The conference and the workshops have become more interesting with the energy and enthusiasm brought in by the youth participants. The “Youth Corner” has been set, where collage making, games and other activities are being undertaken by the youth under the umbrella theme of “Sustainable lifestyles and consumption”. The youth is conveying strong messages of how consumption choices can make a difference. The youth has been playing an integral role in all the workshops - when asked about their experiences from the workshop in one word; the answers that were received were- Informative, knowledgeable, different, interesting, thought-provoking, boring and too comprehensive. But overall a lot of learning is being imbibed by the youth through this conference and workshops; the youth is also contributing towards them by sharing their opinions. The youth is indulging into various discussions and deliberations on facebook and twitter page of the conference, and through other social media tools like blogs and websites. One of the youth participants Mr. Hemant Sahal represented the youth, conveying their voices in the plenary on “Education of sustainable development”. He talked about values & principles being communicated through education, he also quoted that “It is not difficult to do the right thing, but to understand what is right”. The gusto of the youth participants was also seen when they opined themselves during the virtual conference that took place in the evening, between the alumni, e-glo administrators, volunteers, EC members and youth participants from different corners of the world, virtually interacting with each other.
The wait is finally over, the much awaited conference on “Ethical Framework for a sustainable world” started on the 1st November, 2010. The youth was seen in action from the very beginning of the conference, there is a “Youth Corner”, which is set up by the youth for conveying strong messages of sustainable lifestyles, and consumption patterns, and they are also placing their opinions on various aspects of creating a sustainable world like biodiversity, CSR, Role of ICT in creating environmental consciousness, ESD, global challenges and governance, spirituality, school education and teacher training etc. The activity of putting thumb prints for depicting action is being done on canvass by all the participants, there are beautiful depictions in the form of collage, portraits, paintings made by the youth themselves.
The youth participants were bifurcated into various groups that attended the workshops that took place on ten thematic themes. All the participants met in the evening to share what they learnt from their respective workshops and how they could contribute towards it better, and what more were they expecting from the workshops in the next two days. The youth thought that the workshops were extremely knowledgeable and inspiring, but they wanted the workshops to be more interactive and engaging.
The youth participants have been significantly adding to the conference by playing their roles as rapporteurs, volunteers, & participants who have fresh ideas and are ready to implement on them. One of the youth representatives also represented the next generation in the plenary discussion on climate change. We as youth realize our responsibilities, and are striving to offer our energy and capabilities towards creating a better future.
It’s time to become activists and not just thinkers; it’s time to learn from the experience of the older generation and collating that with our curiosity and capacity towards attaining sustainability for our future & the future of the generations to come.
The pre-conference workshop on strategising youth participation at the 3 day conference was organised on 31st October 2010 at CEE. 71 youth pursuing different professional courses participated in this workshop to bring in their perspective into the conference. The workshop started with interesting ice-breaking sessions that helped the participants to know each other. This was followed by Mrs. Madhavi Joshi’, address. Mrs Joshi is the Programmes head at CEE, who gave the participants a background of Earth Charter, and the conference.
Mr. Steven Rockefeller, Chair, Earth Charter International Council and Mr. Kartikeya V. Sarabhai, Director, CEE set the tone for this workshop through an interactive session on the Earth Charter and its relevance in the world today. Mr. Steven Rockfeller, then entertained some questions asked by enthusiastic and curious youth, he answered all the questions in such an interesting way that everyone was caught in rapt attention.
This was followed by working group sessions where the youth discussed their reflections on the Earth Charter principles and their expectations from the 10 workshops. Ms. Satwant Kaur, Regional Information Officer, UNEP ROAP helped facilitate the working group sessions along with the SAYEN mentors, Govind Singh and Utsav Maden. This session allowed for an energetic debate on various issues such as access to vs. potential of ICTs, need for consultative policy decision making, and the issue of understanding religion and spirituality and the idea of oneness. Together they decided that they would participate in the conference as workshop rapporteurs, plenary speakers, facilitators, and volunteers.