Report and insights – Young Innovators Climathon in Überlingen, Germany

22-24 July 2019

In order to take action to prevent the worst consequences of climate change, school students attended our first Young Innovators workshop including a Young Climathon in a Waldorf School in Überlingen (Germany). Together with our Swiss partner myclimate, 60 students between 15 and 18 years old worked on three challenges revolving around public transport, zero waste and waste separation in schools and reusable packaging, for which they developed solutions.

The first day was about introducing the challenges posed by the local government, schools and companies and giving an input on the consequences of climate change. The afternoon session was all about analysing the problem and defining the needs from various stakeholders using a special canvas (‘Pentagonal Problem’). This approach ensures that students have all the knowledge and tools to drive systemic change from a young age.

On the second day, students started developing solutions by starting with a brainstorming session to develop as many ideas as possible for each challenge (‘Ocean of Opportunities’). The most impactful and feasible idea was chosen for design to implement (‘Cover Story’), different obstacles were analysed, and a business idea was developed. At the end of the day, each team presented their project idea to the larger group working on the same challenge in order to receive feedback.

Day 3 was pitching time. After a short input on how to pitch, the teams had time to prepare their pitches and finally presented their projects in front of a jury consisting of the challenge providers, an entrepreneur, Climate-KIC staff, and a teacher. Winning teams were granted mentoring and continuous support in the further development and possible implementation of their ideas.


Lea (Student): “The work process was more difficult than we assumed. We didn’t think it would be such a complex topic with so many relevant actors. We have found first solution approaches but implementing them isn’t very easy.”

Student: “The process with the canvases gave us a lot of freedom and there were many opportunities to tackle the challenges by using them. Especially our challenge, revolving around redesigning public transport (ÖPVN), was set up very well.”


Reusable packaging

Winning teams:

  1. Multi reusable box: A system that consists of more than one reusable box that you have in your bag or bike or car.
  2. Planting trees for reusable packaging

Public Transport:

  1. Bruder muss los!!

Waste separation and Less Waste in schools

  1. Trenn den Müll??