Meet our ambassadors
Our 18 Voyage for the Future volunteers have all been appointed and are ready to become Ambassadors for the Future.
CLICK HERE to read excerpts from their blogs and see photos from the trip.
Emma is in her second year at university, studying politics and international studies, and is involved in campaigning and awareness-raising with various groups on campus. A friend involved in environmental circles inspired her to become more active in this area, and now she considers the human-induced effects on the earth's ecosystem and climate change as one of the biggest security threats today for both people and planet. She is particularly interested in how politics needs to address environmental issues, saying: "Even if we didn't believe in climate change, we would lose nothing by trying to prevent it, but to ignore it could be detrimental." She hopes to see young people especially standing up and trying to protect "what essentially is our heaven on earth".
CLICK HERE to read Emma's blog.
Casper ter Kuile is a third year history and sociology student at the University of Warwick. He became aware of the environment, and what he could do about it, in 2005 when he was a delegate to the World Youth Congress. Here he met young people from all over the world working towards a sustainable, peaceful future, and this inspired him to do the same. Since then he has campaigned with Oxfam, People & Planet and Greenpeace from Westminster to Brussels, and hasn’t looked back. He loves cycling, singing and is determined to learn how to cook the ultimate vegetarian feast. He is passionate about empowering and motivating young people to live low-carbon lives, and is keen to demonstrate that anyone can be an eco-hero.
CLICK HERE to read Casper's blog.
Evanne Nowak (19)
Evanne is in the second year of a Bachelor of Education in Theatre at the Utrecht School of Arts. As young as she is, she already has a lot of experience. To name a few: she has worked as a trend watcher for YoungWorks, spotting new social and commercial trends in youth culture; she was a reporter for the website Cultonline.nl, a website for and by young people, about youth culture and art; she travelled as a youth reporter to Ethiopia for a Edukans, a Dutch NGO, to report about their projects; and she is member of the advisory committee of Move Your World, an organisation which supports young people participating in international collaboration.
CLICK HERE to read Evanne's blog (in Dutch).
Michiel is in his last year of grammar school and a student at junior college (University of Utrecht). For college he had to set up a research project, a project that attracted the interest of the Dutch TNO (Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research). The outcomes of his research will be presented at the World Food Summit in Geneva this summer. In addition to his schooling, he holds a part time job, where he conducts market research and calculations for energy efficiency and climate control in housing. He trains a hockey team of 12-year-old boys, and last summer he participated in the Global Young Leader Conference in the USA.
CLICK HERE to read Michiel's blog (in Dutch).
Greta is a natural team player. She lives in a small town in Nordrhein-Westfalen with her large family – she has nine brothers and sisters. She is currently in the middle of her final graduation exams. During her time at school she has always been a very active person. She spent a year in Brazil thanks to a scholarship from the American Field Service (AFS). On her return she took up the responsibility of taking care of the foreign exchange students coming to her region through AFS and has been organising preparation camps for new scholarship students. Thanks to her stay in Brazil she is fluent in Portuguese as well as English and French. Her interest in language and writing led her to choose an internship with the local newspaper in her town. Planning to study political science and to become either journalist or diplomat, she has recently started working as a freelancer for another local paper. Greta is clear about the reasons why she applied to become on Ambassador of Change: “Our generation needs to make a difference. This I want to show to all the young people out there. We young people need to act jointly and tell the politicians that they cannot go on dealing with our environment in the same way as they are at the moment because by doing so they are also hazarding our future and our offspring’s future.“
CLICK HERE to read Greta's blog (in German).
Johannes is a very active school speaker at his high school in Regensburg, Bavaria. He enjoys standing up for the interests of his fellow students and lobbying parents and teachers to implement ideas developed by the students themselves. As member of the students’ council he has already initiated a number of activities such as the sponsorship of a Romanian school and other charitable events. He proved his talent and interest for politics during an internship in a parliamentarian’s office, member of the environment committee of the German Bundestag, and as participant in the simulation game ‘Youth & Parliament’. After graduation he plans to study either meteorology or economics. Now he is eager to get started with this job as ambassador of change: “A sound nature is the basis for any life and therefore indispensable for our future. I am convinced that especially the young generation has a strong responsibility for climate protection and I want to take part in this global initiative,” he said. In his free time, Johannes enjoys playing football and beach-volleyball and improving his photography skills.
CLICK HERE to read Johannes' blog (in German).
Maria Waag (20)
Maria graduated last year from Senior High School, having specialised in dance and drama. This year she is reading biology, physics and mathematics to prepare for biology studies at the University of Oslo in autumn 2008. Her goal is to become a biologist working at an international level to solve environmental problems. Maria has been nominated as the number one recruiter for EF-Language Travels and won a trip to the United States. She has broad experience in performing, good communication skills and she has many ideas on how to communicate climate change to a broad audience. She works as a supply teacher at an elementary school teaching arts and crafts, and occasionally other subjects such as English and mathematics. She is an instructor in gymnastics and is part of a team running the local athletic association for gymnastics in Oslo. She is doing voluntary work for the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and is going to participate in WWF-Norway's Clean Coast course to learn how to clean up after major oil spills. Some of her hobbies are diving, dancing and volleyball.
CLICK HERE to read Maria's blog (in Norwegian).
Karl Oskar went to senior high school at the Red Cross Nordic United World College, and received the International Baccalaureate Diploma last year. He will start international studies at Simon Fraser University in Canada in autumn 2008. Karl Oskar has very good leadership skills - he was the initiator, organiser and media spokesman for a Climate Change Youth Conference for 500 young people from 90 different countries in 2007. After graduating from high school, he has been volunteering in Latin America for six months, first with the environmental organisation Eco Urbano in Argentina, taking part in local and national recycling campaigns, then volunteering at a school in the slum area of Trujillo, Peru, teaching English, arts and physical education and helping with the construction of the school. He grew up on an organic farm, and some of his hobbies are climbing, trekking, surfing, skiing and kite-surfing/skiing, football, volleyball and playing the guitar and the piano.
CLICK HERE to read Karl's blog (in Norwegian).
Sven is currently studying at Lund University in southern Sweden. The interdisciplinary analysis of global environmental problems is central to his studies in human ecology and includes a solutions-oriented approach to these challenges. In addition to his studies, Sven dedicates his time to numerous student organisations and sport clubs. He also volunteers for The Nature Bus, an initiative which aims to make nature more accessible for the general public while increasing environmental awareness and improving health and integration. Although disturbed by current levels of human-induced environmental degradation, Sven is an eternal optimist and is thoroughly convinced that together, we have the ability to change course towards a more sustainable future.
CLICK HERE to read Sven's blog.
Nanny-Maja Anderbäck (20)
Nanny-Maja is guided by a strong sense of integrity and heightened awareness for the world around her. Since graduating from high school in 2006, Nanny-Maja has taken courses in human ecology and environmental history at Umeå University in the north of Sweden. She is an Ambassador for Fair Trade and will be travelling to Kenya soon on a study tour to visit a number of Fair Trade producers. Nanny-Maja has written a book about conscientious consumption called Who the Heck Cares? – A book about you and me and the world. She has presented her ideas to students all over Sweden and been involved in WWF’s education program. Nanny-Maja strives to explain difficult and important issues in a simple and inspiring way in order to encourage others to reflect and take responsibility for their actions and to understand how they can and do affect the world around them.
CLICK HERE to read Nanny-Maja's blog (in Swedish).
Dmitriy is a third year student at Voronezh State University in the Department of Geoinformational Technologies. Since primary school he has been involved in research and environmental projects, and has taken part in several expeditions investigating ecological problems in different parts of central Russia. Dmitriy is a member of Russian Geographical Society and of Geo-Ecological Society VARVARINO. For seven years Dmitriy has monitored the effect of climate change on the activity of butterflies in Khopersky National Park, and he has received several awards for this project. His main hobbies besides ecology are history, philosophy and geography. Dmitriy also participates in sports, particularly light athletics. For the past two years he has been learning Chinese, and he is interested in the history and culture of Asia and China in particular. In March 2008, Dmitriy was recognised as the best student in his department for his excellent performance and results. Dmitriy believes that the Voyage for the Future is an opportunity to share his ideas with like-minded people and put his skills into practice. The combined energies of young passionate hearts can make people around the world change their minds about global warming, influence their attitude to nature and make them care more about our common future.
CLICK HERE to read Dmitry's blog (in Russian).
Ekaterina is in her fourth year of a Bachelor’s degree at the Moscow State University of International Relations, studying at the Faculty of International Journalism (Public Relations). She believes that only through international efforts and cooperation can environmental problems be solved most effectively. In her view, the urgency of ecological problems is a way to consolidate people around the world and it is also a possibility for young people to play an active role in our planet's future. She is fluent in English and French and is passionate about discovering new cultures and languages, namely, Finnish and Japanese. She is very interested in African culture and history (she participate in the work of the African Club at her university) and she is planning to learn Swahili. Her interests also include traveling, reading, photography, contemporary art and social work.
CLICK HERE to read Ekaterina's blog (in Russian).
Shunta Takagi is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in law at Keio University. During his high school years, he studied in America and Canada. After taking a science course in high school in Canada, he became interested in environmental problems and started wondering how he could contribute to solving these problems. After this, he set up a group within the school to promote recycling in the school and local town. At university, he is involved with an organisation called 'E.C.O.' which involves university students working on creating and producing something good for the environment, such as eco-bags, reusable chopsticks and so on. As a member of the Eco League International team, he attended the 3rd North East Asia Youth Environmental Network in September 2007. He is also going to participate in the 4th conference in Mongolia this September. In his spare time, Shunta likes mountain climbing and playing sports such as basketball, volleyball and badminton.
CLICK HERE to read Shunta's blog (with Yuriko Murakami, in Japanese).
Yuriko is in her third year at the University of Sacred Heart in Tokyo. Her major is English literature and media communication. She is a very active person and has had many volunteer experiences. For example she joined an organisation that provides support for refugees, and also now belongs to an organisation that offers aid to the people living in the mountain of garbage known as Smokey Mountain in Manila, in the Philippines. Last year she was a leader of the Student International Seminar which offers the chance of cross cultural experiences between foreign and Japanese students. Through this precious experience, she enjoyed meeting foreign students from a variety of backgrounds. She now wants to explore what we can do and what we have to do for our world.
CLICK HERE to read Yuriko's blog (with Shunta Takagi, in Japanese).
John is pursuing a bachelor's degree in environmental science at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He has assumed many leadership roles on campus including work as a morale captain for the University of Michigan Dance Marathon, and is currently the student government vice president for the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. In the latter role, he lobbies the university administration on academic issues, and has also worked on planning a themed semester on energy that will include on-campus events, competitions, and other initiatives designed to engage the entire student body on energy issues. Born in Detroit, John attended high school in Grosse Pointe, Michigan. He has always had an interest in the environment, but decided to dedicate his life to working towards a sustainable future upon entering university. He spent the summer of 2007 in the Turks and Caicos Islands learning about marine park management and contributing to environmental research projects. Additionally, he has spent extensive work researching the policy implications of the African bushmeat trade in the US. John aspires to enter politics, becoming an elected official in the future. In his free time, he enjoys hiking, snorkelling, reading, and of course, University of Michigan football.
CLICK HERE to read John's blog.
Ben is an environmental studies major at Middlebury College in Vermont. A native of Washington, DC, Ben has long been involved in environmental activities and plans to dedicate his career to promoting awareness about climate change. With the belief that climate change is the defining issue of his generation, Ben takes personal responsibility in mobilising youth to act on this issue. In high school he founded the Sidwell Friends School Ecoclub and produced a video on climate change for the Green Finger Project. He currently educates children about climate change through his volunteer work at an elementary school in Vermont and by teaching an environmental science course as a summer camp counsellor. This year Ben took the lead in organizing 'PowerShift Vermont', a youth climate conference held at his university. Ben counts completing a month-long backpacking course in the Absarokas Mountains of Wyoming with the National Outdoor Leadership School among his many accomplishments. Ben loves to snowboard, hike, and rock climb. He is an avid New York Yankees and Washington Redskins fan and a DJ for the Middlebury College radio station.
CLICK HERE to read Ben's blog.
Jeremy Brammer (20)
In his third year at the University of Ottawa, studying for a Bachelor of Science degree in biology, Jeremy is confident, enthusiastic, articulate and well-informed about climate change. He is interested in teaching and communication - he works as a teaching assistant in a local school, teaching classes of grade six students in mathematics and science. He is also involved with an organisation called ‘For Youth, By Youth’ which involves university students working with high school students to create and produce news segments on various topics. Jeremy has a strong knowledge base about climate change from his studies and is working on a research project with one of his professors which is related to the Arctic.
Jayme Collins (18)
Jayme is currently studying at the University of British Columbia in the Global Resource Systems program. She is interested in studying ethnobotany and agroecology. Jayme has always felt a deep connection to the earth, and has developed an unabated passion for protecting it. She loves to spend her time outdoors; playing sports, hiking, and learning from the earth. Jayme also feels a connection to humanity, and has an intense interest in the stories and souls of others. She loves to express herself through music, photography and writing. She is looking forward to not only gaining first-hand experience of the Arctic, but also to meeting youth from around the world and working with them to influence change. Jayme believes that the issue of climate change is a focal point in encouraging environmental policy changes worldwide. She also believes that people need to rediscover their connection to the earth, and that this will be the most powerful and long-term influence of change. Jayme is involved in a number of environmental issues at her university, and is looking forward to bringing this experience home to her community.
CLICK HERE to read Jayme's blog.