The 2nd Cohort of the Black Sea Young Ambassadors made a flying start with the Orientation Meeting that was held online on the 19th of January 2023!
To unite youth for a healthy, resilient, and sustainable future of the Black Sea, the Black Sea Young Ambassadors Programme has been launched within the scope of the EU-funded H2020 Black Sea CONNECT CSA in September 2020. Considering the success of the programme, the BSYA has been linked with the EU H2020 BRIDGE-BS project not only increasing the impact of the program and its visibility but also ensuring its sustainability.
In order to break the ice between the new Black Sea Young Ambassadors and prepare them for their journey as the new faces of the Black Sea, an online Orientation Meeting was held with the participation of distinguished speakers and former BSYA who will be mentoring the 2nd Cohort.
The meeting kick-started with the highly motivating and informative opening remarks of Barış Salihoğlu, the Coordinator of EU H2020 Black Sea CONNECT and BRIDGE-BS. After getting to know each other, Mustafa Yücel introduced the Black Sea SRIA, Black Sea CONNECT, and BRIDGE-BS as the co-coordinator of these two projects.
Our very enthusiastic young ambassadors who have set their hearts on the Black Sea could also have a chance to get a quick and intense Sustainable Blue Economy 101 lecture from Frederick Herpers and Matteo Bocci as the experts from Stratégies Mer et Littoral.
The meeting continued with Martha Papathanassiou, science communicator from Indigo-Med, who shared valuable insights for how to create Black Sea literate societies, and how to apply science communication, education, and capacity building in the Black Sea. Afterward, Georgia Chantzi of ICBSS provided ways to build a science-based policy for a sustainable blue economy. With a specific focus on Marine Science Communication in Europe, Angel Muniz Piniella, Science Officer of the European Marine Board, made a striking presentation introducing the EMB Young Ambassadors and the SciComm activities of EMB as well as providing some recommendations to apply marine science communication in Europe. Then BRIDGE-BS and Black Sea CONNECT Communication Team members took over the stage to showcase the visibility and dissemination activities carried out within these two projects.
Finally, representatives from the 1st Cohort of Black Sea Young Ambassadors told about their journey outlining their own experiences as the voices of the Black Sea and their awareness-raising campaigns.
With fruitful and interactive discussions among all the speakers and ambassadors, and the wrap-ups of the Coordination Team Members, a very promising roadmap had been identified for further steps, actions, meetings, and activities with the new Black Sea Young Ambassadors.
Thanks to the orientation meeting, Black Sea Young Ambassadors were equipped with theoretical and practical information about science communication, ocean literacy, and the dynamics of sustainable blue economy and policy making. Besides they had a chance to meet the mentor ambassadors from the 1st cohort who will assist them in establishing awareness-raising activities and campaigns to drive change in the Black Sea region.