Institutions in charge of education and environment. Raising the awareness creation will help understand the fragile state of our environment and the importance of its protection. It is the only means by which we can ensure our descendants a clean and healthy environment to live in.
At all levels there will be a long-term impact on the youth educational system and on citizens’ consciousness, as GREEN Factor provides target groups with innovative and practical tools to raise awareness about environmental sustainability and green economy opportunities.