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Alpine Basecamp for good ideas

Jul 21, 2023
Revitalising valleys, identifying with landscapes, climbing more sustainably, using old irrigation systems innovatively, eating radically and locally: 18 participants honed such project ideas at the second “Alpine Changemaker Basecamp” (ACB), held in Silandro/I at the beginning of July 2023.
Image caption:
Rethinking the Alps: participants and mentors at the Alpine Changemaker Basecamp held in 2023 at the Vinschgau-Venosta/I base. (c) CIPRA International

The second ACB at the BASIS Vinschgau Venosta in Schlanders-Silandro/I offered highly motivated people from all over the Alpine region the opportunity to develop projects for a just, liveable and sustainable future in the Alps, guided by eleven mentors and covering a wide range of topics and methods. Mentor Franziska Hanko, research associate at the Bavarian Academy for Nature Conservation and Landscape Management, is convinced: “We can support and inspire young people in their project ideas. This is a great opportunity, because they have the power and motivation for change!”. Managing a project, thinking creatively and outside the box, taking on different roles: the lessons ranged from design thinking and co-creation through to Alpine governance structures, local politics and regional networking. The focus was on group exchanges, while mentors addressed specific questions in individual coaching sessions.

Climate bike tours and community watermills

The project ideas are each based on a larger vision and a wish for the future of the Alps. Tim Gerdin, from Ljubljana/Sl, emphasises: “I want to see better management of landscapes and to bring more beauty into daily life.” Maëlys Bernot from Gap/F says: “I want to see citizens and policymakers investing more in the fight against climate change. With my bike tour through the Alps, I want to raise awareness of climate change, with workshops on the causes and consequences of climate change and a documentary film about cycling as a form of sustainable mobility.” Verena Kircher from Dornbirn/A is convinced: “We need to build a sustainable agrifood system, radically changing to local eating, production and consumption, while bringing consumers and producers together.” Marco Moroni from Biella/I is working on a small-scale approach to creating a good life in the Alps: “My project is the renovation of a community watermill. It should become a place for meeting and community.” Other topics range from optimised water use in the face of the climate crisis to online networking on sustainable climbing and the expansion of public transportation in the Alpine region.

Networking and strengthening commitment

The 18 participants returned home with plenty of experiences and insights. In addition to the intensive examination of their own project, the informal exchanges helped them the most. Marco Moroni emphasises: “I've expanded my network: at the beginning of the week I met strangers and now I'm going home with new friendships.” Irene Delfanti from Verona/I says: “The highlight for me was the shared experiences. They strengthened the commitment to a future worth living.” Marion Ebster-Kreuzer, project manager at CIPRA International, felt that the second ACB was a success for everyone: “The Basecamp is a good platform for mentors, participants and project partners alike to network, inspire, learn and develop projects further!”

More about the ACB

ACB is the first pilot project of the transdisciplinary “Alpine Changemaker Network”, an association of organisations from the educational, regional development and environmental sectors. This summer was the event’s second occasion; hosted by the Social Activation Hub BASIS Vinschgau/Venosta, a focus group is now evaluating its design and implementation. The “Alpine Changemaker Basecamp” is sponsored by the Mercator Switzerland Foundation.

Further information:

Queries should be addressed to: Marion Ebster-Kreuzer, Project Manager, +423 237 53 53,