Project for the German Environmental AgencyStrengthening youth engagement for sustainability through dialogue and transformative learning

Project period:
May 2023 – April 2026 

German Environmental Agency

Project partner:
IKU – Die Dialoggestalter, UfU – Unabhängiges Institut für Umweltfragen, ism – Institut für Sozialpädagogische Forschung Mainz ieH

Although fear of pollution and climate change is one of the biggest concerns of young people across all milieus according to recent youth studies, predominantly so-called 'idealistic' adolescents are involved in environmental and climate protection issues. Currently, there is little structured information available about those young people who are not (yet) involved in these issues. Therefore, it is not clear what their environmental attitudes are and how they can be approached, motivated and won over for participation.

Hence, the German Environmental Agency commissioned ConPolicy – together with a consortium of IKU – Die Dialoggestalter, UfU – Unabhängiges Institut für Umweltfragen and ism – Institut für Sozialpädagogische Forschung Mainz ieH – to investigate how adolescents and young adults who are not yet active in the field of climate and environmental protection, or sustainability can be addressed and sensitized with regard to these topics. 

A special focus of the project lies on transformative dialogue processes to bring together actors from different thematic areas of open youth work as well as from youth associations. Together, these players shall develop concepts on how to sensitize adolescents and young adults who have not yet been involved in environmental and sustainability issues, to initiate sustainable behavior and to increase their willingness to participate. 

The project comprises a mix of different research and dialog formats. In addition to a stakeholder and target group analysis by means of desktop research and expert interviews, youth dialogue are oraganzied to develop initial recommendations for action. Further, potentials of cooperation and transformative learning are directly tested and evaluated in specific model projects. An advisory board will accompany the project with its expertise throughout its entire project duration. The results of the research project will lead to a practice-oriented handbook as well as to political recommendations for action for the German Federal Ministry for the Environment and Consumer Protection. In addition, the results will be presented and discussed at a public youth forum with around 100 participants.  

Within the project, ConPolicy is responsible for: 

  • Target group and actor analysis: Based on a quantitative secondary data analysis as well as qualitative literature research, ConPolicy analyzes the life realities, attitudes, interests and needs of the youth target group. In addition, the relevant actors in the field of civil society youth organizations and open youth work are examined with regard to their structures, experiences and needs. Furthermore, qualitative expert interviews will be conducted and evaluated.
  • Evaluation of the model projects: Using various qualitative and quantitative survey methods, the approaches tested in the model projects will be analyzed with regard to their success. Specifically, an evaluation concept will be developed and surveys, group interviews and retrospectives will be conducted.

Project of

Project Manager

+49 (0)30 2359116-12

Project Manager

+49 (0)30 2359116-18

Project Manager

+49 (0)30 2359116-16