Students and researchers present policy proposals to tackle Climate Change and Societal Transformation.
On 21 April, the Hertie School hosted the final rounds of the FuturEU 2023 competition. Students and researchers from across Europe gathered on the campus to compete for the best policy proposal on the theme “Climate Change and Societal Transformation: How Can EU Policy Advance Climate Protection and Sustainability in a Turbulent World?” Over 260 students from all ten members of the university alliance CIVICA competed in the event, and 22 were selected to participate in the final round. The proposals were judged by Jannik Jansen, Thu Nguyen, Licia Bobzien, Lucas Rasche, Lukas Jerg and Philipp Jäger, all Policy Fellows at the Hertie School’s Jacques Delors Centre.
Ideas for tackling climate change
Hertie School President Cornelia Woll opened the event by highlighting that the European Union needs fresh ideas to address climate change. “The European Parliament just adopted very ambitious legislation aiming at becoming carbon neutral by 2050. Achieving this goal will be the immense challenge of your generation. It will require both innovative thinking and a deep knowledge of how institutions and policy-making work,” she told the participants. “We look forward to hearing the ideas of our finalists to tackle this challenge!”
After teams from the Hertie School, Bocconi University, the London School of Economics and Sciences Po argued for their proposals in the morning semi-finals, two teams from Bocconi University went on to compete in the final rounds. While the team with the proposal “Saving the Planet on a Friday Off: The 4-day Workweek as a Tool of EU Climate Policy” won the people’s hearts, the team with the proposal “The Climate Divide: Why the EU's Border Adjustment Mechanism Needs Rethinking for Developing Countries ” won over the jury.
But winning was not everything. “Despite it being a competition, there was a very friendly and supportive atmosphere among the teams,” says Enora Palaric, Manager of International Alliances at the Hertie School. “In addition to practising important skills for their future careers, the participating students made friends and had a fun time in Berlin. This is also what CIVICA is about!”
Representatives from Ukraine
Supported by the CIVICA for Ukraine project, the futurEU competition finals included an Observer Track for students from five Ukrainian universities. Besides gaining access to the workshops on skills development offered throughout the competition, the 16 Ukrainian students participated as observers of the competition finals at the Hertie School and gave a presentation on the devastating environmental impact of the war in Ukraine.
The FuturEU competition
The FuturEU 2023 was organised by Hertie School students Ambre Grenier-Boley, Camille Desrayud, Francesca Minetto, Patrick von Rakowski, Greta Stevanato, Lea Mathies, Shubhranshu Suman, Kira Schrödel and Beatrice De Mare. It was founded three years ago by master’s students at the Hertie School to give young Europeans a voice on the future of their continent, and to translate what they learnt in the classrooms into concrete policy proposals. The competition is open to undergraduate and graduate students as well as PhD researchers at all ten CIVICA member universities. FuturEU is funded by the DAAD, with the support of the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research
Read what 2023 FuturEU winners Eman Atta Maan and François Praum from Bocconi University had to say about their policy proposal.
This initiative is organised in the framework of CIVICA – The European University of Social Sciences. CIVICA brings together ten leading European higher education institutions in the social sciences to mobilise and share knowledge as a public good and to facilitate civic responsibility in Europe and beyond. CIVICA was selected by the European Commission as one of the pilot European Universities in 2019 and confirmed as successful alliance in 2022 for its full roll-out. Read more on civica.eu.