During the General Assembly (GA) 2014, the delegates elected for the first time six GA Representatives. Since July 2014, they worked together with the WSEN Executive Board and members of the WSEN Advisory Board to collectively further develop the WSEN. Three of the GA Representatives write here about their experience they have made over the last months.
"Join the stream of committed change-makers"
Azadeh Zarekar is from the University of Tehran, Iran, and currently a PhD student in the field of Environmental Planning and Management.
"As the delegate of University of Tehran in the WSEN Global Summit 2014, I was also among the 6 GA Representatives selected by the delegates. Through taking part in the two-weekly Skype meetings, I got to know more about the working groups, tasks, and strategies of the organization. What I was involved in was the Alumni Network WG which mostly aims at monitoring the progress of proposed sustainability projects and assessing the effectiveness of the summits. The WG also launched the Alumni Linkedin page to keep the network more connected. The advantage of being a GA Representative in WSEN is that you are never obligated to do predetermined tasks. You have the opportunity to think creatively, suggest freely and follow your constructive ideas. Besides, there are options for you to choose from and enjoy working voluntarily in an international setting. GA Representatives can also act as regional agents of the WSEN and be pioneers of regional events to keep the network alive and active all around the globe. I highly recommend future delegates to consider this opportunity and join the stream of committed change-makers."
"Diversity to the WSEN board"
Devon Dublin is from Hokkaido University, Japan. During his term as GA Representative, he finished his PhD in Environmental Science and is working now as a PostDoc at Hokkaido University.
"Being one of the first ever GA Representatives was an interesting experience for me. Because of this fact, most of what we were involved in was fairly pioneering in nature. Most of the work I was involved in was related to the streamlining of the organization in its transition to being a legally registered entity. I think by virtue of coming from a unique Guyanese cultural background and being in Japan together brought diversity to the WSEN board. I would urge members of the GA 2015 to consider being a part of this process. I believe that lots of the ground work has already been laid and your experience will be materially different from mine. I have been a strong advocate for GA reps to represent geographic locations thus guaranteeing diversity on the board since other elected members are not required to come from any specific region. If this is adopted, you will be able to contribute to the development and the networking of students in your own university and the universities within your region. I believe this can be an interesting experience and a noble contribution to WSEN and youths in general.
"Working together with great people from around the world"
Julian Sprick is from Leuphana University Lüneburg, Germany. During his term as GA Representative, he finished his master degree in Sustainability Sciences and works now in sustainable investments.
"As a GA Representative (GA Rep) you are part of the decision-making body of the WSEN. Together with great people from the Executive Board and the Advisory Board you manage, coordinate and navigate the network. Moreover, you stay in contact with the delegates.
My tasks as a GA Rep were setting up a newsletter and a project database. Since December 2014 we could publish the first two editions of the newsletter and I hope, following generations of GA Reps, Board members and WSEN members will keep on developing it. The database is still on its way, but is planned to be installed until the next Summit in Australia.
What I liked (and like) most about being a GA Rep – and this is also why I recommend doing this – is working together with great people from around the world. Working together on tasks brings you closer and helps you making friends with people who share similar ideals and beliefs regarding sustainable development"