This summer IVL and the Swedish Institute, SI, arranged a two-week scholarship camp in Sweden. 20 students from India and China got the opportunity to learn about sustainable development and experience smart city aspects of the Swedish capital Stockholm and the region Dalarna.
“By bringing these young people together and by sharing our experiences and knowledge with them, we wanted to empower them to accelerate the path towards sustainable future”, says Aditi Bhasin, project leader at IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute.
Built upon the values of smart learning, eco city and connected society, the camp provides a prestigious opportunity for the students to experience Sweden’s state-of-the-art environmental practices.
The camp combined presentations and workshops on environmental technology and management with visits to smart city areas in Stockholm, such as Hammarby Sjöstad and Norra Djurgårdsstaden, the Stockholm Royal Seaport.
“This camp has opened the world of sustainable living for me by showing how those theoretical concepts can be implemented in the society”, says Sun Yuxian, a participant from the city of Tianjin, China.
Many students pointed out that after being in Sweden, they understand that sustainability is not just about technologies, the key is the integration of the society, the government, the people and incorporating it into their lifestyles.
“In Stockholm I see signs of sustainability everywhere – bicycle lanes, biogas driven buses, citizens' habits to segregate waste at source, efficient public transportation system which even includes ferries", says Li Xiyan, one of the students.
The group visited the waste-to-energy and waste water treatment plant in Borlänge to experience how waste and waste water are managed in Sweden. They also visited the IVL’s research facility Hammarby Sjöstadsverk in Stockholm where they got insights into the future treatment technologies for wastewater.
The camp combined students with different interests, all working towards the common aspiration of sustainable future.
“The best part is the diversity in the mindsets of the students. We all have different interests such as physics, economics, psychology, art, and we have learnt in this camp how these interests can be combined. This was also my first time to have proper interaction with Chinese students, and I learnt a lot about their culture”, says Samay Gupta from India.
The weeks in Sweden have motivated the students to initiate sustainable actions in their own cities. Sanyogita Sarin from Pune wants to "start up a foodbank and implement biogas value chain" in her city while Shen Zhonghui from Wuhan "shall start with her school to spread awareness and reduce food waste".
“These students have given us new energy and enthusiasm to continue our work in sustainable development and youth environmental education. They are full of optimism, passion and hope, and these are the qualities that will help us to succeed towards our mission of ‘the sustainable society”, says Huang Si, team leader of the camp at IVL.
Read more about the SEK City Elite Scholarship Camp: