The history of Power Shift
The first Power Shift was organised in 2007 by the Energy Action Coalition outside Washington DC in the US. The purpose was to gather young people interested in climate change issues and to mobilise them on the growing climate change crisis. The conference took it’s platform from a campaign lifting three concrete policy changes aiming to reduce greenhouse gases and to create new green jobs in the US. During a week-end the participants were listening to inspiring speakers, attending work-shops and were given tools to rally for a clean energy economy in the US elections of 2008. The event was a great success with nearly 6000 young people attending.
Following the success of 2007 the concept spread over the world. In 2009 Power Shift was organised in the US, the UK, Australia, Canada and India. The conferences were organised by young people – for young people. The participants were meant to be inspired and empowered to take action on climate issues. Many of the events were concluded with flash mobs like the amazing Australian Sydney Opera House flash mob below!
Power Shift continued spreading globally. In 2011 a group of people from the UK decided to travel around the Europe to encourage other countries to organise local Power Shifts. The initiative was met with enthusiasm and several conferences were arranged in for example France, Germany, Ukraine, Italy and Sweden. It was also repeated in the US and in Australia.
In 2012 there were Power Shift conferences for example in the US, Canada, New Zealand, Ukraine and Sweden. European Power Shift groups met in Copenhagen, and during this get-together they took the chance to perform a street theatre to encourage Denmark to be a climate leader in the EU. Power Shift Europe Street Theatre Copenhagen 2012
The first Global Power Shift took place in Istanbul, Turkey in June 2013, hosted by the organisation 350.org. It was a week-long summit with hundreds of young people representing 134 countries. The aim of the conference was to inspire young leaders, offer tools to work on climate issues, create personal bonds between people and a global community. Power Shift was brought home globally, and since 2013 many more national Power Shifts have been organised. See this chart over global Power Shift, although notice that it’s not complete!
During 2014 many national Power Shift’s and actions was created as an outcome of the Global Power Shift. Read more at the web page of Global Power Shift. The campaign Fossil Free grew globally and had many successful actions taking place in sweden. The global climate movement also gathered in the biggest rally ever during the People’s Climate March!
There is also many films from the national Power Shift conferences and great flash mobs. Search for “Power Shift” and “highlights” or “flash mob” or a year on Youtube.