New edition of Gazte Ekoliderrak, a program that trains young people in sustainability and leadership
This program, driven by Kutxa Fundazioa and the Department of Environment of the Provincial Council of Gipuzkoa, in collaboration with UIK, has selected 21 young people aged 18 to 30 to train them in ecologic leadership and will provide them with scholarships covering 80% of the tuition.
The inauguration of the new edition of Gazte Ekoliderrak took place last Thursday at Kutxa Kultur Plaza. The Director of the Environment of the Provincial Council, Mónica Pedreira, the Director of Kutxa Fundazioa, Ander Aizpurua, and the Academic Director of UIK, Itziar Alkorta, participated in the event, supporting the candidates and youth training in ecologic leadership, in the interest of building a more sustainable society.
This new edition of Gazte Ekoliderrak will be composed of 21 members from various backgrounds. The inauguration event marked the first step of this journey that will extend until June. Dynamics were promoted for mutual acquaintance among the members of this edition, followed by a roundtable discussion titled "What Does the Earth Say?" which featured the participation of prominent individuals with experience in sustainability. Juan Arizaga spoke from the perspective of biodiversity, representing the Society of Sciences Aranzadi; Cristina Peña, from UPV/EHU, discussed consumption and the circular economy; David Zabala, from Naturklima, talked about the climate emergency, and Arantza Acha, from UN Etxea, addressed the social aspect of sustainability and citizen participation. The need for a systemic approach to address current challenges became evident.
Following this initial step, the young participants will embark on a journey that includes sessions and meetings, three intensive weekend stays, and the opportunity to reflect on personal and group development, as well as project development through different methodologies, always with sustainability as the objective.
Ander Aizpurua, Director of Kutxa Fundazioa, pointed out that "As in ecosystems, in the construction of society, all profiles are of paramount importance for social innovation, and this is reflected in the young ecologists. The fields in which to be activists are also diverse: our local community, organized society, the workplace, public policies..."
Mónica Pedreira, Director of the Environment, emphasized the importance of educating young generations in key concepts for transformation: "the circular economy, energy transition, and the climate challenge require a transformation of our economy and our society, and represent an excellent opportunity for sustainable development of our society. Transformation offers us challenges and opportunities, and it is necessary to educate young talent in new criteria that enable them to address their future in the region."
Itziar Alkorta, Academic Director of the Summer Courses, highlighted that with this training program, UIK demonstrates its commitment to sustainability. "The future of our planet needs young people who advance responsible models for the environment. They are interested, motivated, active, and eager to further sustainability. They have clear goals, delve into sustainability knowledge, develop a holistic vision, acquire and train for systemic leadership, empower themselves for action, and train to turn ideas into action, enhance awareness, critical thinking, and empathy in the community".
In June, we will learn about the results and experiences of the future ekoliderrak. Trebatu, Ekin, Izan!.