By cohort 4 BGF-er, Heather
What amazed me most about the BGF kick off event was the amount of energy and effort that had gone into creating an inspirational day. The atmosphere was one of excitement and anticipation as we all sat down to our first task; writing name tags. On these we were asked to write not names but in lieu something we were grateful for this year. This proved to be an entertaining and animating conversation starter throughout the day. There were really awesome ideas from someone being grateful for the respite ‘summer’ provided from schoolwork to the person who wrote ‘protest’ on their name tag to show how thankful they were about this years climate protests.
Immediately I got talking to the people on my table. What struck me most was how welcoming they were and our shared ardent desire to make a difference for our planet. We were all from different places- some of us had travelled extremely far for this event because we were so excited to have the opportunity.
Next we took part in a name game where everybody had to think of a word that began with the same sound as their name and an action to go with it. It was really cool as it gave everybody a chance to get moving and there was lots of laughter as everyone relaxed and began making friends. I knew at that point it would be a day to remember.
After the excitement we sat back down as the BGF team explained in more detail every element of the program of the Bright Green Future program. It all sounded really exciting particularly being supported while getting the chance to do your own project in your local area and the amazing summer school.
Then we got the chance to meet our mentor group. Everybody instantly began to build a rapport with their groups and chatter filled the room. My group was extremely nice and easy to get along with. Our mentor Charlie was incredible as she was really approachable and immediately put everyone at ease. Next was lunch with lots and lots of tasty food but the thing all of my mentor group agreed we liked the most was the delicious chocolate brownies.
After lunch everyone got very excited as we received Chilly’s reusable bottles with the BGF logo on. It was a really nice touch as we all thought the bottles were something we’d be proud to use every day.
Later there were interesting talks including ‘how nature makes us calm’ and for me the highlight was about how to find your purpose or ‘Ikigai’. We all walked around and picked three words from lots of positive values on the floor, such as ‘creativity’ or ‘compassion’. Then we tried to find the center of a Venn diagram where the circles were what do you love, what does the world need, what are my skills and what can I get paid for. For me it was the first time anyone had really spoken about passion and the needs of the wider world in regard to the future and I found it a really inspirational approach.
The end of the day came way too quickly. I feel so lucky to have been involved in this, it gave me a chance to glimpse that we can and will make a difference to our planet. I can’t wait to see what the next 12 months hold as part of BGF...