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The Green Transformation Program encompasses different courses and curricula. This first Winter edition focused on the “Green Leaders of Tomorrow” plan, an intense training program between Madrid, Nice and Paris, where participants work on real-life case studies of sustainability innovations.

The Winter edition of Sustainable Innovations’ Green Transformation Program (GTP) began the 6th of January 2020 in Madrid, Spain. After going through an exhaustive admission process of 294 applicants, 25 students from all over the world shipped off in the GTP adventure, all with the same goal of becoming the green leaders of tomorrow by training themselves in circular economy and sustainability. Throughout four weeks, students were challenged with technical, environmental and business-oriented real-life case studies set by our partners. Among the speakers of this GTP edition, we had the pleasure to receive representatives of UNESCO IHE Delft Institute, Advanced Leadership Foundation, ACCIONA, IMDEA Energy, Madri+d, Impact Hub, FCC AQUALIA, as well as to count with the support of the former President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, who sent a video to the students.

During the rotating internship program between Madrid, Nice and Paris, participants worked directly with existing EU projects, learned the current best-practices, technologies, and methodologies. Most importantly, they all acquired an international professional experience by working closely with many different types of stakeholders.

First two weeks in the Spanish capital city

An ice-breaking session at the SleepNAtocha terrace in the centre of Madrid on January 6th, was the official start of the GTP Winter edition. There, students had the chance to meet up and familiarize with the Sustainable Innovations’ team. Amazed by the sunset view of Madrid, the participants kicked off with the right foot since the first day!

The following day, the training sessions began at the Impact Hub Piamonte, where students were divided into five workgroups composed of four to five people of complimentary educational backgrounds. They continued working in the same group  throughout the four weeks.

The two weeks in Madrid consisted of three technical modules. The first one was dedicated to waste management, for which  we had the pleasure host  Capucine Dupont, from UNESCO IHE Delft Institute. Here, students not only acquired general knowledge on waste but also practiced their skills in developing a waste management project with existing and future technologies.

The second module addressed the energy sector. Thanks to Diego Iribarren and José Luis Galvez from IMDEA Energy, the participants had the opportunity to learn about sustainability in the energy sector, bioenergy and alternative fuels, while developing their energy projects.

Finally, the last module concerned wastewater management. FCC AQUALIA’s representative, Víctor Monsalvo, gave a lecture on the functioning of actual water treatment plant, addressing its advantages and challenges. During this class, students acquired a better knowledge about the techniques of wastewater management.

Other sessions included speakers such as Jorge Brown, from Advanced Leadership Foundation, and Reyes Sansegundo, from Madri+d. In addition to the theoretical sessions, there were three field visits : Parque Tecnologico Valdemingomez which focuses on waste management, ACCIONA’s water treatment plant EDAR Arroyo Culebro Cuenca Media Alta and IMDEA’s energy efficiency plant. These visits were pivotal for the groups to improve their skills and perform better in their projects’ development.

At the end of the first stage in Madrid, students voted for one out of the three projects they worked on,  to further work on environmental and business assessments in Nice and Paris.

A week in the French Riviera

On Monday, January 20th, students flew to Nice, France, and started the more technical part of the GTP. Surrounded by the sea in wintertime, together with Vertech Group’s teachers Erasmo Cadena, Pierre Rigault and Luca Petruccelli, the groups worked on the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of the project they selected.

Likewise, they participated in several workshops on LCA and Social environmental assessment with the scope of examining the environmental impact of the project they developed and chose during their last day in Madrid. Moreover, students had the chance to interact and exchange innovative ideas with several PhD experts. Although being a challenging exercise, all the participants succeeded in the scope and, at the end of the week in Nice, they presented their LCA results.

Last week in the city of light

Finally, on the 27th of January, the last week of the Green Transformation Program kicked off in Paris, France. The participants landed in the city of light, surrounded by historic monuments and boulevards. The city was a perfect place to pave the way for the imagination and create an innovative business model for their projects. Here, the five groups familiarized themselves with the practices of market uptake and design thinking, with the scope of building a solid business path for their projects. The lecturers included Reza Marvasti and Ana Dubois, from Vertech Group.

During their last week, students continued their project development and complemented it with a feasible business plan that capitalized on their innovations. On the last day, Sustainable Innovations’ CEO, Antonio Barona, and Deputy General Manager, Jesus Serrano, landed in Paris to attend the final presentations.  

All the groups presented their projects to a panel, which was responsible for evaluating all the work and effort put in since the start of the program. The presentations were a real success and the top-performing participants were prized with Sustainable Innovations’ Ambassador positions. The Ambassadors will join our team and work with us for a month in Madrid. They will learn everything regarding our business lines and strategy so that they can provide us support to expand internationally.

Another generation of Green leaders is underway!

We want to sincerely congratulate all participants of this GTP Winter edition, it has been a pleasure to have you with us during this month. We hope to continue our collaboration in the future to build a better and sustainable world!

The Green Transformation Program will continue its mission to train the next generation of green leaders in July 2020 with a new format, involving different cities and new partners. If you are interested in becoming a green leader and the next transformer, stay tuned for upcoming news!

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