3rd Global Forum
Global Third Way: Becoming One with the Environment
at the United Nations Headquarters
From June 6 through June 8, 2007, Conference Room 1 at the United Nations headquarters in New York, New York was abuzz with the voices and energy of nearly 400 students and young professionals who gathered for ATHGO International’s 3rd Annual Forum, “Global Third Way: Becoming One with the Environment,” which focused on global warming and climate change.
Participants from the world over were witness to presentations and panels from renowned experts who spoke on a variety of climate issues. Participants were immediately divided into sixteen working groups, each of which focused on a different facet of the global warming debate such as cultivating political will or increasing public awareness and popular opinion. A summary resolution committee was also formed, which crafted a United Nations-style resolution with alternative strategies for dealing with the climate crisis. This resolution will be presented to the UN permanent missions, as well as other relevant organizations, and interviews with United Nations Ambassadors revealed that they will be taking participants’ suggestions very seriously.
Day 1: June 6, 2007
The first day of the forum, Wednesday, June 6, began with a presentation of Al Gore’s Climate Project PowerPoint by Mr. Kenneth Mankoff, as well as a brief Q&A session with Mr. Mankoff. Following lunch was the first panel of the conference, a discussion of the causes, consequences, and long-term ramifications of climate change with Professors Gabriele Hegerl and Henry Pollack. The second panel featured UN ambassadors from various nations, and was centered on developing international political will. Wednesday’s final event was a presentation by the symposium’s keynote speaker, Professor Michael Oppenheimer, who spoke about the facts of global warming, as well as about his hopes and predictions for the future.
Day 2: June 7, 2007
Thursday opened with the second “breakout session,” in which participants again gathered in their smaller groups. This was followed by a panel featuring members of the private sector, who spoke about developing “green” business models and practices. Next on the agenda was a panel of ambassadors, who discussed country-specific initiatives. Participants then took an hour for lunch and networking and met again in their working groups upon their return. Two more panels and another working group session finished off the afternoon. The first panel featured ambassadors speaking on government-induced incentives and opportunities for collaboration with the private sector, and the second was composed of more members of the private sector who discussed the development of alternative energy products and solutions.
Day 3: June 8, 2007
The third and final day of the forum commenced with a long period of working group time. Participants were then given the opportunity to speak with previous presenter Mr. Mankoff as well as with Mr. Doug Corcoran, a previous panelist, Dr. Jean Marc Couicaud, Director of the New York Office of the United Nations University, and Ms. Mona Strassburger, Vice President of IT and Development at ATHGO International. During these informal discussions, participants had the opportunity to question presenters on their work on climate issues and on engaging youth in global policy debate.
After the discussions, participants ate lunch and made use of one final breakout session to finish up working in their groups and on the summary resolution. Participants then got the chance to exercise the rhetorical skills they had been witnessing all week as they themselves appeared in a series of panels. These panels were focused on: developing international political will; country-initiated projects for the private sector; establishing/strengthening partnerships between the private sector, governments, international institutions and young people; and practical suggestions for the implementation of findings from the forum. The participants’ hard work throughout the forum then came to fruition as the resolution committee presented its summary resolution, which detailed a new plan for combating the climate crisis. After this exciting presentation, the conference wrapped up with concluding remarks by Dr. Armen Orujyan, Founder and Chairman of ATHGO International. Dr. Orujyan announced the top three groups of the forum, which were Group 3 in third place, Group 8 in second, and Group 6 being the best group of all. He expressed his thanks to various organizations and individuals, and ended the conference with these inspiring words: “We have one heart; we have one planet…we need each other.”
The ATHGO International Forum was a truly remarkable gathering of the next generation of world leaders. Members of the public and private sectors alike praised the organization for its ability to bring together such an intelligent and motivated group of young individuals, who will hopefully use the advice from the presenters and the inspiration from their peers to make a lasting difference in the world.
Athgo invites world industry leaders and experts to guide teams through the startup development process. Here is the partial list of the speakers.
Ambassador, South Korea
Jean Marc Coicaud
Ambassador, Sri Lanka
Ambassador, Dominican Republic
University of Michigan
City of Los Angeles
Michael von Ungern-Sternberg
The Climate Group