White House Launches Youth Sustainability ChallengeThis week, I had the pleasure of attending the launch of the Youth Sustainability Challenge at the White House.
The Challenge opened on May 2 and closes on June 1, 2012, in the lead up to the Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development that month. Through the online video challenge, the Obama Administration is calling on young people to tell the world what they are doing on their campuses and in their communities to foster sustainability and help create “an America built to last.” Winning videos will be shown at the Rio+20 Conference and winners will be recognized at an exclusive White House event.
At the White House launch, a panel of senior-level government officials spoke about the importance of youth taking action. They stressed that young people have the power to help shape a sustainable future and that as future leaders, young people’s innovation, creativity, and mastery of new connection technologies can help demonstrate the fundamental link between economic, social and environmental progress.
Bob Perciasepe, Deputy Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency remarked that “America’s youth have the power to inspire their communities,” and he called on young people to “challenge the U.S. and the world to do more.”
A panel of local college student leaders also spoke at the launch, telling of their experiences being change-leaders on campus. They stressed that sustainability is the defining challenge of this generation, and that the key to creating change is working with others, knowing how you fit into the puzzle and how others do as well.
You can view a video from the launch event on YouTube, here: