"I want to work on climate change," says Paridhi Rustogi.
It's December 8, the first official day of Telenor Youth Forum 2016. At a hightop table in the Scandic hotel lobby, TYF delegates from India, Norway and Bangladesh lean in to talk about what's to come. Later in the day, they'll be broken into teams and assigned one of seventeen possible global goals. They've had no control over either of those steps. So, which global goal do they each want to work on? Most hedge. They're open minded. A challenge is a challenge, and the experience will be good no matter what. But Paridhi--an environmental engineer and a delegate from India--shakes her head.
"Climate change is what matters most to me." She is definitive.
Two other delegates gently challenge her choice--or, indeed, any choice at all-- especially in an opportune environment like TYF. Better to get something you're not as familiar with; you'll learn more that way.
"Hey, I thought this was a safe space," says Paridhi with a laugh.
Her fellow delegate from India, Sharad Vivek Sagar, answers, "A safe space isn't a comfort zone."
He's right. But I still give a little inner cheer later that day when the Climate Change team calls Paridhi's name. Hurrah for young people with resolve.
I blogged the whole four day event--the fun and games, Oslo by firelight and by rain, the Nobel Peace Prize reception and exhibit preview, the meetings with dignitaries, the hard hard work, and the final pitch competition--for the Telenor Youth Forum Blog. But a few things didn't fit there. A few moments I want to bottle up. Keep. Share.
This is what I'm doing for the next four days:
Following 26 inspiring young people from around the globe as they work to use technology to better the world.
I'll be live blogging the Telenor Youth Forum. Please read. And share. And support these fascinating human beings as they tackle global goals like ending hunger and poverty, accomplishing gender equality, providing clean water. On and on and on.
Happy Nobel Peace Prize Weekend, everyone! Peace be with us all.