At the workshop, we ended each day by giving a word that would best describe our experience. Some words were appropriate and some were just out of this world but they made sense—I guess itâ€™s the power of youthsâ€™ creativity. The workshop was a month ago but it feels like yesterday. And if I were to be asked to describe my whole experience in one word, I would say—PHENOMENAL.
Phenomenal becauseâ€¦itâ€™s not every day you see driven youth from around the world together, to generate a brilliant idea and to come up with a solution for a seemingly impossible problem. I know itâ€™s clichĂ© but Youth in Landscape Initiative Workshop plus the Global Landscape Forum was really life-changing for all of us. It made us believe that we (the youth) can really make difference.
On the first day of Youth in Landscapes Workshop, I got lost but I found the building by asking help from a number of people along the streets. When I got to the room, I felt overwhelmed by the enthusiasm of all the participants. Â I still clearly remembered what I whispered to myself that day. I said â€śWoah, these youth sure look intelligent and mature.â€ť I took me a while before I realized that I was one of the babies.
Since then, every time I entered the room I get scared. I felt like I donâ€™t have enough knowledge to share with my group so I always got lost during the discussions. However, unlike getting lost in the streets, I didnâ€™t have to ask for guidance because these wonderful people always led the way. There was an overflow of ideas in the room that the discussions couldnâ€™t Â be stopped by break, lunch or even the end of the day (My group decided to continue our discussion over wine at Montmarte). Â
In workshops like this, I may say that generating ideas is not the problem. Itâ€™s consensus. Youth have plenty of thoughts in their minds and one single push can trigger ideas to explode like a bomb. This is the reason why we had mentors and facilitators to pick up the pieces and help us build from it. I admit that our solutions may not have been that perfect but when we presented it to the Dragonâ€™s Den at GLF, I felt so proudâ€¦because these solutions are not just words; they are a part of us; they are our voices.
Youth in Landscapes Workshop gave me opportunity to see the world in the eyes of my fellow youth from different countries. Itâ€™s very liberating. And being a part of this made me realize that there is no problem that canâ€™t be solved in this world. You just have to explore, learn and share.
Learn more about the Global Landscapes Forum Youth program, meet our 50 youth champions, discover the 5 Landscapes challenges they took up and the solutions they developed and pitched at the Dragonâ€™s Den on 6th December 2015, in Paris.