by Marcus Culverwell – Thursday 14th June 2012
As I write, I am sitting on a small, rather cold rock, surrounded by snow and looking down on the town of Chamonix, in the French Alps, from a height of 2000m. It is June, the sun on my back is strong, and the snow which fell last night is melting quickly. Spread around me, on patches of grass and other small outcrops of rock are eighteen 11 year olds, sitting, silently, journals and pens in hands, looking down on the town and each is designing a brief for the Major as to how they recommend he should change how this beautiful little town functions so that it can run sustainably on into the future.
What amazes and pleases me hugely, is that every single one of them is completely focused on this task, looking down, looking around, contemplating and jotting down their sometimes wild and creative ideas, and sometimes incredibly insightful ideas showing a deep understanding of what needs to change to protect our fragile world.
No-one complains that this task is onerous at, what is 7.30am UK time. No-one says they are too tired, or asks to play a game instead or asks go back to bed, despite it having been an intensive 72 hours. No, they all seem to embrace why we are here, what is at stake and how they have to be the change makers of the future.
I, therefore, am fully satisfied that the reason we came here, that all the preparation, fund raising and planning has culminated in a level of engagement and understanding of what it means to be a change maker, a new leader in sustainable living, which is what this was all about.
Some of the ideas showed genius and included a transportation/carbon tax, even though this idea had never been put to them before. Maybe they really will be running the country one day!
Not only this, but the growth in confidence of some participants, the development of team working and an understanding of themselves, their interactions with others and interactions with the wider world have all brought smiles, and even a few tears, to the faces of the leaders here.
Children run deep, and we must never under estimate their big hearts and their incredible potential.
It is going to be another great day!