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18th ASEF University (AU18)

"Conscious Consumers for Environmental Sustainability"

Project Period: Contact: Department: Programme: Theme:
18 Aug - 1 Sep 2012 Asia-Europe Foundation Education Department ASEF Summer University Sustainable Development

Tartu, Estonia

Watch the 18th ASEF University Video:  



The 18th ASEF University (AU18), themed “Conscious Consumers for Environmental Sustainability”, took place from 18 August to 1 September in the Estonian city of Tartu. The programme received more than 400 applications and it offered opportunities for the selected 42 students, graduates, volunteers and artists from 33 ASEM countries.

AU18 broadened the participants' horizons through a dialogue on environmentally sustainable consumption in a multi-cultural setting. Prior to the event, the participants shared pictures of sustainable consumption in their home countries, which can be seen here.

The programme commenced with one week of interactive workshops and presentations given by academics and experts representing Copenhagen Business School, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Sustainable Europe Research Institute (SERI), Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES), Earth Hour Global, Consumers International Office for Asia Pacific and the Middle East (CIAPME), European Commission, Association for Development of Youth Exchanges EstYES, Tartu Environmental Education Centre (TEEC), Estonian University of Life Sciences, and Let's Do It Foundation.

During the second week, the AU18 participants organised creative street actions to promote sustainable consumption. Through this, they engaged the residents and visitors of Tartu in a creative dialogue on the sustainable use of plastics, water and energy, as well as environmental friendly ways to commute, eat, and manage wastes.

More information can be found in the Concept Paper. For further inquiries, please contact Rob van Leeuwen.

As a follow-up activity raising awareness on the high amount of plastic, ASEF Green Action will be organised between February-August 2013 in various ASEM member countries.



  • Estonian Student Councils' Union
  • University of Tartu


  • Environmental Investment Centre
  • Hasartmängumaksu Nõukogu
  • Ministry of Education and Research of the Republic of Estonia
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Estonia

Project Updates

  • AU18_pub_coverASEF’s latest publication, ‘Conscious Consumers for Environmental Sustainability’, is an outcome of the 18th ASEF University project, which was held in August 2012, in Tartu, Estonia. It features creative street actions organised by the participants during the project as part of an awareness campaign on sustainable consumption.

    The book also includes a photo exhibition highlighting the participants' views on sustainability issues with regard to consumption patterns in ASEM countries, as well as summaries of experts' presentations.

    Read the publication here

  • The 18th ASEF University (AU18) in August 2012 in Estonia, stimulated dialogue between students and young professionals on sustainable consumption. Since then AU18 participants have started turning their awareness into practice. Let’s hear from them on how they are making a difference.

    - ‘I eat more vegetables and exercise more.’ William Chan (Malaysia)

    - ‘I reduce the amount of meat a lot and prepare new dishes containing chickpeas and different vegetables. I have been practicing a healthy lifestyle.’ Karolina Mazetyte (Lithuania)

    - ‘Since the programme I have lived my life considering the environment and sustainability. I'm now working in the field related to environment.’ Chaowai Pattarapong (Thailand)

    - ‘I cook more food instead of buying ready-made sauces/meals, exercise more and think about my use of public transport.’ Claudia Jazz Haley (United Kingdom)

    - ‘I reuse more and shop less. My fellow participants are inspirations!’ Rahmat Hidayat (Indonesia)

    - ‘I reduce my water consumption and am more aware of plastic and other unnecessary waste, like coffee-cups and plastic bags. I am spreading awareness amongst friends and family and try to use less air-conditioning.’ Nathalie Sajda (Sweden)

    - ‘I spend less money on unnecessary stuff, dine in rather than take away foods, take shorter showers, switch off lights and laptop when not needed. I treasure the time with my family and close friends instead of shopping.’ Nursalwa Baharuddin (Malaysia)

    - ‘I am definitely more efficient with spending money than before and avoid eating meat.’ Petros Papakostas (Greece)

    - ‘I use scratch papers more often and recommend people in my lab to be more environmental consciousness and do the same.’  Eunsoo Baek (Republic of Korea)

    - 'I am a vegetarian now and i am encouraging my family to have one meat free day a week. I buy organic cotton and all my chocolate and coffee is fair trade.’ Sabrina Koch (Germany)

    - ‘I save many things, e.g. papers, chopsticks, forks, etc., to reuse.’ Ray Xu (China)


  • Watch the trailer!

    Published on 01 Oct 2012

    This August, 42 youngsters from 33 Asian and European countries participated in the 18th ASEF University (AU18) in Tartu, Estonia (18 August – 1 September 2012). Watch the trailer to know what they experienced promoting sustainable consumption.

    See the trailer!

    Stay tuned for the full video to be launched soon!

     Read more…

     AU18 Play

  • Best picture on conscious consumption

    Published on 03 Sep 2012

    Rahmat HM (Indonesia) together with Alice Pirlot (Belgium), Candy Tsang (China), Annika Karusion (Estonia), Petros Papakostas (Greece) and Zsuzsanna Vari-Kovacs (Hungary), were the winning team for the 18th ASEF University (AU18) online photo contest. Their photo was chosen among 25 others as the best photo on conscious consumption receiving the maximum number of votes from the public.

    Professor Jaak Aaviksoo, Estonian Minister of Education and Research (Haridus-ja Teadus ministeerium [HM]) presented the award to the winning team during the opening of AU18, “Conscious Consumers for Environmental Sustainability”, in Tartu, Estonia.

    Flickr album link

    Read more…

  • Vote for the best picture!

    Published on 06 Aug 2012

    42 international students and young professionals from the 18th ASEF University (AU18) share sustainable consumption photo samples from their home towns (Facebook album link).

    Which one of these pictures you think captures sustainable consumption in the most striking way? Vote for your favourite picture until 15 August (15:00 SGT) by clicking the 'Like' button. The winning picture will be announced on ASEF’s website and Facebook page.

    This year AU18 on ‘Conscious Consumers for Environmental Sustainability, will take place in Tartu, Estonia (18 August - 1 September 2012). Participants come from 36 different ASEM countries.

    Facebook album link

  • Some 42 students and young professionals from 33 ASEM countries have been selected out of 400 applications to participate in the 18th ASEF University (AU18).  Themed Conscious Consumers for Environmental Sustainability, AU18 will take place in Tartu, Estonia (16 August – 1 September 2012).  

    Meet the participants of AU18!

  • Are you a student or young professional and do you want to promote consumption that is environmentally sustainable? Submit your application now for the 18th ASEF University (AU18), which will take place from 18 August to 1 September 2012 in Tartu, Estonia. Visit the AU18 page now for more details!

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