National Sustainability Summit for Millennials and GenZ’s
Last September 22, 2018, barely a little over a month after we opened our new school year, some sixteen (16) student leaders trooped to UA&P to attend this seminar in Seng Giap Auditorium.
This was in support of our environmental acre advocacy which the students found very informative and challenging. It was a whole day affair, participated in by other Universities and Colleges where one of our students commented should have been held in a bigger venue and should have been made available to a bigger crowd.
The first part challenged the “Youth Towards a Sustainability-Driven Future”, where Mr. Federico Lopez, Chairman of the First Philippine Holdings Corporation spoke about the “Role of the Youth in Nation Building: Jamming with the Millennials and GenZ’s Towards a Sustainable Future” with two (2) students reacting. This was followed by a plenary topic on Laudato Si: Caring for our Common Home, Strategies on How the Youth can Care for our Planet, by H.E. Jaco Beerends, Deputy Head of the Mission, Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands and Dr. Bernardo Villegas, Founder of University of Asia and the Pacific. This was followed by a Q & A, Lunch and Tour of Partner Booths.
Part II of the afternoon session consisted of the program on Mobilizing the Youth as Sustainability Ambassadors and Responsible Social Influences. The Plenary Topic II focused on, “Yolo, Say No to Co2! Business and Youth Engagements towards a Low Carbon Future, by the President and Chief Operating Officer of Energy Dev’t Corporation, Mr. Richard Tantoco and Mr. Rodney Galicha, Country Manager of Climate Reality Project with two (2) students reacting.
Mr. Joel Palma, President and CEO, WWF Phil. And Dr. Ted Esguerra, Operational Medicine Instructor, Intl. Disaster Response Network shared about,” A Turning Point for the Planet” Lastly, Mr. Ron Jabal, CEO, Page One Media, Rappler Phil. shared about “Mobilizing the Youth to Action using Media: Print, Broadcast Social.
Truly it was an enriching experience to know that there were such networks which seriously are engaged in addressing the worsening environmental concerns. But some of our students just felt they were speaking from their elite perspective and I too found their expectations of the youth too daunting when they should also be giving such orientation to partner industries who may cause such destruction to Mother Earth in the name of profit. This way, we can meet half-way to reaching our goal about our planets’ sustainability.