By Luke Geddes | Posted: Wednesday October 14, 2020
Over the school holidays, I was given the fantastic opportunity to attend BLAKE Inspire a forum for young leaders in the environmental and sustainability fields.
Organised by the non-profit organisation BLAKE to honour the legacy of Sir Peter Blake, myself and fifty eight other delegates spent a week learning about sustainable policy, current environmental initiatives and relating this back to what we see both in the present and future.
Highlights of the week included freshwater monitoring in Raglan, learning about eco-tourism and the prestigious visit to Tūrangawaewae Marae, Ngāruawāhia. All these experiences helped to place current issues into the wider picture as to find balance and compromise between the differing perspectives and arguments of varying aspects of society. Some of these skills were put to the test in a topical policy simulation which involved debate around both economic and environmental response in the current COVID-19 climate. Being mentored by both Treasury and advisors from various ministries, we were able to navigate the difficult political climate and reach an outcome that although was no stakeholders’ preferred outcome, gave a relatively representative perspective of what debate occurred.
It was an action-packed week containing countless experiences in environments where delegates thrived. Numerous doors and opportunities have now been opened which have created exciting pathways for everyone to hopefully take and inspire a new generation of New Zealanders to find a sustainable balance. Small steps can lead to a meaningful difference. As Sir Peter Blake said, “Why bother? It’s too important for all of us not to!”