It was friday and I had charming visit from the future. A group of 27 young and aspirational Climate Leaders from 14 countries from #YCL2019immersion came to Agora Energiewende to discuss practical opportunities of the energy transition, as well as strategies to overcome the challenges that this unprecedented economic transformation entails for our societies. So, what does it take to be a climate leader? Our discussion was interesting enough to share some insights with the world:
A group of well-intended young people that question the status quo without imposing or expecting any particular response was central to a great and constructive discussion. Asking the right questions and keeping an open mind is the way to lead a group to good results.
Yes, we are dealing with an existential problem of monumental scale for humanity. While this can be depressing at times, the work with climate change implies dealing with the very nature of humanity and the fundamentals of our physical world. Working together to understand and improve the way we relate with others and with the nature of our planet is not only purpose, but also full of intellectual and emotional beauty.
Leadership is not a mean nor an objective in itself, but an appointment by followers that share and support a cause. While true for many causes, the objective of managing climate change is of particular complexity and it requires that societies embrace the most profound transition of human history. More than in any other field, to lead is to serve the purpose.
Change is tough. Those who promote the economic revolution that we need face rejection and opposition. The question how to deal with this is hard to answer and at times it may be right to walk away and look for better opportunities to engage. Nevertheless, insisting on solutions and projects that you believe in is not only important to effect change, but also to sharpen your skills and rise to the next level of professional and human abilities.
As only followers are able to appoint leaders, there is no certainty that even the most skilled individual will turn out as a leader. Yet I am certain that some of the Young Leaders that visited me will turn out to meet their aspirations. First, because they care about the cause. Second, and more importantly, because they follow and reinforce themselves. Creating and integrating with diverse brains, hands and souls creates a resonance chamber that amplifies the common as well as the individual ideas, work and messages. If you follow you will be followed and you will inspire collective change.
Thank you #YCL2019immersion! Keep learning and sharing as it will sustain your energy, inspiration and the momentum that drives change and materializes
About Philipp D. Hauser: I am Senior Associate at Agora Energiewende, a german Think Tank that develops scientifically based and politically feasible ways to ensure the success of the energy transformation. The use of carbon market and financing instruments in combination with management, certification and communication of social and environmental benefits are at the center of my expertise. Connect with Philipp via his Linkedin.