As part of the 30th Caretakers of the Environment Conference, which is taking place in Aalborg, Denmark from the 26th of June to the 2nd of July, we (The Young Reporters) will be posting our so called “Every Second Sunday News” every second Sunday, hence the name. Since it is the 30th conference, and thereby an anniversary for CEI, we have chosen to focus our newspaper on former and current CEI members – their stories and perspective on CEI. Each issue of the newspaper will contain at least one story from former or current Caretakers. Furthermore, we will include at least one inspirational article, which will be related to the conference theme and sub themes. Lastly, we will include at least one introduction of our Young Guides Team, which will be helping on the conference.
Interview with Vice President Fátima Matos Almeida by Diana Fayed
Fátima Matos Almeida joined CEI at the 2nd CEI Conference ever hosted – It took place in Spain in 1988, and Ms. Almeida has been an active member of CEI ever since. Currently, she is the Vice President of the CEI Board (a member of the Board since 1992) and she hosted the 29th CEI Conference in Oeiras, Portugal last year. We have asked Ms. Almeida about her first experience with CEI and why she has chosen to continue her commitment to CEI: “It was a life experience to see teachers and students from all over the world so actively involved and concerned about the environment. From that moment I wanted to join and take part in the lifelong project as our commitment to a better world should be” she continues “I am part of that group of people whom you may call utopic, by believing that each and everyone can make a difference, even though with insignificant actions in our daily life, within our family and friends, in our jobs and communities. This is my drive to continue. The sense of belonging to a community of people who care and feel the same inspires me to continue and to spread the word.”
After 28 years of commitment to CEI and a record holder of most attended conferences, we have also asked Ms. Almeida if there is anything in particular she looks back at with pride, she said: “Though formally CEI is structured with a board and other members that run the foundation, it is actually a very horizontal organization where there is always the possibility of adding a new member and people may be invited to join in the decision making. This feature invites people from different countries and diverse settings to approach the board and to make a proposal to run the next CEI conference. Even in years of more difficulty, CEI conferences have taken place. Year after year delegations of students and teachers have participated and some of them coming back to this “family” gathering with more knowledge and greater enthusiasm. As a member of the board since 1992, this is what makes me particularly happy and proud.“
Ms. Almeida hosted the 29th CEI conference, as previous mentioned, and we asked her if she had any words of encouragement to the current host Elisabeth Jørgensen Brun, Ms. Almeida said: “You may not expect the task to be easy, but you may expect the reward to be worthwhile – you will provide young people with the unique chance to meet, share and build lasting relationships and a better understanding of the world and the challenges that are expecting them in the future; teachers will be inspired to create networks and continue their hard work of educating for a better and just world which is only possible with our joint effort and commitment. Bem-haja! (God bless you)”.
This was CEI from Ms. Almeida’s perspective. We want to thank her for her time and her inspiring history as a Caretaker. Next issue will feature an interview with current host, Elisabeth Jørgensen Brun from Aalborg Youth School.
Interview with Diana Fayed by Emma Laursen
The 30th CEI conference is hosted by Aalborg Youth School, which is an institution that offers both in and out of school curriculum courses. In relation to hosting the conference a new course has been created at the Youth School, the so-called “Young Guides Team”. The Young Guides Team will be guides and social facilitators during the 30th CEI conference. We have interviewed one of the youngsters, whom have already joined the spare time course and will be attending the conference as a Young Guide – Diana Fayed.
We have asked Ms. Fayed why she joined the team: “This conference will be my fourth and this time around I really wanted to help during the conference in a more practical manor since it is taking place in my home town – while still being able to capture the different activities on camera as I tried to do in Portugal too. So I thought it would be the best opportunity to attend the conference with a camera in hand”. Furthermore we asked her what she expect to be contributing with to this year’s conference and what she is looking forward too in relation to, she replied: “Hopefully I will be able to help spread a good mood and to introduce the delegates to Aalborg and what it offers. Furthermore I will be walking around capturing every moment on camera. Also, I hope to encourage new CEI members to continue their commitment to CEI” she continued “I am especially looking forward to getting up early morning on the 26th of June and standing in the Airport and welcoming new and old friends from all over the world”. Next issue will feature an interview with Jonas Lykholt Andreasen, who will also be a Young Guide at CEI 2016.
Smart Cities and the future by Katrine Jensen
The theme of the 30th CEI conference in Aalborg is “Sustainable Societies” and one of the sub themes is “Smart Cities” – we have researched this sub theme. Smart cities are a worldwide market estimated to be at approximately 1.3 trillion a year and growing annually with 17%. This is because the digitalization of the cities makes them easier for the citizens to live in, and a good place to develop innovative and sustainable solutions. That makes the smart cities a very good investment that can boost a country’s sustainability as well as improve the urban areas, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark. But what is the definition of a Smart City? A Smart City can be defined as following: “A city equipped with basic infrastructure to give a decent quality of life, a clean and sustainable environment through application of some smart solutions.” (Times of India, 2015 – What is a “smart city” and how will it work).
In our country, Denmark, the government is very interested in investing in Smart Cities. Many municipalities have worked with Smart City projects and some have been successful: “For example, in the Capital Region of Denmark, employment in companies that operate in the smart cities market has risen by 60 % between 2003 and 2013, an increase which amounts to 19,500 jobs” (Andersen, 2016 – Unlocking the potential of Danish Smart City solutions).
However some municipalities have had some difficulties in carrying them through, perhaps due to lack of experience and capability. They do not know which smart city solutions to execute. Many businesses also have problems with accessing the needed digital skills. But if we can solve these problems Denmark and other countries around the world, has an opportunity to develop a lot of new Smart Cities – and more sustainable urban areas.
We think it would be very interesting to work with and develop the Smart City solutions – Smart Cities are spreading around the world, which should make it accessible for CEI delegates to examine the subject and hopefully develop new ideas to future Smart Cities.
Message from the CEI 2016 administrative team:
We are happy to see so many registrants already – currently we have 76 registrants. We want to remind all of you that we have posted a Project Guideline to our web site (www.cei2016.dk ), which should work as a frame for the CEI16 projects. We have also uploaded a Parent’s Consent Form, which should be filled out and signed by the participant’s parents or caretakers – it should eventually be e -mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please follow the important notices on the web site. We are working hard on the preparations for the conference and we are looking forward to seeing you in Aalborg in June. See you in Aalborg!