4 min read
To say I was overwhelmed during the entirety of the 2019 AVPN Conference would be an understatement. Without a background in philanthropy and impact investing, the AVPN Conference opened a whole new set of doors for me. I listened to a gathering of individuals who seemed so different, yet were united by the values of AVPN’s work.
From panel discussions to workshops, my role as a Session Coordinator allowed me to absorb as much as possible. I was privy to the methodology and techniques the experts and big players used, leading me to form my own understandings of the current and future expectations of impact investing and philanthropy. Here are the top three learnings I came away with:
1. Tap into the potential of the younger generations
While the bulk of the Conference discussions touched on how experts in the field have been aiding youth in need of education and healthcare, it’s time to start identifying successors.
At a networking lunch on sustainable agriculture, a point that was raised – and quickly set aside – was the lack of action in engaging the younger generations in building careers in sustainable agriculture. This struck me the most – working towards digital agriculture to become more sustainable is certainly a strategic way forward. Yet, it’s barely being touched upon within the room, and definitely even less towards the youth who could potentially employ it in the future.
2. With time running out, focus on the value and quality of our actions
The United Nations has warned that by 2030, global warming must be limited to a maximum of 1.5oC. Should the temperature exceed this even slightly, we will face extreme heat, flooding, droughts, and poverty, which will affect millions of people.
I had sat in numerous panel discussions at the conference, and many revolved around the value of our actions. I came away realising that there may be various actions and approaches that can be taken, but as a global community, we ought to focus on those which create the greatest structural benefit and move past those which solely create direct benefits.
3. What AVPN points to in the future.
The sheer scale at which AVPN operates stands as a beacon of light for what seems like a murky future ahead. There’s an underlying sense that the upcoming generations will need to face the burden of having to ‘fix the world’. However, attending AVPN shed light on the situation: there is a lot in progress, and there are people committed to playing their part.
Future volunteers, look forward to a learning opportunity like never before. It was an eye-opening experience for everyone I talked to, from business owners to students like myself.
Attending the AVPN Conference has marked a starting point in my career. To know that there is so much being done to create a sustainable, peaceful world is inspiring. I hope to relay this same message to my peers, and have the motivation to contribute to something greater in the future.
Keep an eye out for the next call for volunteers at the AVPN Conference 2020! Subscribe to our Conference newsletters for updates.