19 Dec

Dreaming about a sustainable world – Sara


My name is Sara and I am a dreamer.

My dreams and goals come and go, they often change. But I think the thread that links them all is that I really want to make the world a better place for everyone. It sounds corny maybe, but it’s sincere.

How I want to achieve that, that’s the thing that varies over the time. When I was a child I wanted to become “mother” and a bit later I added that I wanted to become a princess too. Then many years followed without specific dreams or plans, until I was 16 years old and I wanted to become a minister. After a while that plan faded away because I don’t feel “hard” enough to endure the hard comments ministers get and because of the fact that being minister you can’t really do what you want or what you believe that’s the most important or the best option; you have to consider so many parties and you have to make that people will vote for you or your party in the subsequent elections. Therefore you can’t really make long-term decisions that are not really popular with the people, like sustainability operations. Politics continued to captivate me but in another manner. In my first year of Bachelor’s degree I encountered a UN-ambassador who gave me another dream. I even doubted to stop my study of bioscience engineering to start social studies. I want to see the world and I like to change of environment, habits and people, but this dream didn’t remain. My sisters weren’t really happy with the idea and if I would have kids it wouldn’t be very nice for them maybe and I think I underestimated the fact of leaving friends and starting again. That made place for another dream again. I shortly thought about doing politics ‘behind the scenes’ like being advisor, or member of the European commission. And then recently I really felt the impulse to do something about education. I made a plan of building a school where children would be happy, open minded, activated, stimulated to think and where exchange of other cultures would be one of the core items. I think exchange is the key for having respect for other people with different backgrounds and making good decisions in this globalised world of today.

For myself I don’t want to have kids before I am 30 years old so that I can explore, experience, listen, talk, see … without responsibilities. I want to see the earth, with time. Different people, different cultures, different habbits. I am really convinced that if you don’t know the culture, the habits, the norms and values, you can’t judge other people, cultures and countries and you can’t think about possible solutions …

To make the world a better place for everyone I think sustainability in all her aspects is a good guidance. To sustain the balance and to avoid a big crisis of climate refugees/environmental migrants it is important to maintain ecosystems and not producing too much CO2, but sustainability goes so much further. If you want people to do good things you have to make that they feel safe, nourished and happy enough. It’s in being’s nature to first take care of themselves and their family before thinking of something else. We, humans, have a big impact on all earth’s ecosystems, but we can’t change people’s mindset before their basic needs are accomplished. And then in the north we have too much. (I’ll come back to it later.) Another subject of social sustainability that concerns me a lot is the migration crisis of today in Europe. I think it’s so important that people can go where they need to go and that they feel welcome, that they don’t have to fear and that they can be accepted and integrated as much as possible. I personally think that’s the key against terrorism: making that everyone feels welcome.

And then the economic aspect of sustainability. Can it be sustainable to go for perpetual growth? How can it be one’s business model to produce so much that you have to throw away one third of it? How can plain companies offer so low prices while trains or so expensive? I don’t understand it, but I also see wonderful initiatives: peer-to-peer (like Wikipedia) and circular economy (rotation of materials) give me a lot of energy and hope.

I have a “life goal” above my bed that says: “creating a political, economic, social, education and prison system that’s as ideal as possible in our globalised world.” Therefore I want to travel, to listen and keep listening to people (from everywhere, in all contexts), to read books, to attend conferences (many different people on 1 location), to stay myself without being distracted by money, to stay open minded without limiting to one specific subject, or one specific kind of people … And often I add something, an idea, a possible part of the ‘solution’ …

To end this story of today I would like to share some quotes concerning my sustainability-passion with you:

“Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (Brundtland rapport, 1987)

“The consumption patterns of the North are driven by wants, not needs. It thus challenges the North to reduce its consumption to within the boundaries set by ecological limits and by considerations of equity and justice” (Summary: the Brundtland approach to sustainable development)

“The world has enough for everyone’s need, but not enough for everybody’s greed” (Ghandi)