Melton Fellow Vinita Joshi at the 7th Asia-Pacific Urban Forum
The 7th Asia-Pacific Urban Forum was a power-packed three days full of insightful discussions and hands-on sessions. Convened by the UNESCAP, it was attended by over 3000 people from all across the world. Dive into this article by Vinita Joshi from Bangalore, India as she uncovers some of her top takeaways from the international conference!
The 7th Asia-Pacific Urban Forum was a power-packed three days full of insightful discussions and hands-on sessions. Convened by the UNESCAP, it was attended by over 3000 people from all across the world. The pre-Forum Meeting of SWITCH Asia Sustainable Consumption and Production Facility on the Community of Interest on Housing brought experts from organizations working in the Sustainable Housing sector who shared their insights and research on the developments in the Asia-Pacific region, and the barriers faced for the expansion of this industry. I met interesting people, such as Madeline Schneider, of Adelphi, and Nora Steurer of GlobalABC, who are doing admirable work in the field of sustainability and achieving the Paris Agreement Goals.
Some of my key takeaways from this conference are:
- Importance of visibility of the work one is doing. There is no use reinventing the wheel, and knowledge-sharing of the best practices helps in better utilization of resources and achieving common goals.
- Importance of practicality. Ideating and brainstorming are certainly necessary and form a crucial first step, but moving beyond thinking, taking initiative, and carrying out grassroots work is the need of the hour. There was a series of inspirational talks by four young changemakers from Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, and Borneo, who spoke about the work they have been doing in their respective countries. For example, Bangkok and Jakarta are two cities that have been predicted to submerge in the near future. There have been a lot of discussions on this, but if action isn’t taken, then there won’t be any use to the theoretical work.
- There is greater representation today than ever before. Youth have a significant voice now compared to even a decade ago. We need to make use of this. Make an impact. Work for the future that we will be a part of. One is never too young to make a change.
- Recognize our privilege and use our position to be a voice for the voiceless.
- Take a stand on issues that matter, and refuse to succumb to the bystander syndrome.
Urban Innovation session on measuring spatial reality for women
I found this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be a thoroughly invigorating experience and I am certain that I will take my learnings forward and apply them in both my personal and professional life.