EUniWell students create innovative solutions to protect society against climate change

02/13/2024 | by Elodie Bernard | Environment Event Nantes Participation Students Sustainability

During a creative marathon organised by Nantes Université on the theme of “Climate change and Civil Peace in Europe,” a group of students including EUniWell students worked together to develop innovative tools for civil peace actors, enabling them to protect society against the dangers of climate change.

A group of six individuals engaged in a discussion around a table with posters and sticky notes in the background, indicating a collaborative work environment.
© Apolline Sauvignet
A larger group gathered in a bright room, listening to a person speaking at the front, with visual aids on the walls around them.
© Apolline Sauvignet
Two people sitting on the floor, working on a physical model, with craft materials scattered around them, in a casual, creative setting.
© Apolline Sauvignet

The impact of climate change on peace

In late January, Nantes Université hosted a Europathon, a collaborative creative marathon bringing together students and experts from various backgrounds across Europe. The focus of this event was “Climate Change and Civil Peace in Europe.” Students from Nantes Université and EUniWell formed groups to prototype innovative solutions for civil peace actors to address the challenges posed by climate change.

Divided into six themes—democracy and the rule of law, management of natural resources and common goods, climate displacement and living together, urban well-being in a time of extreme climatic events, and gender issues—the teams worked intensively over two days. The workshop featured ice-breaking activities, ideation and prototyping sessions, collective and individual brainstorming, an inaugural conference to introduce the subject, video clips to provide a deeper understanding of the issues, and large posters and infographics with all the necessary information. In addition, experts engaged with the students to provide insights into the realities on the ground, existing solutions, and current and future challenges.

Pitching to win

Supported by a team of experts and researchers, and inspired by specially designed videos and conferences, students presented well thought-out and relevant projects to a panel of judges at the end of the seminar. The students pitched their projects to local councillors, scientists, and experts to win a coveted prize: a European interrail pass for each member of the winning team. Students were also able to showcase the skills they developed during the workshop by acquiring an OpenBadge. 

The winning project, a “green veto,” proposed a citizen-driven mechanism to oppose environmentally unfavourable laws. The team imagined a European bus that would travel across regions, visiting villages and town squares, collecting signatures through petitions. Once 20% of the population in 1/3 of the Member States signed the petition, the law could be blocked.

From project to fruition

Looking ahead, discussions with Nantes Métropole are ongoing to determine which projects can be interesting and viable at the metropolitan level. Students are also encouraged to pitch their ideas at Spice Up, a student pitch competition, where they can connect with companies and associations interested in their projects.

We congratulate the teams for their involvement in such crucial and stimulating subjects, and a well-deserved bravo for their high-quality work!


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