Cameron Dron - United Kingdom
Joseph Finlayson - United Kingdom
Anastasis Giannousakis - Greece
Laura Grainger - Australia
Jennifer Helfrich - United States
April Hillman - United States
Anna Keenan - Australia
Sara Svensson - Sweden
Benoit Kubiak - France
Emma Lilliestam - Sweden
Blaine O’Neill - United States
Hansha Sanjyal - Nepal
Somah Prosper - Cameroon
Sandra Toepke - Germany
Leon White - New Zealand
Campaigning on Glasgow’s streets.
Hi, I’m Cameron, a student studying history and economics. I’m rather pessimistic about stopping climate change, but I think it’s important to try and stop it, rather than be part of a self-fulfilling prophecy. I also think it’s important for people to engage politically with the issue, which is why I think Avaaz are a particularly good organisation. I’m rather right-wing by the groups standards, which is providing hours of fun, but I just fundamentally think that it would be better for all concerned to pressure their governments into taking action rather than never flying again etc. Only governments can introduce the big measures that will stop this disaster from happening, but that requires people to pressure them - remember, they want your votes.
So why am I in the Action Factory? Because one day way back in April, I got a phone call from Ben from Avaaz saying ‘Hey, I’ve got a crazy idea… you want in?’.
Needless to say, I said yes, and 4 weeks later we had started with an action at the MEF in Paris, then on to Bonn for an intensive 2 weeks of the UN conference. 3 weeks after that and I find myself in Berlin in our run-down apartments that we’ve converted into our hub of action until mid-August. It’s been hectic, stressful, but absolutely beautiful. The diversity of the team that we’ve built, and the passion and dedication that they’re putting into their work, is very exciting for me to be around, and I’m glad that I’ve been able to contribute.
My activist background is in public communication, being a youth voice in the media and event organising. I’m a very independent activist, moving between projects as I see fit, to wherever I feel most effective. I usually have 4 or 5 projects on the go simultaneously, and just manage to get them all done in the nick of time. I’ve attended the UN climate conferences for the last few years, and used to work for a large environmental NGO in Australia for a few years after finishing my Physics/Economics/Environmental Studies degree. Currently preparing (mentally, physically, politically) for a long fast/hunger strike in the lead up to Copenhagen, and working to support youth from the global south to attend COP15.
I’m also a Lindy Hopper. Love it! In the sustainable future, we will dance a lot more than we do today. Nice to meet you - keep checking back at this blog to keep tabs on what we’re up to.
Almost the only normal photo of Joe there is.
My name is Joseph Alfred Lalvani Finlayson (long name I know.) This is because my parents were a bit modern and decided to give me my mum’s last name as a middle name. I like it.
I study philosophy at the University of Leeds in the UK. I only got into climate activism recently because I was previously under the pernicious influence of liberalism. I believed that people should be allowed to pollute and consume what they want, when they want - regardless of the consequences. However, as I began to read more and more about climate change and its consequences I got a bit ‘active’. The terrible damage that carbon externalities wreak mean that we have a duty to our fellow men and the future to elimate emissions. The liberalismy background means that I am especially interested in the effectiveness of carbon trading and offsetting.
I honestly had little idea of what the action factory entailed before I got here. The last month has been a blur of late nights, early mornings, writing lots, reading lots, meetings and, of course, politically focused actions designed to garner media attention.
My name is Anastasis, I’m from Greece. I think another (sustainable) society and another world are possible and I’m here to help the youth climate movement in achieving this (cuz we’ll definitely win!).
Apart from activism, I like foreign languages and music (mostly Arabic and Turkish traditional). I’ve been—among other things—a PhD student in Chemical Engineering, a DJ, and I’ve taken part for many years in the coolest summer camp for children in the world, which is located somewhere in Greece. I’m giving most of my energy to the Action Factory and I hope we will make it to spread our message for climate justice to everyone out there, citizens and politicians.
I’m Emma, originally from Gothenburg, Sweden. I’m studying Linguistics and Scandinavistics parallel to the Action Factory, making me the most stressed of all our climate fellows. I’ve been studying Social Environmental Science and social anthropology way up North in Sweden. I’m the one who brought the keyboard, the guitar and the djembe into the house, and I wrote songs about all kinds of political stuff. Other interests are lolcats, Science Fiction (tell me a story line of a Star Trek episode and I tell you episode number and first broadcasting date… maybe), funny haircuts (always red and always low budget=DIY), and as the rest of the Action Factory I do have a confirmed
computer addiction. My favourite kinds of activism are theatre activism, and I’m a proud enlisted member of the Rebel Clowns Army.
The last month I’ve been starting to learn 3 new languages: first Russian, which turned out to be kind of hard, then Danish, that sounds like you’re kind of wasted and then Spanish, through Spanish political ska punk band Ska-P’s maniac music. Since I’m communicating in German half of the time, english the rest and also some Swedish, my general state is one of total language confusion.
G’day! I’m Laura, from Tasmania, Australia!
Old growth forests, plants and animals excite me, which is what got me into environmental activism a few years ago. I’m 20 years old and travelling the world, but climate change really threatens everything I’m passionate about: from biodiversity to human rights to snowboarding. The more things I experience, people I meet, reports I read, and places I go, the more I’m convinced to work harder! Because although everyone’s heard it before: we really don’t have a moment to lose. We need to kick some serious governmental ass into action, which is why I’m dedicated to climate justice – and I’m really motivated to be a part of the Action Factory in Berlin!
Hi! I’m April Hillman from Vermont in the United States. Last fall, I spent my first semester of college at Castleton State College, and then headed to Washington, DC for the second semester to do the Greenpeace Organizing Term. This fall, I’ll be starting my sophomore year at the University of Vermont. I plan on double-majoring in Environmental Science (concentrating in Conservation Biology) and Environmental Studies.
Doing the Greenpeace Organizing Term opened me up to a variety of opportunities to stay involved with environmental activism, one of them being the Action Factory! So, now here I am in Berlin, working with an amazing group of people to push politicians for a strong agreement at COP15. When we’re not brainstorming action ideas, traveling, emailing or having meetings, I like to go out and explore the city (whichever one we may be in at the time).
These past six months have been full of incredible experiences, and I have met loads of motivating people from all over the globe. I hope that by doing this work, I will contribute to ensuring a safe planet for the youth and inspire others to take action. Lots of love for you all!