The week beginning July 20, 2015 remained an exciting and memorable one for me having so much for me to learn, observe and experience. The participation in 40th Annual Hazards Research and Application Workshop at Denver, Colorado and representation in 5TH Nexus Global Youth Summit at UN Head Quarters, New York were my two great engagements to share.
I traveled to Denver, Colorado on July 19, 2015 to represent my host organization in the Natural Hazards Workshop. Denver gave me a touch of home, a city with so many similarities with my native Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJK). It is lush green with mountainous landscape just like Kashmir.
Each July, the Natural Hazards Center hosts the annual Hazards Research and Applications Workshop involving close to 400 federal, state, and local emergency officials; representatives of nonprofit, humanitarian organizations; hazards researchers; disaster planners for private industry; and a host of other persons dedicated to alleviating the pain and loss inflicted by disasters. The objective of this year workshop was to strengthen communication between the hazards academic and applications communities to improve the implementation of hazards mitigation and emergency management programs.
Among other interesting breakout and plenary sessions, the most inspirational and informative address was of Andrew Maskrey, Chief of the Risk Knowledge section at the UNISDR. He presented the Global assessment report on disaster risk reduction (GAR) 2015 and shared that GAR15 shows why the focus of disaster risk reduction needs to move from managing disasters to managing risks if it is to contribute to making development sustainable.
Thanks Disaster Accountability Project (DAP) for providing me this wonderful opportunity.
On July 22, I flew to New York to participate in Nexus Global Youth Summit as part of Atlas Corps delegation. Our delegation comprised of current fellows and alumni, selected through a competitive process, was mandated to assist the Nexus team in coordinating the breakout sessions as room ambassadors and floor captains.
The summit provided diversity of concepts, demonstrated simplification of complex issues, and proved that being resolute towards your cause will changes your destiny. The speakers were young global champions of change with focused efforts towards transforming lives around the world, converting dreams into realities, reforming hatred into love, turning war into peace and much more.
Being a room ambassador during the breakout sessions of the summit was particularly interesting as it provided an opportunity to interact with globally renowned experts on entrepreneurship and nonprofit management, while moderating the question and answers during the sessions enhanced the understanding of some pertinent global issues as well as initiatives focusing on emerging concepts. The participants were indeed amazing individuals from all across the world, with wealth of experiences that were shared, discussed and debated during the sessions.
Another interesting aspect of the summit was to give us opportunity to meet and greet some renowned international celebrities including Mohimbo (Swedish-Congolese Singer), Gabriel Isler (Miss Universe, 2013), Meryl Davis (celebrated skater and Olympic gold medalist).
And now when I gauge my grooming in terms of learning and exposure, I feel myself very indebted to Atlas Corps, an organization investing for positive change in so many countries like mine.