The Next Generation of Sustainability

A kaleidoscope of change

A kaleidoscope of change?

Last week, the Youth Future Conference took place in Bonn, Germany. 100 young people came together to take on their global responsibility. And after one week of camera exposure, it’s time to go back to the written word – typically my medium of choice. Yet, how to put into writing the indescribable? How to find phrases that capture the spirit of the last week without stiffling it with every word? What developed during the Youth Future Conference in Bonn became a kaleidoscope of insights and experiences for young people from all over the world. Every new piece of information changed the picture, every new encounter with a like-minded soul changed the shape and the colour of the image.

It’s not easy, doing the impossible when you’re alone. And similar to the kaleidoscope, which needs many different pieces to produce a truely magnificent picture, change needs the input of many different voices. But knowing that those voices are there, knowing that what you do is but a tiny fragment of a bigger picture of global change, is both humbling and motivating.
Changing perspectives from my usual pen-and-paper point of view and relying on the quiet attentiveness of the cameras allowed me to listen to many different voices. And what echoed through all the conversations I had, was the deep concern for the future of our planet. A concern that was shared by participants, guests, laureates and organizers. It is the “why” behind all our actions, our committment, our sleepless nights and the hard work with which we push ourselves and our various projects.
I’m incredibly happy that our daily video updates were able to capture some of those impressions. Writing is nice, but often remains sadly one-dimensional. Being able to let others say what matters to them and to let them say it in their own voice, made me realize how many different ways there are of expressing that it’s time for change.

We’re not too young, nor are we too inexperienced. We’re not too insignificant. Not too few, not too naive, not too oblivious. We are exactly what we need to be. We are the next generation of sustainability.

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