Three months ago, 50 “landscapes” youth innovators were embarking in a life-changing adventure with the “youth-in-landscapes” initiative. Back to their “normal life”, they took the time to reflect on their experience: how it impacted them and what their vision is, to carry on being active leaders of change for sustainable development. They shared their thoughts through inspiring testimonials.
What clearly comes out of their stories is that this experience brought a bursting motivation to take responsibility and to be those doers we need for the world to be a better place.
They realized that they ARE the young leaders of Today; they have a role to play for addressing landscape challenges - as stressed by Daphne Nansambu. I am “Back in my landscape, with a big motivation boost”, Pieter Van de Sype said. Alexandra Jewel Rosas added : “These solutions are not just words; they are a part of us; they are our voices”.
Team work and collective action was the main driving value for this workshop and dragon’s den. We wanted young people from different horizons, expertise and sectors to come together and understand that the principal basis, for a “landscapes” approach to work out, is to embrace our diversity.
This has been a True Team Building Experience, Thuy Phung expressed. “Teamwork, consultation and asking the hard questions” is indeed the only way to come up with workable landscapes solutions, Michael Aboneka uttered.
This was certainly not always easy. Many times, our teams felt lost in translations. But as beautiful said by Prakriti Mukerjee and Estefania Ruiz Martínez respectively: “Underneath the babel like chaos, we all spoke the same language”; we got to “breaking down mind barriers to think Landscapes”. This diversity made them grow, individually and as a team, Novia Fadhilla asserted. This was a "Unique encounter of landscape professionals", in Daan Jochem Groot’s words.
Ultimately, this experience brought our young people hope. In a world shown as more and more challenging and scattered, what our 50 young professionals experienced with the youth-in-landscapes is a world of non-judgmental individuals craving for mutual understanding, with the genuine conviction that there is no other way for global sustainable development. “Is there any good news?” asked Francisco Carvalho; he found his answer.
Read all the youth innovators’ testimonials. Thanks to all of them, Champions, for sharing their story, for voicing how much such program does support a more active role of the young professionals in development. This is just a beginning for our team. You will for sure carry on hearing from them.
A wink-wink to the driven and hard-working YIL Communications and Marketing Team – Enricka Julien, Sekar Aju Woro Yunita, Daphne Nansambu - there wouldn’t be any story out without you. Thank you!