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You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink

Skærmbillede 2012-06-04 kl. 15.02.26

The approach at the Energy Camp is that Appreciative Inquiry can be applied as a way of opening a meeting or conversation by identifying what already works. What do you value most about yourself/your work/your organisation?” Malene Lundén -leader of the Energy Camp in Denmark at the Renewable energi Island Samsø – says.

During the last 12 years Samsø Energy Academy had leadership workshops and seminars with the focus on local participation and ownership. The fruit is the story of how the 4.000 citizens of Samsø – a small island in the middle of Denmark – have been active players in the local development transforming the island to be self sufficient of renewable energy.

Now 6000 people from all parts of the World come to Samsø Energy Academy annually to experience the renewable energy island. An equal number hear about Samsø when meeting representatives from Samsø Energy Academy around the World at workshops, presentations and partnerships. The next step for the renewable energy island is to become free of fossil fuel.

Our World energy supply and demand are changing drastically. We can help students plan for these changes by letting them meet examples of real solutions. Students come to Samsø using a day of their study time to see, feel and ask questions to the real solution example during the experience. Samsø gives a clear, well-defined project of technology and behavior balanced in real solutions.

The Energy Camp builds its activities on the themes of sustainability, energy democracy, global/local knowledge and climate consciousness.

The participants are challenged on dialogue, cooperation, development, creativity, performance, leadership and ownership. The Energy Camp has been a huge success with over 6000 participants since it started 2007.

“Students must learn that a question is not just to be answered, they need to learn how to ask even brighter questions than the teacher. So how does the teacher teach the students to ask better and more relevant questions than their teacher?” Malene Lundén challenges.

The learning platform of Samsø Energy Camp is in line with the Nordic culture and tradition of giving learning options to all people in the society at all ages. We teach and learn to think independently as well as how to cooperate in a group. In order to give the free space of learning without tests and performance, the ‘Energy Camp’ has no commercial interests. It is funded by the Danish Energy Association through public service obligations.

During the last 12 years Samsø Energy Academy had leadership workshops and seminars with the focus on local participation and ownership. The fruit is the story of how the 4.000 citizens of Samsø – a small island in the middle of Denmark – have been active players in the local development transforming the island to be self sufficient of renewable energy.

Now 6000 people from all parts of the World come to Samsø Energy Academy annually to experience the renewable energy island. An equal number hear about Samsø when meeting representatives from Samsø Energy Academy around the World at workshops, presentations and partnerships. The next step for the renewable energy island is to become free of fossil fuel. Our World energy supply and demand are changing drastically. We can help students plan for these changes by letting them meet examples of real solutions. Students come to Samsø using a day of their study time to see, feel and ask questions to the real solution example during the experience. Samsø gives a clear, well-defined project of technology and behavior balanced in real solutions.

The Energy Camp builds its activities on the themes of sustainability, energy democracy, global/local knowledge and climate consciousness.

The participants are challenged on dialogue, cooperation, development, creativity, performance, leadership and ownership. The Energy Camp has been a huge success with over 6000 participants since it started 2007.

“Students must learn that a question is not just to be answered, they need to learn how to ask even brighter questions than the teacher. So how does the teacher teach the students to ask better and more relevant questions than their teacher?” Malene Lundén challenges.

The learning platform of Samsø Energy Camp is in line with the Nordic culture and tradition of giving learning options to all people in the society at all ages. We teach and learn to think independently as well as how to cooperate in a group. In order to give the free space of learning without tests and performance, the ‘Energy Camp’ has no commercial interests. It is funded by the Danish Energy Association through public service obligations.

The learning journey of the Energy Camp

Priming, learning while doing and learning by doing. Reflecting on what is learned is an important part of all three steps.

“Priming is important” Malene Lundén says, “It’s not the students but the teachers who have chosen to come to Samsø and the Energy Camp.” She asks the teachers to let the students do a questionnaire that will raise their awareness of sustainable living before coming to Samsø. 

Link to the questionnaire in English:https://spreadsheets.google.com/viewform?hl=en&authkey=CKj1wsEB&formkey=dHhnN1loNFJmYndOS2JqdUFGZEpGVHc6MQ#gid=0

Learning while doing

At the Energy Camp Malene Lundén is hosting and sharing with the students using tools and the drama in between. Students work with the challenge of having their own critical thinking stimulated by listening and experiencing  the good story and the bad story. The good story is how Samsø has managed to become self-sufficient of renewable energy, which was a way to survive a local economic crisis rather than an idealistic dream of saving the climate. The story gives an example of what can be done on a local level. The bad story is the story of 6°C. A short movie shows what can happen to the Earth if average temperature rises up to 6°C. “The media is frightening people today with scary scenarios about a future of climate change.” Malene Lundén continues: “I want the children to start thinking critically about the power of the media.” Learning while doing means that the teaching incorporates different ways of learning through sensing – thinking – feeling. Students take part in the learning process as they are invited by questions or encouraged to take a stand. Facts and figures come into place while learning about Samsø Renewable Energy Island, when the students are presented to the three resources wind, sun and biomass.

Learning by doing

“Can I buy some green electricity from you?” is an exercise about learning the importance of having a plan. The group stands in a circle with one person in the middle. The center-person has to find someone to change places with to let him or her back into the circle. They do so by asking one in the circle: “Can I buy some green electricity from you?” The answer is NO. Rejection. Behind the back of the center-person people are changing places in the circle. It is also possible for the center-person to get back into the circle if he or she manages to take the free place in the circle when two are changing places.

“We talk about the importance of having a plan” Malene Lundén says and continues: “the renewable energy project of Samsø had a planbefore starting. That was one of the reasons for our big success.”

“We discuss some serious things in the Energy Camp, but it is valuable to me that the students go home with a feeling of encouragement and hope for the future” Malene Lundén finishes.

Links

Energi Camp – Education movie –http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NSrVKVGBAcE

Energi Camp –Education movie http://www.klimakaravanen.dk/index.phpoption=com_content&task=view&id=89&Itemid=83

The void – Changing education paradigms – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDZFcDGpL4U
The void -Do schools kill creativity- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iG9CE55wbtY

Photo text: Malene Lundén (wearing a cap) at one of her visits to the mainland for sharing her innovative work. This photo is from a youth club going into the transition of letting the young people take control of the energy use at the youth club.The young people are outside since they alredy know. Their parents get a possibility to see what we teach and learn their children at the Energy Camp.

Sustain the Void

“Sustain the Void will stimulate people to dive into, sense, and reflect on simple, practical steps by meeting basic wisdom” Malene Lundén says.

In cooperation with the University of Aalborg we are developing a tool. The idea is to be able to measure technology and behaviour, also known as a SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats), through the following themes:

From home skills to life skills

– Ways of action for the individual-Sustainable learning brings a long term perspective into learning for personal development. Learning for a long term perspective includes considerations about where and how I would like to live – work – develop. How can we learn to make the right choices baring in mind the protection of our vulnerable Earth? We need to re-learn the time perspective. In the past it was common sense to plan for a time span of several generations. An oak tree that I plant today will give benefits to people living here in 200 years. Handing over knowledge and skills through generations is wisdom. So what is wisdom in a modern context?

From fire to cradle to cradle

– Technological, economic and political security and possibility –

Fire was the first energy used by humans. Students will gather around the fire to learn about wisdom. What can you sense when it is dark and the fire burns in the Void? Being protective of our resources such as wood, water, soil, metals and energy has been an old basic wisdom common around the bonfires of the past. “I want to challenge the students about their consumption” Malene Lundén argues, “How many mobile phones have each of the students consumed so far?”The Void will challenge the way energy, water and raw materials are used in production and give suggestions to new ways through the concept of cradle to cradle that follows a product’s use of resources through production, its longevity and finally recycling.

Fear or common sense?

– Climate, climate change and consequences Students learn about the good story and the bad story. The good story is the real story of Samsø -the renewable energy island. The bad story is the scenario of what might happen if the Earth temperature rises with 6°C. Sustain the Void will listen to the students -all considered competent, and talk about the consequences of the missing willingness to adapt our behaviour to climate change. How can we keep the feeling that it is important to protect our common climate?  Where does the development of more sustainable behaviour start -from the inside or from the outside? “Together with the students I will explore and talk about these issues to let them learn about their own responsibility to enhance their choices and behaviour towards a more sustainable direction” Malene Lundén explains.

Sue Hammond cites in her “Thin Book of Appreciative Inquiry” (1998)“Appreciative Inquiry is a strategy for intentional change that identifies the best of ‘what is’ to pursue dreams and possibilities of ‘what could be’; a cooperative search for strengths, passions and life-giving forces that are found within every system that hold potential for inspired, positive change (Cooperrider & Srivastva, 1987).” For more information, see: http://appreciativeinquiry.case.edu/uploads/whatisai.pdf

Samsø Energy Camp and Sustain the Void

– are non profit

– are a learning platforms for cradle to grave

– house at Samsø Energy Academy, Denmark www.energiakademiet.dk

– partners: the University of Aalborg www.en.aau.dk

– and Energy Service Denmark www.energitjenesten.dk

– The Energy Camp is funded by the Danish Energy Association www.danishenergyassociation.com

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