Saba Nafees is a One Young World Ambassador from the United States.
The first ever One Young World Environment Summit is just around the corner and excitement continues to build as we get closer to it. As a One Young World Ambassador, I’m thoroughly humbled to be among young leaders who are making huge strives to better our environment and raise the concerns within their communities and across the globe.
As we gear up for the Summit, we have lots to do to catch up with our changing environment. Firstly, I think we will have to make a quick to-do list just to take care of the logistics.
[[[image 2-small left]]]1. Set goals before you arrive
We're are currently experiencing negative aspects of environmental change and deterioration but there is still hope. A recent article from The Hill exhibits this hope and explains why we can take explicit actions that will lead to positive change. Keeping in mind the current trends and activities around this topic, what personal goals do you have that you’d like to accomplish during the Summit?
[[[image 3- small left]]]2. Share on social media
A politician, Ted Cruz to be specific, once told me, “just be active on social media and express your concerns through tweets!” This was his response to my question of how young people can voice their concerns to politicians as we seem to be so disconnected to our lawmakers. I was expecting a different answer but being active on social media has become a modern form of ‘peaceful rebellion’ so we must take charge.
[[[image 4- small left]]]3. Network
If you care about the planet that you and your loved ones inhabit then you’ve found yourself in a haven, the Environment Summit! Make the most of your time at Biosphere 2. Do a bit of homework and find out more about it before you go so you can make the most of your experience. Look up people who are leading the sessions and giving talks and prioritize your networking accordingly.
[[[ image 5- small left]]]4. Be on time
Of course! Do your best! I know that I will definitely have to try not to get lost in the model city or the mangrove on the way to a session.
[[[image 6- small left]]]5. Rest up
Do rest when you can unless of course you are too busy watching the expansive night sky with tons of glittering stars.
[[[image 7- small left]]]6. Take notes
Taking notes is essential even if you jot down one or two words per idea you have. My research advisor always tells me that there is something about the connections our brain makes when put pen to paper and write things down because it can be an effective way of learning and remembering.
[[[image 8- small left]]]7. Attire
Arizona is hot! If you’re not used to the heat, make sure you come prepared with the right type of clothing. Also, be conscientious about staying hydrated.
[[[image 9- small left]]]8. Be prepared when speaking
Whether you’re scheduled to speak at a given time or giving an impromptu speech or interview, be comfortable and breathe! Speak slowly and enunciate as well as you can. Remember, no matter who your audience is, you’re having a conversation so just relax and be yourself.
[[[image 10- small left]]]9. Be environmentally aware
Observe your surroundings and the immense presence of nature around you. Seek to learn at all times.
[[[image 11- small left]]]10. The Summit is just the beginning
This may the start of your mindful journey regarding on our planet or it might be a continuation. Either way, it’ll be an exciting and memorable time. Remember to follow up with your contacts and follow through with any project ideas that were sparked during the Summit. Most importantly, ask yourself the same question every One Young World Summit poses: What will you do now?