The CommUnity Days Interview: The Journey by Climate KIC

Jan 24, 2019

In this interview, three participants share their experiences of the Journey by Climate KIC, a summer programme bringing together innovators and leaders of the future in order to share their experiences and ultimately find solutions to the the sustainability issues facing the world.


From left to right: Jacob Dalton, Federico Barbieri, Rafael Martins and David Duque Lozano



David Duque Lozano (DDL) for the CommUnity Post
Rafael Martins (RM)
Jacob Dalton (JD)
Federico Barbieri (FB)

DDL: Rafa, Federico, Jacob thank you for joining us, the CommUnity Post, for this interview. We want to give the public a little bit of information about the Climate KIC and the added value that other KICs (Knowledge and Innovation Communities) from the EIT gives us in the CommUnity. We all participated in the Climate KIC Journey - a really interesting program. Rafa will talk about the programme a little bit.

RM: Yeah. So, Journey by Climate KIC is a summer school, an international summer school, that might last from 3 to 5 weeks, and it brings people together from all different backgrounds; journalism, marketing, engineering, and they have the goal of fostering entrepreneurial climate change projects. And we have mentorship, we have help and we can make our ideas and dreams come true.

DDL: Yes. And many new ideas came. That was really interesting. For instance, Jacob, I know that your idea went in the Norwegian newspaper and TV. Can you tell us a little bit about your idea and what it is about?

JD: Sure. We developed an education tool, a physical tool, that was designed to help teachers teach sustainability in a holistic way. It also had a digital element and a platform that was community based and could have user interaction, etcetera. And we had journalists come while we were in Trondheim who really liked the idea and filmed us, and it ended up on national news. Then we got into the Greenhouse accelerator afterwards. And then unfortunately we weren’t - we needed one of us to continue being working full time and no one could. So, it fell apart. But who knows, maybe in the future someone will take it up again.

DDL: Okay. Sometimes it’s not successful, but you got a really nice experience out of this.

JD: Oh yeah. It was incredible.

DDL: It’s completely life changing. But in case, for instance, it’s a problem that needs solving your idea may completely come true. Can you tell us a little bit about this?

RM: Yeah. Sure. So, we got together and we realized that we had the same, let’s say, common goals and the same fashion. And what we’re basically doing is, we found out that most people keep their (old) electronic devices at home and they’re just in drawers and there’s a lot of value in it. And people just keep buying and putting more pressure on the mines, etc. So, our value proposition is that we’re going to bring that (those resources and raw materials) back and insert that (those resources) back in the market and basically have this great, let’s say, climate impact because we’re just using what is already there. So, we’ve had a few reviews which are successful and right now we’re going to an incubator in the Netherlands to do more market validation and see if that’s really going to work out. So, we entered the Journey with the goal of “this might work” and it turns out that yeah, we can actually do it if we put the resources and get the right team. So now, like Jacob, we’re looking at some other programmes and incubators and I guess the sky is the limit!

DDL: Well, Rafa, I wish you the best with this one! And Federico, you also had some of your ideas used in Climate KIC Journey. What was your idea and can you tell us a little bit about it?

FB: Yeah. Of course. This year I moved to Lisbon and I realized how the waste in Lisbon is really a problem. And, so, given the input that I received from the Journey we developed a different idea, it wasn’t successful, but we had a lot of fun with my team and I learned literally a lot of things. And then I just applied the knowledge I got from the Journey and I came up with this idea and now we’re actually collaborating with the waste management company of the municipality of Lisbon and it is something that might become true as well.

DDL: Thank you. I participated myself in the Journey as well. One of the big things you learn is we are in a community that is really focused on sustainable energy, but other things that you can learn is how climate change is impacted by agriculture, by waste streams, by human behaviour which is something that we sometimes don’t realise. And it’s also a really big component of climate change and it’s something we as a community can learn as well.
For example, Federico, what do you think that this Journey gave you and that you can give to the InnoEnergy CommUnity after this?

FB: Well, we know that the CommUnity is a natural - it’s a way to connect people. But this happens only within the community. So I think it’s very important to have also collaboration between KICs, because we have a lot of KICs in Europe. We have KIC Food, KIC Climate, (KIC) Raw Materials, also EIT Digital, we have lots of EITs, and I think it’s really important that these people gain knowledge not only about a single community, but different communities so they can really start cooperation between them. And that’s what we’re doing in Lisbon actually. We were able to connect KIC Climate and the InnoEnergy KIC and this can really open a lot of opportunities for the students and for both KICs because cooperation is the key for success.

DDL:  Definitely. Yes. In Eindhoven, for instance, we have also thought about different collaborations with EIT Digital and InnoEnergy and really nice things can come out of this. 

FB: Yep!

JD: Exactly, but probably the most attractive thing of the Journey to me was the fact knowing that there were few engineers and I spent quality time with non-engineers and non-engineering minds and thought patterns. And so there were only 2 engineers in my team of 6. So, it was really refreshing and so necessary after 2 years studying with 50 other mathematical pragmatic minds. It was really great to have these other perspectives because everything is holistic and should be viewed upon in a holistic manner. So it was the perfect opportunity to get that.

DDL:  Yes, I’m really sure that there’s a lot of knowledge that we all gained during this Journey. So let’s put it to use for the CommUnity! Thank you, guys, for coming today and all the best!


By The CommUnity Post

Published on 24 January 2019

Other news