23 students from eleven countries met up between 28 January and 14 February in Kenya for the «Youth Encounter on Sustainability» (YES). The intensive course on the theme of sustainability brought first-rate scientists and practitioners to Lake Naivasha. The participants were given plenty of scope to develop their own sustainability projects, which they can now take to the alumni network (1,500 students from 140 countries).
Since their launch in 2000 by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) together with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Tokyo, the YES courses have stood for interdisciplinary learning in an international environment. myclimate has been responsible for YES since the beginning of 2014 and is intensifying the focus on sustainable development with its broad network of project partners. In Kenya the participants worked with Sylvia Mwangi (Eco2Librium) and Victor Omondi (TEMBEA) to address specific case studies relating to two efficient myclimate cooking apparatus projects. Together with experts like Dr Alex Awiti (Director, East African Institute, Aga Khan University), Dr John Njoroge (Director, Kenyan Institute for Organic Farming), Halima Murunga (Water and Sanitation Program, World Bank Group) and Luke Metelerkamp (Sustainability Institute, Stellenbosch University), they shed light on particular issues of sustainability with a specifically African slant.
The programme was enhanced by top-level international experts. Dr Stefan Gara, a physicist and Managing Director of ETA in Vienna, was responsible for a module on “smart energy systems” and “sustainable business planning”. Dr Ludwig Ellenberg, Professor Emeritus of Geography at Humboldt Uhiversity Berlin, spoke about sustainable land use and tourism.
«The combination of diverse perspectives on the overarching theme of ‘sustainability’ and sufficient space for controversial discussion make the YES course unique», emphasised myclimate’s YES project manager Dominik Mösching.