This February I had the pleasure to attend the Youth Assembly at the United Nations in New York. This three-day event gathered over 1000 young (16-30 y.o.) changemakers and leaders from around the world. In its own words, “The 2018 Winter Youth Assembly is a platform to elevate the voices of young people in international dialogues, empower youth to advocate for future generations, and mobilize youth as agents of impactful change.”
The topic of the Assembly was Innovation + Collaboration for Sustainable World and workshops and sessions were focused on five key Sustainable Development Goals SDGs): Goal 6 – Clean Water & Sanitation, Goal 7 – Affordable & Clean Energy, Goal 11 – Sustainable Cities & Communities, Goal 12 – Responsible Consumption & Production, and Goal 15 – Life on Land. Personally, I was most curious to be a part of the conversation about making cities comfortable and ensuring that our consumption patterns are aligned with sustainability principles.
One of the most inspiring sessions for me focused on innovative environmental solutions and featured panelists who talked about tackling some of the biggest environmental threats and scaling up their work to bring transformative change. One of the speakers, Attila Bodnar, founder of Organica Water, talked about his company’s work on bringing water recycling plants back to the cities and turning them into urban spaces. His projects were a great example of social entrepreneurship in its best – combining an environmental (thus, social) purpose with a successful commercial project.
The Youth Assembly stirred a lot of positive emotions in me. On top of great speakers and their inspiring stories, I got a chance to hear from the younger generation about their social projects, their dreams and hopes for the future of our planet. It was heartwarming to see so many young people passionate about making this world a better place, and to be part of that dynamic community of future global leaders and changemakers.
P.S. Photo of me and Luigi Barraza at the UN