Active local leaders, representatives of schools, kindergarten, Municipal and Communal Social Assistance Centre (MGOPS), Polish Scouting and Guiding Association (ZHP), Sztum's Cultural Centre, Senior Citizens' Club and the Group of Rural Housewives in Czernin, as well as the Municipal Council of Sztum gathered on 7 October this year in the premises of the Senior Citizens' Club+ to better understand the concept of climate neutrality during a visual workshop and to co-create a common vision of Sztum in a climate-neutral future.

The aim of the BEACON workshop was to explain what climate neutrality means and demystify its concept while creating opportunity to engage with the citizens on the link between climate action and local development.

The city of Sztum has been implementing quite a number of such activities - starting with the use of wind and solar energy in the city and municipality, and support of the energy production from renewable sources in 125 households, through joining the new Covenant of Mayors, developing the Climate and Energy Action Plan and the city Low Emission Programme, to creation of a new position for the integrated city and municipality development and the implementation of the climate projects. 

An innovative, inclusive workshop format, focusing on individual ideas about the Sztum future, related to the everyday life and environment of people taking part in the event, was developed within the BEACON project and described in a publication available here.

The tasks carried out during the workshop were addressed to different senses, thus developing creative thinking, empathy and engagement and helping participants to achieve a common goal.

During the small group work and a lively discussion on how to transfer the implementation of climate policy goals from the national and EU level to the local level, the participants actively shared their knowledge, appreciating the city's achievements to date and creatively approaching its further development, as well as stressing the importance of dialogue and cooperation between local authorities and inhabitants of Sztum.

At the end of the workshop, the participants had the opportunity to present on camera the common view on the future of the city and the possible ways to reach climate neutrality, so that the workshop conclusions could reach the widest possible audience.

The outcome can serve as basis for further development of the municipal climate strategy and can increase the acceptance of related implementation measures. In addition, the workshop results can help to set priorities for local development and climate policies.