Something interesting emerged from our exhibition, which carries enormous influence and inspiration if we are to change things, and that is the concern and passion people have for the environment and a sustainable future for all. Many persons reacted to our presentation by emphasizing the importance of presenting on climate reality in schools, communities and the fact that climate change awareness should be spread across the many and different sectors in our communities.
During the conversations we had with them, a number of individuals committed to becoming catalysts in their families, local communities and society. With a newly discovered confidence and voice to address climate change issues, we believe as the ACRP team that the people we reached out to through our booth will be able to quickly connect around this issue of climate change which is affecting communities directly and indirectly, and will act as self-appointed leaders who are able to change the game and the atmosphere.
The main Green Youth conference, on the other hand, opened on a high note with government officials, CEO’s, youth and NGO representatives in attendance. The first speaker, Cllr Nico de Jager, the DA’s Johannesburg Member of Mayoral Council (MMC) for Transport, opened as the first speaker on sustainability mobility. He encouraged the youth to play a role in the green economy with creative and innovative ideas. He emphasised the importance of capacitating the youth who represent our future, to obtain the necessary skills in order to be meaningful players in the future of the green industry. Next up was a young learner named Karabo “Dynamit” Liza, who is a motivational speaker and an inspirational writer. Honourable Minister of Science and Technology, Mrs Naledi Pandor, followed to addressed the youth and emphasised that the future of our country and the African continent depends on increased support for and development of talented scientists and entrepreneurs who will take up the opportunity to create new technologies and innovative solutions for our pressing problems, or use existing technologies to respond in new ways to the challenges we are faced with. Key-note speaker Hon. Buti Manamela said “young people must not be locked in traditional business practices and rather think innovatively”.