Empowering islands to empower citizens: ISLET Project Meeting in Samsø 9-10 April 2024

On 9 -10 April 2024, the ISLET Project held a transformative meeting on the island of Samsø, known for its journey towards energy independence.

Empowering islands to empower citizens: ISLET Project Meeting in Samsø 9-10 April 2024

This event brought together individuals dedicated to sustainable development and community engagement of Mediterranean islands involved in the ISLET project as pilot islands Astypalea (GR), Cres (HR), Procida (IT), as well as follower islands of Gozo (MT) and Korčula (HR).

The Inspirational Journey of Samsø

From 1997 to 2007, Samsø made history by becoming energetically independent, setting a pioneering example for sustainable energy in Denmark and beyond. The island’s journey wasn’t just about achieving carbon neutrality; it was about creating jobs and revitalizing the local economy, faced with the potential loss of 100 jobs due to a factory crisis. The Energy Academy building, established after 2007, stands as a testament to their success, symbolizing a decade of dedication and innovation in sustainable energy.

Empowering islands to engage citizens

The meeting kicked off with a discussion on the “3 Horizons” framework, emphasizing the importance of addressing present challenges while planning for a sustainable future and engaged in a backcasting exercises, envisioning the desired future.

One of the key themes was community engagement. The discussions highlighted the importance of understanding the history, culture, and emotions of the island communities. Participants learned about the importance of giving ownership to the community and choosing the right methodologies to foster engagement during meetings, experimenting the facilitation process themselves.

The results of these insights were recorded on a summary report, serving as a reference throughout the ISLET project and beyond.

Energy Tour: Practical Insights

Participants were also given the chance to participate in an energy tour around the island, to get practical insights into Samsø’s energy solutions.

  • District Heating: Utilizing energy crops like Miscanthus for biomass production, benefiting non-arable wetlands and reducing nitrogen usage. The district heating includes also an innovative use of solar panels for drying onions.
  • Recharging EV stations in under a parking lot.
  • Meetings with informal leaders: participants met the first to ever invest in a private wind plant for personal usage in the island to fuel his farm. Pioneers of the energy sector among civil society are part of the informal leaders who should be engaged and leveraged to kick start energy communities.


The ISLET Project meeting in Samsø was a success, filled with valuable insights and practical tools for sustainable development and community engagement. Stay tuned for more updates and join us in our journey towards developing energy communities on Mediterranean islands!

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