Europe’s largest climate change summer school: A look back at #Journey2014’s first week

With Climate-KIC’s summer school #Journey2014 entering its second week, it’s time to look back at week one.

Encompassing 18 locations across Europe, this year’s programme is Climate-KIC’s largest summer school to date and is divided into six separate groups. Students from each group will journey across three countries for a total of five weeks, gaining insight and experience from a selection of Europe’s best universities and most innovative businesses.

The Journey 2014

ss100This summer, nearly 300 students from 40 countries, representing 71 disciplines, take part in Europe’s largest climate change education experience – Climate-KIC summer school The Journey. The five week-long course offers a unique combination of academic study and real-world business experience across Europe, with the aim of creating the climate change leaders of tomorrow.


Weekly overview

Overview of #Journey2014 so far:

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Week 5

Week 6

Week 7

Week 8

Groups of Climate-KIC students will travel across Europe for 10 weeks, culminating 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.

Norah Lewis, a 25 year old Masters student at Imperial College London studying Environmental Technology, described the first ideation session in a blog post: “We spent the afternoon pulling together a business pitch that aimed to reduce the environmental impact of living in a modern city.”

“Daunting as it was to stand up in front of 39 new faces and present an idealistic concept, I am far more nervous about having to do it again in a mere five weeks with a fully formed proposal, to real business leaders from across Europe,” writes Norah.

The first weeks

The first two weeks of the journey are staged across France and the Netherlands, with the summer school kicking off in Paris and across the Netherlands last week on Monday 7 July.

During the first two weeks the course focuses on providing students with information about climate change. The students attend lectures by some of the best global researchers including guest lectures from professors teaching at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and will meet with a variety of world-leading private companies and independent start-ups to learn about business opportunities deriving from climate change challenges.

Water management

In the Netherlands, summer school students have engaged in a range of activities hosted by organisations including Delft Technical University, Wageningen University and the Province of Utrecht.

The students also visited the Kijkduin beach near the Hague to study climate change in the context of water management and attended the local rounds of Climate-KIC’s 2014 Venture Competition for start-up companies.

In France, students followed workshops and presentations at Université Pierre et Marie Curie (UPMC) and Ecole Polytechnique.

Profitable business plans

“It is not enough to improve alternative energy technologies; we need to turn them into attractive and profitable business plans, both on small- and large scales,” blogs Timea Marocsik, a 22 years old Hungarian student of Sustainable Energy Technology at Delft University of Technology.

“As an engineer, I know close to nothing about business, marketing and whatever else is necessary to sell a good product. I am here on the Journey to change this,” she said.

This week, students will continue this journey across the Netherlands and France – follow them on – with Germany and Spain’s Valencian region set to receive the students next.

Social media waves

Aside from the activities on the Kijkduin beach, #Journey2014 has been making waves across social media this week – you’ll find a selection below.