It’s workshop day!
After a quick breakfast, Pinar, Elliot, Benni and Jenny headed to the workshop location Hope Alcazar, a very historical building and former movie theatre which is now used for all kinds of events. We had a very adventurous taxi ride through the narrow and steep streets of Istanbul to the event location with several Aufsetzer of The Taxi.
The over 1000 signatures on The Ball seem to weigh heavy. At the event location, we met Yuvam Dünya again and had some time to discuss our match plan, check out the place and get ready for the participants to arrive. In addition to our partners from FES and Yuvam Dünya, 13 participants attended the workshop. Unfortunately, it started to rain before the start of the workshop which meant that participants arrived slightly late. Yet we managed to adapt the match plan, started with lunch instead and kicked-off well nourished.
The workshop started with a quick interactive energizer and the presentation of 4(!) organisations: Friedrich Ebert foundation, Yuvam Dünya, Football for Future and Spirit of Football. Tackling climate change, like winning a football match, requires a team’s effort, therefore we build on working with partners everywhere we go. Especially Yuvam Dünya, a Turkish association which seeks to take on the climate crisis through social transformation bringing together leaders of leading companies, artists, activists, non-governmental volunteers and scientists, does know much more about how climate change impacts Turkey. So they leaded on the climate part during the presentation and supported us with their expertise throughout the workshop session.
As much as we love to tell endless stories about previous The Ball journeys, the aim of the workshop is getting others to talk. So next on the plan was a Speed Dating session. Participants were asked to discuss their opinion on football, their most emotional football moment as well as what environmental changes they experienced in their local setting. Another part of our workshop to set the scene is “It’s game day”. Here we look very closely on our habits linked to our match day: what do we wear, how do we travel to games, what do we consume, what rituals do we have and how do we inform ourselves on that day. We want to see to what degree our experiences are similar, how do they differ, what impact does our match day experience have on the environment but also how does the environment impact our match day experience. Here we look very closely at our habits linked to our match day: what do we wear, how do we travel to games, what do we consume, what rituals do we have and how do we inform ourselves on that day. We want to see to what degree our experiences are similar, how do they differ, what impact does our match day experience have on the environment but also how does the environment impact our match day experience. We then introduced our partner Pledgeball and, with the help of our so-called Pledgecards talked about environmentally friendly behaviours in small groups realizing that we are already doing things but also face different challenges when trying to establish a more pro-environmental lifestyle. One aim of this journey is to make environmentally friendly behaviours and actions that are taking place all across the world in a virtual world map visible. As a homework we asked people to think about one or several actions that they want to take which, together, we wanted to register digitally the next day.
But the first workshop day has not been over yet. Over the roofs of Istanbul we had an amazing FairPlay football session with lots of good vibes, laughter, good music and motivated people. We also added some climate variations to combine moving and thinking and finished the day off with a small reception where also other people joined including Friedrich Ebert foundation’s Cihan who, together with Pinar, welcomed the Spirit team back in 2018. Together with the FES people, we turned our backs on the very busy street and went to a bar in a small side street before heading back to the hotel. The only not so good thing about being more than 4 people: you need two taxis. And that turned out to be a problem. Apparently, taxi drivers refuse to drive short distances – 15 minutes being a short distance. While the first group got lucky and took off, the second group consisting of the hotel people Elliot, Benni, Pinar and Jenny had trouble finding a taxi that night. In the end, we walked to the Taksim square and threw Elliot in front of a taxi to finally make it back to the hotel for a then relatively short night.