I'll show you (some of) my
Photo by Seye Cadmus
UN New York 2019
UN Youth Representative on Sustainable Development
For the last two years i've been working as UN Youth Representative on Sustainable Development. My mandate covered different topics among which:
- Youth emancipation
- Mental Health in relation to climate change
- Intergenerational Collaboration
- Intersectional Environmentalism
- Action for Climate Empowerment
It's been such an interesting and humbling experience. Participating in global climate conferences like COP24 & COP25 to make sure the voice of youth is represented in policies that shape our common future. It felt like being in the eye of the storm of it all. To march with the youth of the world on the streets demanding action. To go into the slow-pace conference rooms of the United Nations climate negotiations and watch them sometimes succeed and sometimes fail at figuring out the way forward collectively. Talking to scientists pressing the urgent matter and its consequences and meeting and working with youth from all over the globe that are already on the frontlines of experiencing the climate crisis due to natural disasters, disappearing islands and extreme weather events.
I will continue to use my privilege and knowledge to work on the most urging challenges of our time for both the protection of people and the planet.
Vogue Class of 2020
Panel on Action for Climate Empowerment at COP25, Madrid
Meeting Chinese Youth Delegates, Bonn
Abu Dhabi Climate Action Conference 2019
As you might have noticed, i'm no stranger to public speaking.
Distributing winter boots to children, Lesvos
I have witnessed the impact of war and displacement on people, but what stuck with me was their strength, resilience and generosity towards others to share the little they had left.
The refugee camps I have worked in were located in Athens and on the island of Lesvos. Since the camp in the port of Athens was labeled illegal it has been cleared out. The camps on Lesvos unfortunately still exist and the people continue to face inhumane conditions.
We worked hard to ensure food was distributed, children had a safe space to learn and be as carefree as possible and people were prepared for the extreme heat of the summer or the cold and rainy winters.
Curious, a platform for youth
Together with Ruud van Oeveren I co-founded Curious: a platform for youth where we don't trip over the size of the challenges of our time but instead focus on the possibilities and solutions. Our audience decided what the theme of the evening would be. Feeling stressed out? We'll organize an evening about the stress-society we live in. Curious about modern love? We got you.
The idea originated when we were tired of always having to travel to Amsterdam or nearby cities for exciting events. So instead of complaining we figured we could also organize events ourselves and teamed up with the local Theater to make it happen.
I know, i know, this isn't work. But it is an experience that makes me really happy and that shaped me as a person. In 2018 I walked more than 800km from the Pyrenees to Santiago de Compostela. I have been hiking long distance trails ever since including the Via Francigena and Het Pieterpad and became an ambassador for hiking and walking to restore our connection with nature and ourselves.