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Most participants arrived on January 15th, and thankfully had time to get to know each other and recover from their travels. So on the morning of day one, after some additional registrations, the group set off for the university where the conference was to be held. People continued to arrive throughout the day, and indeed throughout the conference! The opening ceremony began with introductions by Juliet Mugure and Peter Mungai of the Green Belt Movement, kind hosts of the GYG in Nairobi. Keynote speaker Anna Luhrmann, the youngest Green ever to be elected to parliament that we know of (nineteen when elected- in case anyone knows of someone younger), gave a fantastic address and continued to provide a source of sanity and inspiration throughout the conference. Addresses from Juan Behrend, Secretary General of the European Green Party, Dr. Axel Harneit-Sieversof the Heinrich Böll Foundation and Catherine Greze of the Global Greens then set the conference in motion.

After the opening, participants had the chance to introduce their organisations and themselves to the group. Around thirty people gave short explanations of their various works, and it was a great shame we had to move along quickly, as this activity visibly engaged the participants.

In the afternoon participants were randomly divided into groups for discussions to see what they could make of four questions:

  • What are the issues of the Global Greens?
  • What are the issues of the GYG movement?
  • Do we need a GYG congress?
  • If so, how do we achieve it?

Each group had a lively debate, from which a collective vision for GYG began to take shape.

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