Applying to Bard’s Center for Environmental Policy’s C2C Fellow’s workshop was one of the greatest ideas I’ve had in a while. The conference was held in Boulder, CO for just three short days. Consisting of a mixture of students from Boulder, University of Wyoming, University of New Mexico, Denver University and others from schools all across the country, our conference group made up a great recipe of creativity, excitement and inspiration. We were lucky enough to be accompanied by the Director of Bards Center for Environmental Policy the entire weekend and two other associate directors. As stated on the C2C website: “C2C stands for Campus to Congress, to Capitol, to City Hall and also for Campus to Corporation. C2C stands for young people gaining control of their future. C2C Fellows is the power network for young people with the wisdom, ambition, talent, and grace to change the future.”
Initially, we heard a lecture on why the earth’s climate is changing and what needs to be done about it to ensure we were all on the same page. We then tried some fun speed dating and getting to know the other fifty C2C fellows. The workshops emphasized that the climate change issue isn’t an economic, technologic or political issue, but a lack of leadership. The director, Eban Goodstein, explained that this is the time for political and entrepreneurial opportunities. Being at the C2C fellow workshop taught me that in order to be a leader you need a vision, a sense to know where to go. More importantly, you must have courage and know that you will fail, so if you do, fail fast and often. Being part of the program also ensures receiving two $1,000 scholarships, career advising from Goodstein in addition to MBA and Bard CEP graduate school scholarships. On the first evening of the conference, Alice Madden, the chair of Sustainable Development at the University of Colorado; Chris Michael, marketing director at BRITE Agrotechnology; and Chris Jones, the transportation planner of Denver, all spoke. All were inspirational.
One thing I learned was that in order to have a vision come true, one must have a way to fund their vision. We learned, when asking for funding, to tell the person or corporation, that you are offering them an opportunity to be part of a new idea or vision. Believe in the vision. If you are told no, ask again. I also learned that in order to be persuasive, the story must be relatable and personable. It is important to repeat, repeat and repeat again while still being humorous and genuine. Finally, ask for what you need from the person, whether it is monetary or emotional support.
Over the weekend, I received a unique chance to network with other people who all care about the environment as much as I do. Some people were more interested in business while others politics and some, like myself, who still didn’t really know what they wanted to do. However, this weekend helped inspire and steer us towards leading in whatever it is we may do.
There are still two conferences left this year one in Michigan (Mar 15-17) and one in Portland (April 12-14). To find out more about Bard College, or C2C fellows workshops you can go to this link: http://www.bard.edu/cep/c2c/
– Kala Hunter