Theme: Climate, Naturally (2022)

About The Event

The Sabancı Foundation’s International Philanthropy Seminars that have been bringing civil society, academia, private and public sector representatives together with international experts, held with the title of “Theme: Climate, Naturally” in its 15th year. The event took place in Sabancı Center, İstanbul on 1 December 2022, between 09.30 – 13.00 (GMT+3).

“What is the role of philanthropy in climate emergency?”, “Which concrete steps should be taken by philanthropic organizations?”, “What is the importance of youth activism in climate emergency?” The seminar opened space for discussing these questions together. A music performance and an exhibition were also included in the program.

Date: 1 December 2022, Thursday, 09.30-13.00 (GMT +3)
Location: Sabancı Center

9.30 – 10.00 Welcoming

10.00 – 10.30 Opening Session
Nevgül Bilsel Safkan, General Manager, Sabancı Foundation
Güven İslamoğlu, Journalist

10.30 – 12.00 Panels

Panel 1: Role of Philanthropy in Climate Emergency
Moderator – Uygar Özesmi, Founder, Good4Trust

Alice Amorim, Philanthropy For Climate Lead, WINGS
Stefan Schurig, Secretary General, Foundations 20
Ümit Şahin, Coordinator of Climate Studies, İstanbul Policy Center

Video Message: Jane Goodall, Founder, Roots & Shoots

Panel 2: Youth Activism in Climate Emergency
Moderator Burcu Meltem Arık, Education Observatory Coordinator, Education Reform Initiative

Alperen Davran, Coordinator, Sabancı University Preservation of Nature Club
Melisa Akkuş, Change Activist
Resul Hüseynzade, Climate Ambassador, Roots & Shoots Turkey

12.00 – 13.00 Exhibition and Lunch:
Murat Germen, Global Warning Exhibition

Please click here to read the full text of “International Philanthropy Commitment on Climate Change”, the commitment that Sabancı Foundation is one of the signatories.


İpek Nisa Göker

Eight-year-old İpek Nisa Göker has been playing the piano since she was five years old. The third-grader considers her visual impairment a difference. Göker composed "Doğanın Öfkesi (Nature's Rage)" to express her sorrow and anger at the degradation of the environment by humans, the extinction of animal species, and the pollution of the world's water resources. She shares her compositions, which are inspired by her dreams, nature, and her memories, on her YouTube channel under her own name.


Stefan Schurig

Stefan Schurig is the Secretary General of the Foundations 20. He is an architect by training and has worked for some 25 years with governments and parliamentarians around the globe on sustainability subjects. Before he started to build up the F20 platform in 2017 he worked at World Future Council Foundation and Grenpeace. Stefan also served as an appointed member of the steering committee of the World Urban Campaign of the United Nations and was teaching at the Master programme of Urban Planning at the Hamburg University.

Alice Amorim

Alice Amorim is a Brazilian lawyer and climate politics specialist. She coordinates the Philanthropy for Climate movement at WINGS and is Board Chair of the think Tank E+ Energy Transition. Prior to that she was Humboldt Chancellor Fellow based in the German Parliament, researching climate politics in Germany. She worked at iCS - Institute Climate and Society, and GiP - Public Interest Management on climate policies and development projects. She holds a B.A. in Law from the State University of Rio de Janeiro and an MSc from LSE - London School of Economics.

Ümit Şahin

Ümit Şahin is Senior Scholar and the Coordinator of Climate Change Studies at Istanbul Policy Center. He teaches courses on Global Environmental Challenges, Climate Change and Environmental Politics at Sabancı University Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Since the early 1990s, he has been part of the green political movement and climate, ecology and environmental movements, and an active contributor to anti-nuclear and human rights movements. He also has participated as an observer to the UNFCCC Climate Conferences (COPs) since 2008. He was one of the founders of Turkey’s Green Party. In addition, he has also several book chapters, policy papers and articles related to climate change, energy transition, environmental health, green politics, and human rights.

Alperen Davran

Alperen Davran was admitted to the Computer Engineering program at Sabancı University in 2020. He has been involved in the struggle against the climate crisis since high school. As the environmental team coordinator at the Sabancı University Wildlife Conservation Club (SUDOĞA), Davran works to ensure the well-being of animals and the conservation of nature within the campus.

Melisa Akkuş

Describing herself as a “high school student striving to realize her dream of change,” Melisa Akkuş is active in children’s rights, the fight against the climate crisis, climate justice, gender equality, and other rights-based fields. Acting to save and change the world, Akkuş works particularly closely with the International Children Rights Ambassadors Association (ICHILD) and Climate Leaders. Driven by a belief that positive change is possible through new dreams and ideas, Akkuş launched a petition on with other activists to announce a climate emergency and to include gender equality in the school curriculum. She currently carries out advocacy on these matters.

Resul Hüseynzade

17-year-old high school student Resul Hüseynzade participates in climate-oriented actions and activism in many organizations including Climate Leaders, Fridays for Future Turkey, the Tema Foundation high school program, Bilim Virüsü, and Roots & Shoots Turkey. He also takes part in the climate consultancy councils of the Municipality of Beylikdüzü, the İstanbul Planning Agency, and the İstanbul Metropolitan Municipality. Hüseynzade is also interested in social entrepreneurship and has been receiving training and taking steps to this end.


Murat Germen - Global Warning Exhibition

Born in 1965, photographer Murat Germen received his master’s degree in architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is currently teaching photography, arts, and new media courses at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at Sabancı University. Germen authored many notable academic papers on national and international platforms and creates content on urbanization, the right to the city, climate change, and the right to water. Having contributed to over 80 individual and mixed exhibitions in dozens of countries, Germen’s recent exhibition Global Warning, whose name is derived from Global Warming, contains snippets of Svalbard and Greenland.

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