TOWARDS GREENER CITIES

Citizens as drivers for change

23 May 2018 - 14:30 - 16:00
Xavier Damman, Dharmendra Kanani, Aline Muylaert, Katarzyna Anna Nawrot, Giulio Quaggiotto
Introduction

Citizen engagement and participation are essential to the greening of cities. As consumers, citizens should be given more opportunities to accelerate the low-carbon transition of their cities.  It is therefore crucial to involve citizens in participatory decision-making and encourage them to modify not only their consumption habits but also the perception of the impact they can have in the urban environment. This debate will explore the role of citizens as drivers for change in the greening of their cities.

Our online discussion platform, Debating Europe, will run a debate on sustainable living ahead of the session, designed to collect questions from its 3.5 million-strong community, a selection of which will be put by the moderator to the panelists on the day.

This debate is taking place in the context of the 2018 European Commission Green Week:  ‘Green cities for a greener future’  
#EUGreenWeek

To register for this specific event, please visit the EU Green Week’s registration form and check Session 4.3 ‘Towards greener cities: citizens as drivers for change’

IMAGE CREDIT: wisanu_1983/Bigstock

Programme
14.00-14.30

Welcome of participants and registration

14.30-16.00

TOWARDS GREENER CITIES – Citizens as drivers for change

Citizen engagement and participation are essential to the greening of cities. As consumers, citizens should be given more opportunities to accelerate the low-carbon transition of their cities. However, the current environmental problems that cities are faced with, whether it is air pollution, inefficient waste policies, biodiversity loss and resource scarcity, are often the results of rapid urban development coupled with policies that are not adapted to today’s needs. Such situations, affecting the daily lives of city dwellers, can give birth to grassroots movements and bottom-up actions, where citizens transform into actors of change. It is therefore crucial to involve citizens in participatory decision-making and encourage them to modify not only their consumption habits but also the perception of the impact they can have. Local decision-makers with the support of civil society organisations and NGOs should aim to work together on raising awareness among citizens and ensure that they act urgently to bend the curve of emissions.

  • How can local-decision makers ensure the voice of citizens is heard and sustainable living practices are widely shared and adopted across cities and municipalities? 
  • What actions can be implemented to reinforce the dialogue between local decision-makers and citizens? How can such accelerate the intake of best practices for the greening of cities?
  • How can citizens with the support of different stakeholders ensure that cities are better managed, environmental issues addressed and solutions provided? 
  • What sort of initiatives can be put in place to increase citizens’ sense of responsibility towards their living environment and how can one ensure their actions complement what local authorities already undertake? 

Speakers include

Xavier Damman, CEO and Co-founder of OpenCollective; European Young Leader (EYL40)
Giulio Quaggiotto, Director for Community Management at EIT Climate-KIC, Europe’s leading climate innovation initiative 
Aline Muylaert, Co-founder of CitizenLab
Katarzyna Nawrot, Assistant Professor at the Poznan University of Economics and author of the 'Rise of Megacities: Challenges, Opportunities and Unique Characteristics'; European Young Leader (EYL40)

Moderated by
Dharmendra Kanani, Director of Strategy at Friends of Europe
 

16.00

End of debate

Speakers
Xavier Damman
Founder & CEO of OpenCollective and Co-Founder of Storify; European Young Leader (EYL40)
Xavier Damman is the CEO and co-founder of OpenCollective. a company that enables groups to collect and spend money transparently without having to create a new bank account. In 1999, he founded Tribal, a site that gathered student content from around Belgium for publication in a magazine that was distributed to 30,000 students nationwide. Ten years later, he co-founded Storify, a social media curation platform that enables users to create stories or timelines using content from social media such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Storify is now used by top brands, organisations and publishers around the world, including CNN, the New York Times, the United Nations and the White House. 
Dharmendra Kanani
Director of Strategy
Prior to joining Friends of Europe, Dharmendra Kanani was Director of Policy at the European Foundation Centre (EFC). He was the England Director at the Big Lottery Fund, the largest independent funder in the UK and fourth largest in the world. Kanani has held senior positions in the public and voluntary sector and was advisor for numerous ministerial policy initiatives across the UK.  
Aline Muylaert
Co-founder at the CitizenLab
Aline Muylaert is co-founder and Head of Sales at CitizenLab, an e-democracy platform used by more than eighty governments. She has a passion for urban planning and realizing projects that have a direct, positive impact on society. With CitizenLab she intends to empower citizens to have a direct say in the decision-making processes to co-create their city, while supporting local governments to make better informed data-driven decisions. Aline was named in the Forbes 30 Under 30 Europe 2018 list and was a StartHer Awards finalist, Europe's biggest competition for female-(co)founded startups.
Katarzyna Anna Nawrot
Assistant Professor at the Poznan University of Economics and Business; Author of the book “The Rise of Megacities”; European Young leader (EYL40)
Katarzyna Nawrot is an Assistant Professor at the Poznan University of Economics and Business and a member of the Committee for Future Studies “Poland 2000 Plus”, in the Polish Academy of Sciences. Previously she was a research fellow at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University (2013–2014). Katarzyna was awarded ‘Women of the Decade’ in development economics by the Women Economic Forum in 2018. She recently co-edited the book “The Rise of megacities. Challenges, Opportunities and Unique Characteristics”. 
Giulio Quaggiotto
Director for Community Management at Climate-KIC
Giulio Quaggiotto is the Director of Community at Climate KIC, Europe's largest public-private innovation partnership focused on climate innovation. Prior to this, he was an advisor on innovation for the Prime Minister’s office in the UAE. His career includes stints at Pulse Lab Jakarta, UNDP, the World Bank and WWF. Giulio’s interests include lead user innovation and positive deviance as approaches to surface grassroots innovations.
Partners

Debating Europe

 

Registration
Raphaël Danglade, Programme Executive for Climate and Energy at Friends of Europe
Tel.: +32 2 893 98 10
Email: raphael.danglade@friendsofeurope.org

To register for this specific event, please visit the EU Green Week’s registration form and check Session 4.3 ‘Towards greener cities: citizens as drivers for change’
Contact form
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