Originally, my thought about going to a summer school all about sustainable development was that, in truth, I didn’t have much of a clue what it was. Okay, I knew all about recycling, the straw versus turtle epidemic and that basically the world as we know is going to die any moment now. Quite the pessimistic view you could say.
From the first day at Paris Sciences et Lettres Summer School programme I really learned the importance of initiative and leadership in terms of being the next generation to help change our future for the better. What I hadn’t realised as a humanities student, more specifically an International Relations student was that our ability to sustain the environment we live in is not only down to man power and nature but the politics surrounding these areas. The difference between performing research on the sea bed and the sea water can lead to catastrophic problems in terms of legalities and crossing land boundaries without even being aware.
It is no longer enough to stand by and wait for scientists, think tanks and governments alike to solve our problems for us. My own personal research and beliefs have led me to the understanding that the environment and the longevity of our life on earth can only be sustained when citizens and corporations come together to support each other in order to provide a healthy economy, healthy planet and healthy body.
The European School of Positive Impact and Responsibility (ESPOIR) provided the students with a variety of learning styles, from lectures presented by the likes of Jeffrey Sachs, Alain Fuchs and Anne Varenne to creative and thought provoking workshops provided by ENACTUS and ENSAD as well as Paris excursions to the observatory, La Recyclerie and the PSL laboratory to put our learning to action. The enriching variety of subjects, activities and people I met and experienced during only two weeks provided me with enough information to make more conscious decisions surrounding my level of consumption and what changes I can make in my life to reduce this, it has encouraged me to participate more in the debate of ecology and include it as part of my ethics when pursuing politics in the future.
I would recommend this summer school to students interested in the fields of philosophy, biology, chemistry, physics, sociology and politics. Regardless of your background, I guarantee that you will gain something from this programme for me it was a broader overview of the scientific analysis and research that has led us to have these negative opinions about our planet but how other research shows room for progress and that there is still an opportunity for humanity to seize in order to reverse our planet sized carbon footprint.
Written by Chloe Limitsios (Vice President 2019-20)
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