Though Artur Wieczorek had been engaged in various student movements and NGO campaigns before Humanity in Action, his Fellowship had a profound impact on his life– introducing him to passionate people from around the world and pivoting his activism towards politics. Before graduating from university, Artur had little interest in politics, but he remembers learning from his Fellowship program how some issues truly only have political solutions and that building movements is crucial to addressing them. One example being climate change, a cause that has now defined for much of his professional life, as the single biggest environment and development issue of the twenty-first century.
Humanity in Action has had a profound impact on my life in two aspects: the people I’ve met here and my involvement in political activism.
Artur studied culture and development studies graduating with MA from Jagiellonian University in 2010. Since then, he has worked communication officer, teacher, and trainer in several organizations, including the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Project Office in Poland, Muhammadiah University in Malang, Indonesia and several NGOs. Artur considers himself at heart an educator and is currently working as a consultant through his consultancy firm TealTurtle supporting local NGOs reach sustainable education goals.
Artur has been engaged in the climate movement for years. He has co-founded the Polish Youth Climate Movement in 2012 and organized two marches for the climate in Poland. He is now a strong believer that no sustainable change is possible without engaging in political processes, and has helped on several occasions with the campaign of the Polish Green Party. While acting as the international representative to the Secretary General of Federation of Young European Greens (the Pan-European Federation of green youth organizations) Artur continues to focus on educating and empowering the youth in Poland to seek change.
Now I strongly believe that any type of political activity is a collective effort, one where people are replaceable but the ideas are fundamental — not the other way round. This has helped me to engage with various activist movements (especially the climate movement).
Artur, reflecting on his Fellowship where he met politicians was really impressed by their attitude, mentions: “What especially struck me was when one guest told us that he treats politics as a profession, the same as any other profession, and that a politician was a ‘vessel’ carrying ideas that people voted for. Such a humble and de-personalized attitude was quite different from what I had experienced before. It struck me deeply and helped me shape the way I think about politics and civil society engagement. Now I strongly believe that any type of political activity is a collective effort, one where people are replaceable but the ideas are fundamental — not the other way round. This has helped me to engage with various activist movements (especially the climate movement). Knowing that I can be a valid contributor, no matter how small my role is, and that if we build around the cause, I will always be able to pass my responsibilities to others. This has also taught me to think critically of the ‘leadership’ discourse and value the ‘movement’ discourse much more. And for that, I am extremely grateful to Humanity in Action.”
Artur Wieczorek was born in Katowice, in southern Poland. Currently, he works as a freelance trainer, campaigner and consultant frequently traveling for work between Katowice, Warsaw, and Opole. In the past, he has lived in Brussels, Indonesia, and Singapore.