Everyone at the Future Makers Youth Summit of the Sustainable Enterprise Conference at Sonoma Mountain Village had a desire to not only address the problems in society, but to also discuss the solutions. Even amidst talking about the challenges of our generation, I was inspired by everyone's positivity. These were the kind of conversations that I was craving to have with other passionate activists. The participants and presenters were all between the ages of 15 and 35 years old with only a few exceptions, and the youthful energy throughout the entire day was amazing. As we shared our thoughts and ideas with each other, none of us had any doubt that humanity is moving towards the right mindset. This event was easily one of the best conferences I have attended all year.
The day began with short presentations from young community leaders of sustainability efforts, including Aaron Ableman, the chief creative officer for BALANCE Edutainment, Lucas Oshun, the co-founder and executive director of Global Student Embassy, and Jenise Granvold, the program manager of Solar Sonoma County. I was honored to also be one of the speakers, and alongside three other students from Sonoma State we talked about the sustainability projects happening on our campus, and touched on our experience during the process of certifying our University with the STARS(Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System) program of AASHE (Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education). I could not be more proud of my team and what we have accomplished this year for not only our school, but for ourselves as well. I have never been more comfortable speaking in public and because of the opportunities we have had through our work with the STARS program we have attended terrific conferences and met incredible people.
The time and thought put into the organization of the conference was undeniable and I could not be more pleased with how the day went. From the delicious vegetarian lunch, to the engaging activities, to the laughter yoga session, this conference kept us on our toes until the very last moment. I got to reunite with old friends and network with new friends. I cannot wait until next year to see the great youth leaders who will rise up in our community, and I am certain that every one of us will make a difference in this world.
You are a Future Maker, too! To get involved with sustainability efforts at SSU, contact: