Around fifty countries, 300 participants and one amazing venue in Stockholm – experiencing Swedish multiculturalism cannot get any better than this.
This network of the Swedish Institute, at the outset bears a heavy title I would say – Network for Future Global Leaders (NFGL). After the first entire day of events conducted by SI in the kick off party, and after interacting with the rich and diverse members of this network, from across the world now pursuing their higher studies all across Sweden, I endorse the idea that this group in fact could be a platform to nurture truly global leaders.
Hailing from India, when I contemplate problems of the world, it is based on my experiences in India. It must not surprise you if I prioritise welfare of people in terms of basic security of food, education and health care, over the notion of sustainability and nature conserving practises. On the other hand, within the one month or so I have been here in Sweden, the consciousness in me has risen as to why for instance, global warming is also an equally pressing issue that has to be simultaneously dealt with.
When I was back in Bangalore, a Pirate Party friend from Germany was hosted by my regional Free Software group. Through the interaction with him, he seemed to have quite the opposite realisation that there is still so much more for the people to worry about before they get to contemplating the consequences of something like using non-recyclable plastic. Paraphrasing his experiences in India – “When people are engrossed through the day fighting for the next piece meal, little can they contemplate and contribute to sustainable development” was his transformed view.
I believe that when we contemplate about the future, if we have disconnected views about socio-economic welfare for all the citizens of world and truly sustainable development, it will end up being a half-hearted attempt at trying to solve these pressing and inescapable problems.
I see NFGL as that learning opportunity for students who might be, for now, at one of these poles to see that solutions to each of these issues when disconnected will never heal the world. If Sweden or Germany, or a handful of countries from Europe and North America are engaged in sustainable practices to conserve nature, but when the economic class structure in countries like India with 1.2 billion is not overcome, the overall impact of these sustainable practises in securing nature for future generations might end up being a futile exercise.
This realisation is the most important idea that seemed to coalesce in me through the discussions, interactions and sharing that has happened yesterday and will continue today, on this wonderful platform provided by the Swedish Institute.
I will not report about the nuances of events, or as to how awesome all of it has been from the first day in this post. Will follow up this one with a crispy encapsulation of both the days here at the SI Kick Off Party organised by the Swedish Institute in Stockholm.
To a better future, for all.