In the inspiring atmosphere of the Palazzo dei Priori, the EU-funded project environMENTAL held its kick-off meeting to initiate its investigations on the influence of global environmental challenges on brain and mental health. In three intensive and exiting hybrid meeting days, the consortium aligned on the project progress and drew-up the key processes for its first year. Break-out sessions gave the opportunity for cross-workpackage interactions, so that all partners returned with a clear agenda for the next months and bag full of fruitful discussions.