Policy Lab Change Makers

Policy Lab „Change Makers – Climate and Security”
On behalf of the German-Israeli Future Forum (DIZF) and the Foundation Remembrance, Responsibility and Future (EVZ), greenXchange and our Israeli cooperation partner EcoPeace Middle East coordinate the Policy Lab "Change Makers - Climate and Security". This project is dedicated to the connections between climate change and security, by bringing together 22 young people between 18 and 25 years from Germany and Israel. Participants will get the chance to develop and implement micro-projects throughout the policy lab and until the end of 2023.

The policy lab runs in five phases from late Spring 2023 throughout the end of the year. The first phase consisted of a co-creation process where previously selected young experts from Israel and Germany gave input for the content of the Policy Lab. The second phase is a in-person youth encounter in Berlin (29.8.-2.9.) where participants learn about climate security and create ideas for micro-projects, followed by a phase of remote group work in September. The fourth phase takes place during a meeting in Israel (5.-10.10.) where participants acquire additional skills in project management and continue the work on their micro-projects. The final phase from October until December is the implementation phase of the micro-projects.
greenXchange e.V. is proud and thankful to have been chosen to coordinate this project for DIZF and EVZ.
This blog documents the progress of the Policy Lab "Change Makers - Climate and Security".

2 September - day five: EUREF Campus & First Results

group discussing climate security

On the final day of this eventful week, a smooth public transport journey led the group to the renowned EUREF-Campus Berlin. The session opened with an enlightening introduction by Young Expert Eylon Chattah, paving the way for Prof. Felix Creutzig from the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change. He delved deep into topics pertaining to land use, infrastructure, and transport, enriching the participants with a trove of knowledge, particularly about the collective action problems surrounding climate security.

The morning's intellectual discourse was complemented by an immersive experience – a guided tour around EUREF-Campus. Led by the duo, Carola Slodowy and Carsten Bauhaus, the group had the chance to explore the campus in all its glory.

As the noon sun peaked, lunch was enjoyed at a Sudanese specialties restaurant - a country that has had its fair share of climate-related security issues. For the last time this week, after lunch, we headed towards C*SPACE.

Upon arrival, a swift check-in was followed by another session to wrap-up the first stages of the group projects. Throughout the week, three project teams had emerged covering an information campaign for religious communities, briefing papers for young diplomats and decision makers, as well as a workshop to get young lawyers involved in ensuring access to decentralized renewable energy for under-served communities. The afternoon saw enthusiastic changemakers pitch their findings, providing an insightful outlook on the next steps. This seminar’s culmination provided a platform for reflection on the journey so far.

As the evening settled, the group made its way to 'I Due Forni' for a delightful farewell dinner. Here, al fresco amidst the aroma of Italian cuisine, connections were celebrated, accomplishments were toasted, and the promise of future collaborations lingered in the air.

The Policy Lab Change Makers - Climate & Security will continue virtually for the next month, before we reconvene in Israel in early October.

1 September - day four: Meeting at the Bundestag & Work Session

Women discussing politics at the Bundestag


The day began at the South entrance of the iconic 'Paul Löbe Haus' of the Bundestag with an introduction by Young Expert Rita Bogoodlove, who informed us about our interlocutor, Lisa Badum, a Member of the German Parliament from the Green Party, who kindly invited us to meet her in Parliament for an hour-long discussion. The conversation spanned pressing issues such as climate change, security, and the pivotal Israel-German cooperation, offering enriching perspectives. We are grateful for the opportunity to engage with her expertise and will take her up on the invitation to share the results of the group's micro-project work with her.

The discussion was followed by a lunch at the canteen of the Bundestag, overlooking the river Spree where the "Band des Bundes" connects the formerly separated Eastern and Western parts of the German Capital.

After lunch, the group embarked on a contemplative walk to the Foundation Remembrance, Responsibility, and Future (EVZ) in Friedrichstraße, making poignant stops at The Memorial to the Sinti and Roma Victims of National Socialism and the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe.

The afternoon transitioned into a feedback workshop, during which representatives of DIZF and EVZ gave critical feedback on the current status of the project work. Afterwards, Annette Heimann led a workshop with insights on budget planning, work breakdown structures, and project flow charts. The day's collaborative spirit was palpable as groups finalized their one-pagers, budget outlines, and flow charts for their respective micro-projects. The day ended with a relaxed dinner, where the Israeli participants introduced the German participants to the traditional Shabbat and kiddush ceremony. 

31 August 2023 - day three: Ideation & Teamwork

group work at a low table

The day kicked off with the continuation of the ideation workshop. Diving right into the heart of project management, participants were treated to invaluable insights by our Young Experts Victoria Solkovits and Eylon Chattah who elaborated on the intricacies of result chains and the significance of evaluation, sparking an engaging discussion that set the tone for the day. The room then transformed into a vibrant hub of collaboration as groups passionately delved into defining target groups and discussing the differences between outputs, outcomes, and impacts. The day’s discourse shifted towards the feasibility of project ideas, rounding off with constructive feedback and an open forum.

After the lunch break, we reconvened for a workshop  to finalize the project groups and expand our understanding of team work. It was a blend of fun and focus as team-building activities bridged the gap between creativity and camaraderie. Young Expert Rita Bogoodlove led a team-building exercise that certainly produced the most epic playlist of German and Israeli music (Link to be provided soon) before Linus Steinmetz shared his expertise to further bolster our understanding of team dynamics, and incited another round of enlightening discussions.

As the sun set, it was time to unwind and bond over a delightful dinner, applying the skills learned on the previous day and serving up the essence of home cooking. Through the day's progression, it became clear that it's not just about the ideas, but also the synergy of those who bring them to life.

30 August 2023 - day two: Expert Panel & Ideation

outdoor group workshop

The second day kicked off with an expert panel about the nexus between climate change and security. Our guests included name name name. The discussion was moderated by our Young Expert Linus Steinmetz and covered an introduction into how to conceptualize climate security by Tim Bosch, project manager of the “Dialogue Process on a Strategy for Foreign Climate Policy” at the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP), seven counter-intuitive insights on climate security by Katarina Schulz, a consultant at Adelphi and co-author of "Climate change and security - The Handbook", as well as an introduction to the German government's position on climate security and how the German Armed Forces prepare for this by Captain Martin Köhler.

The afternoon was led by Julian Wichert, researcher at Leibniz University Hanover, and recipient of a Heinrich Boell Foundation fellowship. Julian led the group through the first steps of generating ideas towards the micro-projects that the changemakers would develop throughout the workshop phases.

The day was concluded with an anti-food waste cooking workshop led by the team of Restlos Glücklich - a festive feast which marked an appropriate way to conclude a day filled with hard work.

29 August 2023 - day one: Kick-off of the Policy Lab

group listening to an outdoor lecture

The first day started with a City Walk on Climate Protection & Climate Change Resilience in Berlin that covered the topics of urban density, the heat island effect, unsealing, sponge city, heat protection plans, health care for vulnerable groups, invasive species of flora and fauna, street trees and shading, among other. We visited the climate station of the German weather service as well as a prospective river bath at the river Spree. The tour guide, Dipl.-Ing. Christian Hajer, has accompanied building and planning processes in Berlin as an information provider in public relations for international delegations and guests.

During the afternoon sessions, the participants were welcomed by the program hosts, Annika Finken (representative of DIZF) and Selbi Ataeva (representative of EVZ), the coordinators Annette Heimann and Thomas Froehlich (greenXchange e.V.) and Alma Lichtenstein (EcoPeace Middle East), as well as the DIZF-EVZ Young Experts Eylon Chattah, Linus Steinmetz and Rita Bogoodlove.

The afternoon was moderated by Katja Hellkötter, the founder of C*SPACE, where most of the working sessions throughout the Berlin-part of the program will be held. Katja led the participants through several teambuilding exercises and kicked-off the ideation process.

After an introduction into the concept and framework of microprojects, the participants began with the first brainstorming about joint problems in the field of Climate & Security that could be tackled within the remit of this Policy Lab. The session was led by representatives of DIZF and EVZ.

The day found its celebrated conclusion with welcome speeches by the executive director of DIZF, Dr. Tamara Or, and the Chief Executive Officer of EVZ, Dr. Andrea Despot, who joint the participants for a delicious welcome dinner.

28 August 2023 - day zero: Arrival in Berlin

Changemakers group at waterfront

When the collective of forward-thinkers and visionaries, known as the DIZF-EVZ Change Makers, converge on a spot, you can be sure it will be one of intrigue and character. Holzmarkt 25 was no exception. This alternative riverfront gem, renowned for its unconventional flair and countercultural ambiance, was abuzz with the electric energy of new connections on arrival day. With its rustic charm juxtaposed against the gentle flow of the river, it provided the perfect setting for fresh introductions and an outlook for the week ahead.

Most participants had only just arrived, but at Holzmarkt 25, amidst its artful graffiti, repurposed wooden structures, and the rhythmic beats that resonated from its heart, distance melted away. It was an evening of shared laughs, swapping of stories, and the unmistakable promise of collaboration and change in the air. For the changemakers, the meet-up wasn't just an informal get-together; it was the symbolic starting line of a week filled with inspiration, creation and reflection.

22 Young Change Makers from Germany and Israel selected

In a competitive application procedure, 22 Young Change Makers were selected to participate in the 2023 Policy Lab "Change Makers - Climate & Security" by  the German-Israeli Future Forum (DIZF) and the Foundation Remembrance, Responsibility and Future (EVZ). greenXchange and our Israeli cooperation partner EcoPeace Middle East coordinate the Policy Lab "Change Makers - Climate and Security".

You can find the biographies of our 22 Change Makers here.

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