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I realise it’s been a couple months already (eek) and that I don’t normally write a Blog post about CSAGs Winter School, but this year I see it fitting to do so.

2017 was a tremendously successful year with by far the most geographically diverse group of participants we have ever had the privilege of engaging with. Out of around 170 applicants we offered participant positions to 22 individuals and when it came to day one of the programme, 19 very enthusiastic, vibrant and skilled individuals joined us for the week. Participants traveled from Botswana, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Kenya, Mali, Mozambique, Namibia, Philippines, Zambia and of course we also had local South Africans in the mix.

“I believe that the most valuable part of the course was given to us right from the start.
The diversity of the people was far and away the most important thing to me as it opened me up to so many new places and faces.
The participants come from all around the world, and truly help develop the idea of a global climate and a global effort.”

Winter School 2017 Participant

The groups represented various government departments and city councils; development banks; research institutions, universities, agencies and trusts. CSAG facilitators found the group to be highly interactive, creating opportunities to discuss an array of topics both formally during sessions and informally over tea and lunch breaks. We were also honoured to have visiting lecturers Britta Rennkamp from the Energy Research Centre UCT and Jessica Kavonic from ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability join us this year.

Every year CSAG looks forward to Winter School, aiming to provide an overview of the latest, relevant climate science as well as sector specific case studies and experiences on the use of vulnerability and climate information to practitioners engaged at various levels of decision making.  With this as our 8th year running we have learnt many lessons through the years, most importantly the need to engage in discussions with decision makers and users of climate information, to ensure feedback to generate a better outcome for all and to make use of many types of facilitation techniques to stimulate peer to peer knowledge sharing and fun learning.

“Working on case studies for me was the most valuable part.
I really learnt how to bring all the things down with dealing with the appropriate context and scale on the matter of adaptation planning.”

 

“The exercises afforded me the opportunity to work with people with different backgrounds and from different countries.
The diversity of perspectives brought to bear on the cases were really enlightening.”

Winter School 2017 Participants

For some further insight into some of the participants learning experiences, Adaptation at Scale in Semi-Arid Regions (ASSAR) produced a number of short interviews with their sponsored project affiliates. CSAG always appreciates feedback to help tailor or programme further with the aim of improving each year. We enjoy learning from our participants as must as we enjoy teaching.

“The course gave me a broad spectrum of possible careers I could explore because as a young researcher I’m still trying to find my feet.”

Winter School 2017 Participant

Don’t forget to look out for the Winter School 2018 application call in April next year. We look forward to welcoming you!

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