Bicycles for the environment — to Ireland

Thu 21 Jul 2022 19:06

Jonathan Welén, student at the Eco Entrepreneur for Sustainable Development program, is driven by a great call — to save the world. This summer he cycles to Ireland to bring attention to the environment and climate change. Join his trip on social media!

Young man stands by his fully packed bicycle

It’s not the first time Jonathan Welén has gone on a bike alone. Stockholm-Barcelona and Östersund-Stockholm are examples of tours he made not only one, but several times. And it’s not just by bike he travels, last summer he transported himself with his supper board from Östersund to Stockholm, something that sparked the media’s interest. And that’s exactly what he wants this time too.

"I choose to travel like this to create debate about sustainability. We need to change our way of life if we are to save the world. I want people to see how it is and at the same time see the possibilities, instead of getting stuck in climate dystopia. The transition is an opportunity, if we want to", he says.

Solution-oriented summer course

The journey he is about to embark on goes to Sligo University, Ireland. This year’s Summer University is a collaboration between five different universities in Europe, including Mid Sweden University. The summer course is about the need to educate people in a unique way about sustainability issues, says Jonathan Welén:

"We will develop ideas on how to manage the transition. Students from diverse subjects participate, which makes it all extremely exciting. For example, if a game developer and an environmentally knowledgeable Eco-entrepreneur cooperate", you can get interesting results.

Hope for interaction

The 200 km bike journey to Ireland will take place between 22 July and 7 August, according to the itinerary. Along the way, he will also conduct some interviews with key people at various universities, in conversations about the environment and sustainability. Through his social media channels, he will spread the films and his travel diary throughout the journey. The tough schedule includes eight hours of cycling per day for him to arrive on time.

"This journey will be entertaining, exciting and fun to follow, and at the same time instructive, but in adventure format. I will explore what if can make people act differently from what they are used to, which is what it takes to start changing our behavior. Of course, I also hope for a lot of interaction with my followers, both those who follow me from a distance and those that I pass physically," says Jonathan Welén.

Heavy knowledge

After three years at the Eco-Entrepreneur for Sustainable Development, Jonathan Welén has acquired a lot of knowledge about environmental and climate issues. Even if that knowledge is vital, it can also be heavy to carry, he says.

"It becomes heavy when you see how people in your vicinity pour gas on the fire, for example, by flying to the holiday destination. I think you should be aware of when you get into that training, that it can feel heavy. Now the subject of climate psychology has been added, which is great. These tools are needed to manage the knowledge you carry".

How do you view your future and your career choices?

"I‘m so excited, I’ve got all sorts of ideas. But I see myself as a freelancer who lectures and jumps on different projects and preferably crazy adventures. For the profession itself, there is a need in just all activities, at all levels, to take into account the environmental perspective, so the labour market as Eco-entrepreneur is as broad as possible".

Three tips for the environment

While Jonathan will be publishing various tips on how to change our behavior to turn the world right, Jonathan already has a number of suggestions to share.

"These are the major choices we have to make, the ones that have the greatest impact. Sorting your junk is good but quitting flying is 100 times better. Knowledge is important, but it must be linked to our values, or to our own lives in a concrete way. “People don‘t make changes if they really don’t have to, because we live in a system that makes it difficult for us to make the choices that are right for the environment, not least it can be our own economy that puts a brake on the wheels,” he says, giving three tips for the environment:

• Learn more about the problems and opportunities. There are solutions with it being the political initiative that is missing. You and I have the power. It is our changes that will have rings on the water so that politicians start making the right decisions for the environment.

• Avoid buying new things. It has an extreme impact on the environment if we stop consuming new stuff. We must also spread that knowledge. Today, it’s pretty easy to buy used. Even technical gadgets such as mobile phones.

• Help spread the knowledge once you have it. For example, it is good to sort plastic, but even better to stop flying and so on.

 

Follow Jonathan Welén’s cycling adventure on social media:

Facebook

Intagram

TikTok

 

More information

Read more about the Summer University

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The page was updated 7/21/2022