Climate Connaction Fellowship

Background

The Climate Fellowship Program offers young climate leaders opportunities to grow, develop skills and make connections across Europe. Through study trips, training and networking formats, this fellowship has the goal to amplify their voices in the public sphere and to ensure that their perspectives are taken into account to shape the direction and priorities of climate action. The project Climate Connaction by Das Progressive Zentrum is funded by the German Foreign Office.

Young people have been at the forefront of the climate movement, demanding action from policymakers and driving change in their communities. To mitigate the impact of climate change, urgent action is needed. The goal of the fellowship is to empower 26 young leaders, thinkers or campaigners in their commitment by offering trainings, workshops, and access to an expert network in preparation for the upcoming COP 28. During the seven-month program, we offer a variety of need-based trainings (communication, media and organising skills) as well as exchange and networking opportunities. Our aim is to enhance the next generation’s skills and capacity to tackle climate change effectively. Climate change is a global issue with specific regional challenges and requires diverse perspectives and solutions. This program specifically targets Central and Eastern Europe as well as the Western Balkans and thereby contributes to the global conversation on climate change.

We are proud to collaborate with 26 highly committed fellows with a broad set of skills, expertise and experience. If you are interested in contacting the fellows, please reach out to: climateconnaction@progressives-zentrum.org

The international Climate Action Fellowship Program is part of the larger project “The Climate Connaction”. Its second sub-project is the German “Working Group Youth & Climate Foreign Policy” . To further strengthen the international network of young individuals engaged in climate policy, two meetings between the fellows and the working group members are planned for the year 2023.

Timeline

May

Digital kick-off of the Fellowship.

June

Educational Trip to Bonn on the Fringes of the UN Climate Change Conference UNFCCC (07.06 – 10.06.)

First personal meeting of the Fellows and exciting insights into the UN process, the negotiation topics, youth participation and the demands of civil society.

August

Digital Bonn Follow-Up (10.08.)

Review of the UNFCCC in Bonn and discussion of the results of the climate negotiations.

Digital Fellow Input (30.08.)

Decolonization in Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe with the Fellows Kalina Dukovska and Franziska Fischer.

September

Climate Policy Educational Trip to Berlin (17.09.-22.09.)

Discussion of German foreign climate policy as well as German and European Western Balkans and enlargement policy with German politicians, scientists, civil society actors and local initiatives.

October

Educational Trip to Tirana (Oct. 19-22)

Exchange on EU enlargement, networking with local climate and environmental movements and other relevant civil society actors on Albanian climate and environmental policy.

Digital Skills Training on the Topic of Action Art (30.10.)

with the association “Radikale Töchter”.

December

Digital Workshop (13.12.)

Digital activities surrounding the COP 28 (30th November till December 12).

Our Trip to Tirana

More

Get to know our Fellows!

Ademir Ćosićkić

Climate Connaction Fellow
Ademir (WeBalkans) is passionate about the UN’s sustainable development goals, with his biggest focus on renewable energy sources and energy efficiency. He believes that access to green energy should be available to everyone, regardless of their social or economic status. To him, the transition to green energy and sustainable practices is not just an environmental imperative but also an opportunity for social improvement in societies worldwide. Ademir is a Young European Ambassador in the Western Balkans region and holds a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering.

Alija Kalač

Climate Connaction Fellow
Alija (Karika, NGO) is enthusiastic about biodiversity protection and advocates for a green transition. He is a proponent of renewable energy sources and wants to raise awareness about the benefits of these technologies. Alija believes that it’s important to strengthen the cooperation between civil society and the state sector because he thinks that a collective endeavor is essential in the fight against climate change. Alija is a graduate ecologist

Andra-Alexa Cloștorfeanu

Climate Connaction Fellow
Andra-Alexa (Romania, Deplastificat) is the founder of Deplastificat, an initiative focused on tackling plastic pollution through education and hands-on interventions. With a degree in Psychology, her work is centered around creating learning contexts such as training sessions or workshops about eco-anxiety and emotions generated by the climate crisis. Furthermore, she has been the coordinator for her local Fridays for Future chapter in 2019, spearheading the organization of climate strikes in her hometown. With a history of engagement in diverse cultural contexts, she brings a commitment to promoting an inclusive perspective within the realm of climate activism.

Anna Bohushenko

Climate Connaction Fellow
Anna (Ukraine, Fridays for Future) is advocating for a complete and immediate phase-out of fossil fuels because they exacerbate the dual crisis of climate change and war. As a climate activist and a person displaced by war, she possesses a unique experience and understanding of the impact of the climate crisis on the lives of refugees and residents in areas that heavily rely on fossil fuel production. Anna is a PhD student in climate science, currently conducting research on extreme climate events in Ukraine and their forecasting.

Donika Ahmetaj

Climate Connaction Fellow
Donika (Kosovo, Democracy Plus) wants to advance Citizen participation in policy making using digital tools. She also wants to empower young people and marginalized groups. Donika is convinced that international cooperation and the use of digital tools are the most urgent actions for climate change right now.

Elena Petrovska

Climate Connaction Fellow
Elena (Serbia, Green Youth of Serbia) is passionate about youth empowerment and bridging the gap between decision-makers and youths or activists. Meeting other activists who are fighting for social and climate justice through international networks gives Elena hope for the future. She is currently attending a Masters Program in Environmental Science.

Franziska Fischer

Climate Connaction Fellow
Franziska (Germany, Climate Justice movement) is a Master's student of Eastern European Studies at Freie Universität Berlin and is passionate about the topic of climate policy. In her activism she raises awareness of how climate change is interlinked with different social struggles and works to connect the fight for climate justice with those for labour rights, anti-racism and gender equality.

Frenkli Prengaj

Climate Connaction Fellow
Frenkli (Albania, European Democracy Youth Network) wants to move climate change issues from a global to a local level and is eager to learn about the different approaches of young activists from Europe. Frenkli holds a master’s degree in geo-environmental engineering, and he worked on projects related to CO2 emissions of heavy industry, monitoring the National Strategy on Climate Change effects, and encouraging the participation of young people in green decision-making.

Hristijan Ilievski

Climate Connaction Fellow
Hristijan (North Macedonia, PANTHEON) is working in city administration and is involved with campaigns and activities connected to environmental and climate protection. He is especially driven by the fight against pollution because his town, Skopje, is suffering from polluted air, which causes a lot of people health problems. As an activist, his goal is to create a greener, more sustainable, and eco-friendly society.

Ioana Crista Popescu

Climate Connaction Fellow
Ioana (Romania, WWF) wants to raise public awareness of climate issues, which are often considered less urgent. She believes that urgent action is needed to address the pressing challenges posed by climate change. Her mission with her activism is to build a future in which people live in harmony with nature, which has also become her own life’s motto. Therefore, Iona’s goal is to create a climate-resilient and zero-carbon world through various projects.

Jakub Hrbáň

Climate Connaction Fellow
Jakub (Slovakia, Klíma ťa potrebuje) views climate change as an opportunity for a shift that will lead to a more just and equitable world. Jakub believes that specific plans and targeted measures, which take into account the social aspects of transformation, are the necessary response to the climate crisis today. He initiated the organization of the Fridays For Future movement in Slovakia and is a co-leader of the grassroots organization Klíma ťa potrebuje. Together, they strive for a just and socially sensitive solution to climate change through active involvement and participation of citizens and communities.

Jannis Krüßmann

Climate Connaction Fellow
Jannis (Germany, Fridays for Future) played a pivotal role in establishing the local chapter of the movement in his hometown, Konstanz. Since then, he has been deeply engaged in orchestrating protests and drafting policy documents. With a background in law and a commitment to the intersection of climate activism and legal frameworks, Jannis holds the position of co-head within the national legal team of Fridays for Future. His primary focus lies in the realm of climate litigation, alongside closely monitoring the evolving landscape of state responses to environmental protests, including emerging instances of repression.

Jonathan Kolb

Areas of Interest: Loss and Damage
Jonathan (Germany, BUND) is motivated by the prospect of collaborating on a transnational and European scale. Additionally, he firmly believes that the most pressing action to combat climate change is to enhance the resilience of forests for the future. Jonathan serves as the Chair of Bavarian Young Friends of the Earth Germany / BUND. His responsibilities encompass campaigning and partnerships on current matters such as the Bavarian climate protection law and the initiative for a cycling law.

Julia Kozakiewicz

Climate Connaction Fellow
Julia (Poland, Client Earth) centers her work on the intersection of climate impacts and human rights. Recently, she has been involved in crafting a Climate Act for Poland and driving energy transition efforts. Of particular interest to her within the realm of energy transition are various forms of community-based renewable energy production. Julia is also deeply passionate about sustainable agriculture and is an advocate for intersectionality. She played an instrumental role in initiating two climate movements in Poland.

Kalina Dukovska

Climate Connaction Fellow
Kalina (North Macedonia, Youth Education Center) is concerned about the development and consequences of environmental degradation in the Western Balkans region, where discussions regarding climate mitigation and socio-environmental policies have largely remained stagnant. She believes that the most crucial issue for the Western Balkans is restructuring. Kalina’s activism primarily involves extensive research and policy creation, as well as collaboration with grassroots organizations. An advocate for environmental justice, Kalina is dedicated to working towards a future where sustainability and equity take center stage in our policies and practices. Currently, she is enrolled in a special joint Erasmus Mundus Master’s program with a double major in International Economics and Sustainable Development.

Lili Aschenbrenner

Climate Connaction Fellow
Lili (Hungary, Fridays for Future) is committed to achieving systemic change on both local and broader scales. She aspires to bridge the gap between art and activism and firmly believes in the interconnection of various crises. Lili perceives the climate movement’s struggle as intertwined with social and feminist movements, emphasizing that the most urgent message people need to grasp is that these movements are united by common causes. Lili actively engages with different groups advocating for climate justice and has been a member of Fridays for Future since the age of 15.

Luka Milovanović

Climate Connaction Fellow
Luka (Serbia, Foundation BFPE for a Responsible Society) has developed a comprehension of policy-making processes and the societal consequences of global challenges through his work with NGOs. He believes that addressing climate change demands interdisciplinary solutions that seamlessly integrate science, policy, and society. Luka is enthusiastic about championing science-based recommendations and holding the government accountable for their actions affecting the climate. He holds a degree in International Affairs.

Martin Velichkov

Climate Connaction Fellow
Martin (Bulgaria, Bulgarian Green Movement) directs his activism towards diminishing the environmental footprint of the global food system through education and lobbying. He advocates for the necessity of a new economic model and a transition towards a plant-based food system. His expertise encompasses sustainable food systems, forest management, and green investing. Martin is dedicated to making a positive impact in the battle against climate change. He anticipates collaborating with other young leaders through the Fellowship Program.

Matěj Frouz

Climate Connaction Fellow
Matěj (Czech Republic, Czech Green Party) wants to inspire young individuals to become politically engaged and to shape their surroundings in order to amplify their voices. His goal is to establish more resilient networks of activism and politics, fostering collaborative solutions to issues, rather than tackling them individually. He is deeply passionate about promoting the sustainable development of rural areas, drawing from his personal experience of growing up in a small village. He believes this perspective is often lacking in Green policy discussions. Currently, he is studying political science with a specific focus on civil movements and local government. Furthermore, he holds the position of chairperson within the Green Party in Pilsen.

Mira Weinberger

Climate Connaction Fellow
Mira (Germany, Klimacamp Leipziger Land) emphasizes the significance of comprehending the climate crisis through an intersectional lens and recognizing that combating climate change and the exploitation of humans or nature cannot be achieved within a capitalist economy. She initiated a collective focused on political education, which develops educational materials and conducts workshops highlighting the links between the climate crisis and various forms of discrimination, such as classism and heterosexism.

Radka Slebodníková

Climate Connaction Fellow
Radka (Slovakia, European Climate Pact) is a fourth-year medical student who contributes to the Health Working Group within YOUNGO and UN1FY. Her engagement has had a significant impact, highlighted by her role as a delegate at COP26 where, representing Unicef blue badge, she championed climate and health-related matters on the international platform. With a background in medicine, Radka possesses a solid foundation that aids in comprehending the complexities of climate change and the inherent challenges of addressing this pressing issue.

Rebecca Rechenberg

Climate Connaction Fellow
Rebecca (Germany, Universitat Jaume I), is a Masters student in Peace, Conflict and Development studies and was a member of the organizing team for the “Bits & Bäume 2022“ – a conference for digitalisation and sustainability. She believes that talking about and practising intersectionality is not only crucial when it comes to the issues of digitalisation and sustainability, but for all aspects of climate action.

Renis Bakalli

Climate Connaction Fellow
Renis (Albania, Albanian Young Greens) has been working closely with Albania’s Green Party, focusing especially on climate and environmental protection. Through his policy advocacy engagement, he has been advocating for policies in support of sustainability and carbon emission reduction. Additionally, he has been at the forefront of multiple environmental campaigns and educational events aimed at raising awareness about the impact of climate change. His commitment as a Climate Connaction fellow has been motivated by his passion to address the climate crisis through collective action and innovative solutions.

Ștefania Gârțu

Climate Connaction Fellow
Ștefania (Romania, Fridays for Future) stands as a foundational figure within the local Fridays for Future movement, playing a crucial role in its establishment. Beyond her Fridays for Future involvement, she has actively participated in both online and offline endeavors alongside Greenpeace. Expanding her horizons, she ventured into journalism last year, contributing pieces to Noua.info. These articles delved into an array of subjects, ranging from climate communities and food waste to the realm of veganism. Her expertise prominently lies in the sphere of environmental justice, notably encompassing policies intertwined with ecological economics and fossil fuels. Ștefania’s insights extend to pertinent issues like plastic pollution, the swiftly evolving domains of fast-fashion and fast-cosmetics industries, and environmental racism.

Veronika Králová

Climate Connaction Fellow
Veronika (Czech Republic, Na Mysli) is involved in several non-governmental environmental organizations. Her efforts within these organizations are centered around global sustainability, climate change, and other interconnected environmental concerns. She is the founder of a faculty association that addresses critical matters of human rights, including climate justice, feminism, and anti-racism. Veronika’s dedication extends to her ongoing commitment to self-education regarding climate change, as well as her aspiration to foster a community united by a shared interest in these subjects.

Zeina Serour

Climate Connaction Fellow
Zeina (Egypt, Fridays for Future) founded Fridays for Future Egypt at the age of 14 to raise awareness about climate issues in Egypt and address the challenges of loss and damages, while also considering the issue of MAPA. Furthermore, she organized a simulation of COP 27 for students. Zeina is driven by her belief that an intersectional and post-colonial perspective on climate policy is essential and imperative in her engagement.

Team

Michelle Deutsch

Project Manager

Axel Ruppert

Project Manager

Luise Kschenka

Junior Projectmanager

Projectnews

Climate Connaction: Youth Climate Fellowship Program

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[applications are closed] You are a young leader, thinker or campaigner committed to climate action? We welcome your application for our non-resident Climate Fellowship Program!

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