CEU Graduates Lead a Series of Environmental Activism Workshops in Russia

In Moscow this July, three CEU graduates served as organizers and activism coaches as part of the Strelka Institute of Design’s “Building a Green Campus” summer university workshop. Peter Kiryushin, (CEU ENVSCI’12) originally pitched the idea of the workshop to Strelka Institute’s management, and was assisted by Lea Bambach (ENVSCI’12) and Logan Strenchock (CEU Environmental and Sustainability Officer, ENVSCI’12) in designing the interactive course content.

The goal of the workshop was to give participants the skills necessary to launch and run environmental projects in higher education establishments in Moscow and elsewhere in Russia. Over a three-day period, students were encouraged to develop their own collective vision for the sustainable development of their home universities. Workshop participants engaged in interactive group activities that helped them identify target areas for improvement in campuses and communities, while workshop coaches helped students transform those ideas into functional activism strategies.

At the end of the workshop students were asked to present summaries of projects they hoped to initiate in the upcoming academic year. Project plans included converting portions of a university botanical garden into an edible organic garden, establishing comprehensive campus-wide selective waste management systems, arranging the first “University Green Week” on campus, and gathering support to form the first university “Green Team.” Workshop participants talked about remaining connected and assisting each other in the coming months.

Throughout the workshop participants had the opportunity to meet and interact with Russian academics, activists, and technical experts who are working in environmental fields. It was a strategic goal to link students and local community members who are already participating actively in building Russia’s environmental movement, with hopes of creating momentum and sustained partnerships in coming years.

Although this was the first incarnation of the Strelka Institute’s “Building a Green Campus” summer workshop, people involved in the program expect that the success of this year’s event will result in an annual gathering that will continue to target young environmental activists in Moscow, and elsewhere in Russia.

For more information, see http://www.strelka.com/green-campus/?lang=en.