Who are you?
Before training as an energy auditor in 2010, Katarzyna Cymera worked for 20 years in education, which included roles as a teacher, headmaster and education inspector. Katarzyna currently carries out inspections and certificates of the energy performance of buildings with the aim of reducing the impact on the climate through better energy use. Katarzyna joined the Pioneers programme in 2018 as she wanted to explore different viewpoints and to share and gain knowledge from other people to improve the environment. She also wanted to work on an international project with climate innovators.
What did you do?
Katarzyna’s placement was at an architectural design business in Modena, Italy. She helped her hosts by using different tools for assessing the energy efficiency of different building structures, which gave alternative economic and ecological options for customers. This was the first time these thermal-hygrometry tools had been used by the architects and enabled them to understand and use them after Katarzyna had completed the placement. Her hosts said they would be glad to co-operate with her again in the future.
Going to the Pioneers International Workshop in Edinburgh was amazing. It will stay in my memory for a long time. I met wonderful people who I intend to work with in the future.
What did you learn?
Katarzyna really valued working with an array of different people during the Pioneers workshops, group project and placement. This gave her varied experience ranging from diverse cultural approaches to technical differences, through to assessing buildings in different climates. She could compare how energy auditing in Poland differed from the approach in Italy, and how this led to different ways of tackling climate change. This helped her be open to new ideas and value her own skills and experiences more.
While Katarzyna had already used some of the tools presented in the Pioneers workshops, she found the package of tools designed for the group project to be very helpful in prioritising activities and tackling climate problems. She now uses these tools in her business work.
What happens next?
Building on her experience and learning at the workshops and placement, Katarzyna now helps deliver the Clean Air programme in Poland. This aims to reduce harmful emissions which come from outdated heating systems in poorly insulated homes. Katarzyna delivers energy audits to allow building owners to plan the most effective improvements and she also trains people to understand the importance of high-quality energy audits. This is particularly important for Katarzyna as five of the most polluted cities in Europe are in the Lodz region where she lives.
Katarzyna was able to learn new tools and approaches during her time on the Pioneers programme which she is now able to combine with her experience as a teacher and coach. She knows that some people struggle to engage in climate debates, yet her approach following the Pioneers programme is one of co-operation, understanding different viewpoints and building joint action.