Level Up
Our Climate Targets

Reconnecting Europeans for Net-Zero Emissions

đź“Ť Global Governance Institute (Cours Saint-Michel 30, 1040 Bruxelles), Belgium

🗓️ 15 June 2023, 16:00-18:30

Level Up organised an event on 15th June 2023, contributing to the European Commission’s public consultation on the EU’s climate targets for 2040. This was carried out in collaboration with the European Climate Pact, its Ambassador Sevim Aktas, and the Global Governance Institute. The objective was to produce policy recommendations and create new opportunities for stakeholders to engage with the general public. In addition, the event helped to refine the Level Up Toolkit. 

Basic Information

Our Participants

We invited 30 participants representing EU institutions (e.g. European Commission’s DG CLIMA, DG ENV, and DG ENER), international organisations (e.g. UNEP), social and climate NGOs (e.g. Migration Policy Group, European Federation for Intercultural Learning, The Good Lobby), businesses active in the environment, energy, or climate sectors, research centres (e.g. CEPS, Brussels School of Governance, Institute for European Environmental Policy), members of the general public and early career scholars. About 50% of the participants were invited by our team and the other 50% openly registered through our website event page.


The Level Up pilot project in Brussels took place in the coworking spaces of the Global Governance Institute in Brussels. The hosting Institute provided us with a common space, as well as three separate breakout rooms, featuring whiteboards and screens.


The pilot project in Brussels lasted 2.5h, with additional, non-compulsory time allocated for informal networking over drinks in the nearby restaurant (at participants’ own expenses).

Topic & Outcome

The event was structured around the existing and, at the time ongoing, public consultation procedure to inform the DG CLIMA’s impact assessment and proposal of EU climate targets for 2040, under the requirements of the European Climate Law. Participants were invited to develop policy proposals that the European Commission should consider including among their upcoming recommendations for EU climate targets. Overall, the participants produced three policy proposals, addressing (1) transformations of long-haul heavy duty vehicle transport; (2) remodelling food systems while promoting social justice; and (3) increasing trust by fostering transparency, accountability, and public participation.

Preparation Phase (Before Project)

Find Participants

Community: Half of the participants for the event registered through an open, online invitation link, that was disseminated through Level Up website, social media, as well as European Climate Pact Ambassador Selim Aktas, and DG CLIMA’s social media and newsletter. The topics of discussion were preselected by the requirements of the ongoing public consultation process, but no limits were imposed on who could sign up.

Stakeholders: The invited stakeholders were chosen to represent the wide variety of relevant institutions, policy and topic experts, lobby and other interest groups. A very wide array of participants were invited in order to ultimately assure participation of 15 stakeholders, to ensure optimal engagement and connection between the different stakeholder groups and elaboration of feasible and detailed policy proposals. The participants were invited personally over email, using existing networks and snowballing techniques. All participants were given concept note about the proposal and further details during the email conversations.

Impact Surveys

All participants were sent pre-event surveys as part of their registration procedures for the event, as well as post-event surveys to measure the changes in the participants perceptions.

Familiarisation with Safer Space Guidelines

To Download the Safe(r) to Brave Space Guidelines

The registration process for the event included Safer Space Guidelines, that participants were encouraged to familiarise themselves with before the event and they were also given handouts with the guidelines, when they arrived at the event location.

Prepare Materials

  1. Printing game and role cards
  2. Preparing presentations
  3. Laptop for projections
  4. Markers for whiteboards, as well as pens and papers for breakout rooms
  5. Post-it notes
  6. Name tags
  7. Snacks and drinks
  8. Party banners (for more festive atmosphere)
  9. Cellotape
  10. Directions instructions (posted around the building to direct participants)
  11. Registration sheets
  12. Preferendum forms
  13. Level 1-3 Cards: Connection, Deliberation, Creation (on the pilot project day)

Level 1-3: Connection, Deliberation, Creation (on project day)

Level 1: Connection

Level 1 consisted of introductory drinks and networking, presentations, and one game (Trankiftu).

Silo 2: Trankiftu. After the example of moderators, participants were directed into their smaller groups and encouraged to each share one thing (trait, item, subject – real or fictitious) that encapsulates their contribution to society and to their group work on that day.

Level 2: Deliberation

To Download An overview of the policy proposals and the results of the preferendum

The game was played according to the Toolkit instructions. Each team member was given a particular role and each team included at least one representative of European Commission’s DG. The groups had to pass 3 Levels, before they could present their proposals to everyone. The Levels included (1) deciding on the topic of proposal, (2) interim targets and actions of their proposal, (3) social justice issues. All three teams then presented their proposals in short presentations and engaged in short common Q&A session, before voting in the preferendum and announcing the winning proposal.

Level 3: Creation

This level was shortened due to time constraints. Following the preferendum voting, and the announcement of the “winning” team, the participants engaged in some informal discussions both at the event location and the nearby restaurant. As part of this Level, the Level Up team members elaborated policy proposals and submitted them officially into the EU’s public consultation procedure, while also wrote up an event brief for the Global Governance Institute.

After the Project: Participants Feedback

After the project, we conducted a feedback assessment with the students by using the online tool ‘Google Forms’ (see Feedback Form Sample, below). The following slides show the feedback from the participants. The numbers of the answers correspond with attitudes, going from completely disagree or a low score (0) to completely agree or a high score (10).

Additional Information

Lessons Learned

  1. Time: The Brussels event was very time-sensitive (overall 2,5 h). Participants felt rushed resulting in a risk of lacking meaningful interactions and in-depth discussions and more detailed policy-proposals. More time is required to have a more meaningful experience.
  2. Facilities: The facilities used in the Brussels pilot were located on two floors, making facilitations more spatially difficult for the organisers and participants (since they had to report to pass each level and needed to go to different floor for that). We recommend a single large room, or several rooms in close proximity.
  3. Roles: The initial Level Up Toolkit included a set of role cards that were allocated to all participants within a smaller group during Level 2 – Deliberation. However, both pilot projects have indicated that the participants did not act in accordance to the roles and that they experienced them as a burden. As a result, the Level Up Toolkit was updated and the roles were removed.
  4. Connection Phase: The icebreakers chosen for Level 1 – Connection worked really well. Participants felt comfortable to engage with each other in a non-hierarchical format. However, more activities aiming at different objectives would have increased the overall skill of the participants. Some participants felt that their knowledge on specific EU regulation was not sufficient enough to contribute to the discussion. Therefore, we added a fourth silo in Level 1 – Connection focusing on providing more detailed information about political regulations and limits to all participants through experts. Additionally, if we would have had more time, one activity from each silo should have been introduced to perform a more sustainable and in-depth connection between the participants and also empower more quiet participants to engage in conversations.
  5. Preferendum: The preferendum worked well in Brussels and was explained clearly. Everybody seemed to understand and submitted quickly. For future events we propose to make use of a big box collecting ballots, to make votes even more anonymous.
  6. Offline/Online: Several times participants mentioned (while inviting people and during the event) that they were interested in having a hybrid or online format of the Level Up Toolkit to reach a wider audience and get more participants to join. We recommend face-to-face interactions since we believe it creates more meaningful connections between discussants. However, a hybrid form is potentially something that could be addressed in the future but requires more research.
  7. Dissemination of the Policy Proposals: In Brussels, the policy proposals were, despite the time limit, very detailed and were submitted into the EU’s public consultation agenda following the event. Participants appreciated the fact that their proposals had the chance to be actually acknowledged and taken into consideration by EU policymakers.
  8. Lack of Knowledge: Some participants felt that they did not have enough background information about EU regulations and policy making, and therefore could not participate as much in the discussions as the experts, policymakers and stakeholders. Therefore, we introduced Silo 4 – Knowledge Sharing into Level 1 – Connection phase. This silo aims at providing background knowledge to all participants about the topic of discussion (e.g. the EU’s Climate Targets and Regulations) through an expert. This silo aims at lowering the knowledge threshold for participants that are no experts in the corresponding topic fields.

Event Promotion

The event was promoted on our website, eventbrite, the website, and in the newsletter of DG CLIMA, as well as the social media channels of Level Up, Sevim Aktas, and DG CLIMA. 

Example Game Designs