My #YCL2019Immersion experience - by Flavia Christo

Updated: Dec 23, 2020

When I applied for #YCL2019Immersion, my goal was to more than learning about climate change - what attracted me the most was the proposal of learning how to create an equitable future and develop the leadership abilities I would like to see in the world.

The theme chosen this year was “Cities and Climate Change.” ONU Habitat estimates that about 2/3 of the global population will be living in urban areas until 2050. Therefore, cities have immense potential that could either aggravate or reduce climate reflexes on the planet.

During our time in Germany, we had the privilege of visiting institutions and organizations that are acting in different causes in an attempt to face the crisis we are living in today. It was inspiring to see a powerful country dedicating many efforts to sustainable development and the 2030 Agenda.

Berlin, with its young disruptive spirit, taught us it is possible to resignify history. Bonn showed us that diplomacy is necessary, but the action is crucial. Both places have provided us with a lot of thoughts about different strategies a city can adopt to mitigate or adapt to the consequences of global warming. A surprisingly added value for the program was the opportunity of working in projects with people from 14 distinct countries and cultures. The experience of developing a food & agriculture project played a fundamental role in the journey and made me grow and understand better how to articulate action and disruptive changes.

Throughout this journey, I understood how climate change affects people differently in each reality. And I got assurance that nothing is more potent than mobilizing and engaging your local community.

Today I can see in myself the leadership I want to see in the world because I recognize a leader in each of us. We need to take responsibility as a part of this extensive living system which is the Earth and to fulfill our devoir of keeping it under prosperous conditions to all its biodiversity. There is no single solution, but instead, there is only one option, which is to act! We are counting on each other.

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