On the 6th of March 2020, a second workshop was held in Cieszyn for the members of the Cieszyn Youth Council, this time under the motto “What do young people think about climate change? Do they feel its effects?”. The workshop series aims at broadening young residents’ knowledge and awareness of climate change, its local effects and possible actions, as well as preparing them for further tasks, including preparation of own research project, educational campaign and recommendations for the City Hall. This time we focused on the climate awareness of Cieszyn inhabitants, discussing how to learn more about their attitudes towards climate change and possibilities of influencing these attitudes. After few introductory presentations, the participants looked for answers to the specific questions:
• What do young Cieszyn citizens know and think about climate change? How to learn this?
• How to raise citizens climate awareness? How to disseminate the facts and fight the myths?
• How to plan a campaign addressed to the young people that everyone will speak about?
During the workshop, participants not only learned about factors affecting people’s attitudes and behaviours and how to use them to change these behaviours (e.g. encourage more efficient use of energy, use of clean transportation options…), but also began to prepare the first questions for the survey, which they will conduct among their peers. The first ideas and proposals have been organised and will be used during further work on the survey.
An interesting experience was also testing the “thinking hats” method, in which participants engaged in discussion putting on colourful hats and thus taking over different roles (black hat for pessimist, yellow for optimist, white for one basing decisions on facts and figures, red for emotional one, green for creative one and blue for a person preferring process thinking). Trying to forget their own opinions and attitudes they went into the roles and debated on the possibilities of making Cieszyn more climate friendly and on the impact Youth Climate Council can really have on the local situation. This allowed participants to break away from their own views and usual thinking and to look from a different perspective on the question “Can the young people have a real impact on development of their city and make it more climate-friendly?”