On June 4, the World Bank Group's third Innovate4Climate (I4C) global conference convened in Singapore for honest discussions of climate finance and investment markets. Innovate4Climate is an annual opportunity for leaders of all sectors to come together and accelerate action on climate finance, technology and development.
As part of the Connect4Climate #YouthTakeover initiative, I and four other students from Nanyang Technological University's Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information were invited to manage C4C's social media channels to share the details of our educational journey throughout the conference.
It was an inspiring experience for us to get the rare chance to listen to financial experts explain market mechanisms that would drive the climate investment market. As communications majors, we were brought in to learn about the economic drivers and influences that hold the potential to greatly ease mankind's transition into a climate-friendly world.
Before the main conference began, our team participated in a climate change journalism workshop, where journalists from all around the region came together to discuss the skills involved in reporting on climate impacts and solutions. The workshop explored the many ways that journalists today can report, highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of different mediums such as photography, informative videos and writing. Many experts were also brought in to share their thoughts on the effectiveness of communications in the digital sphere, and to educate us on the intricacies of the climate disaster that we would need to take to heart.
By getting the chance to interact with prominent journalists from all around the region, we also learned that every country has unique challenges with the social psychology of their target audience. We thus took the opportunity to pool our knowledge and trade media ideas within the group, diffusing important information like data and academic research that could greatly benefit the efficiency of future international communications efforts.
On the first day of Innovate4Climate, the team split up to cover various plenaries from distinguished speakers of the climate finance industry. Mr. Vivek Pathak, regional director for the IFC in East Asia and the Pacific, marked the start of the conference with a rousing and humorous speech highlighting the first signs of imminent change—and expressing his approval of the lack of plastic at the conference.
Throughout the few days of the conference, we went through several important plenary topics such as the plastic revolution, development of green bonds in Asia Pacific, catastrophe bonds and the commercialization of clean tech. Although some of the topics were very niche, we were able to pick up vital points from the speakers that helped us understand key foundational links among various economic stakeholders and private-public partnerships.
The end of Innovate4Climate was marked by an exciting innovation pitch competition. We got an exclusive front-row view of the five finalists' pitch presentations: each of their ideas had immense potential to change current structures in the agricultural, transport and architectural industries and foster a greener future.
The pitch hub contestants flew in from all over the world and were brimming with confidence and determination to achieve their goals. It was heartening to see how small-medium enterprises were considered a key part of the innovation process and were given an opportunity to fulfill their potential on the world stage.
We are honored to have been a part of Connect4Climate's #YouthTakeover, a brilliant initiative that brings young people into the climate conversation and that offered us a deeper look into the mechanisms that will shape our future. Throughout our journey, the team regularly had to brainstorm collectively on our social media strategies, as we were tasked with understanding complex financial knowledge and simplifying it for our youthful audience.
It was a great chance for us to identify challenges in traditional reporting from mainstream media while actively honing our own lexicons and skill sets to be able to connect more efficiently to the youths we represent.
Michael Grimm, CEO of Carbon Negative, delivered perhaps the most memorable quote of the event for us. He was on hand in the journalist workshop to explain fully the frightening scenarios and consequences that are to come, but he found a silver lining in the fact that we will all need to band together if we are to successfully save our planet.
"Climate change will not see nationality, race or socioeconomic statuses. It will affect us all, but I am positive we can beat this."