Europe’s largest climate action innovation summer school kicks-off

More than 300 students from  over 40 countries, representing 65 disciplines, will embark on Europe’s largest climate change education programme – the Climate-KIC summer school.

The five week-long course will offer a unique combination of academic study and real-world business experience with the aim of creating the climate change leaders of tomorrow.

Encompassing 21 locations across Europe, this year’s programme is Climate-KIC’s largest summer school to date and is divided into eight separate groups. Students from each group will journey across three different European locations, gaining insight and experience from a selection of Europe’s best universities and most innovative businesses. It brings together students and young professionals all over the world. 

Climate-KIC’s multidisciplinary approach to climate change mitigation and adaptation is reflected in the varied academic background of the summer school participants. This year, the majority of the participants have specialised in the field sustainability and science. The second biggest group stems from the field of industrial and consumer engineering. The participants from innovation management, business (economics), communication profession and biology add to the spread of multi disciplinary groups within each Journey. 

The programme culminates in a challenge where students pitch their ideas for solutions to real-world climate related issues. Based on their own creativity and climate change knowledge, students must present a detailed business plan to a judging panel consisting of venture capitalists, start-up entrepreneurs and scientists.

Partnerships

Top-ranked partner institutions hosting The Global Edition of The Journey: Imperial College London, University of Reading, ETH Zurich, and TU Munich. The programme is held at some of Europe’s most buzzing entrepreneurial and cultural hot spots – Reading & London (UK), Zurich (Switzerland) and Munich (Germany).

Look back into Journey 2014

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The Journey 2014

The majority of the students from the 2014 summer school said the programme improved their understanding of the business opportunities resulting from the climate change challenge. Journey 2014 student, Tommie Månsson, Chalmers from University of Sweden commented, “The Journey was epic from beginning to end! The experience and knowledge I gained in climate entrepreneurship, marketing and the making of a business plan was priceless. I ended The Journey with a couple of new friends for life and an early stage start‐up project which we are currently working on in the Climate‐KIC incubator, the Greenhouse, in London.”

The participants of the Journey went on to pitch the ideas in different venture competitions and have won prestigious 2015 Echoing Green Climate Fellowship. This gave them a great opportunity to have access to $90,000 of seed funding, mentoring and leadership opportunities to propel “Oorja Project: empowering rural communities” in implementing sustainable solutions to intractable social and environmental challenges. 

The winners of the Oorja commented “Thank you Climate-KIC  for giving us the unique opportunity to participate in The Journey, enabling us to engage with some of the world’s top climate and business experts, develop hands-on entrepreneurial skills, identify our climate innovation idea and create our business plan for this clean tech start-up.”

Practical insights of Journey 2015

The Journey 2015 has so far generated 150 great ideas in the past 2 weeks and has covered four journeys in four different locations across Europe.

Journey 2015
The Journey 2015

This year’s summer school student Christina Skjolding Hjelm shares her experience, “We are offered so many opportunities by being part of the Climate-KIC network and it is a very stimulating environment. The Journey is a unique experience and setting and I can’t help feel overwhelmed. We have diverse group both in terms of age, gender, and geographical and academic background. I am enjoying the mix of activities, because we do not only have lectures about climate change and innovation but also coaching, so these five weeks will also be a personal journey.”

Throughout the summer school students will be given a thorough analysis of the challenges and opportunities presented by climate change through academic lessons and practical business and entrepreneurship tasks.

Over the next ten weeks, you can find out more about Climate-KIC’s approach and follow the students on the Journey 2015