Last month, 23-26 September 2016, 350Africa mobilized student leaders active in the climate movement across South African universities to share ideas, strategies and navigate the future path of all our work. Over three days, in the Magaliesburg, a short drive away from Johannesburg surrounded by mountains and valleys the venue set a scene that favoured interactive team building accompanied by a program designed to promote an inclusive culture and build team spirit.
“It was amazing. My personal goal of meeting new people, people I plan on working with to change the development debate in South Africa were met”
“Lots of stimulation. We got the opportunity to not only learn new skills but also because we got the chance to hear other people’s thoughts, realized that we all shared similar goals”
“Met awesome people. Was inspired by what others are passionate about. Picked up tips on communication, digital, and campaign management. Got some cool ideas.”
These students are climate justice leaders, who brought with them a desire to learn and take the lead as emergent voices in South Africa. Coming together as a network, the participants exchanged dialogue and ideas on what it takes to be fearless in the fight for social and environmental sustainability and how their individual strengths are even stronger when harnessed with the strength of others.
The summit concentrated on strategies and skills to create a student-led movement to change the representation of fossil fuel investments in university endowments and hold universities accountable to their commitments to sustainability. This platform was more about giving students a jump on applying campaigning tools and guiding them so they can put into practice effectively after the summit.
“I got some some really fantastic ideas and an experience that I’m going to take back and implement”
“Networking and engagement with others was key, found communications and digital tools most useful for campaigning on campus. General tools helped team evaluate current strategy and assess areas of improvement”
The 350Africa Student Summit fostered dynamic ideas and communication on climate and environmental debates in South African university communities. Participants left the summit having created a synergy and momentum that will carry new and influential ideas that strengthen the participation of those learning and working in universities in the fight against climate change.
In partnership and support of student campaigns in South Africa, 350Africa will continue working with, learning from and harnessing the power of the student’s voice to build up people power and challenge vested interests in the fossil fuel industry through creative action.