COP21

MRCJ team members
MRCJ team members

The agreement made at COP21 in Paris last December was historic and incredible to witness. In a world of conflicting opinions, power struggles and a constant tug over resources, 195 countries converged on the reality of climate change and the imminent need to work towards a decarbonised world.

Climate change reveals the true interdependence of our world’s communities, no booming economy can resist the effects of catastrophic tsunami. However, the richer the nations, the more they can protect themselves and their communities from natural disasters.

The Mary Robinson Foundation for Climate Justice was set up as an organisation to promote action and leadership in that field and help the most under-resourced nations in their struggle against climate change.

Mary Robinson speaking at COP 21
Mary Robinson speaking at COP 21

Dearbhla Gavin in conversation with Maurice Sadlier, Account Director of the MRFCJ (Mary Robinson Foundation for Climate Justice), discusses the ins and outs of that issue.

1) Horyou is a platform to highlight the people and projects that are making a positive impact on our world, tell us about the work of the Mary Robinson Foundation and how it is contributing to social good?    

The Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice is a centre for thought leadership, education and advocacy on the struggle to secure global justice for those people vulnerable to the impacts of climate change who are usually forgotten – the poor, the disempowered and the marginalised across the world. It is a platform for solidarity, partnership and shared engagement for all who care about global justice, whether as individuals and communities suffering injustice or as advocates for fairness in resource-rich societies.   The Foundation provides a space for facilitating action on climate justice to empower the poorest people and countries in their efforts to achieve sustainable and people-centred development. Climate justice operates at the intersection of human rights, climate change and development. Climate justice links human rights and development to achieve a human-centred approach, safeguarding the rights of the most vulnerable people and sharing the burdens and benefits of climate change and its impacts equitably and fairly. Climate justice is informed by science, responds to science and acknowledges the need for equitable stewardship of the world’s resources.  

2) Horyou was proud to be a part of COP 21 this year and your founder Mary Robinson was a key delegate. Tell us your thoughts on what was agreed and the next steps for action?  

The Paris Agreement represents a significant milestone in human history, and an evolution of the international climate regime. For the first time, we have an agreement that considers those people most vulnerable in the face of climate change – an agreement that builds on our growing understanding of climate change as a social – as well as an economic and environmental issue. The Paris Agreement recognizes the need to respect and promote human rights, the rights of indigenous peoples, gender equality, women’s empowerment and intergenerational equity to achieve a just transition. The Paris Agreement provides the opportunity to transform our way of life to one that is fairer and more sustainable. It establishes the need to keep global temperature rise below 2C and closer to 1.5C. This demonstrates that 195 countries accept the need to leave nobody behind in our transition to renewable energy, given that at 2 degrees warming above pre-industrial levels, many people and even some countries would not survive. Nevertheless, there will be challenges ahead as the World sets out to implement the Paris agreement. Climate justice must now inform how the Paris Agreement is implemented. We must ensure that decisions on climate change are participatory, transparent and accountable that the voices of people in vulnerable situations continue to be heard and will be acted upon. In implementing the agreement we must ensure that a development first approach is taken, that access to finance for developing countries is made available and that human rights are a cornerstone of the response to climate change.

3) Many industries are now realising that being environmentally conscious is good business and will actually serve them and their profits in the long run, what are your views on this? 

This action by business is very welcome. The global business community has a central role to play in the fight against climate change. Business has in fact a responsibility to manage climate risks and advance climate justice, not just for shareholders and workers but also for the wider community. Business interacts with people all along supply chains, and operates in communities that are affected by climate change. Business sells goods and services to people living in a climate affected world. Managing climate risk goes beyond risk assessments of potential impacts to earnings – business should be looking to build resilience to climate impacts more broadly in our economies and societies. Responsible action on climate change is part of the social contract required to operate. In the run up to COP21 and the Paris Agreement businesses played a key role. Many business leaders around the world raised their voices and supported ambitious action on climate change. For example, We Mean Business – a coalition of organisations working with thousands of the world’s most influential businesses and investors – wrote an open letter to world leaders calling for a clear and ambitious long-term goal as part of the COP21 agreement. This letter was signed by 22 business and civil society leaders.  

4) You are based in Trinity College, Dublin and so you are surrounded by ‘millennials’, how would you some up the attitude of today’s students around climate change/sustainable living? 

MRCJ team members
MRCJ team members

We are the first generation to fully understand the grave threat of climate change and the last generation who will be able to do something about it before it is too late. The youth of today are very engaged in the issues of climate change and climate justice. You only have to look at the divestment campaigns that are springing up in universities and colleges across the world to see how engaged students are. This engagement is important and necessary. The youth of today are the future leaders and innovators of the world; these are the people who will provide the solutions for the future world we live in not only for ourselves but for those who come after us.  

5) Finally, Horyou supports people acting on their dreams, through the work that you do, what are the ultimate goals or ambitions for the Mary Robinson Foundation?   

The vision of the Foundation is that by 2020 global justice and equity will underpin a people-centred, developmental approach to advancing climate justice and more effectively addressing the impacts of climate change. As a Foundation we seek to put justice and equity at the heart of the responses to climate change, and to ensure that the challenge that it poses for the poorest and most vulnerable peoples of the world are addressed and the benefits and burdens of the response to climate change are shared equally.

Written by Dearbhla Gavin

Bloomberg founder Michael Bloomberg
Bloomberg founder Michael Bloomberg
The conversation on climate change has changed dramatically in the recent months as more and more evidence mounts that it is a present rather than future threat. The governments of the world converged at COP21 last December and reached an agreement to move towards a more sustainable mode of behavior in everything that we do. The negotiations then and there made politicians realize that fighting climate change is smart economic policy. They sent an important signal to businesses that hadn’t yet priced in the consequences of avoiding climate change, that no matter what industry they’re in, it will effect them.

Bloomberg The Future of Energy conference
Bloomberg The Future of Energy conference

The Bloomberg Future of Energy Summit held last week in New York City was different to any other year. It’s theme was ‘The Age Of Plenty’, alluding to the fact that we are in an era of abundant supply resulting in intense competition.

As the human and economic cost of fossil fuels become more apparent, the price of coal and oil are plummeting. And as technologies develop and more investment is funnelled into clean energies, renewables companies race for market share. Michael Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg LP and Bloomberg Philanthropies opened the conference of executives from both sides of the energy industry with a startling fact.

“Climate risks effects every industry and virtually the entire US equity market”. This statement, in front of a historically capitalist industry, brings climate change from an outlier position of ‘what we should do’ to an interested party’s position of ‘what we must do’ in order to survive. He alluded to education as a key agent of change. “The more businesses know, the better they’ll be able to mitigate against and the more we learn from each other, the faster progress will be”.

More than 5000 peer reviewed studies on climate change have been conducted in the last thirty years and each year has been warmer than the last. That’s thirty years of evidence that unless we change our behavior, we will inflict irreversible harm to infrastructure, health and life as we know it.

John Kerry, US Secretary of State and a vocal advocate on climate issues took his place on stage and cited a recent study that found if sea levels keep rising at the current rate, Manhattan could be under water by the year 2100. This may seem scary but irrelevant to you or I, as it will not be in our life time but these steady changes have massive short term implications that are already being felt across the world – food shortages, stronger storms, disease outbreaks and collapsing ecosystems.

These are the risks of inaction, but we must also focus on what has been done. Kerry highlighted that “There are already huge changes in the energy industry, $33 billion has been invested in renewables to date”. The realization that a transition to clean energy is good business sense has resulted in economies of scale for businesses, not to mention the thousands of jobs that have been and will continue to be created in this entirely new industry.

US Secretary of State John Kerry
US Secretary of State John Kerry

Another source of hope from Kerry’s perspective was that “Last year, for the first time, more of the world’s money was spent fostering renewable energy technologies than fossil fuel plants”, demonstrating a clear acceleration of the movement. There has also been a surge in renewables investment in emerging markets, otherwise known as “global growth markets”. This is significant, as the actions of emerging powerhouses like China make an impact across the world.

It is clear that the the future of energy will be the largest undertaking of public private partnership the world has ever seen. It’s the role of governments to facilitate the transition. They can provide the cap ex and put the incentives and frameworks in place to simplify the move towards clean energy but the stakeholders of industry themselves also have a responsibility. They must innovate, appropriately allocate their resources and commit to being part of this crucial change.

As the world warms with each year, the question remains will we get there fast enough. Secretary of State John Kerry closed the conference with John Eddison’s three essentials to achieving: Hard work, stick with it and common sense. Add Horyou’s values of positivity and solidarity and, collectively, we can move towards a cleaner, greener society.

Written by Dearbhla Gavin

Reconstruction d'urgence à Gaza par l'association Medina
Reconstruction d’urgence à Gaza par l’association Medina

Chaque jour, nous découvrons les magnifiques actions de nos Membres, Personnalités et Organisations sur la plateforme Horyou. Ils sont toujours prêts à Agir ! Cette semaine, nous mettons en lumière le travail et les actions de remarquables organisations en France, au Brésil et en Belgique.

Organisation: Association Medina Lieu: France

Projection du film «A Gaza les enfants rêvent aussi »

L’association Medina intervient depuis déjà presque 20 ans auprès des victimes civiles de conflits grâce à des projets dits d’urgence, de post-urgence ou encore de développement. Elle réalise un travail remarquable notamment dans des zônes de conflits comme Alep en Syrie ou dans la bande de Gaza en Palestine. Sur l’initiative de l’Association les Amis de Louis Lecoin, l’association organise le 25 février prochain à Saint Amand Montrand la projection du film « A Gaza les enfants rêvent aussi ». Ce film a été réalisé lors de la dernière mission de l’association dans la bande de Gaza. Une belle occasion de découvrir un peu plus leur travail sur le terrain. Découvrez cette action ici.

Par Laurie Martin

Grupo para estimulação da linguagem para terceira idade
Grupo para estimulação da linguagem para terceira idade

Organização: Associação Terapêutica de Estimulação Auditiva e Linguagem(ATEAL) Localização: Brasil

Grupo de Estimulação de Linguagem para Idosos

Associação Terapêutica de Estimulação Auditiva e Linguagem(ATEAL), é uma associação civil, assistencial e de pesquisa, sem fins econômicos, que conta com a atuação de uma diretoria voluntária. A ATEAL é referência no atendimento para o diagnóstico e reabilitação gratuita e permanente, para uma inclusão familiar, social, educacional e profissional. A ATEAl iniciou no dia 18 de janeiro, um grupo para estimulação da linguagem para terceira idade no setor de Distúrbios de Comunicação. O grupo tem como objetivo melhorar a comunicação de idosos que sofreram AVC e tem dificuldades de linguagem. Para saber mais clique aqui.

Por Edriana Oliveira Major

Premier Repair Café : donner une seconde vie aux objets usagés
Premier Repair Café : donner une seconde vie aux objets usagés

Organisation: Ressourc’âges ASBL Lieu: Belgique

Repair Café

Créée en 2014, l’association belge Ressourc’âges a pour mission de sensibiliser les plus jeunes aux thématiques environnementales et au développement durable à travers des jeux ainsi que des animations et ateliers récup’. L’association organise aussi régulièrement des ventes de produits locaux et a lançé cette année un nouveau concept : le Repair Café. Le premier Repair Café de l’association a eu lien fin janvier. Le but de l’événement est de redonner une seconde vie à des objets usagés pour inciter et sensibiliser la population à limiter leurs déchets. Toutes ces actions ont aussi pour but de rassembler et recréer un lien social entre les habitants. Cette première édition fut un succès et la seconde édition est déjà prévue pour mars ! ☺ Découvrez cette action ici.

Par Laurie Martin

ADEV- Titre ( grande)
L’association des Acteurs de Développement (ADEV).

L’association des Acteurs de Développement (ADEV), basée au Cameroun, oeuvre maintenant depuis plus de trois ans auprès des femmes et des jeunes de la société camerounaise. Cette association, créée par des jeunes pour les jeunes, a pour but d’informer, sensibiliser et instruire les personnes sus-mentionnées afin qu’elles puissent à leur tour agir ensemble pour un développement du pays en accord avec les nouveaux objectifs écologiques élaborés en marge de la COP21.

L’association a de nombreux projets et ce dans des domaines variés avec pour principe d’inclure au maximum la société civile.

Nous en découvrons ici un large échantillon grâce à Félicité Djoukouo, directrice exécutive de l’association, qui a accepté de répondre à nos questions.

1.Pouvez-vous nous présenter brièvement votre association?

L’association des Acteurs de Développement a été créée en 2009 par de jeunes camerounais travaillant dans des disciplines variées et soucieux d’apporter leur contribution au développement international. C’est une plateforme de formation, d’investigation et de consultation, ainsi qu’un espace de concertation et d’expression, débouchant sur des actions concrètes en faveur du développement durable. L’objectif principal de notre association est de responsabiliser les communautés par rapport à leur propre développement. Par exemple, nous essayons de dynamiser les groupes de femmes et de jeunes pour en faire des agents de changement dotés d’un esprit entrepreneurial, de leadership et de volontariat. Nous essayons aussi de faire naître en eux le souci du respect de l’environnement et de la gestion durable des ressources naturelles. Finalement, nous promouvons aussi l’intégration permanente de l’approche de genre dans tout projet que nous mettons en place.

2. Pouvez-vous nous expliquer en quoi consiste le projet RASP4DEV School que vous avez lançé en Novembre 2015 à Yaoundé ?

Le projet RASP4DEV School que nous avons lancé en novembre 2015 est une initiative d’un jeune ingénieur camerounais, William Elong, qui a sollicité l’expertise de l’ADEV dans les modules d’entrepreneuriat et de leadership. Le projet RASP4DEV sensibilise les jeunes à l’utilité de l’informatique (notamment grâce à la présentation du Raspberry – modem wifi qui fonctionne à l’énergie solaire et sans connexion internet). Il a aussi pour but de former les jeunes vivant en zones rurales à la recherche sur Internet et sur les médiathèques et les initie à la programmation et la création de contenus. Il apporte aussi un appui psychologique pour les enfants et les jeunes à travers des ateliers sur le leadership et l’entrepreneuriat.

Projet Rasp4dev School - initiation à l'informatique en zones rurales.
Projet Rasp4dev School – initiation à l’informatique en zones rurales.

3.Vous avez aussi dernièrement élaboré un plan communal de développement dans la commune d’Obala au Cameroun. Quels en étaient les axes principaux et dans quel but a-t-il été établi ?

Le Plan Communal de Développement est élaboré en tenant compte de la spécificité des composantes sociologiques d’une commune (espace urbain vs espace rural par exemple). Il est élaboré par un organe d’appui local, nommé Action commune pour la préservation de l’Environnement et le Développement (ACP-CAM) dans le cas de la commune d’Obala et ce dernier a demandé à l’ADEV de l’aider dans l’éboration de ce plan. Ce diagnostic participatif porte sur les problèmes exprimés par les populations elles-mêmes à travers des interviews semi-structurés, formels et/ou informels ou d’observation directe. L’élaboration de ce plan a pour but d’évaluer les capacités et les limites de la commune ainsi que les opportunités et contraintes au développement local. L’objectif était de répondre à une double exigence : 1) Améliorer les connaissances et la compréhension de la commune par elle-même et par ses partenaires 2) Accompagner la commune dans un exercice d’auto-analyse des ressources dont elle dispose, des forces et faiblesses liées à sa situation actuelle ainsi que des opportunités et contraintes à prendre en considération dans le nouveau cadre de la décentralisation.

4.La COP21 a eu lieu il y a peu et l’ADEV est très impliquée dans les questions environnementales. Quel type d’actions essayez-vous de mettre en place dans ce domaine ?

Le Cameroun est un faible émetteur de gaz à effet de serre mais sa stratégie ambitieuse de développement se traduit par une forte hausse d’émissions d’ici 2035. C’est ainsi qu’en prélude à la COP21, le Cameroun a pris l’engagement de réduire ses émissions de 32% d’ici 2035. Afin d’aider le pays à respecter cet engagement, l’ADEV, en tant qu’organisation de la société civile camerounaise et constatant une vive montée de l’insalubrité dans certains quartiers de la ville de Yaoundé, a mis en place le projet WELFARE dans l’optique d’y remédier par des actions concrètes à travers la mise sur pied de méthodes incitatives visant l’implication de tous. Le projet consiste en un ensemble d’activités entrepris dans l’optique de promouvoir, sensibiliser et mobiliser la population autour de la problématique de la protection de l’environnement en général mais surtout de sa préservation à travers le nettoyage et l’assainissement de leur espace de vie immédiat.

Le projet WELFARE qui sensibilise la population à la protection de l'environnement.
Le projet WELFARE qui sensibilise la population à la protection de l’environnement.

5. Y a-t-il eu une réalisation qui a eu une importance toute particulière pour votre association durant ces dernières années ?

Je pense à la réalisation de la première édition des Journées de l’Emploi et de l’Entrepreneuriat (JEME) organisée dans les villes de Yaoundé et de Douala sous le thème « Pour une jeunesse entreprenante et autonome sans discriminations » en février 2015. C’est un des projets qui a eu une importance particulière pour l’ADEV l’an passé. Les JEME avaient pour objectif de créer un cadre de rencontre, d’information et d’échanges regroupant les jeunes, les professionnels et les pouvoirs publics au sujet des questions d’emploi et d’entrepreneuriat, en prenant notamment en compte des facteurs comme le handicap. L’objectif plus spécifique de ces journées était d’inculquer l’esprit entrepreneurial à des élèves et des jeunes, handicapés comme valides, mais aussi de renforcer leurs capacités dans le domaine de l’entrepreneuriat en vue de leur autonomisation et de les informer sur les opportunités d’emploi qu’offrent les secteurs public et privé. Finalement, grâce à ces journées, nous avons aussi pu donner aux jeunes des couches plus vulnérables les outils nécessaires pour leur autonomisation et leur réinsertion sociale grâce à des ateliers de discussions et des activités ludiques.

6.Avez-vous un projet que vous espérez mettre en place prochainement et dont vous souhaiteriez nous parler ?

L’ADEV prépare en ce moment la deuxième édition des JEME qui aura lieu en juin 2016 et qui sera dorénavant renommée “Jeunesse, Emploi et Entrepreneuriat”. Ce programme vise à donner aux jeunes des outils qui puissent leur permettre d’entreprendre et de devenir autonomes dans le domaine de leur choix. Les JEME sont ouverts à toutes les catégories sociales sans aucune discrimination et sont placés cette année sous le thème « Jeunesse : de l’ambition à la réalisation ». L’ADEV, à travers ce programme, entend stimuler la jeunesse à proposer des solutions innovantes aux problèmes locaux d’une part et d’autre part les encourager et les accompagner dans la création d’emplois qui auront un impact sur nos communautés pour aider le gouvernement camerounais dans ces objectifs pour 2035. Nous travaillons aussi en ce moment avec Livres Sans Frontière et Bibliothèques Sans Frontière sur la possibilité d’expédier une cargaison de livres d’ici le mois de Juillet 2016 pour les établissements scolaires de quelques localités du Cameroun, précisément les établissements de la région de l’extrême-nord en proie aux attaques kamikaze de Boko Haram.

Première édition des Journées de l'emploi et de l'entrepreneuriat (JEME).
Première édition des Journées de l’emploi et de l’entrepreneuriat (JEME).

7. Que pensez-vous de Horyou et de sa communauté dont vous êtes un membre actif ? Qu’est ce que la plateforme vous apporte dans le cadre de votre action?

Nous pensons que Horyou est un réseau d’avenir et d’envergure. La plateforme nous apporte dans le cadre de nos actions une certaine visibilité et crédibilité à l’échelle internationale.

8. Notre philosophie s’articule autour de valeurs universelles que nous retrouvons dans le slogan « Dream Inspire Act ». Qu’est ce que ces 3 mots évoquent pour vous et votre organisation ?

Ce slogan rejoint les valeurs qui accompagnent notre association. En effet, le rêve est un leitmotiv qui nous permet d’entreprendre des actions inspirantes.

9. Si vous pouviez partager un message avec l’ensemble des membres de la communauté Horyou, quel serait-il ?

Le message de l’ADEV serait “stop speaking, start acting for a sustainable development”.

Pour en savoir plus sur leurs actions, visitez leur page Horyou ou leur site internet

Ecrit par Laurie Martin

Steve Sedgwick, Anchor of CNBC moderating the panel at Davos.
Steve Sedgwick, Anchor of CNBC moderating the panel at Davos.

The Conference of Parties (COP21) in Paris in December was an unambiguous success, this was the narrative of the “New Climate for Doing Business” panel discussion at the 2016 World Economic Forum of Davos. The panel – made up of representatives from the UN, industry and politics reflected the fact that there is now a global awareness and furthermore a global agreement to radically change our behaviour and reduce our carbon footprint on the earth.

“Success” has been achieved on committing to this mission, however, how this success materialises depends on the action from here on.

One of the main sticking points of COP 21 was the reduction of carbon emissions by every country. Carbon is extremely harmful to the environment but embedded in everything that we do, in all of our processes and so unsurprisingly, it is industries that emit the greatest concentration into our atmosphere.

This is why the support of industry will be so crucial to the success story. Businesses from primary to manufacturing, right up to the services sector are realizing that being more environmentally conscious will attract consumers in the short term and pay dividends in the longer term.

Carl Douglas McMilllon, CEO and President of Walmart
Carl Douglas McMilllon, CEO and President of Walmart.

Walmart Inc, the multi-million dollar department store is leading the charge. During the panel discussion, their CEO Douglas McMillon said that “Walmart want to eventually be powered by renewables and reach its 0% waste target.” This is a huge statement and, whether they reach this target or not, actively pursuing these goals will not only reduce their negative impact on the environment but also send a message to America Inc of what they need to prioritize.

There has been a lot of debate about where fossil fuel companies lie in this. CNBC Anchor Steve Sedgewick, chair of the panel alluded to the fact that they have a major stake because they pay big tax bills to Governments on the earnings that they make from selling oil. However, if a profit driven giant with such a global influence like Walmart realises that the future of returns are green, then there is every chance that other companies will follow suit.

Developing countries were also central to the discussion. Opinion is divided but UN Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres made the point that yes these countries are not as resourced as their developed neighbours but they hold the greatest opportunities on account of their increasing connectivity and labor force. Alluding to notions of winners and losers she said that “this is not a partisan politics debate, it is win-win-win for individuals, industries and entire societies.”

I would have to agree and it’s hard not to be optimistic about the potential of what can be achieved now that we have collective commitment to the cause by every stakeholder.

We have international agreement, national plans of action, support of industry and civil society. It won’t be a clear road and there will be hurdles, but dealing with dilemmas is natural to humankind. The better you are reconciled to deal with them, the more likely you are to overcome and I think we are in a pretty good place to get over any obstacles we meet on the path.

Written by Dearbhla Gavin

Finland Finance Minister Alexander Stubbs
Finland Finance Minister Alexander Stubbs

The 46th World Economic Forum kicked off in sub zero temperatures outdoors and equally freezing atmosphere indoors among the delegates as they woke up to news of more turmoil in the stock markets, which set the agenda for quite a pessimistic day all round. On that same note, China managed to infiltrate almost every discussion and opinions were divided as to what extent a stalled economy in the Middle Kingdom would contaminate the rest of the world.

On the optimistic side and in response to the holders of the view that the overreacting markets would ask for subtle policy changes to stabilize, Stephen A Schwarzman, CEO of Blackstone, supported the idea that China with its huge population will continue to both produce and consume, which implies that supply and demand will be maintained and the markets will again reach equilibrium.

Away from the stock markets and onto the environment, I was interested to hear the views of UN Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres, one month after COP 21 in Paris that Horyou covered. Unsurprisingly, Christina stated that getting everyone to agree was the easy part but that what the world is in need for clear goals and even clearer strategy on how to reach them.

Alluding to the importance of citizen participation and ‘solidarity’, one of Horyou’s key values, she said that ‘everyone on the planet needs to rethink how they live their lives; and that goes for big business as well as individual consumers’.

On the subject of geopolitics, it struck me that the entire concept of Davos could well be challenged this year. Rumors of excessive parties and elitism notwithstanding, it has always been a platform where the powerful can gather calmly and on common ground to make decisions. However, this year things look different as the world had never been more split over our priorities and our problems, as well as who or what to blame and, most importantly, the proposed solutions.

There are so many powers coming to Davos with different ideologies regarding the various geopolitical conflicts. When we are supposed to be at a new frontier of global growth and development, are we to see phantoms of times past reemerging? Alexander Stubbs, the Swedish Prime Minister spoke of global stability in the wake of critical shifts. However and thankfully, for all of the worry, there was a lot of reason to be hopeful and believe in Davos.

Chief Operating Officer of Facebook Sheryl Sandberg
Chief Operating Officer of Facebook Sheryl Sandberg

Musician Will I Am and Facebook’s COO Sheryl Sandberg both spoke sincerely on the opportunity that lies in connectivity. On a mission to utilise technology for another ‘education’, yet another Horyou key value,Will I Am believes that a bright future lies in giving kids the opportunity to explore the STEM subjects and in using technology as an aid to learning. Sandberg, meanwhile, passionately alluded to experiences of people in developing countries whose lives were transformed when they were given access to the Internet and how this gave them a stake in society they never even dreamed to have.

There was also a lot of positive vibes from this year’s upbeat Young Global Leaders who were driving conversations on renewable energies, sustainability and the future of science. And a key point I took away from their discussions is that good people doing good need to know each other; they need to connect and work together to make an even bigger impact on society.

So, the night falls leaving in the air a mixture of caution, uncertainty, hope and fear; opinions are divided but the good news is they are voiced. We definitely leave curious.

We look forward to seeing how the rest of the week will unfold.

By Dearbhla Gavin

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