Green is a color. Green refers to many other things as well. In arts, entertainment and media, green can be a character, a novel, an episode, or a poem. It can also be a music band and take part in many songs, grants and enterprises. However, green in the Green Talents Forum means SUSTAINABILITY in capital letters, as it is the most environmentally friendly organization I have ever seen. This year the challenge was not easy. How do you concatenate different people from all over the world, with different time zones and lifestyles in a week-long highly interactive scientific forum? The effort and dedication behind this cannot be quantified.
If I have to be honest, one may think that similar to other on-line conferences, you will be able to do hundreds of things at once, but it is unfeasible. The SDG workshops, the scientific sessions, and the alternative activities to develop communication skills and talk about a wide variety of topics engage you in a way that does not let you escape. Undoubtedly, even before the first event begins, you already take and feel part of what the program encompasses. I learned a lot. I met new people. I shared ideas and some of them made me change my point of view on certain aspects. Science is a systematically organized body of knowledge on a particular subject, but humans are not. Fortunately, we can modify our principles as we grow, improving and developing new skills to end up being what we want to be and convey.
The Green Talents competition and in particular, the Science Forum week are already part of my development, both academically and personally. For me, it is not something that began and will end; this is a concept that will be part of my way of life indefinitely. As I do with little things that may seem insignificant, I will try to spread it with good vibes to change the world. Because it is fine to take a closer look at specific things to find and develop new technologies that solve current problems, but I also believe in taking a broader and more abstract look at the world to see what we usually cannot see.
PhDs are academic degrees that in most countries, qualify you to teach a specific subject at the university level or to work in a specialized position of a chosen field. Nevertheless, “PhD” is short for Doctor of Philosophy, and philosophy means love of wisdom. This reminds me that we should exercise lateral thinking to look for answers outside the habitual thinking pattern, break the barriers imposed by our imagination and think outside the box. A simple example might be the famous “9 dots 4 lines” brainteaser. If you do not know it, give a try to connect the dots with no more than 4 straight lines without lifting your hand from the paper.
I really want to express my individual gratitude to the Green Talents team for contributing to train and support young people from a greener and more sustainable perspective. I am glad for the opportunity it offers, not only for ourselves, but for the future global actions that may be boosted thanks to this encouraging initiative that comes from Germany. We live in a world in which many thoughts do not coincide and are not respected, but we all agree that in one way or another, we want to preserve what we like the most, nature.
By Laura Rovira Alsina,
PhD Student in Water Science and Technology, University of Girona, Spain