The event ‘Youth and Mobility: Transport Futures – What’s yours?’, which took place during COP21, gathered various actors of the transport sector to exchange on its future - with a focus on the role of youth in pursuing this shift.
The event started with a game by Green City Projekt ( http://www.greencity-projekt.de/) to introduce 27 facts regarding transport i.e. that up to eleven private cars in the Netherlands can be replaced by one shared car. This concept of gamification helped to raise the awareness of the audience.
This conference was also a great opportunity to put forward other initiatives, such as:
● Climate express: The objective of this project is to establish a solidarity approach to issues on climate. They initiated a march by train, bus and bike - and gathered hundreds of participants, which was highly followed on twitter. http://fr.climate-express.be/viensavecnous/
● Y4PT (Youth for Public Transport): Their campaign aims to advocate and communicate the participation of young people on transport and mobility issues. http://www.y4pt.org/
● Pole to Paris: The team decided to go on a cycling journey, from New Zealand to Paris, to inform as many people as possible about COP21 and the seriousness of the climate situation. Daniel Price, the founder of Pole to Paris, explained the urgency of creating smart cities with safe transportation systems and engaging people in climate change. Jeff Willis, the social media coordinator of Pole to Paris, stressed the importance of social media in order to engage the younger generation in climate change actions. If used effectively, it can touch millions of people and get them excited about the changes. If a team with less than 20 people can have an impact, this shows the kind of impact we can make if we all get engaged. http://poletoparis.com/
● Bike for a future: Simon explained how he arrived from a long journey that started in Vietnam. It was for him an opportunity to meet a lot of people and talk about bicycle (when it is not usual for instance in Vietnam). http://bike4afuture.com/about-us/
The event ended with a debate session between: Philippe Crist, Max von Deursen,Patrick Oliva (Michelin Challenge Bibendum), Tikender SIngh Panwar and Browen Thorton (walk21).
Key takeaways of the debate:
● It was stated that the main component about mobility is to focus on active transport, such as walking and cycling, and to build infrastructure for people rather than machines. This form of transport must become safer and more efficient.
● Patrick Oliva said that promoting electro mobility is vital in order to push climate change forward. He also highlighted the importance to always keep in mind that “what is good for society at large should be made good for the company”.
● no reward for taking the right decision - can be discouraging BUT very small shifts can make huge differences. road for leadership - it is key. Small differences in our behavior can make a big impact
What key messages to keep in mind from this ‘Youth & Mobility’ conference?
- Young people need to get in the movement, and from the initiatives that were presented in the session, we can see that some already do. To involve them, it is important to find creative ways to communicate on how they can do something.
- We should not be afraid to ask young people to participate so that they can share their energy. They will be the ones who will have to deal with the impact of climate change on their lives. Federating a lot of various actors and generations is key.
- With their innovations, startups should also be going to the transport sector, and mentor the more traditional actors.
Finally the panel warns the youth that they need to engage in 2 revolutions:
- To work with businesses so that we change the way people go to work
- To promote sharing approaches, and the sharing economy