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SXSW 2021

Samsø: A Pioneer Island Pointing to the Future

What can the climate urgency translate into at local level? Climate action is about challenging conventional thinking and overcoming the fear of change. But people need a purpose to act. The island community of Samsø, Denmark, home to 3,700 people, embraced a positive perspective for itself and invested in renewable energy. Community engagement, social innovation with local ownership and existing technology made Samsø carbon negative and provided to the community a much better outlook. Once a meeting place in the Vikings period Samsø is now a gathering place for people interested in community development. Samsø works to become completely fossil-free by 2030 and shows that transformational change happens when a community can see through the cracks and tears a wall down to let the light in.

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  1. How to relate with the purpose for change? Think locally act locally. A local community can only be sustainable when it is also able to sustain itself
  2. Any community can be the centre of the world. Local action can improve a community’s perspectives and make it an exhibition window to the world
  3. The best was yesterday, the next best should be tomorrow. Samsø inspires communities to work together and build capacity for transformational change



Alexios Chatzimpiros, Project Manager, Samsø Energy Academy

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