Environment partnerships in practice

VILLUM FONDEN and VELUX FONDEN invited about 30 environmentalists for a seminar in late August 2016, to discuss their partnership projects. The day included knowledge sharing and lots of good advice for other similar projects.

"We have to pull together to create change for a sustainable society," said Karen Blincoe, CEO and chair of Chora Connection.

She looked intensely at the participants and said, "Together we can do much more!”

The scene was set at the hotel Haraldskær in Vejle, where about 30 represpentatives from seven partnership projects met to learn from each other's experiences.

The seven partnership projects supported by VILLUM FONDEN and VELUX FONDEN

  • Han Herred Havbåde: Jammerbugt i balance
  • WWF Verdensnaturfonden: Naturskånsom fisk
  • Plastic Change: Et hav af muligheder
  • Produktionsskolen Marienlyst: Det økologiske landbrug som drivkraft i lokal udvikling
  • Mariagerfjord Kommune: Naturen - en rentabel del af landbruget
  • Samsø Kommune: Biosamfund Samsø

From fishermen to researchers

There are union representatives, local authorities, technical experts, fishermen and researchers present at the meeting. A mixed crowd gathered for a 24-hour seminar to learn from each other's startup and to become better at collaboration within projects and between the projects – thus achieving the greatest possible impact on the environment.

A plan B if something goes wrong?

Despite the very different themes - from fish to plastic in the sea to small dairy farming to recycling of biomass - there are still clear synergies and opportunities for collaborations between the projects. For example, how do they concretely ensure the best communication both internally and externally? Are there enough focus on whether the project has an impact or not? An in addition, what is plan B if something goes wrong?

Karen Blincoe encouraged the partnerships - especially in times of adversity - to focus on their common vision, to be persistent and maintain the will to move forward and keep working to ensure respect and have trust in each other in the partnership.

The participants also used the breaks on dialogue and network to exploit the possibility of sparring. Several new contacts were made and despite the high fragmentation of professionalism, there were obvious common agendas.

Participants from “Plastic Free-Sea” discuss ways of communication in the project.

The participants would like to meet again

After the event, the participants responded that they would very much like to meet again, because "Together we are stronger". The theme next time could be e.g. environmental impact and dissemination.