Seminar: Climate beyond classism

5 min

Climate Beyond Classism International Seminar, 24. - 30. September 2021 in Sonthofen, Germany.

Seminar:  Climate beyond classism

Foto: Pixabay

The Project

In order to overcome the climate crisis, we need big social movements that demand a massive change in the way that we do economics and politics. And while the climate movement has grown a lot since 2019, it is still too small to really change things. Large amounts of people need to become active parts of the movement, which means that the climate movement needs to open up.

Poor and working class youths are massively underrepresented in the climate movement, which in Europe is mostly run by those who are middle - class, white and university - educated. Yet, economically weak and working class people are the ones most affected by the effects of the climate crisis, both in the present and the future and both globally and nationally - e.g. the ones losing jobs in coal mines through a transition to renewable energy are workers. However, how can we bring the social and climate justice movement more together? What are the reasons that poor and working class people don’t feel comfortable in the climate movement? How is all of this related to capitalism? And how can we change these structures to become more inclusive?

SCI and other international voluntary service organisations face similar challenges as the climate movement: Most people doing international voluntary services with SCI come from academic and middle - class backgrounds, while the purpose of SCI has always been to bring together people across diverse backgrounds. How can we change this?

Several organisations and activist groups across Europe, both in the climate and the international voluntary service movements, have started changing their structures to be more inclusive in terms of class. These structural changes and tools need to be shared.


An online manual for organisations working with young people around climate issues will be created during the seminar based on our sessions and learnings. We will add methods, best practices and guidelines for youth workers and activists.

We also invite you to spread the word about classism in the climate movement by organising workshops before or after the seminar and to start discussions around this topic in your local climate context. We will give you tools for how to organise such a workshop.

COVID - 19

At this point, we assume that it will be possible to organise the seminar in-person in Germany in September. We will ask all participants to either be vaccinated, recovered or to do COVID - 19 tests.

We will have a hygiene concept for the group during the seminar and will follow all regulations by the German authorities. Should there be another lockdown, we will consider to do the seminar online on the same dates.

Participants’ profile

The participants will be staff, activists and volunteers from volunteering organisations, from the climate movement and from unions. All participants selected for this project should meet the following criteria:

  • Be 18 years old or older;
  • Be able to work in English;
  • Be interested in the seminar topics (climate justice and classism) and have a strong motivation to act as a multiplier;
  • Be able to attend for the full duration of the seminar;
  • Ideally be active and be able to influence decisions of their sending organisations and have experience in volunteering, peace and/or climate justice.

If somehow possible and feasible, be committed to come to the seminar without flying, and to travel instead by overland route.

We explicitly encourage participants of all classes, educational backgrounds, genders, sexual orientations, abilities and ethnic backgrounds to apply.

Logistics, financial conditions and sustainability

Simple life: The seminar will take place in a seminar house with simple living conditions. You will sleep in a room shared with few other people.

Money, money, money: We cover all essential costs of the program including food, travel costs up to a maximum amount per country (maximum travel reimbursement amounts: 10 - 99 km = 20 Euro, 100 - 499 km = 180 Euro, 500 - 1999 km = 275 Euro, 2000 - 2999 km = 360 Euro), visa costs, accommodation and seminar through a European project grant by Erasmus+. Your sending organisation might ask for a small participation fee (in the case of VCV, it is 2500 RSD).

Sustainable food: The food we provide will be vegan. This is not just a practical decision, but also an ideological one: SCI believes in the values of sustainability and climate justice – and if we want to contribute to a more peaceful planet, we need to give up on industrialised animal agriculture and its destructive effects on our planet.

Sustainable travels? This is also why we ask you to come to this seminar through more sustainable means of transport rather than flying (e.g. by train or bus), if somehow possible. We will give you more guidance on how you can reach the venue, once you are accepted to the seminar.

How to apply?

To apply, fill in the application form. Please select your sending organisation (Volonterski centar Vojvodine) from the drop down menu. All those accepted will later receive a detailed infosheet (incl. info on how to get to the venue, how to book your travels, more info about the agenda of the project). First deadline for applying is 27. July 2021.


If you have any questions regarding the project and your application, don’t hesitate to contact Britta at

If you have any other questions, please contact VCV by email to

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