- Following the launch of our Young Leaders Forums in Subsaharan Africa in Cape Town in 2011, the BMW Foundation held a second Europe Africa Young Leaders Forum in Windhoek. The Forum asked how in highly fragile eco-systems - like Namibia - the side effects of growing economies and populations can be managed in a way that preserves the means of livelihood for future generations.
- Conference Day 1 - Welcome ReceptionAt the welcome reception, Jürgen Chrobog, BMW Foundation, encouraged participants to make best use of the forum days. In order to help participants get most out of the experience, the forums motivate them to not just lean back in their seats, but to work together and get engaged with local projects and initiatives.
- Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, Minister of Environment and Tourism, explained why Namibia is the right place in Africa to debate sustainable lifestyles. "We are a laboratory of exciting environmental and developmental pilot ideas, business enterprises and government policies that have put Namibia onto the international landscape of best practice." In her speech, the minister, however, refrained from talking about conservation issues and Namibia's efforts to balance growth and the protection of national resources. She chose to talk about strategic leadership, a topic obviously very close to her heart. "I believe that global leadership is not so much about technique and methods as it is about opening the heart. It is about inspiration - of oneself and of others. It is about human experiences, not processes. We must come to the understanding that global leadership is not a formula or a program: it is a human activity that comes from the heart and considers the hearts of others. It is an attitude, not a routine. Effective leadership therefore is not about making speeaches or being liked. It is leadership defined by results and not attributes. Therefore let your words be few and let your action speak more louder."
- Conference Day 2 - Keynote and Panel Discussion
The keynote speech was by Chris Brown who is the former Director of the Namibia Nature Foundation in Windhoek. He took us on a tour of Namibia’ s fragile ecosystem and the challenges to come in face of climate change. The slides of his powerful presentation can be found here.
The following panel discussion with Jason Morenikeji, Juliana M. Muchai and Eugene Cloete brought together experiences from both the grassroot level and academia. Jason Morenikeji runs The Clean Energy Company in Mozambique and Juliana M. Muchai is program manager at the wellknown Green Belt Movement in Nairobi.
- Eugene Cloete's understanding of ecology which is key to his argumentation that "we need to get more out of less" is summarized in his article "World Events Have Ecological Footprint"
Serra Titiz who started Mikado Consulting Services in Istanbul described what were here main take aways of this session:
- Conference Day 2 - Site Visits
The site visits are a key ingredient of the foundations forums. In Windhoek participants could choose among these sites in order to get a better understanding of the local environment:
- Water Demand Management in Windhoek
- Effective Recycling Systems for an African Capital
- Poor People and Housing – How to Stay Out of the Poverty Trap?
- Social and Environmental Responsibility – a Trademark of Namibia Breweries
- Conference Day 3 - Workshops
In four workshops representing projects from Namibia, Ghana and Nigeria the project leaders
introduced their projects to inspire the forum participants and to ask for their support. Check out the interviews to learn more about the participants experiences.
- Timothy Wade, a U.S. social entrepreneur, introduced his new business model to counter the practice of dumping human waste in the environment. His company is called Waste Entreprisers and you can find our interview with him here.
- Please check out the interview with Nnaemeka Ikegwuonu who talked with us at the forum about his experiences as a farmer and how he set up the Smallholders Foundation, a radio channel devoted to educating rural Nigerians about effective farming techniques. He also reflected on what it is to be a social entrepreneur in Nigeria.