Four of WSEN IC members attended a two-week course program by Youth Encounter on Sustainability (YES) on February 2015 in Switzerland. Three of them have shared their experiences and emphasized on inspirational influence of international and multidisciplinary events on youth.
Azadeh Zarekar - Delegate to the WSEN Global Summit 2014 in Stellenbosch, South Africa and GA Representative 2014/15; YES-Alumnus
Having had the chance to take part in World Student Environmental Network Global Summit 2014 in South Africa hosted by Stellenbosch University, I became member of an international network of students, who do care about the planet and their goal is bringing sustainability into various aspects of conserving the only home we have: the Earth. Impressed by inspiring lectures, students and projects,attending this summit was a new chapter in my academic life.
In January to February 2015, I took part in Youth Encounter on Sustainability (YES) Course program in Switzerland. YES is an intensive course, where like-minded participants from all around the globe and with different educational backgrounds gather to learn interdisciplinary sustainability sciences, share their knowledge and expand their horizons within the group. During this two-week program, 35 participants from 25 countries learnt about diverse topics including system thinking, sustainable land use management, smart energy systems, Alpine agriculture, food systems and discussed complex systems, business models, carbon footprinting and campus sustainability in working groups, visited leading companies such as Migros, EAWAG, Empa, LEP Consultants and also enjoyed the excursions in Interlaken, Jungfraujoch, Zürich and ETH University (More info: www.myclimate.org/yes).
WSEN and YES are only two of many international events that seek to gather, train and empower youth from various nations to emphasize the fact that first, we face the challenge of sustainably on the Earth and second, we are able to overcome this situation by changing our approaches and behaviors and youth are the agent of this change. No matter which one to attend, just consider being the member of a global network. Networks keep you connected, updated and motivated. Networks are diverse: diversity in cultures, languages, thoughts, disciplines, and solutions and this is what makes networks resilient. Networks make you feel secure: facing with difficulties through realizing your sustainability ideas, you know you are not alone and you have always the opportunity to benefit from your fellow's knowledge.
Now, imagine being the member of two networks! You have twice the strength to improve yourself and also the world, even on local scale. Not possible to join international events?! Well, try with local and regional ones. Just start with your own circle of friends, define your values and goals and launch into the stream of change-makers. Just avoid disappointment and keep believing in yourself.
Kind Regards from Iran
Elodie d`Halluweyn: Delegate in WSEN Global Summit 2014 in Stellenbosch, South Africa; YES Alumnus
The World could be so big and so tiny at the same time. The World can seem to us without any border, tend to infinity. Here is my current state of mind, the emotional paradox that I face. And this awareness, or rather felt very strong, I owe to experiences like WSES and YES course. On the one hand, I realized how all living humans and all species are really connected together. Then in this context the world may seem small. On the other hand, there is so much diversity: biodiversity, diversity of culture, meanings, feelings, complex natural systems, number of species, and diversity of ecosystem functioning ... that world could seem infinity. What WSEN and YES (MyClimate) offered me, is a global, complex, meaningful and respectful vision of how our world is working. I want to change the world, specifically about the relationship that humans have on the environment and animals, living beings, but I cannot act without understanding the living realities of people. Is because of that I am so glad of receiving the opportunity to attend WSEN Global Summit 2014 in South Africa and YES course in Switzerland: I shared visions, emotions, realities, hopes, willing and motivations with others students from different countries and I learned a lot not only about myself and the kind of relationship I lived with them but also about other people. I want to change the world but I cannot do it alone. We need to be connected, humans together but also with nature and animals. I am so glad and I address a really honest thank you to WSEN and YES experiences because thanks to them, I've been connected with the world, people from everywhere, and now we are friends and partners to change the world, together.
Elodie d'Halluweyn, Belgium
Jelioth Muthoni: Delegate in WSEN Global Summit 2014 and GAR; YES Alumnus
WSEN and YES are special movements that create a network between the youth who have the goal of achieving sustainability in our mother planet. These are my most special experience in the two events: interacting with people full of diversity and having similar objectives. It's amazing how different countries arise sustainability Projects from such events. Specialists from different fields are invited to give talks, interact and motivate the youth. In both there is the formation of an alumni group which keeps the network strong. However, in YES the alumni group is one, this strengths the network between the YES family. WSEN focuses mostly on students in Universities and after a WSEN Global Summit which happens annually a few delegates are selected to represent the alumni of that group in the executive committee. The students are actively involved and they are the main people who organize the workshops. WSEN workshops happen annually this is unlike YES course which happen a number of times in a year. It's my great joy to see more people, movements join together to hit the goal of sustainability. This is what led me to meet again with my colleagues from WSEN. It was a great joy for me and I wish we would meet again and with many more as we have a similar goal of achieving sustainability. This is our sustainability family.