On Mondays I Work for the Future
Off on sabbatical, for a whole year. After 2 ½ years as Program Director of SAP Cloud for Utilities, Klaus Lohnert and his wife Marion packed their bags to travel the world. Recently I asked him what the last 10 months were like.
Hi Nicole! Currently we are in Portugal, working in a solar kitchen for 4 weeks. We are using a Scheffler mirror to capture solar energy for cooking. It’s fun to experience the power of the sun this way. Means that golden baked potatoes are only done on sunny days, otherwise we cook with biogas produced from our kitchen waste.
Scheffler Mirror to focus the energy of the sun to an oven
Okay, I was expecting to catch you hiking or at the beach. Seems you have another plan?
We also went to the beach, among other things. But I also used the time to review my 25 years in the energy industry and then look ahead. My motto was “On Mondays, I work for the future. The time was super valuable and full of insights.
Now you are making me curious, tell me more!
I was driven by the question: How can we make the energy transition faster and better? How can we help young people shape their future? What about sustainability and energy in other countries? What are people concerned about? – And most importantly, what contribution can I make?
What insights on the subject of energy did you gain on your trip?
The energy transition is taking place in every country, but at different speeds and with different focuses. In the global transformation of the energy infrastructure, we have paradoxical conditions. Countries with high expansion targets for renewables are suffering from a shortage of skilled workers, while at the same time there are many young people in many countries who have hardly any career prospects. In Colombia, we visited schools with great sustainability projects. The motivation of the young people impressed me enormously. Although they have hardly any job prospects, they are curious and want to learn everything about sustainability.
This touched me so much that I said to myself, I don’t want to look the other way, “I want to help raise this potential”! To tackle climate change, global cooperation is needed.
Monica from Colegio Fervan in Bogota, Colombia, Nick from Starkmacher e.V. and I want to show in a lighthouse project that we can create solutions across borders. We want to help young people to qualify for the job market of the future in order to preserve our environment.
What challenges do you want to address with the lighthouse project?
It’s about the shortage of skilled workers. Let’s take Germany and Colombia as an example. The expansion targets for renewables in Germany are in jeopardy, particularly because of the shortage of skilled workers. Colombia, on the other hand, is in the early stages of expanding wind and solar energy. This means that we could help each other by training Colombian specialists to support the transition in Germany, so that they can then become drivers of the transition themselves in their home country. In this way, we want to connect two poles to make renewable energy flow.
How do you plan to implement workforce development?
In Colegio Fervan where Monica is based, sustainability projects have already been successfully implemented and integrated into the curriculum. Our principles are:
- we combine practice and theory.
- both are integrated into the curriculum from 1st to 11th grade. We want to inspire and sensitize children to sustainability issues at an early age.
- we want to share the best educational models. We will actively do this through the PASCH schools. This is a network of about 2000 schools worldwide.
- we want to promote the best students through student exchanges and internships in terms of language, culture and education.
- after the completion of school education in the 11th grade, we will support the placement of apprenticeship positions
If you are interested, I would be happy to present the project and our desired topics for implementation. We are very happy about feedback and supporters.
This is an exciting project; how can people support you?
We want participation to be easy, everyone should contribute what they can. We welcome companies, training departments and people who want to get actively involved. Starkmacher e.V. is our experienced partner for handling donations. Progress reports are prepared by the students themselves.
Anyone who feels addressed is welcome to contact me at Klaus Lohnert. In direct contact we can discuss how a support can look like.
I wish you every success with your project. How is it going with you?
I am already looking forward to my return. It starts again on November 1.
“On Mondays I work for the future” is something I plan to continue then. It’s a great motto for the start of the working week 😊.
This is a great contribution which you make here for the future, I have great respect for your motivation, your idea and your drive! I wish you that you find many supporters and make the world a little bit better.
Thank you so much for sharing! We are very much looking forward to your return to our team.