Premises of the Youth Sustainability Festival
Executive letter from the Management of EcoCare Waste Initiative, October 4, 2021
The ingenuity of humans to manipulate the dynamics of nature to add value to biophysical resources has resulted in unparalleled comforts, convenience, consumption, and life expectancy. This has produced a population surge. That very success of human rationality has, however, caused unmatched degradation of the global environment and is unleashing powerful and threatening new forces of nature, which constitute inadvertent and paradoxically irrational consequences.
What does ‘nature’ really mean?
The idea of ‘nature is at the very core of science, considered as its flagship and deepest link with human societies. However, while nature preservation has become a major social concern, the idea of nature remains elusive. Hence, studying the concept of “nature” itself and its relationship with practical objects and social projects is crucial for conservation sciences and derived policies: many linguists, philosophers, and historians propose that its meaning may not be unified or self-evident soon, but efforts that popularize it in the non-biological arena are noteworthy.
What do we know about the ‘future’?
Prof Yuval Noah, author of bestsellers like Sapiens and 21 Lessons for the 21st Century, when asked this question says “we really don’t know exactly what the future will look like. No one can really tell. And so we don’t know exactly what skills we will need for the future. What we know however is, our children are going to face more challenges and rapid disruptions than we face today. Three big challenges of now and the future are climate change, nuclear war, and technological disruptions.” Yuval Noah asserts that in this 21st century we must be able to teach our children how they will reinvent themselves over and over to adapt to the changing environment.
What is your ‘environmental world-view’?
A survey of the environmental world-views of undergraduate students found that their views of the environment could be reduced, as had been found to group into the ‘environment as elastic’ and the ‘environment as ductile’. The ‘environment as elastic’ summarizes a range of views that focus on the unpredictable nature of the environment and its ability to recover from the impact of human activities. However, the basis of the ‘environment as elastic’ view is solidly based on a fatalistic/non-fatalistic worldview of this youth age group. The survey suggests that the likelihood of individuals demonstrating environmentally aware behavior was strongly correlated with their environmental worldview and how their general ideologies are conditioned by their political alignment []. Some people still hold the ancient Newtonian worldview that man is a machine and must continue to extract the planet if it is to survive, while others still hold the Darwinian worldview that man must compete to be able to survive. How do we find a more sustainable worldview that ensures our survival and the planet for future generations?
It is on the premises that EcoCare Waste Initiative currently focuses on combining our core business of creating environmental sanitation solutions with climate advocacy – to educate and empower people (youth especially) to appreciate the impacts of climate change on all of us and to participate in the readily available, simple and mostly cheap contributions that everyone can make to help save our environments now and for our children’s future.
EcoTalks Series and the Youth Sustainability Festival
EcoTalks Series is a Pan-African sustainability movement hosted by EcoCare Waste Initiative in Ghana and The Eco–Mindset in Kenya – to give voice to the youth (especially the eco-warriors) to demonstrate the solutions they are iterating and to make a strong call for action towards a sustainable Africa. Eco Talks Series is leveraging on knowledge, alliances, and resources to foster action that leads to tangible results of climate action and a sustainable mindset shift among the people of Africa. It started in 2019, with virtual campaigns initiated by EcoCare against plastic pollution, and in 2020 it took the form of a series of webinars around the environment and sustainability matters. This year, The Eco-Mindset joined us to scale the coverage of the EcoTalks Series.
EcoTalks Series 2.3: Youth Sustainability Festival (YSF 2021)
This year, the EcoTalks Series 2.0 was launched, of which the first and second episodes followed the usual webinar of expert lectures on the industry. The Youth Sustainability Festival is the 6th episode of the virtual EcoTalks Series of webinars on Sustainability & Climate Change. This particular episode has been converted into a two-day Youth Virtual gathering. We preferred to call it a “festival” not a “conference” because of the interesting rounds of activities and interactions that will take place. This is none like the super formal conferences of monologues without fun and participatory activities.
The Theme: The theme for this maiden edition of the Youth Sustainability Festival which of course is also virtual is: Youth Caring for Nature and Future. Youth does not restrict this festival to an age group, but an indication of the people for who we are building this legacy for. So either you are a young person who cares about doing something about your future that is being ignored now by most adults, governments, corporations, or an adult who simply want to help reshape the mindset/world-views of the upcoming generation, this is the festival for you.
How to participate in the YSF 2021
You can register as a “YSF 2021 Experts” to share your insights in panel discussions, lectures,s or facilitation on selected topics, etc during the festival. You can also register as a “YSF 2021 Facilitator” and assist the organizing team in providing technical support, moderating sessions, and organizing logistics and resources needed by participants to enjoy this 2-day virtual festival. And most importantly you can simply register as a “YSF 2021 Delegate” who will participate, learn and transfer the new insights into your organizations and develop sustainable solutions for the environmental, human and climate disruptions happening in your communities.
I cannot wait to welcome you into the first-ever Youth Sustainability Festival in Africa happening virtually on the 23rd and 24th October 2021.
Youth Sustainability Festival
Co-founder & Director, EcoCare Waste Initiative Interim Chairman, Youth Sustainability Festival