Over 90 bloggers from 40 countries met today in Copenhagen for the TH!NK2: Climate Change blogging competition launch.
TH!NK2 is The European Journalism Centre's second pan-European blogging competition, highlighting the global challenges on the road to the much-anticipated United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP15). At the event, taking place at the Bella Center - also the arena for the UN summit - the bloggers heard international climate change experts such as Søren Hermansen, Time Magazine’s Hero of the Environment 2008 and François Roudie, policy co-ordinator for climate change issues at the European Commission.
“The launch event is vital to the TH!NK2 competition as a whole," says Wilfried Ruetten, Director of The European Journalism Centre. "It enriches the virtual cooperation we rely on in TH!NK ABOUT IT. The dialogue we begin in Copenhagen will fuel the debate and discussion online."
Following a day of hearing panelists and speakers representing political, journalistic and advocacy organisations, the TH!NKERS will visit the Dyssekilde Ecovillage in Torup, North Sealand on 22 September. This community of 130 adults aims to be ecologically, economically and socially sustainable.
The TH!NK2 bloggers are a culturally and professionally diverse group. They are professional journalists, amateur bloggers, and come from as far as Brazil, China, the United States, India and South Africa. The two day kick-off ensures that every TH!NKer enters the competition with some familiarity with climate change issues.
"I didn't know very much about European politics before I blogged in TH!NK1 and now I know so much," says Helena Mercer, a returning TH!NKer from the U.K. "And I feel the same way about climate change. But I am very excited because I know it's an important issue and I want to learn as much as I can about it."
The blogging platform officially opens on 23 September. TH!NKers will blog at thinkaboutit.eu until 16 December about climate change issues in their own countries and compete to win prizes that include charitable donations, a Macbook Pro and three trips to COP15 in December.
The launch, sponsored jointly by the EJC and the European Commission, will be accessible world wide via Tweets and a livestream that will be running during the event. "Climate change is an urgent issue. With TH!NK2 we will widen the debate by opening a platform to a multitude of voices," says Ruetten.