In the words of the greatest mind of our century Stephen Hawking, ‘Let them rise to the challenge of the sustainable development goals, and act, not out of self-interest, but out of common interest. (Stephen Hawking, Brief Answers To The Big Questions).
Professor Hawking directed his message towards the youth and leaders of tomorrow. He stressed the need for courageous, creative, and strong individuals to come forward and assume positions of power. The key is to look beyond selfish interests and realize that the onus of a better tomorrow falls on every one of us.
Be the change you wish to see in the world and act now.
The great minds in the world are painstakingly pointing out the insidious nature of deteriorating environmental conditions. But unfortunately, the public continues to maintain an indifferent attitude to climate change.
Our aim at the Hack embassy is to change this cavalier attitude by empowering, inspiring, and mobilizing the youth all across Pakistan to achieve Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations in the 2030 agenda. Our teams have focused their work on disseminating the 2030 agenda. They have organized numerous workshops and programs inviting the youth to participate in discussions about climate change and propose innovative solutions.
In this article, we will talk about the event ‘My Mark: My Karachi’, organized by the Hack Embassy’s SDG executive Saher Rashid Baig.
What is My Mark: My City?
Environmental repercussions due to human activity on the earth are becoming more evident each passing day, climate change now presents itself as a major threat to the human race.
The Museum for the United Nations-UN Live launched its pilot campaign My Mark: My City in collaboration with key agencies. Their goal is to build strong local communities pioneered by local activists and change-makers to identify the most pressing environmental challenges and create innovative solutions to tackle these challenges. Let’s not forget that cities are always at the forefront of climate change. The intense industrial activity, pollution from the daily commute, congested populations, and unhealthy dietary supplements are just a few examples of how major cities all over the globe are accelerating climate change. However, it must also be noted that brilliant ideas, innovative solutions, and collaborative efforts, also usually have an urban origin.
Therefore, the goal set by The Museum for the United Nations-UN Live is to partner up with local dynamic organizations worldwide to inspire change for a better tomorrow. My Mark: My city has already started making its mark in various cities across the globe. Local organizations and environmental activists are engaging in interesting activities to promote change in attitude towards the environment. The message is simple: that no change, no matter how small it may seem, is insignificant.
If you are wondering about the results, well, one thing that we can say for sure is that the results are definitely greener.
My Mark: My Karachi
Young Saher Rashid grew up immersed in books. Her intelligent, curious mind led her to wander many roads, but the most interesting and perhaps the most important according to her, was her journey of becoming an environmental activist.
Saher has been a very active member of this organization; she is a designated SDG executive at Hack Embassy. Saher learned about the SDG targets during her time at Hack Embassy. Saher is also the lead mark marker at the Museum for the United Nations-UN Live.
Her position at Hack Embassy and the Museum for the United Nations-UN Live, enabled her to act as a catalyst in bringing the two organizations together and she organized the event ‘My Mark: My Karachi’ through Hack Embassy in collaboration with the Museum for the United Nations-UN Live bringing her visions of sustainable development to life.
During the Event
Hack Embassy is well aware of the struggle that the youth of Pakistan faces. Youth in Pakistan harbors immense talent, however, they usually lack spaces to voice their ideas and concerns. My Mark: My Karachi gave the perfect opportunity to young individuals to come forward with their ideas. The event took place on the 31st of January at Nest I/O. The participants of this community-oriented session were a diverse group of young people with a passion to act as change-makers in the society. A team from the Museum for the United Nations-UN Live was also present virtually.
The participants engaged with global teams, navigating their way in an insightful discussion on climate change. The event started off with a general discussion of participant’s perception on what climate change is, what challenges we face because of climate change in our daily life, what the concept of a prosperous life means to them and how climate change will affect our future.
The discussion then advanced to define SDG 13, which specifically deals with climate change and climate crisis. At this point, the participants were educated in-depth about SDG 13. Our speakers spoke about the official definition of climate change as given by the UN. The UN’s 2030 agenda regarding SDG 13 and how to tackle the growing climate crisis was discussed. A huge emphasis was placed on how action at an individual level can create a ripple effect. Hence everyone at the session was encouraged to incorporate minor changes in their lifestyles aimed at sustainable development goals.
After an enriching discussion on climate change and the global climate crisis, an interactive session began. The participants were asked to identify a problem they deemed most pressing related to the climate crisis. They then had to formulate a simple yet elegant solution to tackle the problem.
At the end of the session, the participants got in touch with their inner artists as they painted their sustainable solutions. This activity aimed to reinforce the ideas discussed in a meditative manner.
The brilliant ideas and the insightful discussions that culminated in the event continue to create ripples in our battle against the climate crisis. Forums such as My Mark: My Karachi paves a way for adolescent minds to take an active part in an ongoing battle against the climate crisis.
Together, little by little, we can all make a difference.
Let’s not forget Professor Hawking’s brilliant advice: Act Now and Act Smart!