“If you can dream it, you can do it” (Walt Disney)
“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement”
“What you do today can improve all your tomorrows” (Ralph Marston)
Eindhoven (Holland) 12.12.12 at 12.12 a small group of students, age 17 and 18, taped their own video message. It is destined at their own generation in Europe asking them to take also “responsibility for our own future” and meet in 2013 in Hungary.
A challenging call was formulated to meet in the course of 2013 and joinedly discuss and step up their vision for a strong self sufficient Europe and unite together to make the best of it. The recorded videomessage can be seen here and will be distributed across Europe. It will be used to invite students and their institutions to team up and come to a purpose driven encounter in which “our common future” will be defined and expanded further, taking this 121212 encounter as a first stepping stone.
Jason, Shari, Veerle, Randy, Bas, Koen, Willem-Jan, Simon, Bart, Arjen
The students’ encounter started at 09.00 a.m. in Fontys Highschool with scholars from both the ROC Highschool and Fontys Eindhoven. An open discussion followed on general issues that concern us individually and all together. This discussion will be summarized on video too. It was impressive, Topics that were dealt with were:
- Multicultural society – the need to adapt to a region, learn the language and show commitment to contribute to the region’s prosperity. There was a sharp disapproval of the growing aggression and a call for tougher punishment measures. Local languages and cultures should be respected even in a broader context when dealing with a united Europe. Shari suggested that we should try to understand each other better even in communication as interpretation of the same words can be different by different cultures.
- Crisis – a strong need was felt to recover stability in terms of jobs and opportunities. The lessons learned from history and our past should be taken seriously. Those who misused the system (bank and government officials) should be punished severely. Willem-Jan: “We accept to take our responsibility and even take our losses as long as we can be confident that these same mistakes and missteps are not taken again”. Banks and governments should develop an ethical responsibility and code of conduct.
- Responsibilities – every single person is him and herself responsible for their own future, not government or some institution. We should show solidarity with the Greek, Spanish and maybe consider one single European government to establish a balance with China, Russia, USA, etc. It is not about money only.
- Sustainable societies – this should be our common goal, not economies or growth. Arjen: “Sometimes one step back means that you can go forward”. Governments should not accept lobbies out of self interest from eg. oil companies but accept change and invest in using technology for our self sufficiency and sustainability.
- Willem-Jan: “We need to learn to live and work together”
The whole interchange of impressions was filmed by Hein, owner of CityTV.nl Eindhoven.
The openness and transparency of these students was heart warming while they all really had significant views and something to say. Their worldviews had been developed through international visits and projects.
Coach Wim Grommen added that there are 5 basic issues that need to be attended always to create a stable, sustainable community:
There is no money in this list and examples were given of communities that develop prosperity without using money.
One of the two girls, Veerle, proposed that the group would make their own videostatement for the 2013 event. One of the students already had one prepared. He also supplied the one-liners at the start of this blog:
“Do you want to change the world we live in today? Are you up for the challenge of making the world a better place to live in? Do you have perseverance, courage and will to reach your goals that will benefit society? The Europe of Tomorrow challenge is the event where you should show your unique talents and share your knowledge, skill and experience with others.
Playing a key role in your team and show your uniqueness that will make the difference! It’s about what you stand for, what you want and how to reach your goals. Share your belief, passion and enthusiasm with others. “Together we can change the world forever”
Making the difference starts with believing in yourself.”
The statement was received with applause and it was decided to use it here and on the forthcoming event site. Veerle took the lead in defining a shorter message specific for the video, the “call to their own generation”. After some group discussion the definite version was written on the whiteboard. Then this co-creative group decided to make the statement together in front of the camera…….
Conclusion 12.12.12 of these students:
All:”We do not have a choice, we need to change our economies and societies into sustainable self sufficiency, applying innovative technology and vision by working together and eliminating misusage of power that blocks this progressive transition.”
This was the admirable conclusion in a morning’s debate of a small group of European 17 and 18 year old students, the “next generation”. It certainly gives the satisfying feeling that our future is in good hands with this generation. It was questioned if students across Europe would have a similar sensitivity? So the challenge was formulated for the 2013 event to check this out and get them to react and join.
The 2013 event:
In September 2013 we will all gather in Hungary. Students from all over Europe are challenged to make this happen. Students and European schools that wish to participate can ask already for the instructions for pre-subscription and preparation by mailing to:
Jean-Paul Close email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanking all those who participated today in this small but significant event, also part of the global “Day of Interconnectedness”, we certainly hope that we have created a stepping stone for a great event in 2013 and beyond.