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Report: Sustainability days

200 students participate in first student-organised project week on sustainability and green living

From 1 -5 March 2015, the first green project week, “Sustainability Days”, took place at the Hertie School of Governance. Over the course of five days, around 200 students participated in film screenings, discussions, a farmers' market, a vegan cooking show, a clothes swap party, and a city tour focusing on upcycling. The highlight of the Sustainability Days, organized by the student group “Green Office”, was a high-level policy discussion with former EU Commissioner and Mercator Senior Fellow László Andor.

The Sustainability Days kicked off with a film screening of “Queen of the Sun” with Cinema Politica in a Neukölln bar. The film screening was followed by a lively discussion with Nils Simon, president of the Kreuzberg Beekeepers' Association.

Monday, 2 March, was dedicated to the topic of food. Participants of the “We Eat the Planet – Food, Environment & Development” event were treated to a raw food cooking show by author and cook Patrick Bolk. The cooking show was followed by a discussion with Barbara Unmüßig, President of the Heinrich-Böll-Foundation, who presented the foundation's “Meat Atlas”. Monday’s events were co-organized by NAHhaft, a non-profit working on regional food supply founded by Hertie School students.

Tuesday's panel discussion "What if Growth Lets Us Down? Challenges and Opportunities of Low Growth in Industrialized Countries" was the Sustainability Days' headline event. It featured a high-level panel of experts, composed of former EU Commissioner and Mercator Senior Fellow fellow László Andor, Hermann Ott of the Wuppertal Institute, and Hertie School professors Anke Hassel and Henrik Enderlein. The panel discussion was preceded by an informal discussion of Hertie students with László Andor on the topic of youth unemployment in Europe.

Wednesday's topic was eco fashion. Annett Borg, Berlin-based upcycling designer, and Ariane Piper, Femnet ev., talked about the "The Future of Ethical Clothing. Which Way Forward?" The discussion highlighted sustainable clothing production, the impact of small designers and organic brands. It was followed by a Clothes Swap Party. The Sustainability Days ended on Thursday, 5 March, with an upcycling city tour where participants visited local eco fashion stores and learned more about sustainable clothing production, and consumption.