What happens when young people meet politicians to discuss the topics of climate change and migration? Mindchangers Baden-Württemberg invited them to our very first Regional Meeting – the Mindchangers Summit – on April 23, 2022 in Stuttgart and found out!
Together with the Council for Development Cooperation Baden-Württemberg (REZ), we invited nine young people to organize and conceptualize different formats for the event, in which youths and regional politicians come together to address the local enactment of the topics of climate change and migration within the context of development cooperation. Framed with live music and an open ambience, the focus was clearly set on brainstorming ideas, finding solutions, and discussing agreements on perceived problems and issues through the youth’s perspective.
After two months of preparations, Mindchangers and REZ welcomed about 150 participants at the fair “Fair Handeln”, an international exhibition for Fair Trade products and activities and globally responsible initiatives. Experts from CSOs and local authorities, youths, politicians, and engaged visitors worked together on seven topics to pinpoint current problems and to find potential solutions to the local issues of migration and flight, political exchange for young people, climate justice, educational and extracurricular education for sustainable development, fair trade and consumption, fostering youth engagement, and global and local partnerships. The team of the eight young students also played an important role during the day as speakers and moderators.
After the intense phase of debating and sharing experiences through different perspectives, young people discussed the observations and results with high ranking politicians for development politics, such as Mr. Rudi Hoogvliet, State Secretary for Media Policy and Representative of the State of Baden-Württemberg to the Federal Government or Mr. Sebastian Cuny and Mr. Michael Joukov, members of the State Parliament in Baden-Württemberg. We were also very delighted to welcome Her Excellency Appolonie Nibona, the Burundian ambassador, to yet again emphasize the significance of the country partnership between Burundi and Baden-Württemberg. The results of the day will now be discussed with the Council for Development Cooperation, but also the Network of Youth Engagement for One World, which is part of the Baden-Württemberg Youth Council.
During the Mindchangers Summit a marketplace of possibilities offered all participants the opportunity to get to know up to 15 different organizations and initiatives, which represented their work, projects, and ideas on the topics of the summit.
After the five hour-long summit, all participants were welcomed to visit the Fair Handeln fair, at which Mindchangers also represented the EU campaign on the booth with interactive quiz games and photo points for creative selfies. At the presenter space, the Mindchangers projects from Baden-Württemberg had a dedicated place to present their project goals and activities to the 80.000 visitors of the fair.