Reusing coffee grounds, relation between green spaces and expanding infrastructure, noise prevention in the city – these and other issues are discussed by the participants of Sustainability Summer School by VILNIUS TECH.
The summer school is organized by VILNIUS TECH Sustainability Hub established in April, 2023. According to the head of VILNIUS TECH Sustainability Hub assoc. prof. dr. Raimondos Grubliauskas, sustainability is a topic that gets a lot of attention, however, a wider cooperation between different institutions and society is still needed.
“Sustainability has been one of the VILNIUS TECH strategic goals for many years, and the Sustainability Hub aims to implement it. The purpose of the Sustainability Hub is to strengthen competences in the field of sustainability, effectively carry out the activities of the university, promote a unified approach to sustainability and foster sustainability culture and responsibility towards the environment, society, and whole region. That is why Sustainability summer school aims to unite different institutions: from university students to public and business organizations, thus encouraging joint steps in the field of sustainable, climate-neutral innovations”, says dr. Raimondas Grubliauskas.
In the summer school – Lithuanian and foreign students’ visions of sustainability
According to the coordinator of the ATHENA alliance at VILNIUS TECH University, assoc. prof. dr. Asta Radzevičienė Sustainability summer school is organized as a blended intensive program (BIP).
“Foreign students, working in mixed teams with VILNIUS TECH students, will not only study intensively for two weeks, but will also create unique solutions for sustainable future businesses and society. ATHENA creates new opportunities for international students and employees in the field of mobility and interdisciplinary cooperation. Sustainability summer school is a tool that contributes to the European green transformation”, says dr. A. Radzevičienė.
During the first week, dozens of students from ATHENA partner universities from Spain, Portugal, Slovenia and other European countries participated in online lectures and analyzed the sustainability challenges presented by VILNIUS TECH partners. The variety of topics is extremely wide: from the importance of sustainable development, noise pollution, evolution of green energy to the role of society in solving sustainability challenges.
During the second week, the participants of the Sustainability summer school are coming to the VILNIUS TECH, where they are participating in creative workshops and look for solutions for selected sustainability-themed challenges.
“The challenges for the participant teams are divided into two groups: urban problems and business issues. In total, students participate in solving seven different challenges”, says the activity coordinator of the Sustainability summer school assoc. prof. dr. Rūta Mikučionienė.
The challenges are presented by several organizations from Vilnius: “Susisiekimos paslaugos” (JUDU) poses a challenge regarding the value created by electric transport and what is more beneficial to the residents of Vilnius – green spaces or expanded infrastructure. Another participant “Vilniaus planas” is looking for sustainable ideas on how to ensure noise prevention in the city.
A huge challenge awaits the students participating in the project in deciding how to shape public opinion about Vilnius as a carbon neutral city. It is stated that Vilnius has won an international competition and aims to become CO2 neutral by 2030.
“Reitan Convenience Lithuania” invites the participants to find solutions to two different challenges: how to sustainably use coffee grounds and how to transform the takeaway coffee culture.
VILNIUS TECH has prepared a separate challenge for the students of the Sustainability summer school – to look for solutions to strengthen the university’s role in achieving positive behavioral changes in society.
Sustainability summer school will conclude on the 29th of September, when the student teams will present their ideas that will be evaluated by the companies and organizations that presented the challenges. The teams that solved the challenges will be awarded with gifts from VILNIUS TECH and partners.
The initiators of the Sustainability summer school – VILNIUS TECH Sustainability Hub – aims to initiate and develop a sustainability themed cluster within the ATHENA university alliance.
The establishment of the VILNIUS TECH Sustainability Hub is funded by the Lithuania’s National Recovery and Resilience Plan “New Generation Lithuania”.