Istanbul Details

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The Global Power Shift (GPS) kickoff event will take place in İstanbul, Turkey between June 24-30, 2013.

It will be an inspiring, productive, and fun gathering of over 500 climate activists from all over the world. It will also be the start of a renewed effort to raise our voices against climate injustice. The event will be a catalyst for change, a unique opportunity for community building with a dynamic programme that focuses on sharing and developing the skills, capacity, and strategy for taking the climate change movement to a new level worldwide.

As a sprawling metropolis of 13 million, İstanbul represents many of the challenges that need to be overcome to solve the climate crisis. But it is also a beautiful city which straddles two continents, and offers many opportunities, including the chance for us to connect and collaborate with a vibrant local climate movement.

Istanbul Technical University (İTÜ) has graciously agreed to host the GPS, and participants will be hosted at the İTÜ dorms (see here for information on getting to İTÜ).

Selected participants are expected to arrive on June 24th. The event programme will begin on the 24th and end on 30th of June. June 30th is the date of departure, although participants can stay on provided they make their own arrangements for the extra days and cover any related costs. The programme will be filled with skills workshops, inspirational speeches, strategy building sessions, social and community building events as well as an action component!

(The full programme is coming soon!)

At Global Power Shift we will be:

  • Sharing and developing skills to organize movements and run hard hitting campaigns.
  • Preparing to organize in-country Power Shift events back home after the kickoff event in Turkey.
  • Building political alignment, analysis, and theory of change.
  • Sharing experiences and learning about different challenges faced by the climate movement in different countries/regions. Formulating strategies to overcome those challenges.
  • Building regional and international cooperation and collaboration.

Pledge to Shift the Power 

*Applications are now closed, but stay involved by taking the Global Power Shift pledge.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

What is the application deadline?
The application deadline for the İstanbul event is December 16, 2012 has been extended to January 4th, 2013.

What are the criteria for application?
Commitment to the climate movement. Willingness and perseverance to organize powershifts and/or other climate action, and the ability to demonstrate the capacity to follow through with these commitments. Each candidate will be selected based on their previous work for the climate movement and/or their future plans for it, as well as candidate’s experience in online and offline campaigning, communication, fundraising, mobilizing, networking, and movement building. As National Power Shifts play a big part in our long-term strategy, willingness and capacity to organize national and/or regional events back in your country is also a massive plus! [Click here to apply!]

What is the application process for GPS İstanbul?
Prospective participants should fill out the application form before December 16, 2012 January 4, 2013. They also need to provide a proposal to host and/or help organize a power shift and/or a similar event in their country/region. See the relevant section of the application form.

Is there an upper age limit to participate in GPS İstanbul?
Strictly speaking, no. There is a lower age limit of 18, but there is no strict upper age limit for prospective participants, as we are aware that “youth” is defined differently in different places, and furthermore our movement ultimately needs everyone, of all ages. Young people are in a unique position – they are often most directly impacted by the long-term effects of climate change, but usually do not have as much of a voice in their societies as adults do. Our aim is to empower youth so that we can build a movement inclusive enough for everybody. To that end, the majority of participants for GPS will be youth, but others who are interested should still apply.

The Application Form require some sensitive information (eg. passport numbers, addresses, birth-date, etc), how can I be sure that this information, if given will be safe?
The information we’re collecting is stored in a service call “ReviewRoom” and you can see here that they have very a strong, security/privacy policy:

When will I be notified of the decision of my application?
Participant selection notification is planned to be after March 15th, 2013. All applicants will receive an answer regardless of the outcome of their application. We appreciate patience if any unexpected delays occur during the notification process.

When does GPS İstanbul begin and end?
GPS İstanbul will begin on June 24 and end on June 30, 2013. These are also the days that participants will be expected to arrive and leave. Participants can of course arrive early and/or leave after the GPS provided they make their own arrangements for the extra days and cover any related costs.

Can I attend just part of the event?
The programme of the event is planned as a whole package and missing part of the event will greatly diminish the experience. We will take into consideration extreme cases, but a very high priority goes to applicants who can attend all 5 days of the programme (excluding arrival and departure days).

I am a student, and GPS conflicts with my exams. What should I do?
Planning an event with a huge scale such as the Global Power Shift requires balancing many priorities. Some of these priorities are logistical concerns such as finding an appropriate venue and lodging facilities for the participants. Others are strategic decisions based on timing of other global events/summits/movements. We are aware of the difficulties the timing has raised for some of the prospective participants and we apologize for this. Therefore, we hope that by working together and notifying your universities and professors, we can try to arrange exam dates to fit together with GPS.

How can I obtain a visa?
You can check the visa requirements of your country here as well as the visa costs here. Be sure to apply at least 8 weeks in advance if you need to apply for a visa from a Turkish embassy. We will be happy to work with selected participants who need documentation from the event as supporting materials for your visa application.

What if I can’t afford to travel to Turkey for Global Power Shift?

We encourage everyone who feels they meet the GPS criteria to apply. We are committed to ensuring that everyone who is selected is able to attend, regardless of their financial situation.

Do I have to make my own travel arrangements?
We are currently working on setting up the the most efficient method for travel arrangements. We will be publishing more information on this shortly. However, we will do our utmost to cover the travel costs of participants who cannot afford it themselves.

Do I have to make my own lodging arrangements?

Istanbul Technical University (İTÜ) has graciously agreed to host the GPS, and all participants will be hosted at the İTÜ student dorms and all meals will be provided for the duration of the event. However, if you decide to arrive before June 24th or leave after June 30th you will have to make your own arrangements and cover all the costs for those extra days.

How can I get to İTÜ?
Please see here for details: The easiest way is to get to Taksim from the airport or your arrival point and then taking the metro if you are coming by plane. If you are coming by train, then take the tram line to Taksim from Sirkeci train station and then take the metro to İTÜ.

What is the programme/schedule of the event?
The GPS program will be a week-long dynamic program that aims to be a catalysis for action. It is filled with capacity building workshops, inspirational speeches, strategy meetings, cultural and social activities. We are currently working with our partners to finalize the program. The full program together with the study material will be posted on this page and e-mailed to all participants once it’s finalized.

Can I arrive early or stay on after the event?
Yes, you can arrive early or stay late depending on your visa. However, only June 24-June 30 are covered by and its partners. You will be responsible for organizing and paying for the rest of your stay.

What should I wear?
June is normally quite warm in İstanbul, so light clothes should suffice. However, be sure to bring warmer clothes for the freak chilly night/rainy day.

Will meals be provided during the event?

I am a vegetarian/vegan, Will there be options for my dietary needs?
Yes. The vegetarian/vegan options will be available.

I read that I can volunteer to lead workshops and other events during the İstanbul event. What does this imply?
It means that your name will be added to a pool of participants who would be willing to take an active role in facilitating workshops or similar events, should the space or need arise. It does not imply any final obligation or liability to do so. Also, any suggested content or sessions might be considered in the remaining stages of the program development.

Why fly to attend a climate gathering?
First, we very much hope that not everyone who attends will have to fly. We’ll be encouraging folk who don’t have to cross oceans to consider ways of traveling over land. For-example, by bus or by train. Nonetheless, we know some will have to fly and that that means significant emissions. However, the emissions from Global Power Shift won’t compare at all with the true scale and scope of global emissions and the climate crisis. We truly believe in limiting our own emissions whenever possible. In this one case, however, we believe that we have more to gain from a global gathering that will help to massively scale up the climate movement. This is essential in order to truly and comprehensively address this planetary emergency. As co-founder Bill McKibben says, “Climate change is the single biggest thing humans have done to this planet. The one thing that needs to be bigger is our movement to stop it.”