ChangeNow Summit

by Andrea Awerhoff

Weeks ago, we had the honor to attend ChangeNow, the biggest gathering of change-makers in the world. 

An extraordinary event, for ordinary people to do the extraordinary. 

The summit was held in the city of love, Paris, at Le Grand Palais. The most beautiful space to hold over 1000 solutions.

According to ChangeNow, they reach a record of attendants of more than 20,000 guests. It is unbelievable to think of the fact, that 20,000 humans gather together to find, solve and create solutions for our beloved planet. But even more unbelievable was the experience of meeting so many brilliant minds in three days. We feel speechless about our experience, but couldn’t dare to share it with our community!

The event addressed the world’s most urgent issues, based on the UN SDGs.

And it was organized to cover all this issue; throughout the conferences, stands and talks. The main topics focused on; education, biodiversity, food system, sustainable fashion, architecture, the future of cities, health and wellbeing, energy, water, economy, ocean to mention a few. It was a rollercoaster of constant positive information, we continue to digest all the positive information and to constantly smile for the happiness of seeing so many projects that have the same goals as us.

One phrase that captivated us the most, was on “how sustainability has been romanticized by society”. And this is not right, “sustainability is about integrating the goals of high quality of life, health and prosperity with social justice and maintaining the earth’s capacity to support life in all its diversity”. It is not meant to use just as a status quo, marketing strategy or simply as greenwashing. So, it was a great lesson, to listen to the importance of using sustainability with the right goal and definition. 

Just like, climate change is real, and the scientific evidence is irrefutable. This is not a political issue, this is a human issue.”

On Saturday, we had the privilege to listen to Burning Man’s Founding board member and CEO Marian Goodell, who teaches us about the 10 principles of Burning Man, and we simply loved each one of them.

  1. Radical Inclusions
  2. Gifting
  3. Decommodification
  4. Radical Self – reliance
  5. Radical Self – Expression
  6. Communal Effort          
  7. Civic Responsibility
  8. Leave no trace
  9. Participation
  10. Immediacy 

To know more about their principles and sustainable goals, visit their website. Later on, Captain Paul Watson who was the co-founder Greenpeace and currently the founder of Sea of Shepards Conservation Society gave a video conference that deeply touched the audience.

He shared with us his experienced on how he was unable to attend due to government issues for saving our planet, shared about his 3 laws of ecology, his love and passion for wildlife, the story of how a whale change his point of view of life and encourage everyone to join his team of sea shepherds to fight for our marine creature. 

The ocean is the most important ecosystem of the planet, and people do not seem to understand that yet, they keep fishing illegally, they keep throwing all kinds of waste, and if the ocean dies, we die.

And we were thrilled to listen to many ocean-warriors, and projects that aimed to protect our home ocean. 

And lastly, the most unforgettable moment during the summit, was when Satish Kumar, took on the stage, the energy of the people simply changed. Everyone was laughing, smiling, and even crying on the beautiful words he said. He spread love and empowered us through his wisdom. He talked about the economy of love, about how the only way we can change the world is through LOVE. He encourages everyone in the audience to meet at least someone new and create new friendships. 

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