Over 100 world leaders, President Obama included, will converge in Copenhagen this week and next for the UN Climate Change Conference, but they are not the only ones flocking to the Danish capital. Thousands of young people from all over the world, 500+ from the United States alone, are pouring into the Bella Convention Center to make delegates take notice. They may come from every corner of the planet, but they all share the same message: Now is the time to fight climate change. Here are two awesome groups leading the charge.
Will Steger, the renowned polar explorer, educator, activist, and National Geographic Explorer in Residence Emeritus, is among the conference attendees. With him is Expedition Copenhagen, a dozen of the Midwest’s most dedicated youth, intent on spreading the word about the impacts of climate change and elevating the status of youth voices around the world on this topic. As a Midwesterner myself, I am extremely proud of these young people and their dedication to the environment!
The team is attending talks, tweeting up a storm, and blogging about their experience. They are also engaging in dialogue and networking with other youth organizations from around the world. While rallying to save our planet, they are engaged in cultural experiences and broadening their global understanding at the same time. One particularly entertaining post involves adventures in European yogurt, which from personal experience I can say is definitely strange if you’re not used to it! Don’t worry, Expedition Copenhagen, you’ll realize it’s delicious soon enough. (I also want to give a shout out to one of their sponsors, Stonyfield Farm Yogurt–you are equally delicious.)
The Mass Dialogues 2009
2 Degrees C is a dedicated group of creative entrepreneurs concerned about our warming planet. Along with “initiating change initiatives, facilitating partnerships and collaborations, brokering knowledge, and providing strategic guidance and technical advice,” they have created a web-based forum that connects youth around the world to those attending the Copenhagen talks… and you’re invited! The Mass Dialogues 2009 brings together anyone with a computer and an opinion to share. Joining a live discussion is as simple as checking the schedule of events, following these instructions to log in, and–voila! You can be talking to a biology student from Norway, a geographer from Japan, or a political scientist from Cameroon! Also, don’t forget that Copenhagen is 6 hours ahead of Eastern Time (9 hours ahead of Pacific Time), and that all times on the schedule are on Danish time.
Although we all may not have received an invitation to Copenhagen this year, these two groups are bringing Copenhagen to us. Thanks, Expedition Copenhagen and 2 Degrees C! Get engaged, get involved, and to paraphrase Gandhi, “Let’s be the change we wish to see in the world!”