The passport tells us she is German, but this just mean she was born and raised in Germany. "I rather feel like living on this planet and connecting with its living beings": this sense of belonging to nature is probably the best slogan for our global team. Get to know our funding expert, Juliane!
behind green steps: juliane vopel
Green Steps Team is international and diverse. You can meet some of us during our events. Others maybe are working behind the scenes, or even in another continent, but we all play a part to succeed in our mission. This is possible thanks to individuals and their hearth, which is something that goes beyond their job description.
To make you all feel closer to our community, every month we post a short introduction to one of our Team Members, to celebrate the people behind Green Steps.
Our Team calls itself Global for a reason: it is not just about the variety of passports, but about the mindset of their holders. This especially is a strength when our action needs to find its way to scale, make an impact and finally fulfill our vision: connecting people with nature around the whole world.
To do that we deal with other organisations and institutions at all levels: for all that we rely on our beloved Juliane Vopel.
How can we call you?
Jules, Julsi, Inge or Jule. But I definitely prefer Jules.
As we mentioned, we count mostly on you when it comes to dealing with institutions from our European office. Can you better explain your role?
I started off at Green Steps as a grants and funding expert. Searching and deciding which grant we want to apply for with my team and therefore gather all necessary information and documents to set everything into place to hit the submit button. This is always a highlight after a long process of developing an idea and feels very good and liberating. We have applied for several Erasmus+ formats and we are currently in the process to get a European Solidarity Corps volunteer. Now I am also responsible for some HR matters e.g., Job interviews and Green Steps staff training in our branch in Austria.
Sounds like a time consuming and absorbing role. How do you balance that with your personal life?
“My parents always had a hard time motivating me to go hiking. Now I love it more than them”
You love staying outdoors and you also love gardening: it is no mystery why your profile matched with Green Steps, but how did you end up joining?
After school I desperately wanted to leave Germany to experience something exciting and therefore I did an European Voluntary Service (EVS) in England, where I worked with disabled persons in a Jewish Village. This was a great and very important experience for myself. Afterwards I started studying pedagogy in Salzburg, Austria, because I wanted to continue to work with people.
I spent my fifth semester of my bachelor in Malmö, Sweden as an Erasmus Student with the topic of Social work in a local and global context. Back in Salzburg I wrote my bachelor thesis about Mentoring during EVS and started working at Akzente Salzburg where I supported European volunteers coming to Salzburg and organized/ supported some Youth Exchanges.
During that year I also joined the Action Leader Training of Generation Earth with the topic of Reducing Plastic. One of the other participants was my now colleague Gudi: I was really impressed that she decided to go to Shanghai and support Green Steps.
During the last weeks of 2019 they were looking for an EU funding expert, and so it happened: I am a member of Green Steps since 1st January 2020, enjoying the various tasks an innovative Start-up brings with it. At the moment I am based in Magdeburg, Germany where I also study International Vocational Education.
If you had to pick someone elses words to describe yourself, what would you choose?
I would ask you to read Sickster, a novel by Thomas Melle, about how sick individuals can become in the modern society, but also how toxic society can turn into due to such individuals. In both cases this novel represents everything I do not want to work as or become.
At Green Steps the common effort of many different people comes together: how do you think that all this work will actually make an impact?
I hope that through all the effort we take at Green Steps we can make the earth a greener place engaging children and families to go outdoors and recognize the beauty of our natural world. Further I really wish that environmental education is less fragmented in the whole world and that everybody can access nature events effortless to learn and fight the current climate crisis.
Summer Camps 2021 in Ratzersdorfer See
Green Steps STP
From July 25 to August 20 Green Steps is running a series of four weekly camps in the beautiful setting of Naturjuwel Feldmühle: a beautiful piece of untouched floodplain landscape between the Traisen river and the Mühlbach, just north of Ratzersdorfer See. For 5 days 5 nights will focus on the concept of ecosystem and will learn about nature through observation, fun games and creative activities.
Behind Green Steps: Mohammed Ben-Thaier
Stay fit, drink coffee and get lost in the Youtube rabbit hole. This might sound not conventional for a Green Steps team member, but there is much more to disclose about this one. From Bordeaux to Shanghai to make the code in the ARK “elegant”: get to know our Lead Software Developer, Mohammed!
Unlocking Human Potential Through Play
We need to find a new form of learning. One which engages children through play and helps them to absorb information in an enjoyable manner. A form of learning which instills a sense of purpose into them; and a form of learning which teaches them compassion for self, others and the planet.