The Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) has embarked on a significant partnership with students and researchers from St. Gallen University of Teacher Education and Empa, Switzerland’s premier research institute. Together, they are crafting an educational children’s book centered on the concept of a circular economy.
In this pioneering endeavor, children aged nine to thirteen are encouraged to brainstorm ideas for a sustainable future. Their imaginative concepts include solar-powered airships, multi-level underground transport systems, and innovative energy sources like compost and wind power.
FOEN’s project, formally titled “Co-creating Circular Futures,” receives substantial support from the Swiss National Science Foundation, V-Zug, and SWICO. It seeks to bridge the gap between complex scientific principles and public comprehension by harnessing the creativity of children.
Harald Desing, the project’s initiator, underscores the importance of youthful perspectives in shaping a sustainable future. While adults often view sustainability through analytical lenses, children offer unbridled, refreshing viewpoints that can spark meaningful change.
Through collaborative workshops and guidance from the University of Teacher Education, these young visionaries are merging their creativity with scientific insights to produce a children’s book. This book, slated for release in early 2024, will offer valuable insights into sustainable living and introduce readers to a world brimming with innovative ideas.
The primary objective of this project is to stimulate dialogue and contemplation rather than predict the future. As FOEN partners with these young minds, they aspire to see some of these imaginative concepts influence future research and drive a sustainable paradigm shift.