This past Thursday, IDEAS Board President, Chris Castro, and IDEAS for UN Director, Nick Stampar, had the distinct pleasure and honor of hosting a Hive workshop at the United Nations Youth Assembly. The Youth Assembly, hosted annually by Friendship Ambassadors, is a forum which aims to foster networking and dialogue between international youth, UN programs, staff, and organizations where youth representatives from across the world gather at the United Nations Headquarters along New York’s East River to engage in several days of engaging programming events and keynote speakers. Not only is the Youth Assembly an incredible opportunity for these international delegates to meet other inspired young activists like themselves, but this year it also offered the distinct advantage of exposing them to the replicable and interactive Hive workshop that has driven so much of the IDEAS grass-roots solutions.
Chris and Nick led a packed room through group discussion and small breakout activities to discuss our world’s climate issues at the international scale as well as the small community level, as experienced by each individual participant. Though the Hive was constrained by time, the groups were able to produce incredibly developed ideas and impressively pragmatic discussion. One topic in particular which dominated most of the independent discussion was the issue of food waste, an issue which helped reinforce the idea that though coming from different backgrounds, humans share relatable struggles with modern climate and environmental challenges across space. Additionally, this allowed participants to view an issue they saw as especially local through the lens of youth facing the same problems in their communities on the other side of the globe, and consequently how those other communities have sought to combat these issues. This was the perfect forum for IDEAS to showcase our “Think-and-D0 Tank” style of group work, incorporating wide ranges of perspectives and knowledge to spark creativity and generate actionable solutions.
Ultimately, while Chris and Nick always enjoy engaging young activists in the work of IDEAS and sharing the mission of our organization with other, like-minded individuals, the real metric of success for this event has been the overwhelmingly positive responses from those that took part in the Hive. This event stands as yet another major milestone for IDEAS, and the burgeoning IDEAS for UN program, effectively delivering IDEAS to the international arena and concomitantly bringing those Youth Assembly delegates into the growing international IDEAS family. We are excited to pursue the many promising contacts we made with these aspirational and enthusiastic young activists and are eager for our next opportunity to contribute as we near the Post-2015 era of environmental action! Stay tuned on IDEAS for UN and the IDEAS for Us website for more news and updates!